The History of Monarch (MonsterVerse Timeline)
This video lays out more of the timeline of the MonsterVerse universe, according to various promotional materials and tie-in media as well as the films themselves.
NARRATION: The Boy Who Cried Godzilla
BODY DOUBLE: Astounding Beyond Belief
WRITERS: Astounding Beyond Belief, The King of the Monsters
EDITORS: Titanollante, Astounding Beyond Belief
‘Tail Whip’ & ‘Kiss of Death’ ANIMATIONS: Ultraman Ultimo
EARLY-BIRD ADVISOR: Kyodai Kino
SUGGESTED BY: ChrisPeteG
On May 16, 2014, humanity learned it was not the dominant species on Planet Earth. Our organization, Wikizilla, was established in the wake of this discovery. We published the first leaked documents which revealed our leaders had known about the Titans for the past seventy-one years, and took dramatic steps to hide the truth from us. Greetings, true believers. I'm the Boy Who Cried Godzilla, and today I'll be talking about the history of the multinational conspiracy at the center of it all, the scientists of secrecy, the real men in black: Monarch.
In 1943, with the Allies on the offensive against the Japanese Empire in the Pacific, the USS Lawton washed ashore in California, its hull ravaged and its crew missing. Only one survivor was recovered from the site of the attack: William Randa. The Office of Censorship quickly moved to suppress a local newspaper report about the beached Lawton and confiscate every photo taken of it, likely fearing a blow to morale nationwide. Officially, Japanese forces sunk it. The true identity of its attacker remains unknown.
The following year, a P-51 Mustang and Mitsubishi A6M Zero crashed on uncharted Skull Island. Their pilots, Hank Marlow and Gunpei Ikari, tried to finish their duel, but were interrupted by a living mountain: Kong, the island's hundred-foot gorilla ruler. The fight scared out of them, the two stranded soldiers would grow to become friends.
1945 saw the end of the war and the beginning of the Atomic Age. As a mushroom cloud rose over the ruins of Hiroshima, one of the survivors, Eiji Serizawa, watched an insectoid shape take form. Unbeknownst to him, the blast called up a second monster, the Titan now known the world over as Godzilla.
This was not the first time Godzilla surfaced since the Permian-Triassic extinction drove him underwater in search of new radiation sources. His visage appears in everything from "Scrolls of Frolicking Animals" to "Three Old Women Beating the Devil" by Daniel Hopfer, to say nothing of all the cave paintings Monarch has on file. History shows again and again that when other monsters threaten the balance of life on Earth, Godzilla will rise up to stop them.
The insectoid monster, Shinomura, began a campaign of terror against ships in the Pacific Ocean. Serizawa encountered it again in 1946 as part of a rescue mission for an American vessel it dragged ashore. One of the survivors, Shaw, recruited him into Monarch Unit, a small Japanese-American team with orders to track down and destroy the giant creatures which they designated MUTOs, an acronym for Massive Unidentified Terrestrial Organisms. Founded by President Harry S. Truman, Monarch Unit reported to General Douglas MacArthur, then the Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers in Japan. Though Truman relieved MacArthur of his command of United Nations forces in Korea in 1951, he was retained in secret as the head of Monarch until at least 1954.
From 1946 to 1950, Godzilla and Shinomura fought in remote locations across the Pacific Rim. Monarch Unit was always one step behind them, forced to piece together the battles from eyewitness testimony. Serizawa became convinced that Godzilla was lurking in Challenger Deep, the lowest point of the Marianas Trench—or anywhere else on Earth, for that matter. USS Nautilus, the first nuclear submarine, investigated the trench in either 1950 or 1954, depending on which files you're reading, but failed to find him. Apparently the intrusion angered Godzilla, as he began to attack American ships as well while hunting Shinomura.
With the threat posed by MUTOs increasing, Monarch widened its scope, and occasionally overextended it. In 1952, a combination of cold weather and still winds caused by an anticyclone led to deadly smog settling over London for five days, killing 8,000 to 12,000 people. Someone within Monarch advanced the theory that a MUTO generated the anticyclone by flapping its wings. Since such an event would have dispelled the Great Smog of London, we're not sure what they were thinking. Nonetheless, by 1953 the organization had collected enough smaller MUTOs to fill a private museum. Studying their centerpiece, a giant Shinomura cell recovered in the Philippines, led them to conclude that the monster was comprised of countless lifeforms acting as one, growing as they fed on more radiation. Even a single cell could become a new Shinomura, as Monarch found out the hard way when their prized specimen escaped, destroying their headquarters in the process.
Godzilla and Shinomura met again on Moansta Island in 1954—but this time, he faced two of the parasitic colonies. Unleashing his atomic breath, he managed to destroy one, while the other escaped. Its destination was Bikini Atoll, where the United States was preparing to test a high-yield hydrogen bomb: the perfect cover story for a counterattack against the MUTOs. The blast disintegrated Shinomura, but Monarch was unable to confirm Godzilla's death. The public knew that so-called test as Castle Bravo, which became an international incident after its fallout contaminated over 800 Japanese fishing vessels. The chief radio operator of the Lucky Dragon No. 5, Aikichi Kuboyama, succumbed to radiation poisoning six months later. Bikini Atoll itself remains uninhabitable. However, Monarch seems to view Castle Bravo with nostalgia, as they named their underwater base in Bermuda after it.
That's far from the only unorthodox location where they've set up shop in their long history. In the 1950's, Monarch established an outpost on an Siberian icecap. Strangely, the Soviets knew about their presence as early as 1959, but made no move against them. Whatever Monarch was looking for, they didn't find; they abandoned the outpost in the 1970's.
At the same time, the people who cut their checks were on the verge of abandoning them as well. With no MUTO sightings in almost 20 years, Monarch's political influence was at an all-time low. One critic, U.S. Senator Al Willis, was quoted as saying, "In terms of sheer waste, Monarch ranks right up there with the search for alien life." Their fortunes changed when Landsat, a NASA program to photograph the Earth from space, took the first shots of Skull Island. Monarch successfully lobbied Willis to join an impending Landsat expedition to the island, hoping to learn what lie beneath its surface. They sent William Randa, now a senior operative, seismologist Houston Brooks, and biologist Lin San. Wary of MUTO activity on an island renowned for shipwrecks and surrounded by a perpetual storm, they enlisted the services of the Sky Devils helicopter squadron, led by Lieutenant Colonel Preston Packard. Also joining them were retired British SAS officer James Conrad and anti-war photographer Mason Weaver.
The revelations of Mission Skull saved Monarch, but by any other measure, it was a catastrophe. Disturbed by the Sky Devils' seismic charges, Kong attacked and destroyed every last helicopter. One group of survivors, led by Conrad, stumbled upon the silent Iwi tribe, who lived in harmony with Kong, as well as Hank Marlow. He explained that Kong was the only force on the island capable of containing the Skullcrawlers: ravenous, subterranean reptiles who had killed Gunpei Ikari years ago. The other group, led by Packard, embarked on a mission of revenge. His plan to kill Kong ended up awakening a massive Skullcrawler, which the gorilla overcame with an assist or two from the humans. Only Conrad, Marlow, Weaver, Brooks, San, and three of Packard's men made it off the island alive. Monarch facilitated Marlow's return to his family in Chicago, though naturally he was sworn to secrecy about what he had seen. Even within Monarch itself, few knew exactly what had happened on Skull Island.
Monarch's next known breakthrough came in 1991, when they discovered a pteranodon-like Titan living inside the volcano on Isla de Mara, Mexico: Rodan. They immediately quarantined the volcano, and in time built a containment facility above it. Their research into Rodan is chilling: if he ever emerged, they believe the beast could wipe a city off the map with a single sonic boom. Ancient records suggest he's done it before.
By 1995, Monarch had yet to authorize a second expedition to Skull Island, preferring to let Kong manage the Skullcrawler population himself. However, an unauthorized trip took place that year. It was led by Brooks and San's son Aaron, who felt that Monarch's satellite monitoring wasn't enough to determine if the threat was contained. The team's problems started immediately when a Psychovulture shot down their Osprey. After the Iwi brought them to their village and gave them medicine, mythographer Walter R. Riccio began to have visions of the island's past. Kong's species, he learned, had been battling the Skullcrawlers there for millions of years. When the Iwi first landed on Skull Island's shores, only his parents were left. Kong himself was born during a battle—their last battle, in fact. Driven mad by the hallucinations, Riccio destroyed the Osprey before the team could leave the island. To determine if the Iwi were worthy of Kong's protection, he did the same to the wall of the their village, using a seismic charge left by the 1973 expedition. A group of Mother Longlegs seized the opportunity, but Kong easily slaughtered them. As Riccio sang his praises, he crushed the mythographer under his giant fist. Brooks, the only Monarch agent who survived, stayed on Skull Island to help the Iwi rebuild, but sent a record of his adventures out to sea. Monarch recovered it in 2012.
The events that would finally expose Monarch began in 1999, when Universal Western Mining discovered an underground pocket of radiation in the Philippines. After the company's heavy equipment caused the valley floor to collapse, Monarch dispatched doctors Vivienne Graham and Ishiro Serizawa to investigate. The name is not a coincidence: Serizawa joined the conspiracy shortly after his father's death in 1981. Inside the cave, they discovered the bones of a member of Godzilla's species, along with the spores of two parasitic MUTOs, one of which had already emerged after it was catalyzed by exposure to the atmosphere. This larva, a male, made his way to the Janjira Nuclear Power Plant in Japan, where he unleashed an electromagnetic pulse and began to feed on the reactors, entering a cocoon-like state. A team led by nuclear regulations consultant Sandra Brody prevented a radiation leak from reaching the rest of the city, but at the cost of their own lives. Trying to kill the MUTO wasn't an option, as the reactors would then be free to spread radiation throughout Japan. This being Monarch, informing the public so as many minds as possible could tackle the problem wasn't an option either. The Japanese government evacuated Janjira, declaring it a quarantine zone, while Monarch constructed a containment facility around the cocoon. The United States brought the second, seemingly dormant spore to the Yucca Mountain Nuclear Waste Repository in Nevada due to its high radiation count. Curiously, Monarch never gave this species a name beyond the generic MUTO designation.
While Monarch busied themselves with the cocoon in Janjira, a team led by doctors Ilene Chen and Emma Russell discovered another one in China's Yunnan Province in 2009. Inside the Temple of the Moth, they found the Titan known as Mothra. A lineage rather than a single creature, records of her worship indicate that she's a more benevolent monster than most—and a possible ally of Godzilla once upon a time. Unfortunately, the MUTO would emerge first.
Sandra's husband Joe, a nuclear physicist, had detected the male MUTO's echolocation before his attack, and became obsessed with exposing the truth of what really happened that day. In 2014, he picked up the same frequency again and ventured into the Q-Zone with his son Ford, a Navy EOD specialist. After discovering that the supposedly lethal radiation levels in Janjira were pure fiction, they were arrested by Monarch and brought to the former power plant. That night, the MUTO finished draining the reactors and burst out of his cocoon. He killed scores of Monarch agents and mortally wounded Joe before unfurling his wings and lifting off. The chaos in Janjira was presented to the public as an earthquake while the U.S. Navy pursued the MUTO as he crossed the Pacific Ocean. Unbeknownst to them, Godzilla had detected his ancient enemy's emergence as well. They collided in Honolulu, and the whole world saw it happen.
You know the rest. The male MUTO escaped Godzilla's grasp and continued flying east. His mate, whose spore turned out to be not so dormant after all, burst out of Yucca Mountain and headed west towards San Francisco. With Monarch having failed to develop a single useful anti-MUTO weapon in its 68 years of existence, the U.S. military hatched a "brilliant" plan to lure the three radiation-eating monsters offshore with a nuclear weapon, then detonate it to kill them. While our sources indicate the device they planned to use was more powerful than SHRIMP—the hydrogen bomb that Godzilla endured in 1954—the plan's other flaws soon became obvious. The female MUTO derailed the train carrying the missiles, eating two of them. After the military armed the last missile in San Francisco, the male MUTO captured it and presented it to the female. She built a nest in the heart of the city and attached her eggs to the warhead, nourishing them with the radiation. Fortunately, Godzilla killed them both in a battle for the ages, while the military sent a HALO jump team into the city to clean up its own mess. Ford Brody, who destroyed the MUTO nest of his own volition and steered the missile out of San Francisco alone, became a national hero. Godzilla returned to the sea… but his war against the MUTOs would continue a few months later.
He faced the hulking MUTO Prime at a military base in Guam, the Barents Sea, a nuclear power plant in France, and a nuclear repository station in the United States. The Titan shattered his dorsal plates in that final confrontation, but he countered with waves of atomic energy fired from his back, followed by a fatal stomp to the head. Now in the public eye, Monarch took credit for his victory. They claimed that Dr. Emma Russell's sonar device ORCA gave MUTO Prime pause at a crucial moment. Her previous attempt at using ORCA, for the record, drove it berserk, killing dozens in the Azores. A Titan-obsessed eco-terrorist named Alan Jonah also inadvertently led them to an empty MUTO nest in Siberia, close to their old outpost. Jonah, who is still at large, had access to classified Monarch intel as early as 2005, when he infiltrated a MUTO dig site in Bosnia. As a former British Army Colonel and MI6 agent, his fixation is troubling to say the least. Phoenician stone tablets shown to Monarch by the Japanese government revealed that MUTO Prime, once known as Jinshin-Mushi, was responsible for bringing down an ancestor of Godzilla. Like the King of the Monsters, this Titan left his mark on history: the Phoenicians called him Dagon and the Japanese chose Raijin. MUTO Prime infected him with two parasitic larvae, which eventually hatched and grew into the MUTOs that Godzilla fought in 2014. After dating both death chambers, Russell theorized that previous MUTO outbreaks were responsible for some of our planet's mass extinctions.
We may soon find ourselves nostalgic for the MUTOs. Monarch recently set up a containment facility around a frozen three-headed dragon in Antarctica. They call it "Monster Zero," but ancient records refer to it as "Ghidorah." At 521 feet tall, this Titan towers over even Godzilla... and the South Pole is getting warmer all the time. We saw, of course, how Monarch "contained" the male MUTO in Janjira. Our informants tell us that they're currently studying some 17 giant monsters, but their cute little website offers no useful information about most of them. This is our Earth's defense force? If the history of Monarch tells us anything, it's that only one force is capable of keeping us safe from the ancient terrors lurking around the world, and he doesn't operate on a need-to-know basis.
In Godzilla we trust.