Saturday, 16 May 2009
Kong The Untamed
Kong The Untamed was one of a whole series of fantasy books DC premiered in 1975, including The Warlord, Stalker, Beowulf and Conan clone Claw The Unconquered. None of 'em, other than Warlord, lasted more than 4 or 5 issues.
Kong, a prehistoric cave boy adventure, was a great little comic while it lasted, with the first couple of covers by Berni Wrightson, and the first three interiors by Alfredo Alcala.
Kong ( apart from having the most libellous name ever ) was a brilliant character, resourceful, loyal & brave, he's clearly mankind's best evolutionary hope, as well as a perfect boy's hero.
Also, unlike a lot of prehistoric strips, writer Jack Oleck did try to set the stories in a historically accurate world, not putting man & dinosaurs together, for instance. ( A decision completely ignored by Gerry Conway when he took over in the third issue. )
Oleck also added some nice touches in the dialogue. For instance, when Kong's mother is about to give birth to him, it's clear that no one in this world yet knows where exactly babies come from.
This first issue is really a story about a mother and a son, in a time when there wasn't even a word for mother ( another nice touch ). And their relationship is beautifully drawn, in both senses of that phrase. Enter the primitive world...