|“||Both a sequel and a prequel to the film, the series tells the story tells of a secret team of Monarch operatives returning to Skull Island to discover the truth behind Kong and the island he was born to protect.
In doing so, they unlock an ancient history of monster conflict, witness the primal war between Kong and an otherworldly ecosystem of deadly new creatures, and finally reveal how this lonely god became the last of his kind.
Featuring new monsters and previously unseen Skull Island locations, the book gives fans a chance to see how Kong has evolved since the events of the film.
Skull Island: The Birth of Kong is a 4-part comic book issue by Legendary Comics that serves as both a sequel and a prequel to Legendary Pictures' Kong: Skull Island. The first issue was released on April 12, 2017, the second was released on June 21, 2017, the third was released on September 27, 2017, and the final issue was released on November 22, 2017.
Part One: The People Who Came From The Sky
On June 24, 2012, the Australian Navy responds to a mayday signal in the South Pacific and finds a Kevlar float bag bearing the Monarch logo. Two weeks later, on July 9, Houston Brooks, who is one day away from retirement after working for Monarch for 40 years, is visited by a colleague named Singh at Monarch Field Office Sigma. Singh presents Houston with the item recovered by the Australian Navy, which is a recording device that belonged to Houston's son Aaron, who disappeared on an expedition to Antarctica in 1995. Houston accesses the recorder using the password "GJALLARHORN," referring to the horn of Heimdall from Norse mythology, which Houston often read to Aaron as a child. While driving home, Houston listens to the recording, which contains Aaron's account of what happened 17 years ago.
In a flashback to 1995, Aaron gets into an argument with his father regarding Skull Island, outraged that his father and Monarch allowed an island full of M.U.T.O.s to remain a secret, and that they entrusted Kong to guard it. Houston explains that Kong is the island's king and capable of keeping it under control by himself. Aaron asks what humanity's second line of defense will be if Kong can't keep things on Skull Island under control, and how they are even sure whether or not Kong is still alive. Houston says Monarch is monitoring everything via satellite, and that many of his colleagues died on the island in 1973, believing that it was a secret worth keeping. Aaron storms off as his father calls after him.
On August 7, 1995, under the guise of visiting a M.U.T.O. fossil bed in Antarctica, Aaron and a team of Monarch operatives fly out to Skull Island aboard a V-22 Osprey sometime afterward. Accompanying Aaron are cryptobiologist Evgenij Medov, Evelyn Matemavi, whom Houston Brooks personally recruited for Monarch, Helen Karsten, a survival instructor considered a legend in the U.S. Navy, Karsten's friend Cejudo the pilot, and Walter R. Riccio, a mythographer. Aaron plans to spend at least three days gathering evidence, as he doesn't entrust Kong with humanity's survival and believes that the world has the right to know about Skull Island. As soon as the V-22 penetrates the storm cell around the island, it is attacked by a flock of Psychovultures, who damage the craft and send it crashing to the island below. Everyone except Cejudo parachutes out and lands on a cliff overlooking the island, seeing a flock of Leafwings flying past. The V-22 crashes to the west, and Aaron and his team decide to head that direction to try and rescue Cejudo, despite Riccio's protests.
They are almost immediately ambushed by a pack of Death Jackals, which kill and dismember Karsten while the others retreat to a cave. The Death Jackals chase the remaining humans into the cave, but before they can finish them off, a huge fist comes crashing down just outside the cave. Then the giant hand reaches into the cave, grabbing several Death Jackals and crushing them. The rest run out of the cave, only to be crushed by the beast's foot. The colossal ape stares at the cave entrance for a moment and walks away. Matemavi tends to Medov, who was mauled by the Death Jackals, saying that he's stable but they need to recover the medical supplies aboard the V-22, while Aaron is still amazed, recognizing the giant ape that saved them as Kong. Riccio alerts Aaron that they are not alone, as several Iwi natives enter the cave. A young Iwi boy introduces himself as Ato and welcomes Aaron and the others, addressing them as "Awati." Riccio asks Ato what "Awati" means, to which he replies "The people who come from the sky."
Part Two: The Mountain Who Thunders Death
The natives take the Monarch operatives to their village and give them a healing medicine brew. Nearly a year later, on July 14, Aaron records that he's starting to have second thoughts about Skull Island and that he is not sure what to make of the Iwis claim of expecting them. Aaron also says that Riccio has managed to learn their native language and has taken a liking to the Iwi's medicine brew. In the meantime, Aaron befriends Ato, who reveals that he learned to speak English from his father, who was taught by Hank Marlow. After Aaron accidentally upsets a few of the natives when he bangs on their wall while admiring it, he is told by Riccio that he needs to see something.
Riccio brings Aaron and Matemavi to the site of a mural. He talks of Atenatua, a great seer who led the Iwis to Skull Island after fleeing from another tribe, and foretold the coming of the "Awati," which Matemavi explains to be Marlow and Gunpei Ikari, the 1973 expedition, and now them. Then Riccio's head starts hurting and he claims to see the event depicted in the mural: on Skull Island millions of years ago, Kong's family lived in peace until the Skullcrawlers came along, leading to a war of the gods. Riccio claims that Houston Brooks only scratched the surface and it's been decided that tomorrow the Iwis will take them on a pilgrimage where they will be the ones to unlock the mysteries of "the mountain-who-thunders-death," and meet with Kong himself. That night, Aaron tells Matemavi and Medov that they should focus on discovering what happened to Cejudo and the V-22, and they discuss Riccio claiming to have mystical visions or hallucinations possibly from drinking too much of the brew. Aaron says Skull Island is a gateway to hell and they need to know for sure if Kong can keep it closed. He decides to go along with the pilgrimage so they can observe Kong and look for the V-22 at the same time, and Matemavi and Medov agree.
The following morning, Aaron, Matemavi, and Medov paint themselves at Riccio's insistence and, accompanied by Ato and two other natives, they journey to a wrecked ship from the Dutch East India Company. Finding a mural inside depicting the Iwi's arrival to the island and two great apes, Riccio writhes in pain again. Ato claims the island's devils are whispering into Riccio's ear, that Riccio believes he has been touched by Kong, and that he might be a danger to them. Having another vision, Riccio sees Atenatua and Iwi refugees arrive on the island shore around the time the Skullcrawlers wiped out all but the two strongest apes. Matemavi tries to calm Riccio but he storms out of the ship. The others chase after him when the ground they are standing on next to the ship suddenly shakes, revealing itself to be a Sirenjaw. After outrunning the Sirenjaw a bit, they find a crashed helicopter and Monarch crates with weapons from the 1973 expedition. Then Kong's roar is heard as he seemingly goes to battle against the Sirenjaw, and Aaron leads the others in Kong's direction.
Part Three: Valley of the Fallen Gods
The next day, they find the Sirenjaw's carcass but no sign of Kong. Then a flock of Psychovultures and Death Jackals descend upon the carcass to feast on it, prompting the humans to flee. They encounter a Swamp Locust and manage to escape, but Medov's wounds have opened up again. Ato says the way to the village is now blocked and they have to wait at least a week for the animals to finish eating the Sirenjaw's corpse.
Then Cejudo finally reaches Aaron through the radio after repairing it. He says he can barely get airborne since the Psychovultures shredded everything. Aaron tells Cejudo about Medov's injury and that Karsten didn't make it before Cejudo asks for the team's location so he can pick them up. Ato tells Aaron there's a safe place for them and the V-22 Osprey to land nearby, unfortunately, they will have to cross through the Boneyard, home of the Skullcrawlers. Aaron decides they'll have to take the risk since they don't have much choice and, to Riccio's dismay, call off the mission as Skull Island has gotten the best of them and they can't collect any data since their survey gear is now junk. Riccio wants to continue the pilgrimage as they're now close to finally meeting Kong. Aaron says they are still leaving and tells Riccio if he wants to continue his "religious experience" then he is free to do so.
At the Boneyard, Riccio is excited by the sight of the skeletons of the two apes from his previous vision. Ato says it was to be the next step in the pilgrimage, and that the natives call it "The Valley of the Fallen Gods". As the group crosses through, they see a pair of Skullcrawlers. Aaron finds a cave opening for them to hide in, confused as to why the Skullcrawlers are still alive when his father's notes stated Kong had killed the last of them. Ato says Kong only weakened the Skullcrawlers and more of them dwell underground. The group enters the small opening and waits in the cave for the Skullcrawlers to leave. Riccio claims to know why the Iwi brought them to the Boneyard. As Aaron tries to pull Riccio away from the entrance, he says the cave they are in is a womb, Kong's womb.
Then he grabs his head in pain from having another vision, one of Kong's birth: before the Boneyard fell to the Skullcrawlers, it was the den of the Kong superspecies and the two apes that remained were Kong's parents. Things were long past hopeless by the time Kong was conceived but his parents continued to fight the giant Skullcrawlers, up to the moment Kong's mother gave birth on the battlefield. The newborn Kong's first impressions of the world were of blood, thunder, fire, and death; he only knew his mother during the moment she held him in her arms. While Kong's father held off the Skullcrawlers, his mother sealed him in the cave so they wouldn't get to him, and Kong helplessly watched the crawlers kill his parents. Even though the rage and fury that grew inside Kong that day are now what makes him invincible, what's fueling it is a sorrow that can never heal. By nightfall when the fight was over, he left the cave and wept by his parents' bodies though no one could hear him for he was now the last of his kind.
It's at that moment that Aaron realizes Kong is not a dumb brute but an orphan, and Matemavi says the Skullcrawlers are gone. Riccio says they don't need the survey gear anymore and, claiming to now understand everything, he says their communion with Kong is all that matters. Before he can explain, Aaron bids Riccio farewell, saying he hopes to see the latter at the pick-up point but if not, then Riccio can remain on Skull Island. The sun sets and night comes by the time Cejudo arrives in the V-22 Osprey to the others' location at the top of a peak. Suddenly, a missile appears that hits the V-22 and causes Cejudo to crash. To the group's shock and dismay, they see Riccio behind them with a rocket launcher. The distraught Matemavi shoots at him and misses before he pulls out a gun and shoots her in the chest, killing her. Then Riccio points the gun at Aaron and asks if he still wants assurance that Kong is capable of protecting mankind then he should pay attention since he's going to show Kong's true face.
Part Four: Over the Rainbow
Holding everyone at gunpoint, Riccio says Medov was wrong about Skull Island being hell as it's Eden and now is the time for everyone to leave the womb, including Kong. He says the true meaning of their communion is to see exactly what kind of god Kong is: one of wrath and judgment, or love and mercy. Riccio says they must remove the barriers between themselves and Kong and meet him face-to-face, meaning the wall surrounding the Iwi village must fall. Ato pleads with Riccio against it and Riccio clocks Ato across the mouth with his gun, telling the boy to be quiet since it's what the Iwis are good at. He claims to not be doing this to be cruel as birth is painful, asking if Kong understands and feels their pain as his own. He says the wall must come down and if Kong comes to save the Iwi, they will know once and for all that Kong kills for more than vengeance, he does so out of love for them, his children. Aaron asks what if Kong doesn't come and Riccio replies then the Iwis never deserved their wall and the outside world can burn as well since it doesn't deserve Kong either, telling Aaron the time for judgment has come.
Then a pack of Death Jackals appears, enabling Aaron and the others to escape. Riccio manages to finish off the Jackals and get away as well. Aaron's group spends the rest of the night making its way back to the Iwi village. Along the way, they figure out that Riccio plans to take down the village walls by using the leftover seismic charges from the last Monarch expedition. They make it back to the village the following day but see no sign of Riccio. However, before they can warn anyone, a huge explosion goes off, destroying a large section of the wall. When the smoke clears, Riccio is revealed, telling Aaron it's too late.
Several Mother Longlegs appear in the jungle behind Riccio and enter the village through the opening he had created. He tells the Iwi to not be afraid since Kong will now come and save everyone. As some natives are being killed and devoured by the giant spiders, Aaron directs survivors to follow him down a clear path. As they run for cover, Medov is skewered through the back by a spider leg and killed. Aaron leads the survivors up the side of a mountain while he and some of the natives try to fend off a massive Mother Longlegs the size of Kong himself following them. Ato gives Aaron a spear when he runs out of bullets. When the Giant Mother Longlegs corners them, Kong arrives and kills it before laying waste to the rest of the arachnids. Then Riccio, donning an Iwi garb, appears before Kong, saying he never doubted that Kong fights for people and that they truly are worthy of his love. Kong proceeds to smash Riccio with his fist due to the latter’s action of destroying the wall and endangering everyone. Then Kong looks in Aaron and Ato's direction. Aaron tries to flee as Kong walks toward them but Ato tells Aaron not to move. Preparing for the worst as Kong approaches, Aaron braces himself only for Kong to stop within touching distance from him.
By the time Kong has left, Aaron makes one last recording for his dad, dated July 17, 1996. He claims to still not know what to make of everything that has happened but realized that in the end, the communion with Kong was meant for no one else but him. Aaron says Riccio made his point in a way since Kong came and saved everyone when they needed him most, saying that Kong is an orphan with an instinct to protect human life. He says his dad was right and he now understands what he tried to tell him about nature always striking its own balance. Aaron records that he paid a deep price to find out with the loss of his friends, including Riccio. Aaron says he would like to blame Riccio for the things he did but in the end, the blame belongs to Aaron himself. Then he says he'd ask his father to come and find him but knowing the mess he made, Aaron decides to stay with the Iwi and help them rebuild, reflecting that being stuck on Skull Island might be either his reward or punishment and that he and his father may meet again "over the rainbow." Aaron seals his recorder in a Monarch kevlar float bag and sends it out to sea on an Iwi boat.
Back in the present day, Houston Brooks finishes listening to Aaron's recordings. The following day on July 10, 2012, Singh and some of Houston's other colleagues hold a party celebrating his retirement with one of them noting how he hasn't looked happier in years. A female colleague asks Houston if he has any plans and he thought of taking a cruise last night. She offers to give Houston her parents' info since they enjoyed a cruise to Alaska a few years back, but Houston thinks about going somewhere tropical.
Staff role on the left, staff member's name on the right.
- Written by Arvid Nelson
- Edited by Robert Napton
- Issue #1
- Issue #1
- Issue #2
- Issue #3
- Issue #4
- In Part Three, Ato states that after Kong kills a creature, the rest of the island "awakens" in a week-long feeding frenzy, this is contradicted in part four where Aaron's final recording to his father is dated July 17 (as the previous recording detailing the week-long feeding frenzy was dated July 15) even though the previous recording stated Ato helped them survive the week-long feeding frenzy.
|Kong: Skull Island|