Telling the back story of a video game in a comic book seems to be a popular trend nowadays. Whether it’s the Marvel published mini-series Halo Uprising, the Wildstorm published World of Warcraft comics, or this past summer’s release of Pocket God Comics #1,everyone seems to want to get in on the action. Now Gameloft is jumping into the fray, offering a free iPhone comic based in the universe of its latest space opera Star Battalion.

The comic tells the story of events that happened 20 years prior to the game, giving players insight into how the war between the Royalists and Resistance began. The iTunes description sums things up nicely;

“Taros, the jealous brother of Atreus’s rightful king, has overthrown the country and launched an aggressive campaign across the galaxy. While only a small resistance movement remains to challenge him, it is led by Saarel, the legendary commander who might just rally enough troops to his cause. But rumors spread that Taros still hasn’t unveiled his ultimate weapon, and that the true King of Atreus is still out there, patiently awaiting his rescue…or execution.”

Using a similar comic viewing technology to the Marvel Comics app, comics are presented in panel view. This means the comics are presented square by square rather than as a full page. What’s more, if you wait patiently you’ll find the panels will move on their own like a slideshow. It’s a neat presentation, but I would have personally preferred a universal app that allowed for full page viewing on the iPad like a traditional comic. Still, beggars can’t be choosers, and it’s easy to commend Gameloft getting such a sharp tie-in together for free.

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The art depicted here is fun, colorful, and definitely a good fit for a space opera style story. The writing on the other hand, while not terrible, clearly offers the 14 year-old male appeal that most stories of this nature cater to.

The comic itself is relatively short, feeling more like a preview than a full length comic book. Thankfully the app promises the story will continue in a future update, so it looks like there’ll be reason to keep this one sitting on your iPhone after it’s been read.

Want to know more about the world of Star Battalion? Be sure to tune in later this week for our Gamezebo review of the game!