King Kong (MonsterVerse)
|King Kong incarnations|
The last of a race of huge ape-like Titans who reigned over Skull Island, Kong was born in the midst of a battle between his parents and a horde of vicious Skullcrawlers. Kong's mother sealed him safely within a cave before the Skullcrawlers slaughtered her along with Kong's father. The infant Kong witnessed the brutal demise of his parents from the cave and dedicated his life to avenging them by keeping the island's Skullcrawler population in check and defending the other creatures of the island. He was first witnessed by humans other than the island's Iwi tribe when fighter pilots Hank Marlow and Gunpei Ikari crashed on the island following a dogfight over the Pacific in 1944. Nearly 30 years later in 1973, a survey expedition to the previously uncharted island organized by the scientific organization Monarch brought many more people to the island, who unintentionally drew more Skullcrawlers to the surface by dropping seismic charges to map the island. Kong destroyed the helicopter escort carrying the expedition members in a furious rage, causing Colonel Preston Packard to develop a burning hatred for the Titan. Some of the survivors encountered Marlow and the Iwi and learned Kong's true nature as a protector of the island. However, Packard and his surviving men salvaged heavy ordnance from a downed Sea Stallion and sprung a trap for Kong which succeeded in weakening him enough to the point the colossal Skull Devil emerged. Kong killed Packard before the evil creature attacked him, and Packard's men joined up with the other survivors to escape the island. The Skull Devil chose to pursue them, but Kong came to their rescue and slew the beast once and for all. The survivors were successfully extracted from the island, their experience kept a secret to everyone except Monarch.
In 1995, Aaron Brooks, the son of 1973 expedition member and Monarch scientist Houston Brooks, organized a covert return mission to the island out of a belief Kong could not be trusted to keep the volatile ecosystem under control. The mission became a disaster as the island's more malevolent fauna stranded the team and killed many members. Kong rescued them from a pack of attacking Death Jackals, and later from a Sirenjaw. One of the team members, Walter R. Riccio, lost his mind on the island and blasted open a hole in the wall surrounding the Iwi village, meant as a sort of "test" of whether the Iwi were worthy of Kong's protection. Kong quickly sprung into action and saved the Iwi from attacking Mother Longlegs, then killed Riccio once he realized he was the cause of the attack. Brooks, now the last survivor of the expedition, met Kong face-to-face and finally understood his pure intentions and capability to defend the island, and chose to remain behind and help the Iwi rebuild.
- 1 Name
- 2 Design
- 3 Personality
- 4 Origins
- 5 History
- 6 Abilities
- 7 Filmography
- 8 Books
- 9 Comics
- 10 Gallery
- 11 Roar
- 12 Trivia
- 13 References
- 14 Comments
King Kong's name was conceived by the character's creator, Merian C. Cooper after he read his friend Douglas Burden's account of traveling to the island of Komodo and encountering Komodo dragons there. In Burden's book, Dragon Lizards of Komodo, he referred to the animal as the "King of Komodo." Fond of hard-sounding words beginning with a "k" sound, Cooper was inspired by this phrase as well as "Congo" to give his giant ape creation the name of Kong. David O. Selznick eventually added "King" to the title of Cooper's film in order to prevent audiences from confusing it with a docudrama, as Cooper had previously produced multiple such films with one-word titles.
In general, this incarnation of the character is only referred to as "Kong" onscreen and in promotional materials. However, he is referred to by his full name of "King Kong" in Kong: Skull Island - The Official Movie Novelization, in Japanese marketing for the film, in press releases for Skull Island: The Birth of Kong, and in a track from the film's soundtrack.
The appearance of this incarnation of Kong is mostly based on the 1933 incarnation. Kong stands upright like a human, with his incredibly long arms held at his sides. Kong's fur is a light brown color and covers the majority of his body except for his face, chest, hands, and feet. Kong's skin is a dark gray color, and he has large scars running across his chest. Kong has small rounded ears on the sides of his head, one of which has a chunk taken out of it, and possesses many ape-like features on his face, such as a flat nose with rounded nostrils and large canine teeth in his mouth. The first promotional image for Godzilla vs. Kong shows him to now possess a pronounced human-like beard which covers the lower part of his head and chin. The Kong-centric Godzilla vs. Kong graphic novel prequel also shows that Kong's legs have lengthened, giving him more human-like body proportions.
Kong stands approximately 104 feet tall in Kong: Skull Island, making him the tallest American incarnation of the character, and the second tallest overall behind only the 1962 incarnation. As this Kong is stated to still be a growing adolescent in the film, he is expected to grow to some degree between his first appearance and Godzilla vs. Kong.
Kong is the guardian of Skull Island and is responsible for maintaining the natural order and defending the island's wildlife from threats. While Kong appears to be highly territorial in Kong: Skull Island, he does demonstrate some degree of altruism, such as rescuing a trapped Sker Buffalo and saving Mason Weaver from drowning. Kong is not normally aggressive towards humans, and only attacks them when provoked. The native Iwi tribe reveres Kong and view him as their savior, as he and his family allegedly defended them from the Skullcrawlers in the past. Kong demonstrates an interest in Mason Weaver, as he at one point allows her to touch his face, and later admires her in his hand after he rescues her from the Skull Devil.
Skull Island: The Birth of Kong fully reveals Kong's driving motivations for keeping the order of the island. After witnessing his parents' deaths as a mere infant, Kong chose to avenge them and honor their memory by keeping the island's Skullcrawler population under control and actively defending the island's least malicious and most vulnerable life, including the Iwi people. He actively rescues members of Monarch's second off-the-books expedition to the island from Death Jackals and a Sirenjaw, and immediately comes to the aid of the Iwi village once it is besieged by Mother Longlegs allowed into the village by the deranged Walter R. Riccio. Kong recognizes individual humans and understands that they share his level of intelligence, and is shown to distinguish between those he judges as friendly and those who are not. As such he defends or genially regards most humans but kills both Preston Packard and Riccio.
Kong puts the defense of Skull Island as his first priority, and his will is so strong he is willing to stand up to Titans of equal status to his own if necessary, as noted in Godzilla: King of the Monsters - The Official Movie Novelization. Kong's willpower renders him resistant to the alpha call of King Ghidorah, which awakens most other Titans around the globe and bends them to his will, including the Leafwings and Skullcrawlers on the island. Kong actively chooses to remain on his island and ignore Ghidorah's call to "hunt together" with him, and his attention is immediately grabbed by the Skullcrawlers responding to Ghidorah. Only Godzilla and Mothra also dared to oppose Ghidorah's call.
Kong is the last living member of a species of gigantic apes native to Skull Island, a place described by Monarch member William Randa as an "emergence point" for Massive Unidentified Terrestrial Organisms, or MUTOs. According to Hank Marlow, many years ago the indigenous Iwi tribe living on the island were terrorized by gigantic reptilian creatures called Skullcrawlers. Suddenly, Kong's species began fighting back against the Skullcrawlers and protecting the Iwi from them. Kong's species successfully drove the Skullcrawlers underground, but all of them except for Kong himself were killed. With his parents and the rest of his family dead, Kong assumed the duty of acting as the island's guardian and ensured that the Skullcrawlers remained underground.
The official prequel comic to Kong: Skull Island, Skull Island: The Birth of Kong, provides in-depth flashbacks showing Kong's ancestors and his birth. These glimpses into the past establish that Kong's species had been living on Skull Island for millions of years, and were mortal enemies of the Skullcrawlers. By the time the Iwi people first arrived on the island, all of Kong's species save for his mother and father had been killed. The two mates continued their war with the Skullcrawlers, protecting the Iwi from their wrath as they made Skull Island their home. When Kong's mother went into labor with her son, she and her mate were set upon by a large pack of fully grown Skullcrawlers. Kong's father fought with all of his might to hold off the creatures as his mate gave birth to their son. Kong's mother sealed her newborn son in a cave before the Skullcrawlers overcame his father and got to her as well. The infant Kong watched from inside the cave as his parents were slaughtered by the monsters and died side-by-side. Following the battle, Kong emerged from the cave and knelt before the bodies of his parents, who died with their hands held together. Kong wept for the parents he never knew and devoted his life to continuing their war. By the time he was an adolescent, Kong had successfully driven the Skullcrawlers underground and kept them from reaching maturity, save for one of the creatures who had killed his parents: the Skull Devil. In doing so, Kong actively took on the mission of protecting the island's peaceful and vulnerable inhabitants, including the Iwi, from the many large and violent predators that threatened them.
After crash-landing on Skull Island in 1944, American fighter pilot Hank Marlow and Japanese pilot Gunpei Ikari engaged in a fight to the death. After Ikari gained the upper hand and prepared to fatally stab Marlow with a dagger, Kong appeared over a cliff, leading the two shocked men to end their struggle.
In 1973, the scientific organization Monarch organized an expedition to Skull Island, escorted by the Sky Devils helicopter squadron led by Lt. Colonel Preston Packard. One the helicopters carrying the expedition members cleared the storm cell surrounding the island and began flying over land, they immediately began dropping seismic charges onto the ground below, allegedly to map the island. The explosions drew out Kong, who responded by throwing a tree through one of the choppers. The remaining choppers formed a perimeter around Kong and opened fire on him. The bullets did little more than irritate Kong, who proceeded to rip the helicopters out of the sky and smash them. After downing all of the choppers, Kong wandered back off into the jungle. Kong eventually reached a river, where he noticed the wounds he had sustained from the choppers' rotor blades. Kong winced in pain briefly before beginning to drink from the lake. Suddenly, Kong realized that a Mire Squid was in the water and grabbed one of the creature's tentacles. The Mire Squid then attacked Kong with all of its tentacles, trying to strangle him to death. Kong was able to crush the creature's head under his foot and kill it, then proceeded to eat several of its tentacles. Kong then grabbed the squid's carcass and dragged it away, presumably back to his lair.
After meeting Marlow, some of the surviving expedition members were brought back to the village of the island's indigenous tribe, the Iwis. There, Marlow explained that Kong was perceived as a god by the islanders, and generally acted as a guardian on the island that kept the most dangerous creatures there under control. He stated that the reason Kong attacked the helicopters was that the seismic charges they dropped had drawn creatures he called Skullcrawlers to the surface. According to Marlow, Skullcrawlers were the most vicious and dangerous animals on the island and were responsible for killing Kong's family. At this time, Kong was being attacked by two Skullcrawlers but was able to easily dispatch the two smaller creatures. One of the expedition members, Mason Weaver, found a Sker Buffalo pinned underneath a downed helicopter and tried to free it, only for Kong to arrive and free the buffalo himself. Kong gave Weaver an indifferent glance and simply wandered off.
After surviving an encounter with a Skull Crawler and several Leafwings, Weaver and James Conrad stood atop a cliff and looked out over the island, only to witness Kong approach them. To their surprise, Kong did not seem violent or aggressive at all and even allowed Weaver to place her hand on his face. Suddenly, explosions appeared over the distance, and Kong immediately raced toward them. Weaver and Conrad knew that Packard and his men were setting a trap for Kong, intending to kill him. The two of them, joined by Marlow, rushed to the scene to try and save Kong. When Kong arrived at the scene of the explosions, he saw Packard and his men in the distance. As Kong crossed a lake to reach them, Packard ignited the napalm he had dumped into the water, causing the entire lake to erupt into flames. Kong swung his arm angrily at the water, causing the flaming napalm to hit some of the soldiers, before collapsing onto the ground. Packard placed leftover seismic charges around Kong, preparing to finish him, but Weaver, Conrad, and Marlow arrived and aimed their guns at him, demanding for him to stop. Packard refused and was prepared to detonate the charges and blow them all sky-high when suddenly a gigantic Skullcrawler erupted from the lake. Everyone except Packard fled, while Kong regained consciousness and promptly smashed Packard under his fist. The Skullcrawler attacked Kong, and the humans were forced to leave the giant ape to his fate.
The following morning, as the surviving expedition members neared the extraction point on the north side of the island, they were confronted by the giant Skullcrawler. Fortunately, Kong arrived and smashed the monster in the face with a boulder. Kong engaged in battle with the Skullcrawler, buying time for the humans to get to safety. The weakened Kong simply was not a match for the Skullcrawler and was knocked into an old shipwreck and entangled in its anchor chain. Weaver had managed to reach a vantage point and fired a flare into the Skullcrawler's eye, enraging it and causing it to destroy the cliff and send Weaver falling into the water below. Kong finally broke free of the chain and managed to create a makeshift flail when it became entangled with the ship's propeller. Kong swung the flail at the Skullcrawler, embedding the propeller into its back. Kong pulled the propeller out and sliced the creature across its throat, seemingly killing it. Kong then pulled Weaver out of the water and took a second to stare at her in his hand, only for the Skullcrawler to get back up and clamp its jaws onto his arm. Kong battled the Skullcrawler again, trying to keep Weaver away from its mouth, but the beast used its prehensile tongue to pull Kong's hand, with Weaver held in it, down its throat. Mustering all his strength, Kong pulled his hand free of the Skullcrawler's gullet, ripping out the beast's innards and killing it instantly. Kong gently set Weaver down on the ground, while Conrad immediately ran to her to ensure she was okay. As Weaver regained consciousness and embraced Conrad, Kong looked back at the two of them before walking away. Once the survivors were finally rescued from the island, Kong stood triumphantly in his domain, beating his chest and letting out a mighty roar.
Kong was on Skull Island, now the site of Monarch Outpost 33, when King Ghidorah emitted an alpha call which awakened the planet's dormant Titans and bent them to his will. While Kong did not comply with Ghidorah's call, he was shown to be leaving Skull Island on one of Monarch's computer monitors. After Godzilla defeated Ghidorah, humanity began uncovering many secrets from the ancient world regarding the Titans, including a cave painting of what appeared to be a member of Kong's species fighting Godzilla.
Kong will face off against Godzilla in a battle to determine who will reign supreme.
Kong possesses immense physical strength, allowing him to go toe-to-toe with all of the most dangerous creatures on Skull Island. Kong is able to lift and carry extremely heavy objects, such as UH-1 Iroquois helicopters and large boulders, with relative ease. He even throws a large tree through the air with such accuracy to skewer a chopper. Kong is strong enough to knock a UH-1 Iroquois out of the air simply by smashing it with his fists. Kong also demonstrates his strength when he breaks free of an anchor chain that is restraining him. Kong is able to physically overpower most of his enemies, such as the Mire Squid and smaller Skullcrawlers. While the Skull Devil proved to be a match for Kong, he was able to rely on his impressive strength to rip out the beast's innards and kill it.
Kong is incredibly agile, especially for a creature of his size. Kong is capable of leaping to great heights, shown when he knocks a UH-1 Iroquois out of the sky, and across great distances, shown when he takes the Skull Devil by surprise by leaping from a cliff and striking it with a boulder. Kong makes use of his agility while in battle, allowing him to anticipate enemy attacks and counter them. This is demonstrated when Kong is ambushed by two Skullcrawlers and manages to grab and restrain them as they attempt to pounce on him. Kong's agility allows him to scale the cliffs of Skull Island so he can travel across the terrain with ease or reach his mountain lair.
As an ape, Kong is relatively intelligent compared to the other creatures on Skull Island. Kong makes use of environmental objects as weapons, such as boulders and trees. Kong also fashions a makeshift flail from an anchor chain and a ship's propeller, which he uses to gain the upper hand in his battle against the Skull Devil. Kong's intelligence allows him to distinguish between friends and enemies, as he clearly recognizes Preston Packard and his men as enemies but does not attempt to harm any other humans he comes across, even going out of his way to rescue Mason Weaver from drowning. Kong's intelligence allows him to anticipate enemy attacks, such as when he realizes the Mire Squid is lurking near him while he is drinking from a lake.
Kong boasts impressive durability, which allows him to withstand a great deal of punishment without suffering severe injuries. Kong easily shrugs off machine gun rounds fired by the UH-1 Iroquois and survives being set ablaze in a lake filled with napalm. Even after Kong is badly burned by napalm and attacked by the Skull Devil, he resumes his battle with the creature only hours later with no visible lasting injuries.
Kong is vulnerable to being burned, as he is badly weakened after being caught in a burning lake filled with napalm. His skin can also be pierced by the spinning propellor blades of the helicopters he attacks, leaving gash wounds that he visibly finds painful. The Skull Devil is a physical match for Kong and uses its superior mobility and speed to gain the upper hand several times during their battle, with Kong requiring intervention from his human allies to get back in the fight.
- Kong: Skull Island (2017)
- Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019) [stock footage]
- Godzilla vs. Kong (2021) [production]
- Kong: Skull Island - The Official Movie Novelization (2017)
- Godzilla: King of the Monsters - The Official Movie Novelization (2019)
While on Skull Island, Kong overheard King Ghidorah's call which awakened other Titans around the world. Interpreting this as a call to "hunt together," Kong chose to ignore the call, content with keeping order on his island and not interfering with the outside world. He recalled how another Titan of his status once drew close to the island, but the two never came to blows as they had no interest in conflict and the other Titan left. However, the Skullcrawlers still dwelling underneath the island did respond to Ghidorah's call, and Kong prepared to do battle with the evil creatures who killed his parents and still haunted his dreams.
In 1995, Aaron Brooks, the son of Houston Brooks and Lin San, learned that Monarch had chosen to leave the huge MUTO ecosystem on Skull Island under the sole protection of Kong. Aaron was outraged at the concept of trusting a Titan to keep the island's volatile ecosystem under control and organized a covert mission to the island with other members of Monarch, under the guise of traveling to study a MUTO fossil bed in Antarctica. When the Osprey carrying the team was struck down by a flock of Psychovultures almost immediately upon entering the island's airspace, Aaron and the others found themselves stranded on the island. They were set upon by a pack of Death Jackals and retreated into a cave, only for Kong to emerge and crush the smaller beasts under his massive fist. The party was then greeted by Ato of the native Iwi tribe, who welcomed them and stated that their arrival was foreseen.
In the Iwi village, Ato explained the significance of Kong for his people to Aaron and his comrades. He maintained that Kong was a benevolent god whose goal was to defend the Iwi and the other vulnerable creatures on the island from more violent predators. Many of the party were skeptical, but mythographer Walter R. Riccio claimed to witness visions of the island's past after consuming large amounts of an Iwi shamic beverage. He saw members of Kong's species at war with Skullcrawlers on the island millions of years ago, as well as the arrival of the Iwi on the island where they encountered the last two surviving members of the species. Ato showed the Monarch team members some of the Iwi holy sites related to Kong, promising to ultimately grant them communion with Kong himself. However, they were attacked by a Sirenjaw, though the beast's attention was subsequently captured by a distant roar from Kong.
After salvaging weapons left behind by the Monarch 1973 expedition to the island, Aaron's party followed the Sirenjaw to Kong's location, only to discover the Sirenjaw's carcass. As the smaller predators of the island descended to feed on the body, Ato expressed the urgency of getting away now. Aaron and his team wanted to reach the downed Osprey located on the other side of the huge boneyard containing the skeletons of Kong's parents. Ato referred to this location as the "Valley of the Fallen Gods," and warned that immature Skullcrawlers still dwelt under the thermal vents in this area. The group traveled through a cave system to evade the Skullcrawlers, where Riccio experienced a powerful vision of Kong's birth. He saw Kong's parents locked in battle with Skullcrawlers as his mother went into labor. Kong's father tried to fend off the Skullcrawlers long enough for his mate to give birth to their son. Knowing she and her mate were doomed, Kong's mother placed Kong within a cave, where the infant was subjected to the brutal slaughter of his parents by the Skullcrawlers. When the young Kong finally emerged from the cave, he found the lifeless bodies of his parents lying together, their hands held together in death. Kong knelt before and wept for the parents he had never known, vowing to avenge their memory for the rest of his life. When Riccio's vision ceased, he understood that this same cave in which they were hiding was Kong's "womb," the cave his mother had sealed him in. With the Skullcrawlers apparently gone, Aaron, Ato, and all the others exited the cave and encountered their pilot Cejudo with the Osprey, which was still airworthy. However, Riccio's overconsumption of the Iwi's "Monkey Juice" and repeated hallucinations had driven him insane, and he proceeded to destroy the Osprey with a rocket launcher, also killing Cejudo in the process. He then held the others at gunpoint, promising to test their worthiness of Kong's protection. When Evelyn Matemavi tried to stop Riccio, he responded by shooting her dead in cold blood.
Riccio's insane tirade toward his hostages was interrupted by the arrival of a pack of Death Jackals, buying time for Aaron and the others to escape. By the time they reached the Iwi village, they discovered that Riccio had arrived first and blown open the protective wall with explosives he had salvaged. This caused a trio of Mother Longlegs to storm into the village and terrorize the innocent populace. Riccio, clad in a makeshift ceremonial robe called forth to Kong, asking him to come and save his people if they were actually worthy of his protection. Kong soon arrived and easily killed the Mother Longlegs, prompting Riccio to approach Kong and rejoice at his mercifulness. Realizing Riccio was responsible for the attack, Kong crushed him under his fist. Kong approached Aaron, the last survivor of the Monarch expedition, and the two shared a brief moment of communion between man and god. At this moment, Aaron truly understood that Kong's intentions were noble and that he had taken it upon himself to defend this island and those who inhabit it. Content knowing Kong was capable of keeping the island uncer control as his father had believed, Aaron chose to remain on the island and live among the Iwi, helping them rebuild the damage to their village. Aaron recorded a record of the events that had transpired and set it adrift on the off chance his father would find it one day. It was recovered by Monarch in 2012 and given to Houston, who was on the eve of retirement.
- Main article: King Kong/Gallery.
Kong's roars in Kong: Skull Island were created by sound designer Al Nelson and adapted from the sounds of lions, gorillas, and monkeys. The use of lion roars was inspired by how sound editor Murray Spivak created Kong's roars in the original film.
- At 104 feet in height, Kong is easily the largest incarnation of the character featured in an American-made film, double the height of the original and De Laurentiis Kongs who were both estimated to stand approximately 50 feet tall. However, he is not the tallest incarnation of the character ever, as the Kong from King Kong vs. Godzilla stood approximately 147.6 feet tall.
This is a list of references for King Kong/Legendary. These citations are used to identify the reliable sources on which this article is based. These references appear inside articles in the form of superscript numbers, which look like this: 
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