— Houston Brooks (Kong: Skull Island)
Houston Brooks is a Monarch geological advisor who first appeared in the 2017 Legendary Pictures film, Kong: Skull Island. As a college student, Brooks wrote a thesis discussing the possibility that the long-discredited Hollow Earth theory was actually true, and that massive undiscovered subterranean pockets existed all over the globe. Academics dismissed Brooks' theory, but Monarch's Bill Randa took an interest in it and believed that entire ecosystems of Massive Unidentified Terrestrial Organisms could exist within the Hollow Earth. Randa recruited Brooks into Monarch and brought him and biologist Lin San onto the organization's 1973 expedition to Skull Island, which Randa believed to be an emergence point for the Hollow Earth ecosystem. When the expedition took a catastrophic turn for the worse, Brooks and San were fortunate enough to be among of the survivors who successfully made it off the island, while Randa was not so lucky. Undeterred by the traumatic experience, Brooks became a longtime respected member of Monarch, recruiting other members such as Rick Stanton into the organization. Brooks eventually married San and they had a son named Aaron, who followed in his parents' footsteps and became a member of Monarch. Brooks retired in 2012, but he continued to be in good standing with Monarch and often visited his former colleagues. By 2019, Brooks was again working for Monarch, and was part of a team that established a camp around the waterfall in China's Yunnan Rainforest to monitor Mothra.
A brilliant Ivy Leaguer, Brooks is recruited to Monarch for his groundbreaking theories on seismology and the secrets that lie beneath the earth. Believing in Randa's mission if not his motives, he has both the instincts to discover the truth behind the myth and the insight to comprehend its implications.
Recruited into Monarch for his college thesis on the Hollow Earth Theory, Brooks worked as an assistant to senior operative Bill Randa. During the waning days of the Vietnam War in 1973, Brooks and Randa visited Senator Al Willis in the hope of securing funding for an expedition to the uncharted Skull Island, which was recently uncovered by NASA's Landsat satellite imaging. After some convincing, Willis approved funding for Randa to tag along with NASA's Landsat expedition to the island. Brooks and Randa personally recruited Captain James Conrad, a former British special forces member, to serve as a tracker for the expedition. Other members recruited to the expedition included Monarch's young biologist Lin San and antiwar photographer Mason Weaver, with an escort provided by the U.S. Army's Sky Devils helicopter squadron under the command of Colonel Preston Packard. Aboard the expedition's ship Athena, Brooks explained to the NASA and Army personnel the supposed nature of their mission. After penetrating the island's concealing storm cell, they would drop seismic charges to map the terrain of the island. Once the Athena finally reached the storm cell, Brooks rode aboard one of the helicopters which flew through the storm and finally above the island. As the charges were dropped, Brooks and Randa witnessed the results: the area underground the island was completely hollow. Their celebration was brief, however, as the charges drew out the colossal ape known as Kong, who brought down all of the choppers and killed many members of the expedition. Brooks and San were unharmed, and were able to regroup with Conrad, Weaver, Warrant Officer Reg Slivko, and Landsat field mission head Victor Nieves. Pressed by Conrad, Brooks finally explained the true nature of their mission. Brooks had written his college thesis on the long-discredited Hollow Earth Theory, which held that large pockets existed underground. While academics had laughed him off, Randa took an interest in Brooks' thesis. Randa believed these Hollow Earth pockets could house ecosystems of Massive Unidentified Terrestrial Organisms. Randa believed Skull Island served as a sort of "emergence point" for this Hollow Earth ecosystem, which is why they traveled to the island to map out its subterranean areas. The party continued moving through the jungle of the island, encountering a giant buffalo before suddenly being surrounded by natives wielding spears. The tension was broken by Hank Marlow, a U.S. Naval Air Force pilot who had been stranded on the island since World War II. He convinced everyone to stand down and brought the party inside the village of the native people, the Iwi. There, he explained that Kong was the god of the island, he defended the Iwi and every other creature on the island from threats, primarily giant ravenous reptilian monsters Marlow called Skullcrawlers. These creatures were responsible for killing Marlow's best friend, Gunpei Ikari, who had been stranded on the island with him. Kong was simply defending his territory when he attacked the helicopter squadron, as their seismic charges were drawing out the Skullcrawlers. Brooks and the others began to cooperate with Marlow to complete his boat, the Grey Fox, so that they could travel upriver and reach the extraction point on the other side of the island before it was too late. They were able to get the boat working and bid farewell to the Iwi. As they were traveling, they made radio contact with another group of survivors. They began to celebrate before Nieves was snatched into the air by a flock of Leafwings, which subsequently dismembered him.
Brooks' party finally rendezvoused with the other group in the jungle, which consisted of Randa, Packard, and most of the surviving Sky Devils members. Packard informed them that one of his men, Major Jack Chapman, was separated from the rest of the group and that they needed to find him before leaving the island. This forced them to pass through the "Valley of the Fallen Gods," a gigantic mass grave which contained the skeletons of Kong's mother and father. As the party passed through the valley, they were set upon by a Skullcrawler, which killed Randa by eating him whole. The others scattered and tried to evade the predator, but ended up awakening a flock of Leafwings that attacked as well. Fortunately, Conrad was able to slay most of the Leafwings using the katana given to Marlow by Gunpei, and killed the Skullcrawler by igniting a gas vent with his lighter while the monster was right next to it. In the confusion, the Skullcrawler had regurgitated Chapman's remains, but Packard shockingly insisted on continuing on their way. It became clear he was not after Chapman, but rather a munitions supply which contained enough weapons for him to claim his revenge on Kong. Brooks, Conrad, San, Marlow, and Weaver refused to go along with Packard's plan, and prepared to go their separate ways and head to the extraction point. However, they all came to the conclusion that they could not let Packard kill Kong, or else the Skullcrawlers would overrun the island and kill everyone and everything living there. Brooks and San headed back to the Grey Fox while Conrad, Weaver, and Marlow went to stop Packard. While Packard was stopped from killing Kong, his attack against him caused the largest Skullcrawler, the Skull Devil, to awaken. Kong killed Packard while the surviving Sky Devils members joined Conrad and the others to reach the extraction point. However, they were confronted by the Skull Devil, which was intent on not letting them escape. Fortunately, Kong arrived to fight the beast, while Brooks manned the guns on the Grey Fox to back him up. Kong was finally triumphant when he disemboweled the Skull Devil with his fist, and the survivors all boarded the Grey Fox, finally reaching the extraction point and escaping Skull Island with their lives.
Sometime after the mission, Conrad and Weaver were held in an interrogation room at a Monarch facility. Brooks and San entered the room and welcomed the two to Monarch. They explained that Kong was not the only "king," and that there were more giant creatures like him out there. They activated a film projector that displayed classified footage taken of Godzilla in 1954, followed by photographed cave paintings of Godzilla, Rodan, Mothra, King Ghidorah, and finally Godzilla locked in combat with King Ghidorah.
After the larval Mothra escaped from Outpost 61 in China's Yunnan Rainforest and cocooned herself behind a nearby waterfall, Brooks was one of the leaders of the Monarch team that established a camp at the base of the waterfall to monitor the situation. After seeing footage of various Titans around the world being aroused from their ancient slumber, he realized that they were all directly responding to King Ghidorah's call. Immediately afterward, Brooks and Dr. Ling witnessed Mothra emerge from her cocoon in her imago stage.
After forty years of service, Brooks was prepared to retire in July of 2012, however, on July ninth, his old friend Singh came with a message fished out of the ocean by the Australian Navy with a serial number matching Brooks' missing son Aaron. Despite Aaron's having allegedly gone missing in Antarctica, it had been found in the South Pacific. Brooks easily guessed his son's favorite password.
In 1995, Aaron hacked into his father's files and learned about Kong and Skull Island. The two entered a heated argument, in which Aaron did not understand Kong's role in keeping the island stable, and was furious that they were allowing a MUTO to stand between the human race and other MUTOs. Brooks maintained that Skull Island was secret for numerous reasons, naming the death toll on their initial visit as one. Aaron, however had refused to listen.
Upon booting up the audio recorder recovered from his son's bag, Brooks heard Aaron's log revealing that their alleged mission to Antarctica had in reality been to Skull Island. This fact drove Brooks to tears.
After finishing his son's recording, Brooks learned that Aaron had survived Skull Island, and taken up residence with the Iwi. While at his retirement party, Brooks revealed that he was considering taking a tropical cruise, with the implication that he might try to reunite with Aaron.
In 2014, the now-retired Brooks visited Monarch's outpost in the Philippines, where Dr. Emma Russell was trying to find a way to stop MUTO Prime before it could usher in a new global dark age. While Emma prepared to travel to Portugal to carry out her plan to stop the creature, she collapsed from exhaustion, only for Brooks to help her back up. He expressed his concern for Emma, noting that she did not look well. Emma was insistent that she was fine, but Brooks said that the look in her face reminded him of the same one Aaron had when he went missing. He told Emma he knew what it was like to lose a son, but she retorted that he at least found his son. When Brooks brought up Emma's daughter Madison, Emma became enraged and angrily insisted that nothing was going to happen to her daughter. After calming down, Emma just asked Brooks to wish her luck, which he did before she finally left.
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