Sunday, 25 March 2018

Kong Of Skull Island #7 - BOOM! Studios

KONG OF SKULL ISLAND No. 7, January 2017
Set during the aftermath of “BOOM! Studios” original six-issue mini-series, James Asmus’ script for the seventh instalment of “Kong Of Skull Island” must surely have disappointed many of its readers with a plot that despite its gore-flecked violent action, doesn’t actually take the saga’s story forward any further until the publication’s final page. Indeed, for much of this twenty-two page periodical’s narrative it’s debatably difficult to even understand what the majority of this comic’s minimum-sized cast are actually doing, especially the plot’s two Kong Hunters who supposedly believe that the best way to eliminate a formidably tall gorilla is to incense the hairy beast to the point where it goes on an uncontrollable killing frenzy and unsurprisingly batters at least one of the nearly naked savages to death with a thwack of its fist..!

Admittedly, the Stan Lee Excelsior Award-nominee’s script starts off sensibly enough, with his previous story-arc’s heroine, Ewata, recognising her “duty to serve in my daughter’s place [as Queen] until she is old enough to rule.” However, no sooner has this ceremony taken place than the focus shifts to the ostracised Kong Valla, and the animal’s somewhat sedentary daily routine of foraging amidst a herd of Triceratops, scaring off Velociraptors from her watering hole and sleeping in the lair of her defeated enemies; an arguably idyllic lifestyle which is only brought to a sudden end by the mammal's discovery of “a miner with a broken leg, who had been injured in a tunnel collapse.”

Just why the “enormous gorilla-like ape” decides to safely carry the wounded man all the way back to the human settlement which has banished her is somewhat debatable, but their journey does then rather artificially set the primate up to be the subject of Utal’s bizarre trap utilising a ragamuffin scarecrow packed full of “incense… handed down generations” and a length of rope the savage B’San unwisely decides to tug in order to release the “pheromones”. Understandably the ensuing carnage results in at least one of the hunters being literally flattened, yet also leads to a surprisingly sudden sequence, albeit beautifully illustrated by Carlos Magno, where a pair of Deathrunners unwisely decide to attack one of Skull Island’s plant-eating dinosaurs and promptly get torn asunder by the manically-fuelled Kong.

This limb-ripping confrontation, as well as the aforementioned trek back to the Tagu-Atu village, was presumably penned to suggest that Valla is already beginning to establish herself as the isle’s protector. However, any semblance of sense is soon lost once the battle is over and “The Untamed” inexplicably bounds off a cliff-top into an underlying lagoon which co-incidentally just happens to lead to a small mewing baby ape and its seriously scarred, mean-looking mother…

‘First published on the "Dawn of Comics" website.'
Writer: James Asmus, Illustrator: Carlos Magno, and Colors: Jeremy Lawson

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