Kong of Skull Island 2018 Special Review
Written by: Paul Allor
Illustrated by: Carlos Magno
Colors by: Marcelo Costa
Letters by: Ed Dukeshire
Published by: Boom! Studios
A review by Cory Webber
Kong of Skull Island 2018 Special provides a look at Skull Island’s mysterious past. When an early Viking expedition washes ashore on Skull Island, they see only the promises of wealth in the island’s riches, and not the dangers. Decades pass as the Vikings attempt to bend the powerful island to their will — or die trying.
I, for one, thoroughly enjoyed the recent Kong of Skull Island movie. So, when I saw Kong of Skull Island 2018 Special was coming out, I had to give it a shot. Until now, I was completely unaware that this is the second Special issue involving Skull Island. Also, there are three volumes of an ongoing series. How could I be so oblivious?!
However, as far as I know, this is the only one that involves vikings. And, Gudrun, the protagonist, is a badass viking warrior. She goes from being just the wife of the man leading the expedition to becoming something more. Even though she leads these vikings on several expeditions, she begins to draw closer to Kong and his island.
Allor does a nice job of moving the pace along at a brisk clip. Mostly, this is done by an observant and poignant narration by an unnamed compatriot. As a result, his narrations provide the necessary character development points as they are overlaid on myriad battle scenes. Even though this story spans a number of years, over forty-three pages, we get just enough insight to emotionally invest in the proceedings.
Magno’s art is solid. He has the added benefit of being the artist on the current ongoing series since issue one. His monster designs are fun and unique, and his Kong is menacing, yet kind. I’ve never quite understood his affinity for human women, but this story really makes it work for me.
The colors really help set the tone and setting. Mostly, the muted colors and watercolor-like effect give you the sense that this all happened in the past. One page, in particular, really stuck with me. It consists of a ship with the wind and sunset at its back as they approach the island. It gives a vibrant sense of life and optimism, just as they are about to face hardship on the island. The calm before the storm, as it were.
Verdict: Buy it!
While I admit that I am a little biased due to my love of Kong and his Skull Island, there is enough here for a casual fan. Also, the fact that Kong of Skull Island 2018 Special is a self-contained story helps a lot. The book has an affecting ending that nicely wraps this story up nicely. If you’re not entirely sold on this, maybe wait for a digital sale on ComiXology…you just may be surprised.