Gareth Edwards‘ 2014 film Godzilla kicked things off in the biggest possible way for Legendary and Warner Bros.’ cinematic MonsterVerse, followed up by this year’s fantastic action-adventure film from Jordan Vogt-Roberts, Kong: Skull Island. With two of the heaviest hitters in movie monster history now re-introduced to audiences, fans are wondering just how the interconnected entertainment universe is going to bring them together for the inevitable, epic clash.
In 2019, the adventure continues with Godzilla: King of the Monsters, which pits Japan’s famous and fearsome monster against a rogues gallery of classic beasts, followed by the 2020 cinematic collision that is Godzilla vs. Kong. But since those films are years away, Legendary has launched a monthly comic book series titled “Skull Island: The Birth of Kong” that will help to fill in the gap for anxious fans. The first installment, “Part One: The People Who Came from the Sky”, written by Arvid Nelson with artwork by Zid, will be available in print and on Comixology starting tomorrow, April 12th. Mild story spoilers follow.
Let’s let Corey Hawkins‘ character Houston Brooks introduce you to the story told in the new comic:
This first issue acts as a sequel to Kong: Skull Island and a prequel to films that will follow it, since it’s split into two different time periods. The frame story, taking place in 2012, finds the Australian Navy recovering one of Monarch’s Kevlar float bags from the South Pacific with a curious bit of evidence inside. It’s revealed here that Brooks (Hawkins), who survived the encounter on Skull Island in 1973, had a son named Aaron who followed in his footsteps … and disappeared nearly 20 years earlier. It seems that Aaron joined Monarch, but also discovered that his father, like his ally Dr. Ishiro Serizawa (Ken Watanabe in Godzilla), had been keeping Kong a secret. In Houston’s view, Kong would be left to rule over the island and keep the other monstrosities in check; in Aaron’s view, this plan left the world open to attack from the powerful MUTO.
What follows is the reveal that Aaron and his Monarch team did not embark on an ill-fated research mission to Antarctica in 1995, as he said, but rather returned to Skull Island. As you might have guessed, this does not go well, but I’ll let you discover the fallout from this decision for yourselves when you check out the comics. In the meantime, here are a few of interesting tie-ins from the comic to the MonsterVerse:
- The aforementioned Dr. Serizawa, also a member of Monarch, is name-dropped here. Expect Watanabe to return to the role in the sequels.
- A character, introduced only as Singh, delivers the Monarch evidence to Brooks. He mentions the “Janjira leak”; Janjira is a fictional city near Tokyo that contains a nuclear power plant. However, the leak here has nothing to do with radiation but rather sensitive information since Singh mentions that the “NSA’s crypto hardware” is tied up with it at the moment.
- Other Skull Island monsters are on display, as well as a brief glimpse of Kong. They include: Psycho Vultures, Leaf Wings, and Death Jackals. Each carnivorous critter comes with a Monarch-approved fact sheet.
- Brook’s team includes: Evegenij Medov, a cryptobiologist; Evelyn Matemavi, a PhD, MD; Helen Karsten, a survival instructor for the US Navy; Walter R. Riccio, a multilingual mythographer/anthropologist, and Cejudo, the pilot.
- Aaron Brook’s password for the evidence (a digital, military grade audio recorder) is Gjallarhorn, also known as the Horn of Heimdall, Guardian of the Rainbow Bridge, from Norse mythology; most folks probably recognize the name from Thor, others, from Destiny. There are a fair amount of rainbows referenced in the text and imagery of this story … are they trying to connect our world to another? Or do they just like the mythology? Time will tell!
Be sure to pick up “Skull Island: The Birth of Kong” #1 in print or digitally on Wednesday, April 12th, and then keep an eye out for future issues!