For me the Japanese robots I grew up (not counting American ones that were adapted into anime's like Transformers and the like) with was Johnny Sokko and his Flying Robot (Giant Robo), Gigantor (Tetsujin 28), The Big O and Voltron
The great thing about your artwork is that it perfectly meshes the outlandishness of those classic tokusatsu shows and movies and adds a very whimsical, light hearted quality to it that feels like seeing these things through the eyes of a child (if that makes any sense whatsoever). This is great stuff. If you're not doing this professionally, you darn well ought to be.
This was the first Ultra episode I ever saw as a kid. I remember waking up super early in the morning and catching his first episode on TNT. I remember just being floored and in total awe when I saw this monster. Still do to this day. I love the presense you give him and the little added joke with the human yelling out "king what!?"
I always just assumed the visor was the eye. But considering it is a conglomeration of different ships, I don't think it has anything as anthropomorphized as that sort of feature. Still....makes me wonder what a battle between Voltron and King Joe would be like if the lions fought the Joe ships one on one
Giant Robo himself, I could see. But the problem with them both, is that they are so freaking slow. That and Robo's armor never truly felt to be all that powerful to me. The robot got manhandled a lot. Joe on the other hand was able to stand up to U7's Beam Lamp and Eye Slugger.
If I was to think of a robot to fight Joe, it would probably be the Iron Colossus that was in one of the 12 U7 mini tv movies in the 90's. That thing was a beast.
Maybe the reason of his minimalist and blank face is to create an impression of an ominous alien robot. Even thought he looks quite silly with that hydrant like design, his stoic demeanor is able to strike fear on His targets. Take a look at His role as King Joe Black in Ultra Galaxy, he cold blooded-ly slaughters every kaiju on sight with his arm cannon
In America, they use to air "Ultra Seven" really early in the morning during the 1990's, on a cable station called TNT. And me and my brothers loved the show, even to this very day.
When we had a water pool, we'd recreate the famous Kobe Bay battle, with child me playing King Joe, or the Roadon Robot at he was called in the English dubbing. I loved making the 'WONK' sounds while walking, and fought my younger brother Miguel, who was always Ultra Seven.
I'm an adult now, but King Joe is still one of my all time favorite 'Mecha Kaiju', and your artwork is amazing as usual!