Author: Thomas Fairchild | Banner: Christian Salabert

New York City…

A city filled with over eight million people. Large, towering skyscrapers reached up from out of the ground, and touched the skies. During the day, millions of people flocked the streets, delaying multitudes of cars and other vehicles from reaching their destinations. At night, the city was alive with vibrant glows of splendor, beauty, and majesty. It is the pinnacle of Man’s dominion, a kingdom a part of the most powerful nation the world had ever known.

But Mankind’s greatest achievements and architecture would become short-lived.

The Sun resided in the sky, bathing the magnificent city in its lustrous glow. Light glinted off the glass and steel frames of the skyscrapers. Car horns hounded the streets, urging one another to move. Drivers rolled down their windows, shouting empty threats at one another, before listening to the morning radio and drinking coffee.

In Manhattan, crowds of people impatiently waited for the crosswalk sign to give them permission to cross. When the crimson, digitized hand faded, and the image of a pallid glowing human appeared, the crowd ventured down the crosswalk, in unison. But a loud, honking noise encouraged them to reconsider. The people stopped, narrowly avoiding contact with a speeding taxicab. Inside the taxicab, a beautiful blonde actress looked behind her, amazed and petrified by the events unfolding that very instant.

The crowd issued their unheard complaints, but even they were silenced by a thundering holler. The sound was un-soothing, ravenous in nature. Its vocals shattered the window frames latched to cars and buildings. Street lamps blew apart, unable to withstand the terrifying howl of the monstrous entity. From the edge of a street corner, it emerged.

Grayish scales covered the creature, which seeped with the cold fountains of the Atlantic waters. The disgusting smell of fish and ocean waters filled the nostrils of the tiny humans below. Jagged, razor-sharp spines jutted out of the behemoth’s back. The creature was bipedal, standing on two massive legs that were strong enough to support its huge figure. It had three toenails, attached to each of its reptilian feet. Each hand possessed four claws, capable of shredding asphalt with the utmost ease. A flab of skin stretched out of its neck, ending with tiny spikes. Its massive skull resembled an iguana’s, prehistoric and ancient in nature. An amalgam of reddish-orange texture comprised the cornea of the reptile’s eyes. A long, massive tail swung back and forth, demolishing tiny structures in its wake. Sharp, pointy teeth protruded out of its jaws.

Another roar emanated out of the back of its throat, louder than ever before. It was a cry of anger, signifying the hunt was on. With another earth-trembling step, Zilla tore off down the road, intent on destroying the taxicab and its occupants. Its feet pounded the street, splintering its artificial surface with its towering mass. People and cars alike were crushed by the mutant’s moving feet. Chaos followed suit, shrouding the judgment of everyone present, making them panic. To most, the ground was constantly quaking from Zilla’s rampant pursuit, hindering their ability to abscond fast enough.

As the reptile closed in, jaws wide and ready to swallow the taxicab whole, a humanoid fist blindsided the titanic reptile, plowing Zilla’s lower jaw into the pavement. Zilla raked the street, flattening vehicles and splitting the road asunder. The massive reptile dug its hind legs into the ground, prompting the titan to rise back to a standing position. It arose, shedding shards of asphalt and glass from its flesh. The taxicab twirled around, hundreds of meters away. It came to a complete stop. Zilla’s predatory visage favored the cab, wishing to digest it and quell its insatiable appetite.

But its attacker revealed itself. A massive, bulky beast landed between Zilla and its prey. Dark hair covered the majority of its body. The animal’s face, fists, and feet were exposed, revealing their dreary coated skin. To any onlookers brave enough to stay long enough to observe the chaotic situation, the beast was a massive ape, comparable to the size of Zilla. Its animalistic tendencies failed to comprehend the history of the beast before it, never knowing that the creature that defied it was King Kong, the Eighth Wonder of the World!

King Kong’s facial features molded an intolerant complexion. His upper lip curled up, allowing him to expose his manlike teeth. Zilla sneered in contempt, deeming the mighty ape a threat not to take lightly. In defiance, he raised his massive arms and pounded his brawny fists against his sturdy chest. Finally, he slammed both fists into the ground, annihilating it with his awesome strength. The street recoiled from the impact and dispersed in all directions.

It was a challenge.

Zilla stepped back, intimidated. The reptile surveyed the large structures surrounding them. It instinctively searched for a way out, should the massive ape prove to be too much of a challenge. If push came to shove, Zilla would claw its way through the ground, and tunnel to safety. With its retreating strategy staged, the mutant launched an attack.

The giant reptile hurled its figure at the massive ape. Zilla’s gaping maw aimed for Kong’s throat, poised to crush the ape’s windpipe. Instead, he caught its jaws with both hands. With his Herculean strength, he shoved the mutant head first into a nearby skyscraper. Its skull penetrated the exterior of the building, where the building employees screamed in terror. He took advantage of Zilla’s inability to see him, and wrapped one of his massive arms around the mutant iguana’s neck. The giant ape pulled the reptile out of the building, and swung it around. Kong cruelly attempted to suffocate his foe, wrapping his hands around the reptile’s throat. Zilla panicked and rapidly thrashed around, attempting to break itself free. Losing his grip, Kong leaned forward, bringing his foe with him. He plowed Zilla’s face into the ruptured pavement. The impact temporarily knocked the reptile out. King Kong used the time well.

He grit his teeth as he viciously pounded Zilla’s ribcage. The physical blows wrought enough devastation to awaken the reptile from its unconsciousness. Kong’s indomitable strength shattered one of Zilla’s ribs. The broken bone pierced out of the mutant’s underbelly. The ape considered the exposed bone with envious eyes. He reached down to grab it, but the predator lashed out, clamping its jaws around the ape’s shoulder. Zilla’s mandibles applied enough strength to crack the shoulder joints. Kong started losing all sensation to his shoulder. In retaliation, he seized the opportunity; the giant ape reached down and clenched the exposed bone. Kong commanded his arm to use all the strength it had accessible. Zilla relinquished its hold, and screamed in agony. King Kong met his foe’s painful gaze, and snarled cruelly.

The mighty ape disconnected the bone from Zilla’s skeletal structure, and ripped it away. A torrent of scarlet blood leaked out of the fresh wound. Suddenly, Zilla summoned an increase of strength, obtained only by the intense pain it was undergoing. It pushed itself off the ground and collided against Kong. The physical impact forced him to stumble back, giving the reptile enough time to find its footing.

Kong dropped the piece of Zilla’s rib and rushed forward, but the mutant whipped its tail back and smacked it into its foe’s cranium. King Kong charged forward, but was unable to grapple its intended target. Seeing Kong’s sides exposed, Zilla rushed forward, smashing the towering ape into a building on the other side of the street. The demolished skyscraper buried the two titans underneath thousands of tons of debris and concrete. Amidst the rubble, Zilla’s jagged spines were visibly seen, but an unseen force pushed the mutant iguana out of the rubble. Zilla struck the street and slid across its surface, flattening anything unlucky enough to be caught in its path.

King Kong burst out of the rubble. The monstrous ape charged Zilla, showing no measure of mercy. He ran on all fours to increase his speed, closing the distance quicker. Zilla stood upright and charged at the oncoming ape, intent on meeting King Kong head on.

The two towering titans clashed in the streets of Manhattan. Zilla clawed the giant ape, scourging deep claw marks in Kong’s hairy surface. The colossal ape ignored the pain, and jabbed Zilla aside the snout. It nearly broke the reptile’s jaw structure, but it didn’t keep it from fighting. The reptile lunged at Kong, clamping its jaws over his throat. Kong tried to holler in agony, but Zilla’s squeezing jaws prevented it. King Kong gripped the outskirts of his foe’s maw, and attempted to separate them from his throat.

It was like trying to separate the jaws of a crocodile.

Kong angrily pounded Zilla’s skull, but the reptile knew it wouldn’t last any longer. With the oxygen rapidly depleting, Kong’s strength was reduced drastically. His legs struggled to keep the ape erect, but without any air, they lost their balance. Zilla’s strong neck muscles augmented the strength needed to keep Kong at bay. His entire mass was being held up by Zilla’s jawbones. King Kong’s life force was dwindling, it wouldn’t be long until it had completely faded.

Unknown to the two monsters, military vehicles were making their way to the battleground. The large vehicles came to a screeching halt. Rockets concealed inside their compartments eerily awaited their deployment. Targeting computers concentrated on Zilla’s cold-blooded shape. The field commander ordered his soldiers to open fire. Without hesitation, the rockets leaped out of their holding pins, and sped to strike the giant’s backside.

A second later, the rockets detonated against Zilla’s scaly hide, singeing the flesh and leaving smoldering craters behind. Zilla relinquished its fatal grip it had over King Kong, and dropped the ape. Kong landed on the ground, and slumped into a sprawling position. Zilla tilted its head, spotting its attackers. Two other rockets blazed out of their confinements, intending to inflict as much damage as possible. Their target bent down, successfully avoiding the two rockets. They sped off course, striking a restaurant. Two separate explosions enveloped the restaurant and fused together. It incinerated the building completely, and everyone inside.

Zilla prepared to attack the rocket launchers, but a strange sound filled the air. Zilla arched its neck back and scanned the sky. Over a dozen Apache helicopters filled its reptilian vision. In front of the attacking aircrafts, chain guns discharged hundreds of bullets per second. The hot lead bounced off of Zilla’s armored hide. The mutant iguana growled at the platoon of helicopters. In response, dozens of missiles were unleashed from their holding pins.

The reptile’s instincts urged it to run and seek shelter. It didn’t think twice; Zilla jumped over a building complex and down a street corner. The homing missiles followed closely behind, but ended up striking a series of apartments and skyscrapers. Balls of fire ruptured the manmade objects, reducing their unintended targets to a smoldering pile of rubble.

The pilots onboard the Apache helicopters marveled at King Kong’s unmoving form. They prepared to eject another payload, but the ape’s eyes slit open. He quickly got off the ground, attempting to locate his reptilian opponent. But instead of finding Zilla, Kong found an army of Apache helicopters opening fire. Dozens of missiles tracked the heat signature of his body. They plowed into his muscular shape, incinerating portions of his hair and skin. A fierce growl escaped Kong’s maw. He ignored the pain and charged the attacking aircrafts. Realizing their target’s intentions, the Apache helicopters started to flee, but a few failed.

Kong’s swinging fists caught one of them, demolishing it completely. Shards of the Apache helicopter rained down from the sky, pelting the streets below. The others were well beyond Kong’s grasp, but it didn’t stop the ape from attacking. He sunk his fingers into the rooftop of a skyscraper nearby. He ripped it away from the building, and tossed it at the fleeing helicopters. It destroyed several before falling into Central Park.

King Kong emitted a silent growl of victory. He proceeded to try and locate Zilla, but to no avail. He sniffed the air, and caught his foe’s scent. His irritation increased, as he dwelled upon his reptilian antagonist. Without another thought, Kong leaped into action, and followed Zilla’s trail.

Miles away, Zilla was terrorizing the district. It purposely flattened any humans it located. But suddenly, a familiar scent lingered into the vicinity of the mutant’s nostrils. At the end of the street, a familiar taxicab had broken down. Inside, the blonde woman attempted to unbuckle her seatbelt, but it was jammed. She looked down the road, realizing Zilla had found her!

Zilla slurped its blood stained teeth. It grunted a fiendish snarl and charged. It closed in, jaws wide and ready to devour its prey. A loud roar rumbled from the rooftops. Zilla ignored it, determined to gobble up its target. A shadow fell over its sprinting figure. King Kong jumped from the rooftops, landing in-between the taxicab and his foe. Zilla, a fast and agile kaiju, wasn’t fast enough to avoid the mighty ape’s swinging forearm. The reptile moaned painfully, as it tumbled into a high school. The school crumbled underneath Zilla’s mass. Blood leaked out of the mutant’s jaws, a testament of the damage it received from Kong’s brutal attack. But it wasn’t enough to keep Zilla down.

As the predator arose, Kong jumped at it from behind. It was an error on the ape’s part. Zilla used it to its advantage; the fiendish reptile buried its bony spines into Kong’s abdomen. He roared painfully, and lost his balance. Zilla swiftly battered its foe’s face with its muscular tail. He fell to the ground, but he was quick to regain his composure. He witnessed his foe rushing forward, but then tackled the reptile’s leg, catching the mutant iguana off guard. It was forced to fall frontward. Zilla was fast; Kong was faster. The eighth wonder of the world rolled away, and leaped to his feet. Before his foe could rise, Kong buried his fist into the mutant’s exposed neck.

It was enough to not only crack Zilla’s neck, but also send him reeling to the ground. Kong turned away, spotting the blonde actress escaping the taxicab. They stared into one another’s eyes. Kong felt a sudden sense of belonging. Only this human had ever touched his animalistic spirit. In payment, Kong was willing to sacrifice everything for her. Before Zilla could rise again, Kong took the time to approach her and picked her up with one of his hands. He sprinted away, heading in the direction of the Empire State Building.

Zilla weakly pulled itself to its feet. It surveyed the destroyed environment, searching for its foe and prey alike. But neither of them were around. The ground quaked beneath its feet. Zilla turned, spotting Kong running away, with its prey in his grasp. Ahead of the majestic ape was a towering building, larger than any other in the city. It bolted into a sprint, chasing after King Kong with superior speed.

He glanced down at the woman in his hand. Never before had she looked so small. But he had also never been so large. He stopped before the Empire State Building. King Kong marveled at its colossal height. It would take a few minutes for him to climb to the top. Kong reached up, and buried his fingers into the structure. Knowing it could support his massive weight, he climbed up, with his feet embracing the skyscraper’s exterior tightly. But a bellowing roar of defiance caught Kong’s attention. The ape turned, spotting Zilla heading right for them. Not wanting to risk the woman’s life, Kong rushed his undertaking, and climbed up faster.

When King Kong was halfway up, Zilla reached the base. It greedily examined the building, wondering if it could climb upwards. The mutant’s impatience proved unbearable; the reptilian fiend sunk its claws into the skyscraper and climbed upwards. Kong reached the top, and placed the woman inside an open window. He stared at her, determined to protect her.

But his thoughtful intentions became replaced by a staggering pain. Kong’s gaze descended, and saw Zilla’s jaws crushing one of his ankles. His foe’s weight pulled him down. The mighty ape reached out, burying his fist into the building, attempting to impede his fall. Kong howled in despair, knowing he couldn’t reach down and batter Zilla’s face. He improvised; the ape raked its hand against an alignment of windows, chucking a combination of glass and debris into his foe’s eyes. Zilla remained unaffected by Kong’s strategy. It unlatched itself from the building entirely. Kong embedded his hands deep within the mainframe of the building. He heaved heavily, drawing in oxygen into his lungs. Zilla’s entire body was hanging from its foe’s injured ankle. The fiendish reptile was offering Kong an ultimatum.

King Kong gritted his teeth, un-amused by Zilla’s strategy. He took one last look at the woman, before relinquishing his hold on the building. The surprised Zilla widened its eyes, never believing its foe would ever do it. In midair, Kong grabbed the mutant’s scaly body and pulled it closer. The ape unmercifully pounded Zilla’s injured ribcage, inflicting further damage. It clawed Kong’s face, exacting bloody smears. But neither of them could overcome the other before striking the world below.

A hotel complex broke their fall, but it wasn’t enough. While the hotel was smashed beyond reckoning, they still struck the ground beneath it. The ground raised high into the air, and pervaded into all directions. It generated a powerful tremor that shook the entire city. Buildings nearby crumbled from the aftershock. Dense smoke covered the district, bleaching out any sign of the two titanic monsters. Amidst the dense smoke, King Kong and Zilla resumed their brutal battle. Despite having the wind knocked out of them, neither of them was willing to give the other an advantage.

The giant ape clenched Zilla’s snout, and shoved the reptile face first into the asphalt. King Kong pummeled the back of its head. The physical blows traumatized the reptile, killing its nerve cells and diminishing its ability to stay conscious. Yet it still managed to retaliate; Zilla timed Kong’s swinging fists just right, and avoided them. The cunning reptile buried its teeth into his weakened shoulder. Unwilling to repeat the past, Kong channeled enough strength to detach Zilla’s jaws from his shoulder. He seized the opportunity, and picked the fiendish reptile off the ground. With his incredible strength, Kong held Zilla over his head, and threw the reptile hundreds of meters away.

Zilla fell into an apartment complex. The buildings were smashed to pieces, but Zilla managed to quickly get up. It realized its enemy was too strong. In the distance, King Kong charged, never giving it a chance to get a second wind. Zilla shifted its stance and ran away, its destination: the Hudson River.

Kong chased after his reptilian foe. He faintly turned and stared at the Empire State Building, pleased that the woman he had grown to cherish was now safe. Kong spotted Zilla not far ahead of him. The reptile had reached the end of the road, and was preparing to leap into the water. As it started to lunge forward, its enemy’s hands clasped Zilla’s tail. The reptile sneered irritably, frustrated by Kong’s interference. But he simply grunted; he swung the tail and lifted Zilla into the air. It was hurled into a building, undaunted by the impact.

The ape charged the reptile, but Zilla shifted its posture and leaped into the Hudson, disappearing beneath its murky surface. Kong stopped at the water’s edge, noticing his reflection. Bloody cuts and bruises occupied the ape’s face. It had been a vicious, brutal battle. Even if Kong enjoyed enforcing his dominance upon the other giants of the world, he always looked forward to a long, refreshing rest.

The silhouette of a massive creature appeared beneath the murky surface. Kong snapped out of his trance, but it was too late. Zilla’s upper body tore out of the water, and hooked its gaping maw around Kong’s chin. King Kong was one of the strongest creatures to ever walk the Earth, but not even he could stop himself from being pulled underwater. Beneath the gloomy, frigid waters of the Hudson, he violently battered Zilla with his raging fists. It unlatched its jaws, and swam away, not because of Kong’s violent demeanor, but because of the thrill of the hunt.

Beneath the water, he was in Zilla’s domain. It was here that Kong was weak and defenseless. The reptilian mutant wouldn’t have it any other way. The ape used his wagging arms and legs to propel himself to the surface. Kong emerged out of the water, searching for land. Hundreds of feet away, he spotted the shore and desperately reached for it. His wet hair glistened in the sunlight, instilling a beautiful blend of harmony and beauty. Kong reached closer for the edge, but beneath the water, he was completely helpless. Underneath the water, Zilla swam up to Kong, raking its dorsal spines into its foe’s back. Red blood gushed out of Kong’s wound, staining the surrounding waters.

Kong reached out and grabbed the shoreline. The ape pulled himself to the shore, and started exiting the Hudson. A few blocks away, people evacuated out of a power plant, not willing to stick around and suffer the consequences. Kong’s weak, tired eyes spotted the power plant and sensed the electricity surging within. He gathered what little strength he had left and crawled into its direction.

Behind the frail beast, the waters were disturbed by a phenomenal force. Zilla jumped out of the water, and landed on the ground. Gravity had thrust its massive figure hard enough to submerge its feet beneath the ground. Zilla stretched its muscles, and licked its teeth. Its predatory eyes concentrated on Kong’s crawling form. Never before had it seen the brutal ape in such a weakened state. Zilla greatly anticipated the thrill of devouring such a powerful beast.

Zilla pursued King Kong, but abided its time.

Kong reached his destination. He pushed himself off the ground, and stood on both feet. Zilla burst into a sprint, and struck its foe’s back. The collision knocked Kong into the power plant, where his gigantic body crushed the building instantaneously. But it also severed power cables, which entangled his brawny arms and legs. Millions of volts of electricity enveloped Kong’s very being. Zilla watched gleefully, enjoying the thought of feeding off a barbequed ape. But the mutant’s eyes widened in fear.

King Kong rose out of the rubble, immune to the effects of the electricity. Veins bulged from his skin as his body evolved. Kong’s muscles increased drastically. His strength improved tenfold. Electricity coursed through Kong’s veins, granting him a second chance at dismantling his foe.

He turned, noticing Zilla launching an attack. But to the mutant’s dismay, it failed to sink its teeth into Kong’s throat; instead, he smashed his fist into Zilla’s cranium. The physical assault sent his foe reeling for several hundred meters. Not even skyscrapers could stop Zilla’s uncontrolled momentum. It smashed into a street corner, forging a large impact crater underneath it. The fiendish reptile opened its eyelids, realizing a large trail before it. Skyscrapers struggled to stay intact, despite having a large hole within the center of its arrangement; however, the sight of devastation did not bring fear to Zilla’s cunning mind.

It was the burly creature walking toward it. Zilla picked itself off the ground and searched for an exit. Instead of running, it sought to escape in the only way it knew how. Zilla rapidly slashed the ground, tunneling a deep enough hole for it to burrow under the surface of the city. But before the mutation could escape, Kong’s electrifying hands gripped its tail and pulled it out. The electricity fried the layer of flesh around Zilla’s tail. It stunned the reptile long enough for the ape to drag its injured form out of the crater.

Kong released his grip and circled Zilla, intimidating the reptile with his prowling nature. It weakly breathed in air, and tried to recuperate its lost strength. But it knew it would take hours to return to its former potency. In desperation, Zilla lashed out, hoping to catch King Kong by surprise. It didn’t expect him to be ready for it; Kong caught Zilla’s jaws and kept them at bay. Electricity circulated out of the eighth wonder’s fingertips, frying his foe’s entire face. Without any remorse, Kong widened the gap between Zilla’s jaws, never stopping until they splintered into separate pieces. Kong dropped its broken face and briefly studied the wounded reptile.

Its chest was still inhaling air, signaling life was still present. Kong bashed its fists into Zilla’s chest, and kept them pressed against it. Electricity surged out of Kong’s hands, searing the entire body, reducing the skin to a burnt out cinder. Before long, Zilla had been reduced to a cadaver of charcoal.

Kong raised his fists off Zilla’s lifeless carcass and drummed them against his chest. A victorious roar escaped the back of his throat. King Kong, the Eighth Wonder of the World, surveyed the ravaged landscape of Man’s domain. Today, a creation of Nature had stormed the kingdom of Man, and would leave triumphant.

Winner: King Kong (Showa)