Walter R. Riccio
This wasn't just evolution, Matemavi. It wasn't just survival, it was a war of the gods. The gods of nature. The gods of the primal earth.
— Riccio to Matemavi on the struggle between Kong's species and the Skullcrawlers (Skull Island: The Birth of Kong #2)
Walter R. Riccio is a Monarch mythographer and the main antagonist of the 2017 Legendary Comics miniseries Skull Island: The Birth of Kong.
Skull Island: The Birth of Kong
"The People Who Came from the Sky"
In the year 1995, Aaron Brooks gathered the team of Evenij Medov, Evelyn Matamavi, Helen Karsten, Riccio, and their pilot Cejudo in order to supposedly investigate a M.U.T.O. fossil bed in Antarctica, but in reality they planned to investigate Skull Island. Riccio was fascinated by Skull Island, remarking that Skull Island was a real mythical island, as opposed to Atlantis or Lemuria. However, the team's V-22 Osprey were immediately shot down by Psychovultures after they had pierced the storm cell surrounding the island. Cejudo went down with the Osprey, while the rest of the party parachuted to the ground. Riccio suggested that they make contact with the locals, but the party instead resolved to search for Cejudo and the Osprey, which still had all of their supplies. However, when they turned to begin, they were attacked by a pack of Death Jackals, and Karsten was killed. Medov was badly wounded, but King Kong arrived crushed all of the beasts with his hand and foot. Riccio then noticed the approaching Iwi tribesmen, lead by a boy named Ato, who claimed that they had been anticipating their arrival.
"The Mountain who Thunders Death"
Ato brought the party to the Iwi village, where they were treated for their wounds. Riccio took a liking to their medicine, and made fast friends with the tribe. He then led the Monarch party to the temple in the wreck of the Wanderer where he told them the spirit of Atenatua, a wise woman who had brought the Iwi to Skull Island resided therein, before falling under the hallucinogenic medicine's influence. Riccio had a vision of the Kong's ancestors, and their battle with the Skullcrawlers millions of years ago. Vowing to unravel the mystery of Kong, Riccio promised to lead the party in Atenatua's footsteps to hold communion with Kong himself. He then celebrated during a ceremony with the Iwi. The next morning he prepared for the voyage and demanded that his friends paint their bodies and remove their clothes. They attempted to decline, but Riccio reminded them that the Iwi were sharing sacred knowledge, and encouraged them to have more respect for their traditions. When they reached the first stop, a wrecked Dutch galleon, Riccio saw another mural and received a vision of the last two members of Kong's species in existence greeting the first Iwi to arrive on the island. Matemavi encouraged him to rest, but Riccio was offended by this suggestion of sickness, and began to walk out to the next stop when a Sirenjaw attacked. However, the group soon overheard Kong approaching to challenge the beast.
"Valley of the Fallen Gods"
After the Sirenjaw was killed by Kong, the other creatures of Skull Island emerged to feed on its corpse, effectively blocking the group's path back to the village. However, while sheltering they received radio communication from Cejudo, and they decided to abandon the pilgrimage in favor of saving the pilot and their transport. However, Ato still led them to the Valley of the Fallen Gods, where Riccio saw the skeletons of two of Kong's species, like the individuals from his vision. While it was intended to be the next stop on their pilgrimage, to reach Cejudo and the Osprey they would now have to cross it. However, Skullcrawlers emerged from the earth below them, and Ato lead them to shelter in a cave, where Riccio received another vision. He saw that they were in Kong's "womb," as his mother went into labor on the battlefield, and his parents fought to keep him alive. Kong's first images were of battle, blood, and thunder. His mother sealed him inside a cave, and the infant watched as his parents were slaughtered. Riccio reflected that the fury inside of Kong since that day made him invincible. He then claimed that they did not need the transport or the data, and that a communion with Kong would give them what they needed. The rest of the team, however, was content to allow Riccio to stay by himself on the island. Thoroughly upset by this, Riccio used a missile launcher left by the 1973 Monarch expedition to the island to shoot down the Osprey as it tried to land. Matemavi shot at him in her rage, but Riccio killed her with a pistol shot, and vowed that they would all meet Kong: The Mountain-Who-Thunders-Death.
"Over the Rainbow"
While holding the party at gunpoint, Riccio proclaimed Skull Island to be a paradise, and expressed his intention to destroy the Iwi wall to test whether Kong was a benevolent or apathetic god. Ato spoke against this, and Walter struck his face, bidding him to follow his elders' example and stay quiet. He acknowledged it would be hard, but claimed that it was necessary to understand if Kong killed for more than vengeance, reasoning that if Kong did not come to protect them, then humanity had never deserved the wall in the first place. However he was separated from his hostages in a Death Jackal attack. Riccio managed to make it back to the village, and used one of the previous expedition's abandoned seismic charges to blow down the wall. As Mother Longlegs poured in from the wilderness, Riccio proclaimed that Kong would save them, and come Kong did. He crushed all of the Mother Longlegs, much to Riccio's joy. He ran to the beast draped in colorful cloth, singing his praises. Kong however, aware Riccio was responsible for the attack occurring, smashed Riccio with his great fist.
Riccio before reaching Skull Island
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