Sunday, 8 January 2017

Kong Of Skull Island #3 - BOOM! Studios

KONG OF SKULL ISLAND No. 3, September 2016
Whether because of James Asmus’ illogical and oft-times unfathomable narrative, or due to Carlos Magno’s incredibly detailed, yet resultantly indecipherable artwork, it’s probably a fair bet to believe that the majority of this twenty-two page periodical’s 5,716 readers found Issue Three of “Kong Of Skull Island” a mesmerising mess. Indeed, this publication’s storyline is simply so pulse-pounding, that it’s genuinely hard to discern just what is actually happening from one moment to the next, as Kongs subdue one another amongst fleeing villagers, savage indigenous subjects suddenly murder their king whilst being ‘drowned’ in boiling lava, and a newly-wed queen treacherously has her husband dispatched by a wizened old shaman…

Foremost of this comic’s faults is the multiple Harvey Award-nominee’s infuriating habit of consistently ‘spot-lighting’ numerous different characters throughout the events, and then just as quickly focusing upon someone entirely dissimilar a moment later. On paper, these frequent references to K’Reti, Usana, Ewata, Valla, Tuno, Takani, Agani, the storyteller, V’drell, and the King doubtless made total sense to the author. But it becomes increasingly difficult to follow just who is doing what and why, when there are so many supposedly distinctive personalities being repeatedly thrown at the reader; especially when it also helps to know whether both the individuals and giant apes belong to either “the Tagu and Atu tribes -- two ideological factions of a great people”, in order to better understand their motivation.

Similarly befuddling is Asmus’ bizarre sub-plot to wipe out the Tagu King and his male heir. Admittedly, the destruction of their native island as the result of a massive volcanic eruption makes for the perfect background to Usana’s Machiavellian gambit to become sole monarch of both tribes. Yet the cold-blooded sacrifice of the woman’s former sovereign at the hands of one of her father’s fanatical “anointed” makes little sense when the duo are literally seconds aware from a horrifyingly painful death beneath a sea of boiling molten rock anyway. In fact, considering that the ‘deed’ takes place within sight of a multitude of witnesses, such a bold act seems rather ‘sensationally contrived’, even if it is highly unlikely any of the spectators will live to tell their tale.
Writer: James Asmus, Illustrator: Carlos Magno, and Colors: Brad Simpson

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