Written By: Ken Hulsey
Sources: Robot War Espresso / Avery Guerra
It's really hard to believe that it has been well over two years since I first reported on "M.O.R.A.V." (Multi-Operational Robotic Armored Vehicle) a pet project of Hollywood special effects maven Fon Davis. Over those two years the giant robot anime inspired feature has morphed from a possible television series or feature film, to a comic book series, which never found a publisher.
You really have to tip your hat to Davis though, he has never given up on "M.O.R.A.V.", and now, finally the project has been given a second life by Insight Editions who now is going to release the original 6-issue comic as a one-off graphic novel.
According to Davis, "We’ve taken what was going to be the 132 page 6 issue comic book series and combined it in to a single graphic novel, which will include an extra 30 pages of bonus material."
"So, the 'M.O.R.A.V.: History of Robotic Warfare' graphic novel is 160 pages long. If you or anyone you know wants to order a copy, there is a link on my website morav.net (Also At Amazon.com). I will be signing exclusive advance copies of 'M.O.R.A.V.: The History of Robotic Warfare' at Comic-Con 2010 in San Diego."
To correspond with the release of the graphic novel, Davis and his team are set to begin running the live-action "M.O.R.A.V." series as webisodes starting this August.
"I am going back to producing the live action webisodes of M.O.R.A.V. this August." Davis adds, "I’m really looking forward to getting back to the live action series. Here is a sneak peak at the 1/6 scale Gen 1 M.O.R.A.V. we’re building for that series right now in my studio (see very bottom below)."
"If you like robot science fiction, MORAV could be what you’ve always wanted to see but no one has done. This kind of gritty realism is uncommon in the robot science fiction genre. [It] is heavily focused on keeping stories character based and making the environment tangible. There is an effort to bring the audience into a world where robots really walk the streets. The robots in this series do not jump, fly, and shoot lasers out of their eyes. They are designed the way giant robots would be if they were real."
Indeed "M.O.R.A.V." has all the makings of a live-action "Patlabor" series crossed with a hard-hitting military based action series.
Here is the synopsis (from my initial 2008 article about 'M.O.R.A.V.):
The story begins with the robot pilots and their peers testing and training then follows them through their struggles with the hardships of war. The audience witnesses the start of a global arms race to build the greatest giant robot army in the world. MORAV covers many decades chronicling the characters through a coup de'tat followed by a civil war that eventually leads to World War Three. The viewer will actually get to see the entire historic saga of robot warfare through the eyes of the men and women immersed in this reality.
If you like robot science fiction, MORAV could be what you've always wanted to see but no one has done. This kind of gritty realism is uncommon in the robot science fiction genre. The show is heavily focused on keeping stories character based and making the environment tangible. There is an effort to bring the audience into a world where robots really walk the streets. The robots in this series do not jump, fly, and shoot lasers out of their eyes. They are designed the way giant robots would be if they were real.
The Nation of Kumala. Divided into two separate states, they have endured an uneasy peace for hundreds of years, but now they find themselves embroiled in a bloody conflict that pits East and West at each other’s throats for control of the entire country.
Across the Jilta Straits lies her sister country of Tangri Island. A peaceful nation with a rich blend of traditional Asian heritage and Western-influenced modernisms and, not unlike any other paradise on Earth, there are those who wish to exploit her and take what she has to offer, no matter what the cost.
As tensions evolve into all-out war, heroes from both Tangri and Kumala unite with a corporate peacekeeping detachment of the Joint Nations Defense force in an attempt to prevent the onslaught of genocide. If they fail, the conflict could destroy Kumala and threaten not only the stability of Tangri Island, but engulf the remainder of South-East Asia into a global war.
But even as Tangri’s King deploys his historic special forces team, The Dragon Army, in an attempt to help subdue the ethnic cleansing in Kumala, the JND is secretly testing a new and devastatingly powerful robotic super-weapon on their peaceful island, one that will ravage Tangri’s future before the King’s forces have time to react.
Lines will be drawn, friendships tested, alliances forged, and the balance of military might will be forever changed by a weapon the likes of which no one has ever seen or imagined.
Here are some test shots and concept artwork from "M.O.R.A.V.":
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