There are lots of franchises out there and lots of storylines one needs to remember. Previously On is our way of providing a quick refresher with the plot points you may need to keep in mind for that upcoming sequel. This installment updates you on all the happenings in Godzilla’s MonsterVerse ahead of the release of this week’s Godzilla Vs Kong.
In Earth’s prehistory, the world was home to a number of large, monstrous creatures know collectively referred to as Titans. Many of them fed off of the larger amounts of background radiation prevailant at the time. Some of these species fought against each other for dominance as the apex predator of the planet. As the levels of radiation fell, many of these titans burrowed underground and dove deep into the seas for the radiation that they craved. The remaining few eventually went into millennia-long hibernation. One of the last of their kind even managed to achieve a bit of co-existence with one of the earliest human civilizations but that history distorted over the years to become believed as more myth and legend than fact.
On July 1, 1946, humanity inadvertently awoke one of the sleeping titans when the United States performed the first post-World War II atomic bomb test att the Bikini Atoll lagoon in the Marshall Islands in the Pacific Ocean. The creature, codenamed Godzilla, is hunted by the US military as part of Project: Monarch, a government initiative ordered by President Truman to study the colossal beast. Under the auspices of Operation: Luck Dragon, the military use atomic bomb tests as cover for its attempts to destroy the creature. They believe they succeeded in March 1, 1954, although the loss of an atomic sub five years later suggested that the US government needed to continue keeping a watchful eye by continuing the Monarch program.
First Skull Island Expedition
In 1973. satellite photos reveal the existence of a hitherto unknown island in the South Pacific. Bill Randa of Monarch believes that this could be a place where they could find a monster. He manages to secure funding and launches an expedition with tracker James Conrad, photographer Mason Weaver and a troop of soldiers leaving Vietnam as part of the troop withdrawal at the end of the Vietnam War under the command of Col. Preston Packard.
Upon arrival, the expedition’s seismic charges attract the attention of Kong, a large ape-like Titan. He destroys the expedition’s helicopters and kills a number of soldiers. Bill Randa is killed later by a large reptilian creature. As the group struggles to cross the island to a pre-planned extraction point, they discover Hank Marlow, a World War Two fighter pilot shot down over the island. He helps guide them through the island’s jungle and avoid a number of large, carnivorous creatures. Col. Packard is killed in a later confrontation with Kong.
The brief data that the expedition managed to gather helps Brooks substantiate his theories about the Hollow Earth. James Conrad and Mason Weaver are recruited into Monarch.
Janjira Nuclear Power Plant Incident
In 1999, the skeleton of a long dead Titan is discovered in the Phillipines. Inside it are two cocoons which house creatures that Monarch scientists designate MUTOs – Massive Unidentified Terrestrial Organisms. One of the cocoons hatched and a larval MUTO makes its way hundreds of miles across the Pacific to the Janjira Nuclear Power Plant in Japan, lured there by the radiation on which it feeds.
The creature burrowed under the plant, causing the facility to partially collapse, killing a number of people including the wife of engineer Joe Brody. With the MUTO creating a cocoon around itself to feed on the radiation from the ruptured reactor vessel, the Japanese government declared a quarantine around the evacuated area. A cover story was released stating that the plant had been damaged by an earthquake and that there was too much radiation in the area to allow people in. Monarch established a research base at the facility to monitor the larval cocoon.
The other MUTO egg is brought back to the United States where a number of tests are performed on it before it is consigned to the nuclear waste containment unit at Yucca Mountain.
Convinced that there is a coverup going on in the Janjira Quarantine Zone, Joe Brody returns to the quarantine zone to retrieve data he collected fifteen years earlier on the day of the MUTO attack. He arrives on the day that the larval MUTO cocoon finishes feeding and hatches, releasing a full sized MUTO some 300-feet tall. Meanwhile, the egg that was placed in Yuca Mountain had been absorbing energy as well as has hatched a second MUTO which makes its way towards Las Vegas causing havoc and destruction.
Monarch scientists Dr. Ishiro Serizawa and Dr. Vivianne Graham theorize that the Janjiro Nuclear Plant MUTO is a male and is searching for the female from Yuca Mountain. THe two MUTOs converge in San Francisco, as does Godzilla. After a fight that levels a portion of the city, Godzilla has destroyed the two MUTOs. Hailed as a hero, Godzilla departs.
More Titans Discovered
With their existence exposed, Monarch comes under fire from the public and politicians who want to hold the organization responsible for keeping the existence of monsters from the public. Dr. Serizawa argues for Monarch to remain independent from the US military, determining which Titans should be protected and which should be hunted and destroyed. The organization has discovered a total of 17 new Titans in the four years following the San Francisco attacks, all of them in deep hibernation in various spots around the globe.
At Monarch Outpost 61 in the Yunnan Rainforest in China, a giant monster codenamed Mothra hatches from an egg long held under observation by the organization. Dr Emma Russell manages to use bioacoustics – a new branch of science she pioneered with her husband Mark – and a device called the ORCA to subdue the creature. The base is attacked by ecoterrorist Alan Jonah who siezes the ORCA device along with Dr Russell and her daughter Maddy.
Jonah and his terrorist cell fly to Antarctica and Monarch Outpost 32, where they plan to use the ORCA to revive another apex predator Titan, Monster Zero, from where it had been frozen in a block of ice. Enlisting Emma Russell’s estranged husband Mark, Monarch is able to predict that Godzilla is heading for Outpost 32, most likely attracted by the use of the ORCA. Monarch arrives at the Antarctic base and engages in combat with Jonah’s forces. During the melee, Emma Russell releases Monster Zero. Godzilla arrives and the two Titans fight. Dr. Vivianne Graham is killed as the Monarch team flee the scene.
Emma contacts Monarch and reveals that she has been working for Jonah all along. Together they release Rodan from containment at Monarch Outpost 56 in Isla de Mara, Mexico. Monarch manages to lure Rodan away from the mainland to the Gulf of Mexico and into a fight with Monster Zero. Godzilla soon arrives. The American military launches a new weapon they dub an “oxygen destroyer,” which they believe will kill all life within a certain radius. The weapon detonates, but Monster Zero and Godzilla survive, though it seems that Godzilla may have been gravely injured.
Rise Of The Titans
Monster Zero’s victory triggers the awakening of many of the other slumbering giants across the globe including othra from her cocoon. While trying to figure out why Monster Zero was not affected by the oxygen destroyer Dr. Chen at Monarch theorizes that it is actually an alien and that it has upset the natural order of things. Jonah and Emma realize the same thing. Emma is upset because this upsets their initial plans, but Jonah seems content in letting all of humanity be destroyed.
The Monarch scientists come up with a plan to revive Godzilla by essentially “feeding” him nuclear bombs to reenergize him. The track Godzila using the bioaccoustics that he would use to communicate with Mothra. The trail leads through an underwater tunnel – which confirms Dr. Rick Stanton’s Hollow Earth theories – to a sunken city that looks to have been built by an ancient people who knew of Godzilla and lived in coexistence with him. With radiation levels too high to use a remote drone to deliver the nuclear warhead, Serizawa sacrifices himself to detonate the bombs.
Godzilla, Mothra, Rodan and Monster Zero, now identified from legends as Ghidorah, converge in Boston, drawn there by the ORCA. During the melee Mothra wounds Rhodan and then sacrifices herself for Godzilla’s benefit. Emma Russell also sacrifices herself, using the ORCA to distract Ghidorah enough for Godzilla to recover and ultimately defeat and destroy the alien monster.
Following the battle, the awakened monsters return back to their various slumber while nature reasserts itself in the spaces that had been destroyed in the attacks. Monarch releases much of the information that they have gathered over the decades about the Titans. They continue to study the Titans and the Hollow Earth passages that allow them speedy transit under and across the globe. Some of the
Jonah and his group of terrorists acquire the Ghidorah head that was severed by Godzilla during the Isla De Mara battle. They remain at large…