America's Best TV Comics
America's Best Comics is the title of a promotional magazine produced for the American Broadcasting Company by Marvel Comics in 1967 under its publishing imprint "Magazine Management Company". It features a number of short comics based on ABC's television properties to encourage buyers to watch their network. While it does feature some reprinted comics, most notably Spider-Man, The Fantastic Four, and Casper the Friendly Ghost, most of the comics are original stories produced by Marvel's in-house staff. The fifth story featured, titled "King Kong", is based on the Rankin/Bass television series The King Kong Show, which aired on ABC at the time.
The daily routine for the Bond family on Mondo Island is interrupted when Bobby receives an offer for $100,000 donated to a charity of his choice in exchange for lending King Kong to the circus of P.T. Bunkum for one week. Bobby is wary of the offer, as Kong's past brushes with civilization have seldom ended well. With some coaxing from his sister Susan, the promise of the money for charity, and Kong's informed consent, they decide to accept the offer. After arriving in California, Kong and Bobby are quickly put to work in the circus, with Kong performing alongside a lion and an elephant, while Bobby rides around on a horse to advertise the event, before appearing alongside Kong in the ring. However, when lightning causes Bobby's horse to bolt and the circus animals to stampede toward a nearby city, Kong leaves the big top to handle the situation. Bunkum immediately calls the military to solve the problem, and they form their strategy around eliminating Kong. Kong causes a bit of damage to the city as he searches for Bobby, who falls off his horse and is rendered unconscious. Kong then saves a girl from being attacked by a tiger, and returns the animal to circus custody. Elsewhere, a now-awake Bobby is cornered by a group of lions, which he begs the military not to shoot. Kong then picks Bobby up and places him out of harm's way on top of a nearby building. The military opts not to shoot Kong, and the lions turn their attention to him. Bobby tells Kong not to harm the frightened beasts, and Kong resigns himself to having the cats crawling all over and biting him. Kong quickly jumps into the ocean to get them off, picks them out of the water and places them safely in a nearby barge, and then reels them back to shore.
The city shows its gratitude with an impromptu parade, and presents Kong with a plaque for "The World's Greatest Lion Tamer," and P.T. Bunkum tries to announce a worldwide tour with Kong, which Kong and Bobby refuse, to the showman's ire.
Weapons, vehicles, and races
- This comic is sometimes referred to in external sources as "Kong Joins the Circus," but this title does not appear on the title page, or elsewhere in the issue. While it does describe the plot better than "King Kong", it is unknown where this title originated.
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