Comic: Kingdom: Kong


Kingdom: Kong

English Comic Title

MonsterVerse - Kingdom: Kong


Marie Anello


Mohammad Yazid "Zid" Kamal Baharin
Mohammad Yazid "Zid" Kamal Baharin
Mohammad Yazid "Zid" Kamal Baharin
Legendary Comics


Arthur Adams




By: Noah Percival

Kingdom Kong is the second prequel graphic novel to Godzilla vs. Kong (2021) and whereas Godzilla Dominion felt like a wrap up to the film Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019), Kingdom Kong serves as the direct lead into the 2021 film.

Godzilla Dominion gives readers a more intimate look into the ongoing struggle that is the life of the King of the Monsters while Kingdom Kong focuses on the struggles of the humans caught between these Titans and their ancient rivalries. I'm going to keep story details light to avoid any spoilers but there is a much more layered plot here than Godzilla Dominion's. Monarch is set to explore deeper through Skull Island and into the Hollow Earth than ever before. This mission will require their best possible pilots and it is one of these pilots who is our main protagonist. Audrey Burns is struggling to overcome the psychological wounds inflected by the flying Titan Camazotz during the rise of the Titans depicted in Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019) and is hoping to put the past behind her by joining the Hollow Earth expedition. The return of Camazotz however not only forces Kong to confront the invasive Titan to try and save Skull Island but forces Audrey to confront these old wounds and the one who made them.

Kingdom Kong is written by newcomer Marie Anello who makes a very enjoyable debut with this title. Although Kingdom Kong is actually shorter in page numbers than Godzilla Dominion the added human cast and accompanying dialog really help to make this book feel just as long as Dominion. Kong has a smaller appearance time in his book than Godzilla did in his but Kong's presence is felt throughout the story as his interactions with Monarch and the island wildlife are shown frequently. While Dominion showed us the Titan side of this new world Kingdom shows us the human side and provides some much needed background and detail. Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019) established that Monarch had a presence on Skull Island and this book does an excellent job actually depicting that base and Monarch's interactions with Kong and the strange wild life on the island. This really serves to help fill in the gaps in the MonsterVerse narrative and details like this are why I love these prequel graphic novels.

Audrey Burns leads the human cast and I really enjoyed the grounded perspective her character provides the MonsterVerse. The psychological toll of taking on these Titans in combat would be incredible and I really appreciated what Marie was able to do with the character in exploring these themes. My favorite part of the book however would be the returning character of Dr. Houston Brooks. I personally feel like the development of Dr. Brooks from likable side character in Kong Skull Island to the fully fleshed out character depicted across Skull Island: Birth of Kong, Godzilla Aftershock, and now Kingdom Kong is the best testament to the quality of the MonsterVerse comics and the strength of their writing. While he primarily exists to set the plot in motion and provide necessary background on Skull Island and the Titans, he brings a sense of gravitas to the entire story and further connects the reader to the past events in the MonsterVerse depicted in the films and graphic novels. I really hope that this is not the last we see of his character.

Zid is a returning artist who previously illustrated Skull Island: Birth of Kong and his work on the previous Kong prequel set a very high standard for all future MonsterVerse titles, one that he reaches with ease in Kingdom Kong. Zid's art is almost photo realistic and keeps the reader engaged in every panel.

I personally found one significant flaw with this book and it comes with the new Titan Camazotz. While Camazotz is a very well designed Titan, bearing more than a passing resemblance to the Giant Bat from the three part Monster Wars arc on Godzilla The Series, I really feel that this story would have been far better served by having Rodan in Camazotz's place. The lack of other Toho characters in Godzilla Dominion was noticeable but Rodan's absence in Kingdom Kong is deeply felt. Rodan's dogfight battles were a standout in Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019) and considering how the main character of Audrey is struggling to overcome the wounds inflected during the events of that film, having Rodan reappear in this book would have only tightened the connective tissue between the MonsterVerse comics and films. Never having seen Camazotz outside of this book before I didn't feel nearly as invested as I know I would have if Rodan returned. Camazotz's return in the latter half of the book also serves as a source of confusion. Camazotz is set free from the Hollow Earth in 2021 by Monarch's attempts to access it however he is clearly shown fighting G-Team fighter jets in 2019. If he was trapped underground in 2021 then how was he able to join the Rise of the Titans in 2019? How did he become trapped in the Hollow Earth? It's entirely possible that I missed something obvious but as it stands I found this to be rather confusing plot point.

While I still advocate for Rodan being the superior choice to Camazotz, I personally found a lot to enjoy in Kingdom Kong and I recommend it whole heartedly. Kingdom Kong's cover price is $16.99 and unlike the previous Godzilla titles the first Kong prequel was also a trade paperback so Kingdom Kong's lack of a hardcover release isn't as noticeable. Kingdom Kong not only managed to add to my anticipation for Godzilla vs. Kong (2021) but as with Godzilla Dominion, it served to renew my hunger for more stories set in the MonsterVerse. There are so many film franchises that have continued to grow and develop beyond their theatrical releases thanks to the printed forms of novels and comics. I truly believe that the MonsterVerse has the potential to be among the best of them.