Two misunderstood monsters. One is a man cursed with rage-fueled strength thanks to his own nuclear weapon. Another is cursed with…being a giant monkey. They’re fighting because…well, because I said so. And the winner will get glory or something.
As per the previous fight with Gollum, the Hulk is traveling to Earth in his great stone ship with a head full of rage. However, his best pilots are still a couple of sentient bugs and a man made out of stone, so he continues to be a little off in terms of navigation. This time, the group does make it to Earth, but lands far from the streets of New York where the Hulk wanted to make his presence known. He finds himself on Skull Island, home of King Kong. Kong is not fond of intruders coming in and wrecking up his place, so he goes off to destroy the intruders. The Hulk meets him, and there can only be one result…
Peaceful communication, of course.
Both the Hulk and King Kong are monsters. Both of them are also kings, charged with the protection of their people. In the Hulk’s case, he sort of screwed that up and let his planet get nuked. But that doesn’t mean he wants to take it out on the big monkey. So the two try to talk things out. Unfortunately, King Kong doesn’t speak English. But he is a smart ape with a gigantic brain, so he’s learned some sign language symbols. he tries to communicate with the Hulk in this manner, but the jade giant doesn’t know sign language. He does know someone who can speak it, though, and reluctantly transforms into Bruce Banner so he can talk things out. Unfortunately for the Hulk, this is exactly what Kong wanted. As soon as the Hulk transforms into a puny human, Kong squashes Bruce Banner like a bug. Round One goes to King Kong.
In the old days, the whole “turn Hulk into Banner and then kill him” trick might have worked. However, both Banner and the Hulk have evolved over the years, and the pattern of the transformation has changed as well. When Kong lifts his fists off of the shattered ground, he finds not Banner’s squashed remains but instead the unharmed green body of the Hulk. And he isn’t happy.
The madder the Hulk gets…well, if you read the comic, you probably know the rest. If you don’t read the comic, you’re really missing out. The Planet Hulk trade paperback is now on sale…go order that now. And no, I’m not providing Marvel Comics with ad space on my web page. Please just ignore this check that has “for the ad space provided on your web page” written in the memo. And, for that matter, ignore this second check that has the memo, “for telling people to ignore the memo on the first check, which was to pay for ad space provided on your web page.”
Now, back to the fight. Um…the Hulk punches King Kong. Really, really hard. And stuff. Round Two goes to the Hulk.
King Kong has the strength of a giant ape. The Hulk has the gamma-enhanced strength of an atomic bomb. The Hulk sort of has the edge here. He knocks Kong up and down the island, sending him flying through mountains and causing all sorts of random comic book destruction. There are explosions from things that normally don’t explode, like rocks and trees. There are pseudo-scientific explanations for things that need no explanation at all. And there is the ever-present question of how the Hulk’s pants stay on after his transformation. By the end of it, Kong is curled up in agony, waiting for the Hulk to strike the final blow. The Hulk shows mercy, though. Or, at the very least, he doesn’t finish the fight with his fists.
“I’m very disappointed in you,” he says. Then he walks away.
It might not seem like much, but Kong is a pretty sensitive, emotional guy. That’s why he’s such a hit with the Fay Wray look-alikes. And so, while the Hulk takes off in his spaceship again, trying to find New York City, Kong sits alone and cries while pigging out on the carcass of a Tyrannosaurus that he killed earlier in the day. The saddest part is, they don’t even have bad talk shows for him to watch on Skull Island. Round Three and the fight go to the Hulk.