Tuesday, January 10, 2017

The Secret Orign Of King Kong!

Kong of Skull Island is a series of comics which have been coming out pretty regularly from Boom Studios. They are reasonably well crafted and certainly a big improvement over a similar series of stories from Markosia Comics some years ago. They purport to tell the "secret origin" of King Kong or more properly his ancestors.

In the opening of this tale we encounter two tribes which live apart but appear to have once been the same people. One group has been ascendant for some generations at the cost of the other. Both sides of this equation train for battle and sport giant apes called "Kong". These beasts were bred using techniques which are pretty advanced and specific to these tribes who eventually call themselves the Tagu-Atu.

The story we follow (and truth told it's difficult to keep up with) concerns a young and beautiful trainer of a Kong who is secretly married to a prince of the other tribe. When a volcano erupts there is immediate need to find a safe land and the ascendant tribe feels it necessary to use the ships which the weaker tribe has built.

It's a complicated affair but while romance and political intrigue rumbles along, the two tribes (or more properly the survivors of the two tribes) seek shelter on another island known as "Skull Island" for the particular rock formation which dominates its landscape. They find on this island a great deal of danger in the form of dinosaurs of all sorts, some quite intelligent.

The Kongs are crucial to keep the people safe as they simultaneously build a fortification and fight against the marauding dinosaurs. All the while the a murder puts all the attempts to create one people at risk and personal agendas get in the way of the greater good.

All this rigamarole is probably what I'm supposed to care about, but despite the clear craftsmanship by artist Carols Magnos I have such a difficult time telling the people apart that half the time I'm confused who is in any given scene. I hate to say it this way, but they all look alike and the use of a pretty restrained color pallet doesn't help things at all. Even the Kongs look alike and only when a name is used can I tell one from another and even not then really.

It's weird to compliment the appearance of this series and the same time complain about the storytelling but that's where I'm at. This was supposed to be a six-issue limited series but has been changed to an ongoing. So I'm left with a decision to make about whether I continue. And frankly I think this story will be best enjoyed by reading it in trade. So I suspect this one is going off my list for now.

Love the covers though! Oustanding!

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