Kong the Untamed (1975) - #2
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Alfredo P. Alcala
Alfredo P. Alcala
Alfredo P. Alcala
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Cover Date: September 1975
Cover Price: US $ 0.25
Issue Tagline: None.
Format: Color; Standard Comic Issue; 18 pages
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Letters Column: Cave Comments
This issue opens with Kong wandering in the night, turning to discover he is being followed by a pack of ravenous wolves. Kong throws strange rocks at them and discovers they spark and make fire upon striking other rocks, but he has no time to contemplate his discovery as the wolves attack, forcing Kong to leap from a high cliff into the river rapids below.
Clutching a floating log, Kong is carried eventually to a quiet pool. He finds more of the stones and sparks a fire to warm himself, "but if fire is a blessing it can also be a beacon!" Kong soon finds himself surrounded by the tribe of Beast Men from whom he escaped in the first issue.
The Beast Men's bearskin-clad shaman decrees Kong will be sacrificed to their bear god in the hope of bettering their hunting. Kong is secured in the cave of their bear god among the bones and skulls of past sacrifices. The shadow of a large figure lumbers towards him... but it is not the bear god, but the very Beast Man whom Kong speared and supposedly killed!
The Beast Man, named Gurat, stuns Kong by freeing him, stating that "a whelp who dared to defy me deserves better than to die like some insect caught in a spider's web! Gurat admires courage!"
But before Kong and Gurat can slip out of the cave a hulking bear is upon them! Following a bloody battle that leaves each man lashed and bloody, they emerge into daylight only to be discovered by the Beast Men, outraged to see that Gurat betrayed them. Kong and Gurat flee as spears puncture the ground around them.
In their escape they encounter a Cro Magnon tribe tribe who worship the deer-god. They warn them of the Beast Men on their heels and offer to help battle them, which they do, and "it is Gurat's huge club that brings victory!" Kong frightens off the remaining Beast Men by starting a brush fire, which astounds them.
But Kong and Gurat receive no gratitude from the Deer People. Their shaman declares them both "evil spirits," banishing Kong because "we know we cannot kill one who has such strong magic," but insisting Gurat be killed because "the gods will thank us for destroying an evil spirit! They will send us good hunting."
Fast-thinking Kong plays on their superstitions and bluffs them into believing he is indded an evil spirit who will bring down fire from heaven if his friend is not freed. "For terrible moments Kong and the shaman fight a battle of wills" until finally the shaman relents. Kong and Gurat flee to a tranquil place.
Kong is eager to go back and have his revenge on Trog, but Gurat warns the brash youth against impulsivity. He reminds Kong that they are now both outcasts from their people, and what is more, "when we fought the bear, our blood mingled. That makes us brothers."
Kong has never known love from anyone but his mother, so he is momentarily confused by Gurat's kindness; he ponders it, and acts: "A small smooth hand is placed in a hand that is huge, hairy--and with their touching is forged a bond that will endure from this day on. Kong has found a friend--at last!"
This month's CAVE COMMENTS features letters from SCOTT MERTZ, DUFFY RICARDO and JOHN ELLIOTT, "a few fans who were passing through our office, and got a look at the original art for #1."
MERTZ admits "drooling over the intricate woodcarvings of Alfredo Alcala" and states that "the masterpiece named Kong The Untamed is enough to force one to end his letter after a single sentence of superlatives." RICARDO writes that while Kong "isn't as good as CLAW or TOR, it is still very pretty (Yay, Alcala!) and shows a lot of potential." ELLIOTT reports finding Kong "a bit strange ... strange in that it didn't at all seem to be a typical DC mag ... Kong moved at a different pace and seemed to be written with a different vocabulary."
Ads that add to the fun of reading this issue include an always-welcome appearance from that icon of mid-1970's comic ads: Count Dante: Deadliest Man Alive! Another ad reflecting the kung fu craze calls on readers to "Learn the Secret Powers of the Deadliest Killers in the Orient: The Physio-Mental Powers of the Ninja." And almost nothing screams the '70s more than an ad picturing piled high stacks of eight-track tapes from Sonny & Cher, Chicago, Jethro Tull, Steely Dan, Neil Diamond, Jim Croce and other stars of that decade.
Fans of the Hostess comic strip ads will be disappointed to find in its place the full-page announcement of "3 Free Baseball Cards on Each Specially Marked Box of Hostess Snack Cakes." Of the 150 cards in the set (requiring the purchase of 50 boxes and answering the question of why there's a diabetes and obesity epidemic) three are pictured: Joe Rudi (A's), Fergie Jenkins (Rangers) and Don Sutton (Dodgers).
DC house ads include a full-pager for its Adventure Line that pictures KONG, BEOWULF, WARLORD et al. and another for DC's many tabloid-sized editions. There's also a half-page ad for "The Special Joe Orlando Issue of THE AMAZING WORLD OF DC COMICS." [Orlando being KONG editor, I wonder if it featured any art or information on this title?]
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