Konga #1

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Konga issues
Issue #1
Issue #2
Konga #1
Cover art of issue #1
Written by Joe Gill[1]
Art by Steve Ditko
Cover by Dick Giordano[1]
Colors by Steve Ditko
Letters by John D'Agostino[1]
Charlton Comics

"Konga" is the first issue of the comic series Konga, published by Charlton Comics in June 1961. It is a re-telling of the original film, and features five stories — a main adventure starring Konga and four backup stories titled "Darkness at Noon", "The Movies Come of Age", "The Land of Konga", and "One Step Below" — alongside a short story titled "The Land of the Nevermore."



When his plane's engines begin to fail while flying over Africa, a scientist named Dr. Charles Decker jumps at his pilot's insistence into the jungles below. In his barely conscious state, Decker hears the plane explode on impact and despairs at being lost in the jungle with no weapons. However, he is approached by a small monkey who had watched him after he fell, and is bade by the creature to follow him. His new friend leads him into a village of giants, who prepare to imprison him, but the local witch-doctor M'Bontu recognizes his friendship with the monkey, who was apparently a sacred being called Konga, and takes him through the village. From conversing with the doctor in Bantu, Decker learns that the men became giants through unnatural means, as he made their food with the seeds of a giant carnivorous plant unknown to science. Convinced that the plant might represent the "missing link between plant and animal life", Decker opts to stay with M'Bontu to learn its secrets, and the witch-doctor happily obliges. One year later, Dr. Decker, with Konga in tow, returns to England.

Decker gives brief interviews on his return, but is eager to return home to his wife. He is mainly interested to see if she had built a giant cage based on directions he sent her in a letter from Africa, and he immediately begins unpacking, and planting the seeds he brought back with him. He explains that the seeds produce colchicine, a type of drug used in plant breeding, which Decker believes has the capability to multiply the number of genes in a given cell, allowing him to increase an organism's size by injecting it with the plant's oil. With the seeds ready to grow to maturity in only 24 hours, Decker imagines how much human evolution will be advanced by his discovery. Using some oil he had harvested while still in Africa, Decker injects his monkey friend Konga. The Deckers then put Konga in a cage and watch in awe as Konga mutates from a small, colobus monkey to "the second stage of primate evolution": the chimpanzee.

The next day, Decker returns to his professorship at Essex college. There, a student named Sandra offers her services as a lab hand, at the behest of her boyfriend Bob. Decker is glad to have her aboard to tend to his school-based duties while dedicating himself to his pet project. Unfortunately, Dean Foster advises him to cease his private experimentation due to the buzz surrounding his interview, and when he reacts angrily, Foster suggests he take a leave of absence to recover from his time in the jungle. Back at home, Decker administers another half-cubic-centimeter of plant oil into Konga, who quickly grows into a 600-pound gorilla. Despite all of the changes in their relationship, Konga remains Decker's friend, and with the procedure's unknown side-effect of enhancing "brain transference", the ape picks up on Decker's distrust of Dean Foster, who plans to recommend that the staff formally let him go. With this in mind, he grabs the key with his newly lengthened limbs and escapes the lab. He enters Foster's home while the man sleeps and murders him.

The murder makes the news the next morning, with the police concluding he was killed by an animal. With no animals reported missing or at large, Decker is brought in for questioning, but knows nothing about the attacker, whose animal identity is kept secret by Scotland Yard. Back at the college, Decker is introduced to a new lecturer named Professor Tagore, who reveals that he has been working on almost the same experiment as Decker, and has nearly completed his research. He invites Decker to his home to compare notes, but on returning to his home laboratory, Decker laments that his name will be forgotten and his years of study wasted, unwittingly conveying information to Konga. When Decker leaves, Konga escapes again and burns down Tagore's laboratory, taking the professor with it. While at work the next morning, Sandra informed Decker that Bob had convinced her to resign as his lab assistant. Fuming at the idea of having to do his job instead of work on his private experiments, Decker blames Bob for his problems. Konga senses this, leaves his cage, and injects himself with 25 CCs of the plant oil.

While upstairs having tea with his wife, Decker, realizes that Tagore's death had been his fault through thought transference and the actions of Konga. He then rushes out to try and save Bob. Before leaving, the Deckers encounter the now-enormous and still-growing Konga, who bursts through the roof of their house and begins to terrorize London.

The Royal Air Force is called in to take out the beast, and with enough ballistics-induced trauma to his vital organs, he falls dead to the ground, where he shrinks back into his original monkey form. Sandra and Bob then mourn the loss of Dr. and Mrs. Decker, who were killed when Konga outgrew their house.

"Darkness at Noon"

"Darkness at Noon" is a nonfiction story about the rainforests of Africa, with some elements about the lives of both lowland and mountain gorillas.

"The Movies Come of Age"

"The Movies Come of Age" is a nonfiction story about the history of cinema, and features a panel depicting the final battle of King Kong.

"The Land of Konga"

"The Land of Konga" is a one-page nonfiction story loosely describing the African continent and some of the people, places, and things that exist there.

"One Step Below"

"One Step Below" is a single-page, loosely nonfiction comic making many inaccurate claims about apes, including classifying "anthropoid apes" as a distinct species, alleged to include the chimpanzee and the "great simian apes".




  • Konga
  • Giant carnivorous plant


Weapons, vehicles, and races

  • Growth serum
  • Watusi people


"The Movies Come of Age"


Differences from the film

  • While in the film Charles Decker just returns to London with a recently-discovered formula, the comic gives a clearer backstory: he meets a tribe of giants in Africa and they teach him to use the seeds of a special plant to make organisms grow.
  • In the film, Konga's first form was a baby chimpanzee; in the comic, his first form is a monkey.
  • Dr. Decker is significantly more sympathetic in the comic. In the film, Decker directly tells Konga to kill people; in the comic he unknowingly tells him to telepathically.
  • Sandra's boyfriend, Bob, does not die in the comic.
  • In the film, Decker's assistant injects Konga with more of the serum out of jealousy, causing him to grow to tremendous size. In the comic, Konga injects himself.
  • In the film, Konga dies to machine guns and bazookas; in the comic, Konga dies to military artillery.
  • In the film, Sandra is last seen being attacked by a carnivorous plant; in the comic, she escapes Decker's home.

External links


  • The splash art for page 1 was reused for the covers of Konga #4 and IDW Publishing's deluxe hardcover collection Ditko Monsters: Konga! (2013).
  • This adaptation gives a clearer explanation for the growth caused by the mysterious seeds than the film. It is supposed that the plant naturally produces a drug called colchicine. Used to treat gout and other inflammations in humans, it is used in plant breeding to induce the duplication of chromosomes, which can increase a plant's size and health.
  • The backup comic "Darkness at Noon" depicts a lowland gorilla swinging through the trees like a gibbon. In reality this is impossible, as a gorilla's weight is too great for most branches to support them, and they instead move around by knuckle-walking on the ground.


This is a list of references for Konga issue 1. 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: [1]


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