Skullgirls is showing signs of progress with Peacock playable at E3 this year and Reverge has talked briefly on the prospect of DLC. According to Reverge Labs may feature male characters as DLC. Skullgirls will release with eight characters, a substantially smaller roster than most this-gen fighting games harkening back to the days of Street Fighter II, so the developers are focused on each character having entirely unique movesets. Unique movesets will go fist-in-fist with the unique character designs. For instance Peacock looks very much like a steamboat Mickey era Minnie Mouse, where-as Cerebella’s Vice-Versa has massive arms atop Cerebella’s cartoonish curvacious body.

Mike Z and Reverge Labs are bringing years of professional-tier experience to the development of Skullgirls and its showing. We’ve already discussed the way they’re revamping training in fighting games, but some other gameplay mechanics help Skullgirls hang tough with the retail big boys and give players a unique experience. For instance instead of picking just one character like in Street Fighter or three ala Marvel vs. Capcom, Skullgirls enthusiasts will be able to choose from one super beefy character, two buffed characters, or three normal ones. Going solo doesn’t punish one character learning fighters but also allows those who love the assists and character swaps of the versus series the option to play they want as well. On a more technical side, Reverge also takes a new approach on infinite loops. Instead of implementing ways of stopping infinite loops like damage scaling or pushing the characters away, if any one string of attacks is repeated in a combo the assaulted character can instantly break free.

Skullgirls is bringing a lot to the table and Reverge Labs is finding ways to make fighting games less rigid and flow better. The small character roster is forgiven with completely unique movesets for each character; no color swaps here. Perhaps it might be odd to see male characters in a game titled “Skullgirls“, but anything would look awesome in this vibrant cartoonish art style, so why not dudes too? Stick around for our hands-on from E3 2011.