I've documented multiple anatomical parallels between the MUTOs and Jinshin-Mushi. Too many to be a coincidence. I think Jinshin-Mushi is the parent superspecies to the MUTOs... MUTO Prime.
The parent subspecies of two MUTOs which fought Godzilla in San Francisco, MUTO Prime emerged shortly after their death to draw out Godzilla. Gradually weakening him over the course of several brief encounters, MUTO Prime aimed to infect him with its parasitic larvae, potentially giving rise to an entire ecosystem of MUTOs which could wipe out the human race. Fortunately, through the intervention of Monarch's Dr. Emma Russell, Godzilla was able to triumph over MUTO Prime in their last encounter and kill it once and for all.
MUTO Prime's name refers to it being the progenitor of the two MUTOs which fought Godzilla in 2014. Ancient mythology speaks of the creature as the Earthquake Beetle or Dragon Beetle, while Monarch gives it the official Titan classification Titanus Jinshin-Mushi, or simply Jinshin-Mushi. This name is derived from the Jishin Mushi (地震虫, or Earthquake Beetle, of Japanese mythology, said to carry the Japanese islands on its back and create earthquakes with its movement. Despite the connection, MUTO Prime's name, perhaps erroneously, adds an additional 'n' to jishin, creating "Jinshin." lit. Earthquake Bug)
Ancient Phoenician paintings depicting an ancient encounter between MUTO Prime and Dagon additionally refer to the creature as the "Abomination" or "Unclean Thing."
MUTO Prime has the same basic body shape and appearance as its offspring. However, it is considerably larger and possesses a hardened outer shell along with razor-sharp back spines. MUTO Prime's legs are gigantic and muscular, as are its forelimbs which it uses to knuckle-walk. MUTO Prime's skin is primarily smooth and black, save for its forelimbs which are mostly covered in orange scales.
Monarch classifies MUTO Prime's behavior as that of a "destroyer," along with fellow Titans King Ghidorah, Rodan, Scylla, Camazotz, and the Skull Devil. As a prehistoric parasite, MUTO Prime's sole goal is to seek out any suitable hosts to infect with its parasitic spores.
MUTO Prime is an ancient superspecies that lived alongside Godzilla and other Titans. While the MUTO Prime could theoretically impregnate other Titans, MUTO Primes preferably targeted Godzilla's species, as they would be the biggest and best hosts for their young. Due to the extreme danger of targeting Godzilla's species, the MUTO Prime had to evolve to become the "perfect matchup" to them. As a result, the MUTO Prime became "custom built" by evolution to counter attacks from the members of Titanus Gojira specifically, and became exceptionally dangerous to them. Monarch scientist Dr. Emma Russell theorizes that MUTO Prime is either the adult form of a female MUTO or the last survivor of a MUTO plague which caused a mass extinction in prehistoric times. At the same time a group of ancient Phoenicians traveled to Japan, MUTO Prime battled a member of Godzilla's species, known as Dagon by the ancients and later designated Species 5146_Adam by Monarch. MUTO Prime prevailed and infected Dagon with its parasitic spores, eventually killing it before its body became buried in an underground cavern in the Philippines. In 1999, a mining company unwittingly excavated Dagon's skeleton, allowing one of the spores to hatch into the larval male MUTO, while the other dormant spore was taken to the Yucca Mountain Nuclear Waste Repository, where it finally matured into the female MUTO in 2014.
MUTO Prime first revealed itself in 2014 when it attacked a United States military base in Guam, following a series of earthquakes which traveled there from Japan. The creature emerged from the ground underneath the base and tore its way through it before feeding on a nuclear submarine just offshore. Godzilla emerged from the sea to fight it, but MUTO Prime punched him in the face before escaping back underground through the crater where it had initially emerged. Monarch's Dr. Emma Russell was called by the Japanese government to a Shinto shrine in Kyushu, accompanied by Tarkan Cavusgolu of Monarch's Crisis Response Unit and Miles Atherton of the San Francisco Commission.
There, they discovered a massive crater that had opened when the earthquakes first began. Emma and Tarkan began descending into the crater using Katatsumuri gear, but MUTO Prime appeared inside the crater, tossing aside tons of bedrock as it burrowed. Tarkan managed to escape the crater with Emma before they were crushed, while MUTO Prime vanished. The priest at the shrine explained that MUTO Prime was a creature spoken of in ancient myth known as Jinshin-Mushi, the Dragon Beetle, an aspect of the earthquake and rain god Jinshin-Namazu. He explained that the temple was dedicated to Raijin, the lord of thunder. When Raijin tires, he explained, it is said that Jinshin-Mushi rises.
MUTO Prime next appeared in the Barents Sea, destroying a Russian nuclear submarine before being attacked by Godzilla. The beast again punched Godzilla with its massive fist before swimming away. Meanwhile, Emma, Tarkan, and Atherton traveled to an old Monarch outpost in Siberia, which contained a crater similar to the ones MUTO Prime had opened in Guam and Kyushu. Inside, they discovered countless MUTO eggs. MUTO Prime appeared once again at the Athena II Nuclear Power Plant in France, tearing open the reactor before Godzilla emerged from the sea and fired his atomic breath at it. The two Titans lunged at each other, with MUTO Prime slicing into Godzilla's neck with its claws and then knocking him onto his back with a powerful punch. MUTO Prime leapt onto Godzilla, extending its ovipositors and preparing to infect Godzilla with its parasitic young. However, Godzilla slashed at MUTO Prime's head with his claws and forced it to get off of him. Both monsters exchanged roars before MUTO Prime burrowed away, leaving the badly wounded Godzilla to return to the ocean.
Following this encounter, Emma spoke to Monarch scientists at the collapsed cavern which Drs. Serizawa and Graham had investigated in 1999. She explained that this chamber was nearly identical to the one in Siberia, and that they were not natural chambers but the tombs of Titans brought down by MUTO Prime. She pointed to ancient stone tablets inscribed in Phoenician, which depicted a creature heavily resembling MUTO Prime battling against one resembling Godzilla. She proposed that this Godzilla ancestor, possibly the precedent for the Japanese deity Raijin and the ancient Semitic sea god Dagon, was infected by MUTO Prime's parasitic larvae, which eventually killed it, forming the very underground cavern which was unearthed in 1999 and unleashed the male and female MUTOs. Thus, she concluded, MUTO Prime was the parent subspecies to the male and female MUTOs, and proposed what could have happened had Godzilla not killed them. The female may have killed her mate and matured into another MUTO Prime, or her young may have given rise to an entire subspecies of MUTOs which would eradicate the existing ecosystem until they eventually turned on each other, with the only survivor at the end becoming the next MUTO Prime. Whatever the case, MUTO Prime aimed to incubate its young inside Godzilla, which could lead to an environmental disaster on an unprecedented scale.
Emma believed that they could help Godzilla to kill MUTO Prime by reproducing the sonic pulses given off by the MUTO eggs, which she deduced signaled to their mother that they were safely implanted inside the host and would pacify it. With MUTO Prime sighted heading to the Azores in Portugal, this plan was set into motion, with powerful loudspeakers emitting the pulse as MUTO Prime burrowed underneath them. However, this had the opposite intended effect, causing MUTO Prime to burst from underground, killing nearly everyone involved in the operation.
The United Nations Security Council held a hearing with Monarch, expressing concern over the deaths caused by Emma's failed attempt to pacify MUTO Prime. The tribunal concluded that the best course of action was to, in Serizawa's words, "let them fight" and allow MUTO Prime and Godzilla to kill each other, despite Monarch's protests. With MUTO Prime heading toward a storage site for decommissioned nuclear submarine power cores, Monarch set into motion a last-ditch effort to save Godzilla and stop MUTO Prime. Atherton was able to secure the prototype for the ORCA, a sonar device Emma and her ex-husband Mark had developed, which was subsequently taken to the facility in Montana. Emma believed that if the sonic pulse was played from underground, the sound would be affected in such a way to sufficiently convince MUTO Prime its eggs were implanted inside a host.
As MUTO Prime approached the facility, Godzilla arrived and knocked his enemy to the ground. While the Titans clashed, the Osprey carrying Emma and Tarkan touched down, and the two hurried to the facility to set up the ORCA prototype. MUTO Prime clobbered Godzilla with its fist, after which he retaliated by ramming it. MUTO Prime leaped above Godzilla, stunning him long enough to emit a sonic roar which shattered his dorsal plates. Godzilla collapsed, and MUTO Prime once again extended its ovipositors. However, Emma successfully activated the ORCA prototype, which caused MUTO Prime to hesitate just long enough for Godzilla to recover and lift MUTO Prime onto his back. Godzilla unleashed a powerful pulse of atomic energy from his shattered dorsal plates, launching MUTO Prime into the air, severing some of its limbs, and sending it crashing back to Earth. As MUTO Prime lay on its back, Godzilla quickly walked over to it and stomped on its head, killing it.
While searching for a place to replenish his energy, Godzilla swam past an underwater graveyard of monsters, including a MUTO Prime.
Seismic concussive blast
In its third encounter with Godzilla, when it punched the ground, MUTO Prime triggered a shockwave that destabilized a nearby faultline or created a new one as a result of its fracturing a weak portion of an existing tectonic plate. It used this ability directly on Godzilla and turned it into a concussive blast to knock him off his feet. The force of the seismic blast is magnitude 9.
MUTO Prime can emit a sonic roar powerful enough to shatter Godzilla's dorsal plates. MUTO Prime's eyes glow bright red before using this attack. The Sonic Roar causes seismic instability, and was evolved to specifically resonate and shatter Godzilla's dorsal plates through 'harmonic resonance"
Monarch describes MUTO Prime as "bio-terrestrial." MUTO Prime appears to create earthquakes and is capable of manipulating tectonic plates. It also exploits weaknesses in fault lines that it discovers as it travels underground across the Earth.
MUTO Prime is genetically programmed to seek out a Titan host for its offspring. After defeating an opponent in battle, MUTO Prime's flexible, arrow-like ovipositors, guided by the uranium in a Titan's blood, stab it like a scorpion's tail and implant parasitic eggs into the Titan's stomach lining. The eggs incubate by breaking down the hemoglobin in the host's blood to feed on the nuclear material, eventually rendering the host unable to replenish its atomic energy until it finally dies. The embryos then continue to develop within the host's carcass for centuries before finally hatching and breaking through its ribcage. The result of this parasitic infection is two subspecies of MUTO Prime, a male and a female which will subsequently mate and reproduce, creating countless offspring capable of overrunning the world. Monarch simply designates MUTO Prime's offspring as "MUTOs," an acronym for "Massive Unidentified Terrestrial Organism."
MUTO Prime's powerful legs create thunderous steps which generate loud seismic disturbances and allow it to stand its ground in battle against other Titans. MUTO Prime's forelimbs are its primary means of attack and are powerful enough to knock Godzilla back with a single blow. Its smaller legs are also able to draw blood during their battle in France, due to their sharp claws. MUTO Prime also possesses razor-sharp back spines, though it is not seen using them in battle.
MUTO Prime is covered in an armored outer shell which, according to Monarch, makes it "an unstoppable mountain of a tank as it erupts from the Earth." Its shell allows it to withstand Godzilla's attacks in their various encounters.
When the MUTO Prime awakens, while it is powerful, it is in a weakened state, just like a bear waking up after hibernation. It has to feed on nuclear reactors to gain strength. MUTO Prime is not as powerful as Godzilla in physical combat, and chose to perform a "hit and run" in the first two encounters because it was too weak to fight him. MUTO Prime's eggs emit a sonic pulse while inside a host that signals to their mother that they are safely incubating and change MUTO Prime's response from fight to flight. Emma Russell was able to exploit this by replicating the sonic pulse effect, called the "Drums of Raijin," using a prototype for her sonar device the Orca. This pacified MUTO Prime long enough for Godzilla to take the upper hand in their battle. While its shell can protect it from most damage, Godzilla's blunt-force attacks can damage MUTO Prime's armor, and his atomic breath does indeed hurt it, even though it can't knock it out. MUTO Prime is finally killed when Godzilla stomps on and crushes its head while it is helpless after being knocked onto its back.
An ancient painting depicting MUTO Prime locked in battle with Dagon
Monarch's Superspecies Profile on MUTO Prime
Textless Godzilla: Aftershock cover by Christopher Shy
A MUTO Prime corpse in Godzilla Dominion (upper left)
- Drew Johnson included the head of his original MUTO Prime design in a Godzilla Dominion panel, part of a monster graveyard Godzilla swims past.
This is a list of references for MUTO Prime. These citations are used to identify the reliable sources on which this article is based. These references appear inside articles in the form of superscript numbers, which look like this: