REVIEW: Kong of Skull Island #4

When it comes to King Kong we all think of the giant ape that fought WWI style fighter planes on top of a skyscraper while holding a screaming woman in his hand. That’s the classic image. But coming in March of 2017 is the latest release from director Jordan Vogt-Roberts “Kong: Skull Island”. And while the trailers have hinted at the origins of the beast we have yet to catch a full look at the new king of the jungle.

In Boom’s latest offering writer James Asmus has been tasked with filling out the back story of how an animal like Kong might end up on this mysterious island. His take on the history of Kong is totally unexpected and one to be applauded in its unique approach. Asmus has brought to the forefront the idea that Kong was not simply the name of a great beast that was blessed and feared by the island natives, but one of many giant apes that were brought across the sea by the natives themselves.

It was always assumed that it was the islanders that built the iconic giant wall to keep out Kong- but instead the massive wall is a structure that the Kong’s (The native name for this breed of giant ape) helped the villagers build to protect them upon arrival from threats form the interior of Skull Island. There are threats that present themselves in the form of T-Rex-like dinos and other unseen threats.

To take a story like Kong and flip the history of the character on its ear like this is a genius move. I had never thought about it; but how did these creatures get on this island? To see that the mighty beast of past films was part of a slave race of apes that served the humans is a dynamic touch to the history of the beast.

The natives are in charge in this series, at least for now, as the struggle for power between two tribes is at the center of the story. There is a touch of political intrigue as a member of the royal family is murdered and the plot for power over the tribe begins to take shape.

The artwork of Magno harkens back to a style that was more prevalent in the late 1960’s and early 70’s in adventure comics that were being produced by companies like Gold Key. Magno’s style is closer to Joe Kubert and John Romita than anything. This old school style gives the entire issue a throwback feel, as if we are being shown these images from a time long ago.

Final Thoughts: An unexpected twist on the history of a cinematic legend.

Final Grade: 4 Stars

Kong of Skull Island #4
Story: James Asmus
Art: Carlos Magno
Colors: Brad Simpson
Letters: Ed Dukeshire
Publisher:  Boom

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