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Skull Island: The Birth Of Kong (2017)
Fiction Review by The Gravedigger

Skull Island: The Birth Of Kong (2017) This graphic novel is both a prequel and a sequel to the KONG: SKULL ISLAND movie and still manages to fit into Boom! Studio's Kong of Skull Island comic book series. It's the present day and one of the people who visited Kong's island in the 1970's gets a message from his son, who disappeared twenty-years ago. His son didn't believe the stories about Skull Island, so travelled, there, only to have his father's story confirmed. The entire reason the island has been left alone is that the people a the Monarch organization decided that Kong was protecting the planet from the monsters emerging beneath the earth. One of the people on the 90's exploration team gets a psychic link from the natives-and witnesses the birth of Kong. His parents were killed by battling the skull crawlers and that's why he's so determined to destroy them. Plus, we get to see Kong fight some of those huge, long legged spiders. As an added bonus we're shown some "Confidential Monarch Files", which presents information on the areas that were explored in the movie, from the Sker Buffalo to Psychovultures to the Mire Squid and Skullcrawlers. All in all, a cool book that is highly recommended. Planet of the Vampires issues #1-3 (1975) writer: Larry Hama art: Pat Broderick It's the year 2010. The five person crew of the Ares VII ship that's exploring Mars gets a communication that WWIII has broken out on Earth. They return, though it takes years to get back. What they find is a New York City in ruins. They are immediately attacked by scavengers and the oldest man, Ben, is killed. This just leaves Captain Chris Galland, his wife, Elissa, and Craig and his wife Brenda. They are rescued by a group of armed men flying hovercraft and taken to a huge dome that's constructed around the Empire State Building. It's their they meet "Proctor", a rich guy who built this society for people he wanted to save (and to keep the "rabble" out). The astronauts soon find out that something is fishy-and discover that the dome-dwellers are vampires, using the bodily fluids of the outsiders to booster their own immunity. You see, during the war the outside survivors developed an immunity to the biological and chemical agents while those protected in the dome did not. Well, the Captain and Elissa escape with the help of a tribal leader, "Bruiser", while Craig and his wife steal a hovercraft. As soon as they meet Bruisers' people, though, he's challenged by another tribe leader, "Lenny". But instead of killing each other they agree to become allies. Together, they try to fight the technologically superior vampires. However, the astronaut's wives are captured. In issue #3 they two create an explosion and blow a hole into the dome. They see that the people have changed because of their lack of getting a supply of blood. They are more emaciated and have fangs. Craig finds his wife dead and decides to stay there, a little bit off his rocker. So Craig and Elissa take off in a craft and travel thousands of miles to Los Angeles. They land near a zoo and she's attacked by giant vampiric spiders. Chris manages to fight them off but it's too late-she's dead. And now vampiric insects are converging on the dead spiders. Is everything now a vampire? This is a cool series from the short-lived Atlas Comics, along the lines of PLANET OF THE APES and a Gene Roddenberry sci-fi TV pilot like GENESIS II or PLANET EARTH, which were made around the same time. A few things didn't make sense-like why the astronauts didn't get sick from the residual biological and chemical warfare- and issue #2 depicting "Dracula-like" caped vampires which aren't in the issue at all, but that's okay. At the end of issue #3 there's a Jack Kirby like illustration for the next issue which I guess never materialized.

Writer: Arvid Nelson

Art: Zid

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