Growing up I remember going to my grandfather’s house to hang out. I remember thinking how dated everything looked, as if time stopped inside his house around the 1950s. I didn’t care how dated everything was, in fact, it was kind of neat to step back in time, and experience life thirty years before I was born. Even though the majority of the technology in my grandfather’s house was outdated, he had a VCR. We’d spend hours watching old black and white movies together – one of them being KING KONG.
When I heard that BOOM Studios! was releasing a comic to tie into the movie KONG: Skull Island I had to check it out. If you haven’t seen the trailer that was released for the movie last week during San Diego Comic-Con check it out below – it’s impressive, to say the least.
Equally impressive was the first issue of KONG of Skull Island written by James Asmus, illustrated by Carlos Magno, and colored by Brad Simpson. Carlos’ art is wicked-good and has a very classic look to it. The color choices by Brad Simpson match well with Carlos’ art style adding to that classic feel. I also want to give a big shout out to Felipe Massafera for the painted cover that is absolutely breathtaking. Overall, the comic has an older feel to it that is in the same vein of classic monster magazines and comics that came before.
In this issue it’s explained that there are two separate tribes, the Atu and the Tagu. The tribes reside on an island, but it’s not Skull Island. The Atus have a number of kongs that they raised, and so do the Tagus. The tribes have the kongs fight against each other, not for sport, but to please the gods. Unfortunately for the tribes, a volcano on the island is about to erupt. Instead of the elders of each tribe telling their people of the problem, they bicker about whose god is to be blamed. Sound familiar?
Most of the feeding grounds on the island are under the control of the Atu tribe and therefore the kongs of the Tagu tribe have to be transported to another island to feed. While on their way to the feeding grounds, the ships of the Tagu get misdirected and they end up getting attacked by pterodactyls and other dinosours. Eventually, the ships end up crashing at Skull Island explaining how kongs end up on the island. The Tagu tribe is aware that they have crashed at Skull Island and are deeply afraid of it. Why they are afraid isn’t explained in this issue. Maybe there is an even bigger, nastier Kong there like the one in the movie trailer?
The issue ends with the volcano on the island where the tribes originated from exploding. I’m going to assume that everyone on that island gets wiped out, which would leave only those who crashed on Skull Island to be left. Interesting then is that those that remain from the island are several members of the Tagu tribe and their kongs.
One of the tribe people to survive the shipwreck is a kong trainer who is able to obtain the obedience of the kongs through their love of her. I could see her becoming the new leader of the Tagu on Skull Island and maybe leading her kongs to do battle against The Kong of Skull Island (if there is one, which I think there is).
This six issue series is most likely going to be a prequel to the movie showing us how a Kong, bigger than we’ve ever seen, comes to rule over the island. This was a great setup issue that had a lot of classic comic book elements to it. Hopefully it’s hinted at or explained as to what causes the American expedition (seen in the trailer) to occur. All-in-all an interesting comic that takes you back to those old, classic, moster magazine/comic stories.
ROTTING BRAINS gives KONG of Skull Island #1…drum roll…4 out of 5 rotten brains.