Gareth Edwards' Godzilla was technically the beginning of the MonsterVerse, but the newly-released Kong: Skull Island serves as the formal launching point for said shared multimedia universe. Both a reinvention of the classic King Kong mythos and an origin story for the MonsterVerse version of Kong, the Skull Island movie takes place primarily in the year 1973 - in the process, further fleshing out the history behind the giant monster (or, as they call them, MUTO)-studying organization Monarch that was introduced in Edwards' modern day-set Godzilla reboot.
While Kong: Skull Island does more than its fair share of world-building for the MonsterVerse, there are several decades of history separating the events in the movie from not only Monarch's beginnings (circa WWII), but also Kong's eventual showdown with the King of Monsters in the Godzilla vs. Kong MonsterVerse film planned for release in 2020. The sequel Godzilla: King of Monsters will no doubt further help to bridge the gap between Kong: Skull Island and the "God vs. King" showdown when it hits theaters in 2019. Skull Island is also getting a direct prequel/sequel in comic book form, to further strength its ties to the larger 'Verse.
Legendary has officially announced the impending arrival of a four-part comic book series titled Skull Island: The Birth of Kong - a saga that "delves deeper into the mysteries of Skull Island and the mythic origins of Kong," as the company has put it. Here is the official synopsis for The Birth of Kong, followed by artwork from the comic series:
Both a sequel and a prequel to the film, the series tells the story of a secret team of Monarch operatives returning to Skull Island to discover the truth behind Kong and the island he is 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.
Written by Arvid Nelson (Rex Mundi), The Birth of Kong's illustration style seems to gel with the visual approach and color palette of Kong: Skull Island in particular, but also the Godzilla reboot (see that film's similar sky-diving sequence, for case in point). It's a welcome touch that should further allow the four-part comic book series to feel like an essential part of the larger MonsterVerse brand aesthetically, regardless of how much its story developments actually figure into future MonsterVerse movies such as Godzilla: King of Monsters, Godzilla vs. Kong and/or even a potential Kong: Skull Island movie sequel.
With Skull Island off to a decent start at the domestic box office and Warner Bros./Legendary having (reportedly) already assembled a Godzilla vs. Kong writers room, The Birth of Kong may yet prove to be a rewarding read for those fans who are hopeful that the MonsterVerse is only beginning its rapid expansion across multiple mediums. For those who would prefer to watch the MonsterVerse movies only, however, there's no need to worry - as it sounds as though The Birth of Kong will be more complimentary to the franchise's narrative (similar to the previously-released Godzilla reboot prequel comic Godzilla: Awakening) than mandatory reading, for your enjoyment.
Skull Island: The Birth of Kong Issue #1 will be available in print and on Comixology starting April 5th, 2017.
Source: Legendary Comics
- Kong: Skull Island (2017) release date: Mar 10, 2017
- Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019) release date: May 31, 2019