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Kong the Untamed (1975) - #1
"Kong The Untamed"
DC Comics

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Jack Oleck

Alfredo P. Alcala - 'Christian Volt'

Alfredo P. Alcala - 'Christian Volt'

Alfredo P. Alcala - 'Christian Volt'

Paul Levitz
Joe Orlando

Cover Artist(s):
Bernard Albert 'Bernie' Wrightson

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Cover Date: July 1975
Cover Price: US $ 0.25

Issue Tagline: 1st DC Issue!

Format: Color; Standard Comic Issue; 18 pages

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Letters Column: Cave Comments

The story opens in the middle of a pitched battle between the Cro-Magnon clan of Trog and a Neanderthal tribe of Beast Men. Trog's fighters emerge victorious and immediately lay claim to the Beast Men's cave. It's a dog eat dog world.

A pregnant woman named Attu calls on the "Great Goddess Lural"--the moon--to let her give birth to a manchild. And she does, a little blond-haired baby. Trog is dismissive, desiring warriors not whelps, but the clan's witch-doctor sees in this boy's birth an omen: "Do you not remember that our legends tell of how long ago a strage tribe of great fighting men met our people? They too were led by a yellow hair! A mighty warrior called Kong! And Attu's child was born while the Goddess Lural showed her full face! The spirit of Kong may live anew within him! All life comes from Lural! If she has given him Kong's spirit, he will be a mighty warrior! A hunter, and unbeatable in battle!"

Upon learning of a possible threat to his power, the one-eyed Trog determines to kill the "pup" with his axe, but is stopped by Attu. For her rebellion against her chief, she and the baby are disowned and banished. Trog commands Attu to "take him and your belongings and get out. You are no longer of our clan!" The sorcerer only adds insult to injury by sprinkling dust upon them and saying, "with this magic powder made from the teeth of the he-bear who lives ever alone I proclaim you both accursed! Now--go!"

Attu and her baby, named Kong, set off alone. A number of years go by. Attempts by Attu to collect food with her former clanswomen are met with threats of violence. The child Kong looks to play with the other little boys and is pelted with rocks. Kong realizes and resigns himself to being an outcast, and sets to training himself to be a hunter and warrior. Young Kong even daringly sneaks into his former clan's cave and steals a flaming stick from their sacred fire in order to warm his and Attu's cold cave.

The boy grows in size and skills. Once while out hunting Kong is captured by a Beast Man who wants to kill him out of revenge for the "smooth-skins'" slaughter of his people. Young Kong (all of seven or eight-years-old) cleverly escapes the trap and even hurls his primitive spear into his captor.

Learning of this feat of bravery, Attu is hopeful this will win her and Kong a welcome back into the clan, but Trog dismisses the story as a lie. Kong is enraged, "Rage makes him put aside all the Savage World, to forget caution is to risk destruction!" Kong foolishly runs back to the scene of the battle to retrieve proof, and is ambushed by bloodthirsty Beast Men who take him captive. Attu learns of this and rescues her son (graphically smashing a rock onto a Beast Man's head).

Attu and Kong flee and evade the pursuing Beast Men, but Attu is wounded and bleeding. Kong goes to pick herbs that will stanch the bleeding, returning to his mother only to discover a scene of absolute horror: "The torn and tortured body hangs limp and dead! And for the first time in his life a man child weeps." Suspecting vengeful Beast Men of the murder, Kong is stunned to discern from the shoeprints that the killer was none other than Trog.

The "stripling hurls his hatred" at the moon-goddess Lural, swearing revenge on Trog. Young Kong then sets running down a path towards new adventures.

Reprinted/Collected in:
Bernie Wrightson Artifact Edition (2017) HC vol. 06
Bernie Wrightson Artifact Edition (2017) HC vol. 06 (Cover B)
Bernie Wrightson Artifact Edition (2017) HC vol. 06 (NYCC Edition)

Cave Comments discusses DC's 1967 attempt to publish a comic book about prehistoric cavemen, ANTHRO, suggesting its failure was due to DC being "ahead of our time," a time which may now have arrived since a glance at the "fall 1974 TV schedule proved that cavemen and prehistoric monsters were back in fashion" [a reference to THE PLANET OF THE APES series]. Unfortunately, KONG only ran five issues, falling an issue short of ANTHRO's six-issue run (plus his introduction in SHOWCASE #74).

This issue's inside front cover features a Hostess Fruit Pie ad starring Superman in "The Spy."

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Gurat, the Beast Man (DC)
  Kong the Untamed

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