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Skullgirls fans have a lot to cheer about as Lab Zero Games announces the impending launch of three new combatants for its indie fighting game, starting next week with the fan-selected master of instrumental warfare, Big Band.

Skullgirls has had a long and somewhat complicated history, but the short of it is basically this: Indie fighter gets published and fans rejoice. Publisher and developer don’t see eye to eye, have a somewhat messy breakup. Developer teams up with new publisher and turns to Indiegogo in order to fund more content for the game. Funding campaign is a huge success, providing the cash flow to create five new characters for the game rather than the initially planned one. Game gets re-published under slightly new title, Skullgirls: Encore, and the new characters finally start rolling out to the eager, supportive fans.

Last year, Lab Zero’s Indigogo campaign allowed participants to vote on which characters they wanted to see added to the Skullgirls roster and, last month, the undead cutie Squiggly was the first to take center stage. According to a recent announcement, it looks like the game’s first male character will also be arriving on PlayStation 3 in the form of Big Band, a man whose name should be taken quite literally.

Releasing on Tuesday, Big Band will be free to all owners of Skullgirls: Encore, exactly as outlined in the original Indiegogo campaign. He’s going to have his own story, his own level, his own music, fighting style, the works. But Lab Zero didn’t stop there, opting to take this opportunity to discuss another pair of future fighters, too, one of which should come as a total surprise.

On April 1, Lab Zero launched the character Fukua on the PC version of Skullgirls. Originally thought to be an April Fool’s joke, she reuses assets from an existing character, Filia, but offers up several new twists. When the developer asked the community what they thought of the character, it was basically demanded that she be left in the game. As a result, LZ decided to spruce her up for primetime and will be adding Fukua to the PS3 roster at a later date as an additional free character.

As for who fans can expect to join the fray next, it’s none other than the Egyptian-themed diva, Eliza. No word yet on when we will be able to take control of this latest deadly vixen but, based on everything we’ve seen in that same Big Band announcement post, it looks like she’s coming along quite nicely.
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