Mild SPOILERS for Kong: Skull Island!
Kong: Skull Island, in theaters March 10, is a great creature feature. It has ample action, incredible style, and gives us a version of King Kong that we want to see in future movies. And if all goes according to plan, that’s exactly what Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures have in store. At the end of Kong: Skull Island, there is a post-credits teaser that gives us a look at what monsters lie in wait. Yes, Kong: Skull Island has taken a big step forward in creating what is being called the MonsterVerse. And the parallels to the Marvel Cinematic Universe are fairly apparent.
Kong, Godzilla, and the Iron Man/Incredible Hulk Switch
Now, some of you are probably saying: “But, Godzilla started this whole MonsterVerse! That makes it the Iron Man equivalent!” Not really. While Godzilla did get out of the gate first, it didn’t have the same effect as Iron Man did. In fact, Godzilla now looks like The Incredible Hulk. Remember that?
Marvel’s follow-up to Iron Man didn’t feel like it aligned with the direction the shared universe was going. It had a minor connection to the bigger world thanks to a post-credits tease – one that was blatantly ignored later on – but didn’t gel with what Iron Man had accomplished. The same can be said of Godzilla. Though not a bad film by any means, it didn’t cultivate the fervor or joyous reaction that the studio wanted.
That’s not a problem with Kong: Skull Island. It’s a boisterous affair that revels in its ridiculousness and sets the groundwork for something much bigger than itself. In that comparison, it comes across as way more of an Iron Man than Godzilla did.
Agents of Monarch
Another important element that the MonsterVerse is cribbing from Marvel is the idea of an organization that ties the world together. Nick Fury‘s appearance at the end of Iron Man signaled that S.H.I.E.L.D. would be the unifying force behind bringing together all these different superheroes. The MonsterVerse has a similar organization: Monarch.
Monarch was present in Godzilla but almost as a necessary stand-in for some shadowy organization. Their presence wasn’t strong enough to feel important. That gets rectified in Kong: Skull Island. Monarch is put front and center as the framing device that will bring us all of these incredible monsters. Though Monarch doesn’t yet have its own Nick Fury, the group has clearly become a more focused entity and will play a big role in the future of the series.
Destroy All Monsters!
And yes, if you’re hoping for a grand monster mash of epic proportions, Kong: Skull Island is promising you that in full force. Much like Iron Man, it’s saying that if you stick with this universe, you’re going to get something truly wondrous once it all comes together. Personally, that’s way more exciting than The Avengers.
Kong: Skull Island has set the MonsterVerse back on track in a big way. We’ve got the kind of jaunty tone these movies need as well as a good grounding point for where the universe will build from. When it’s all said and done, we could be looking back at Kong: Skull Island as the real kickoff to a new cinematic universe.