Most King Kong stories tell of a group of unwitting colonialists who take Kong away from Skull Island. Boom Studios’ current comic Kong of Skull Island is different: it tells the story of a group of unwitting colonialists who brought Kong to Skull Island in the first place!
A prequel to the Kong: King of Skull Island novel, the comic focuses on the ideologically-divided Tagu-Atu people, who bred giant apes to do battle with each other for sport. Famine and volcanic eruption drive them from their home island to a nearby one with a familiar mountain resembling a cranium, where they set camp despite an onslaught by hungry dinosaurs. This destabilizing shakeup is an opportunity for gold-diggers, assassins, and religious zealots to try to seize power, and suddenly we’re all Game of Thrones with gorillas and velociraptors.
Our main character (a female Kong-tamer) is fairly likable, but it’s easy to get tired of the political drama between the factions, especially since, as a prequel, we already sort of know where it’s going. Personally, I also never really felt the need to know about how Kongs were genetically engineered or the big wall was built or the ins-and-outs of Skull Island sociology, but if that’s your jam, more power to you. The art is pretty solid, and at least one cover was by Usagi Yojimbo‘s Stan Sakai: