With the new King Kong movie (Kong: Skull Island) less than a year away, BOOM! Studios will be publishing a prequel series to the upcoming feature film. The first issue comes out this week.
Is it good?
Kong of Skull Island (BOOM! Studios)
- “Release Your Kong!” will now be how I tell people to make sure they pee before we leave a somewhere.
- Gotta love a two-page spread of giant gorillas fighting.
- Not too sure about all the pages of tribe politicking and bickering, though.
- Witchblade called. They would like their design back.
- Boarding ships: Always a good sign that things are about to bad.
- Sure enough…
- So THAT’S where the skull carving came from!
Is It Good?
The art sure is. Whether it’s breathing taking landscape shots, ferocious monster battles, or intimate interactions between the human characters, artist Carlos Magno is 100% on point…which is good, because the story has some issues.
The basic set up is interesting, but the execution just isn’t there. When you’re telling a monster story like this, you have to decide if the characters are going to be important enough for the reader to take up a lot of page space. Otherwise, you need to dedicate more ink to the battling beasts.
To writer James Asmus’ credit, he tries to do both. Unfortunately, it constantly felt like we were in a narrative holding pattern, waiting for the Kongs (yes, that’s KongS with an ‘s’) and/or dinosaurs to do something. When the creatures do show up, and get down to business, it’s awesome. Otherwise, we have a lot of layered backstory that gets condensed into a multitude of trope-laden interactions. The struggle between of the two warring tribes somehow manages to take up considerable story space while also being completely overshadowed.
The one character I did really latch onto, however, was Ewata (which to Asmus’ credit looks to be the story’s primary protagonist). She’s a Kong trainer, which already makes her badass, but she’s also smart, tough, and admirably principled. It’s also worth noting that she can deflect a gross double entendre from a male suitor with such skill that it would silence David Brooke into oblivion.
There’s also a really cool framework being set up for the mythology of King Kong and Skull Island. Combine that with the great art (and the character of Ewata), and Kong of Skull Island is good enough to give a chance for at least one more issue.
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