Although almost every Kaiju movie fan would prefer the tedious human drama to be as lessened as possible so as to not meddle with the monster spectacles, it is an undeniable fact that a well-crafted human institution makes Kaiju stories more interesting. Aside from the fact that Godzilla movies are inherently symbolic of nature’s retribution against humanity for their folly, human actions give viewers a third-person perspective into the world of monsters. Legendary’s Monsterverse adhered to this perspective by introducing Monarch as a secretive Titan research organization, positing it as a mediator between humans and Titans, aiming to pave the way for co-existence.
On the exact opposite side of the spectrum exists Apex Cybernetics, a seemingly rival conglomerate that was introduced in Godzilla vs. Kong and whose origins can be traced back to the recently concluded Monarch: Legacy of Monsters. Motivated by a different goal to that of Monarch, Apex’s modus operandi initially seemed rather neutral in nature during the beginning of Godzilla vs. Kong, but that façade soon fell off with the ascension of Mechagodzilla. The true existence and beginning of their malevolent schemes are retrofitted into the lore through Monarch: Legacy of Monsters, which we would like to assess through a discussion that chronologically charts Apex’s path in the Monsterverse.
Origin Of Apex: How Was It Connected With Titans?
The exact condition or situation that led to the foundation of Apex Cybernetics remains unknown, but before it became a large-scale conglomerate, the company was known as Applied Experimental Technologies (AET), a firm that had no connection with Titan-related events and was invested in the betterment of specially-abled people using advanced cybernetic enhancements—at least on the surface. Brenda Holland, the chief supervisor of AET’s Seattle branch, recruited genius coder Corah Mateo, promising her an exorbitant salary and the chance to serve the greater good by helping the specially-abled. In time, the chance that Brenda promised came to appear nonexistent to Corah, and the code she had written was secretively siphoned to a cybernetic neural interface. Unable to find answers from Brenda regarding her queries, Corah took it upon herself to investigate what the company was really up to.
What she found was a shocking revelation: AET was experimenting on animals like chimpanzees using the said cybernetic neural enhancements. Enraged that her talents were being misused in such nefarious ways, Corah sabotaged AET’s database and went into hiding, fearing severe repercussions. More than two years later, in 2015, she was tracked down by AET goons in Algeria, and Brenda confronted her, blaming her for delaying a golden opportunity for the company and sharing the bigger picture with her. AET was experimenting on animals in order to harness the technology to control Titans. This revelation, coupled with the fact that AET had rebranded itself as Apex, ultimately reveals the true motivation of the company’s CEO, which had led to its creation.
After the emergence of the Triple Titans in 2014, the understanding of world history was forever changed, and people coped with reality differently. Conglomerates operating from a greedy motive showed their true colors by preying on the insecurities and fears of people and taking maximum advantage of the Titan situation by capitalizing on it in various ways. For example, it was shown in the series that after G-Day, various companies in San Francisco used the tragedy as a means of public attraction by organizing destruction site tours. Similarly, Apex is revealed to be opportunists of the same type, as they want to use people’s fear of Titans in their favor. Trying to control beings whose existence redefines human comprehension itself is foolhardy and irresponsible enough, and the company’s CEO Walter Simmons’ conniving mind had already considered rooting this impossible affair through manipulating public perception.
What Was Walter Simmons Planning?
One of the major problems that plagued Monarch during the absence of Bill, Shaw, and Keiko was its inability to take adequate measures during the Titans’ emergence—remaining in absolute secrecy until the situation reached an unsalvageable point. Despite having numerous outposts worldwide and decades of cumulative knowledge about the Titans, they horrendously failed to uphold the motto of co-existence the organization so preached due to sheer incompetence. As Shaw points out so blatantly, despite having a noble goal of co-existence, the Monarch failed its purpose so spectacularly that the Earth barely survived a sixth extinction event. The lack of conviction and action turned some of the best Monarch operatives, like Duvall and later Tim, against it, and this is where Apex played their cards right. After the two-year time skip during the season finale, we see Tim, Kentaro, and Hiroshi working with Apex, and it is not a tough guess why they chose to switch sides. Apex provided a contingency plan for humanity while Monarch came up with nothing, and through the years, situations fell into proper order to empower Apex even more while weakening Monarch.
During the events of Godzilla: King of the Monsters, Monarch faced another major blow in the form of failure to save lives while Titans rampaged through the globe and King Ghidorah nearly destroyed the planet. The call for a valid countermeasure against Titans started getting louder, and Simmons used this chance to bolster Apex’s position as the supposed savior by promising to take humanity back to their rightful position by usurping the top spot in the ecosystem from the Titans. The late Ishiro Serizawa’s son, Ren Serizawa, enhanced the same neural cybernetic interface in efforts to control the severed head of King Ghidorah (which had consciousness intact) and use it to control Mechagodzilla, created by his expertise. Now, Simmons’ anti-Titan sentiments can probably still be justified by alluding to public paranoia, but just how egocentric his true motives were is revealed when he deliberately lures Godzilla into populous areas to incriminate him. He wanted to malign the public perception of Godzilla as a reluctant savior and project him as an aggressor to fully justify the creation of Mechagodzilla, which he had planned to unleash on the king of the monsters to put an end to his dominance. In hindsight, exterminating Titans would have made Apex the strongest conglomerate, and Simmons’ wish to project the Titans as anomalies would have been fulfilled. But looking at the natural order of things and how things shaped up—not Titans, but Apex—seems to be an aberration.
The emergence of Titans had a number of beneficial aspects, as it restored the damage done to the ecosystem by humans. When we consider them to be nature’s response to human destruction, Apex’s greed-motivated actions to assert human dominance seem like a continuation of the same folly. As human hubris often results in catastrophe, Simmons learned a lesson in the dangers of egocentrism moments before his death as Ghidorah took control of Mechagodzilla and promptly killed Ren and him. Mechagodzilla’s rampage devastated Hong Kong and would have wrought even more havoc if not for a timely intervention by Godzilla and Kong, proving once and for all how misguided and pathetic Apex’s driving motive was.
It is hinted that in the upcoming Godzilla X Kong, Apex’s presence will be minimal as Monarch has already absorbed the majority of its tech and scientific expertise. The vainglorious human attempt to control and exploit is often found to be the antagonistic force, and what better institution to symbolize it than a capitalist conglomerate?