Leafwing

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Leafwing
A Leafwing from Kong: Skull Island
A Leafwing from Skull Island: The Birth of Kong
A Leafwing from Godzilla vs. Kong
Alternate names Ugly-ass bird, Pterodactylus,Lanard
Psycho Vulture[1]
Class-
ification
Icarus Folium[2]
Species Avian reptile florafauna
Wingspan 3-5 feet[2] / 2-5 meters[1]
Controlled by King Ghidorah
Relations Psychovulture (subspecies of)[2]
Allies Other Leafwings
Enemies Humans
First appearance Latest appearance
Kong: Skull Island Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire
Roar(s)
More roars
That is one ugly-ass bird.
„ 

Preston Packard (Kong: Skull Island)

The Leafwing (サイコ・バルチャー,   Saiko Baruchā, lit. "Psycho Vulture") is an avian reptile superspecies that first appeared in the Legendary Pictures films Kong: Skull Island, and reappears in the film's tie-in comic Skull Island: The Birth of Kong. The creatures are also featured very briefly in the next two entries in the Monsterverse, Godzilla: King of the Monsters[3] (2019) and Godzilla vs. Kong (2021). The creatures are set to appear again in Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire (2024).

A subspecies of the larger and more aggressive Psychovultures, Leafwings inhabited Skull Island and typically moved in large flocks. They twice menaced the 1973 Monarch expedition to the island, and were sighted again by the later 1995 off-the-books expedition. In 2019, numerous Leafwings left Skull Island and flew to Boston to heed King Ghidorah's summons, though by the time they arrived he had already been slain by Godzilla. By 2024 Leafwings still lived within the gigantic dome housing Kong on Skull Island which simulated its original climate. The joint Monarch-Apex Cybernetics expedition into the Hollow Earth witnessed flocks of Leafwings living in the vast underground realm as well.

Name

Leafwings get their name from their leaf-like wings. Lanard gave their toy of a Leafwing the name Pterodactylus, a genus of pterosaur. The Leafwing's cryptozoological classification, Icarus Folium, comes from icarus, the name of a genus of ferns, and folium, meaning "a thin leaflike structure." They are called "Psycho Vultures" in the Japanese marketing for Kong: Skull Island.[1]

Development

The creature design team for Kong: Skull Island included Zach Berger, Carlos Huante, Simon Lee, and Stephanie Levallois. Berger had a significant role in designing the Leafwings, based on director Jordan Vogt-Roberts's request for a "fucked up stingray with a bayonet for a face."[4]

Design

Leafwings are bat or pterosaur-like creatures with pronounced rostrums on their foreheads, covered in spines. Their wings are green and they resemble green leaves, allowing them to camouflage themselves as the leaves of trees when in groups. The Leafwings in Kong: Skull Island have yellow stains on their heads and on the back of their bodies. In Skull Island: The Birth of Kong, they are depicted with green, leaflike wings and brown bodies. Some of the Leafwings seen in Godzilla vs. Kong have red and green stains on their bodies instead.

Behavior

While less aggressive than their Psychovulture cousins, the Leafwings are still dangerous airborne predators. Omnivorous and capable of photosynthesis, they typically spend their days flying above Skull Island in search of prey and sleep in groups in its jungle highlands.[5]

History

Monsterverse

Kong: Skull Island

Leafwings in Kong: Skull Island

The Monarch expedition to Skull Island encountered Leafwings on three occasions. While Lt. Col. Preston Packard and several soldiers were looking for Maj. Jack Chapman, they spotted a tree with dozens of Leafwings perched on its branches. Packard took aim at one of the creatures with the scope on his M14 rifle, shooting it in the head and scaring away the others.

Captain James Conrad's group was beset by several Leafwings while traveling by river on the Grey Fox. Conrad and Warrant Officer Reg Slivko were unable to get a clean shot at the monsters as they carried off Victor Nieves, and the group could only watch as he was dismembered and devoured in mid-air.

Leafwings disturbed by the battle between a Skullcrawler and the remaining members of the expedition attacked the latter, killing several soldiers. Conrad sliced several of them in half with Hank Marlow's katana while rescuing Slivko.

Godzilla: King of the Monsters

Several Leafwings flew around Godzilla moments after he killed King Ghidorah in Boston, having emerged from the Hollow Earth after Ghidorah's cries awakened all of the Titans around the world.[3] Immediately afterwards, Rodan, Queen MUTO, Methuselah, Behemoth and Scylla arrived, having also been summoned by Ghidorah's calls, but they too bowed to Godzilla, recognising him as the true King of the Monsters.

Godzilla vs. Kong

Leafwings in Godzilla vs. Kong, seen here inside the Hollow Earth.

After the perpetual storm surrounding Skull Island consumed it, multiple Leafwings lived within the domed habitat Monarch built for Kong. They lived peacefully alongside the discontent Titan. The joint Monarch-Apex Cybernetics expedition to the Hollow Earth discovered more Leafwings shortly after entering the realm.

Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire

Leafwings in Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire, flying around in the Hollow Earth.

Several Leafwings are shown flying around in the Hollow Earth.

Abilities

Flight

The Leafwings are capable of flight.

Physical capabilities

Leafwing rostrums can slice through bone,[5] as one of the creatures demonstrated by removing Victor Nieves's arm. Prior to this, another Leafwing demonstrated the strength to lift Victor Nieves off of the Grey Fox by itself, though he quickly fell into the water and a second Leafwing intervened to raise him farther into the air.

Poison

The pores of Leafwings' skin release "poisonous waxy secretions" which have hallucinogenic and anesthetic properties.[5][2] The Iwi harvest this substance for remedies, ritual drugs, and body paint.[5]

Camouflage

When congregating in groups, Leafwings can effectively camouflage themselves by mimicking the leaves of trees.

Durability

Leafwings are easily slain with firearms, although they can continue fighting after a shot to the wing. Lt. Hank Marlow was able to cut several in half with his katana, as was James Conrad.

Video games

Tabletop games

Comics

Skull Island: The Birth of Kong

"The People Who Came from the Sky"

After their V-22 Osprey was shot down over Skull Island by Psychovultures, a team of Monarch operatives witnessed a flock of Leafwings fly overhead.


Books

Godzilla: King of the Monsters - The Official Movie Novelization

The Leafwings' role in the novelization is the same as in the film, although they are specified to have originated from Skull Island and escaped Monarch Outpost 33.

Kong and Me

Leafwings flew near Kong as he first stepped into view. Jia described them as "trees with wings."

Gallery

Main article: Leafwing/Gallery.

Roar

Leafwing roars (begins at 8:42)

Trivia

  • The Leafwings originally shared the first half of their cryptozoological classification, Icarus, with the Spirit Tiger. The classification of the latter was changed to Tigris Spiritus in Kingdom Kong.
  • Skull Island: The Birth of Kong artist Zid explained that the reason for the Leafwings' distinct appearance from Kong: Skull Island was due to him not having seen any material from the film, except for a months-old trailer and a piece of concept art including the Leafwings.[6]
  • Leafwings have made an appearance in every Monsterverse film since Kong: Skull Island.
  • Lanard's Leafwing figure deviates significantly from the design in the film, particularly the tentacles coming from the beak.
  • The Kong: Skull Island Cinematic Adventure downplays the connection between Leafwings and Psychovultures, describing the latter as simply the "nocturnal counterparts" to the former.[7] However, the Leafwing is still described as a Psychovulture sub-species in its profile from Legends of the Monsterverse: The Omnibus, which was published later in 2023.[8]

See also

References

This is a list of references for Leafwing. 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]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 "About The Movie - Monster". warnerbros.co.jp/kingkong/. Retrieved 20 March 2021.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 KSI MYTHOLOGY ICARUS WING V2.jpg
  3. 3.0 3.1 Bibbiani, William (1 June 2019). "[SPOILERS] Michael Dougherty Explains the OTHER Monsters in 'Godzilla: King of the Monsters'". Bloody Disgusting.
  4. Zakarin, Jordan (16 March 2017). "New 'Kong: Skull Island' Concept Art Reveals Wild and Unused Monsters". Inverse.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 Trent et al. 2023, p. 86
  6. @whoiszid (1 August 2021). "Not bothered at all. Skull Island was different - I hadn't seen any of the film material while working on the comic save for a months-old trailer and a concept art for the leafwings. So what I did was purely what I "understood" from the reference material". Twitter.
  7. Trent et al. 2023, p. 90
  8. Napton, Robert (2023). Legends of the Monsterverse: The Omnibus. Legendary Comics. p. 437. ISBN 978-1681161174.

Bibliography

Trent, Sigfried; Bramnik, Michael; Flanagan, Ivis (2023). Kong: Skull Island Cinematic Adventure. Evil Genius Games. ISBN 979-8-9865552-8-7.

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