Order Skull Island:
Before the world knew them, they met….
Before they were legends, they clashed!
An urgent summons from his father brings young Clark Savage, Jr. to San Francisco for a mysterious mission: to locate the long-lost clipper ship captained by his legendary ancestor, Stormalong Savage.
Their quest will take them to the heart of the Indian Ocean and a fog-shrouded isle unknown to civilization, a place inhabited by dinosaurs unsuspected by history and ruled by a titanic creature known only as… Kong!
Doc Savage meets his first great challenge in the fierce prehistoric jungles of Skull Island!
THREE PALE SEAGULLS circled the bald steel knob that was the summit of the Empire State Building.
Where hours before, a squadron of Navy Curtiss O2C-2 warplanes had buzzed and swooped through clouds of burnt cordite, now gulls ranged, emitting raucous cries, avid eyes gazing down at the red flecks of animal flesh that bespattered the skyscraper’s austere Art Deco battlements.
Wheeling, one swooped down, its long beak gobbling up a raw morsel.
Another attacked a gob of matter, carried it away triumphantly.
Lunging and pecking, they cleaned the carrion debris of combat from every ledge and cranny, these ghostly buzzards of the metropolis.
As morning continued its slow majestic breaking, they peeled away, satiated, broad wings sun-burnished copper, never to return.
In time, a warm rain began falling. What remained—red fluid and sticky specks of fur—began to run and drain away. Before the rain ceased, steel and granite had been washed off, cleansed of all trace of that which was already falling into legend….
FAR below, crowds clustered around the body of the vanquished.
Men in blue, their copper coat buttons afire, were busy unreeling kegs of barbed wire to cordon off the corpse. Press flashbulbs popped and were discarded, shattering on the wet pavement. Shoving bodies pressed closer, toppling the police sawhorses.
A police captain mounted a wooden keg. He lifted a megaphone to his face.
“Back, you men! Back!”
He might as well have been talking to a moving wall.
“You reporters have your stories,” the captain exhorted. “Go home. The king is dead. And he won’t be rising again.”
A scribe called out, “Captain, what are you going to do with it?”
“That’s for smarter men than me to decide, boyo.”
“What does the Mayor say about this?”
“Why don’t you ask him?” shot back the captain.
Another shouted, “What about the Governor? Is he in charge?”
“A bigger man than he is going to handle this. Don’t you quote me, either!”
The questions kept flying. Brickbats would have been easier to fend off.
“Is the new President coming to New York?” demanded a reporter.
“I ain’t heard that!” snapped the captain.
A shadow crossed the noon sky. A great aircraft, a tri-motor with wings as bronze as a Chinese gong, overflew the skyscraper. It circled twice, then droned off in the direction of North Beach airport.
The police captain gave out a windy sigh of relief.
“That’s all!” he snapped, jumping off the keg. “No more comments. Be off with yez!”
AN hour later, a gunmetal gray roadster nosed its way through the congestion of packed humanity. There were no cars on Fifth Avenue, nor for many blocks around. Jostling pedestrians gave way reluctantly.
The man behind the wheel showed unusual patience as he tooled his quiet machine toward the skyscraper entrance. Animated eyes swept the way before him.
They were the color of golden flakes, ceaselessly swirling. Sunlight, touching his close-combed hair, made individual hairs smolder like thin wires of bronze and copper.
Busy bluecoats removed sawhorses to allow him to pass, replacing them swiftly to block all egress.
When the sedan drew up to the entrance, the police captain rushed to open the door.
“Thank Heaven you’re here,” he greeted.
The bronze-skinned individual who stepped out onto the running board seemed to unfold, until he stood erect, a colossus of a man. He moved forward, his face a mask of metal. Steady eyes fell on the great corpse that lay still on the cracked pavement, whereupon they hardened into gold nuggets.
Two mismatched men rushed out of the building entrance. One was a slim dandy who brandished a dark, elegant cane. The other, a red-haired human gorilla with a bullet head, whose long, dangling arms waved excitedly.
“Doc!” cried the first man. “You missed the entire bally spectacle.”
“Yeah,” growled the second. “After the thing broke loose, it terrorized the city, then climbed to the top of the skyscraper. The Navy sent warplanes to knock him off.”
“They called the brute—”
The bronze giant waved their excited comments aside.
“Kong,” he said softly, sadly.
“Oh, you heard the radio reports?”
The bronze giant shook his head slowly. “I know this creature.”
The human gorilla’s blocky jaw dropped open. “Blazes! You—do?”
“Long ago, he saved my life,” intoned the metallic man.
Ham Brooks and Monk Mayfair lost all power of speech.
“And I returned the favor in kind,” said Doc Savage.