‘Godzilla’ Monsterverse Recap Before Watching ‘Godzilla X Kong’: Everything You Need To Know

After making a successful small screen debut with Apple TV+’s Monarch: Legacy of Monsters earlier this year, Legendary’s Monsterverse is returning this week with their fifth cinematic entry, Godzilla X Kong: The New Empire. With major comic-book movie franchises gradually losing their steam during the last couple of years, now is as good a time as any for the Americanized Kaiju cinematic universe to seize the market. Also, capitalizing on the recent VFX Oscar win of Godzilla Minus One, the upcoming Kaiju flick has the potential to be one of the biggest blockbusters of the year. 


It has been a decade since Gareth Edward’s much-acclaimed Godzilla (2014) paved the foundation of the Monsterverse and reignited the fanfare for the atomic lizard. Although during this period only a scant four movies have hit theaters, the in-universe mythology of the Titans (the American counterpart of Kaijus) has sprawled into a behemoth in its own right. From shadow organizations controlling human-Titan relations to an entire new world of Titans in subterranean depths, there are significant details scattered across the Monsterverse that even avid viewers might have missed. For a general audience and even die-hard Godzilla/Kong fans, a brief recap will be helpful to easily catch up to the Monsterverse storyline established so far. 

Spoilers Ahead


Titans And Hollow Earth

Millions of years before the existence of recognized or documented lifeforms, gigantic creatures known as Titans dominated the Earth. The Titans fed on Earth’s radiation and seemingly originated from the Hollow Earth—an entire world with a sprawling ecosystem in the subterranean depths posited between Earth’s mantle and core. The close proximity to Earth’s core charges Hollow Earth with immense radiation, which is the reason why the general laws of physics don’t work accordingly, with time dilation and gravity shifting being a few of the numerous unknown anomalies. The Titans were separated into different species and, during earliest periods, even waged war against each other. Titanus Gojira, one of the major alpha species, had driven another alpha, the Titanus Kong species, out of the Hollow Earth. Later, Titanus Kong species found a new home on the southern Pacific island on the surface world known as Skull Island, and as the earliest humans in the form of the Iwi tribe appeared on the island, the Kong species emerged as their protector. 

As radiation levels gradually started fading away on the surface world, the remaining Titans went to hibernate inside Hollow Earth. Instances of occasional human-Titan interactions have been observed in later years, as in many mythologies and folktales, various species of Titans are regarded as gods. 


Return Of The Titans And Monarch

Titans remained confined in their slumber until humanity entered the age of atomic warfare, and the radiation from nuclear bombing awakened a few of them. In 1943, a Titan known as Ion Dragon decimated the submarine USS Lawton, which prompted the American government to form a secret Titan overseeing agency in coalition with the rest of the world government, which came to be known as Monarch. Scientist Keiko Miura, cryptozoologist William Randa, and Colonel Lee Shaw were the founding members of the organization. While Keiko’s curiosity and empathy for the prehistoric behemoths acted as a driving force behind the agency’s goal of establishing peaceful coexistence between humans and Titans, military interference often occurs in problematic situations. Godzilla, the bipedal monstrous lizard-like Titan, the last surviving member of the Titanus Gojira species, emerged in the aftermath of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki disasters and was tracked down by Monarch. To Keiko’s dismay, the United States military tried to decimate Godzilla using a hydrogen bomb in 1954 during Operation Castle Bravo, but Godzilla remained unscathed, feeding on the radiation to grow stronger in the process. Keiko Randa seemingly lost her life during a Titan tracking mission in Kazakhstan after she fell into a Hollow World portal along with the larvae of the Titan Endoswarmer.

In 1973, Bill Randa brought a private militia to explore Skull Island, and the rampant devastation caused by the troops drew the ire of the island’s last guardian, Kong, the gigantic ape-like Titan—the last surviving member of his species, Titanus Kong. Bill Randa passed away on Skull Island, and later Monarch established an outpost to observe Kong from a closer proximity. Through the course of three decades, Monarch established a number of outposts across the world using Keiko and William’s Titan tracking map, but the organization’s seemingly elusive modus operandi kept most of the information out of world government sight.


War Of The Titans And Present Scenario

In 1999, Monarch scientists Ishiro Serizawa and Vivienne Graham discovered the body of a deceased member of the Gojira species, Dagon, who was defeated by Titanus MUTO and acted as a living harvest for its spores. One of the spores became active and caused severe tremors, which resulted in the Janjira nuclear power plant disaster. In 2014, a fully grown MUTO starts rampaging across the world, which results in Godzilla returning once again, as he is nature’s way of maintaining ecological balance. Responding to the MUTO’s mating call, another female MUTO emerges in Nevada as well, and Godzilla takes on the two Titans in a final battle in a devastated San Francisco. A severely damaged Godzilla emerges victorious, and the army deploys a nuclear bomb to end all the Titans in the vicinity. However, Godzilla once again returns unscathed—this time due to human interference—and returns to Hollow Earth.

The emergence of Godzilla and other Titans changed human history forever, with people across the world trying to cope with reality in their own way. The ineffectiveness of Monarch in crisis situations led to the creation of Apex Cybernetics, an organization founded on the belief of harnessing the power of the Titans to put humanity in the topmost position of the ecological hierarchy. Five years after the G-Day (Godzilla emergence), during the events of Godzilla: King of the Monsters, former Monarch employee Emma Russell unleashed a monstrosity in the form of King Ghidorah, a three-headed giant dragon-like Titan, seemingly extraterrestrial in origin. Ghidorah’s call awakened Titans across the world; Rodan, the fire-winged Titan, and Mothra, the protector alpha Titan, were the major two among them. As Godzilla and Ghidorah engaged in a fierce battle with each other multiple times, the US military used an oxygen destroyer to attack them both, resulting in Ghidorah’s escape and Godzilla suffering severely. Serizawa sacrificed his life to save Godzilla by detonating a nuclear warhead in his underwater lair, and in empowered form, he clashed with Ghidorah only to lose again. Mothra sacrificed her life to save Godzilla, and her life essence controlled Godzilla’s supercharged nuclear form, creating the Red Lotus, a thermonuclear Godzilla who finally managed to decimate Ghidorah once and for all. The rest of the emerging Titans accepted Godzilla’s supremacy, and some of them even helped restore the ecosystem to its natural state. 


A number of Monarch employees switched to working for Apex after the organization’s continual failure to contain the threats caused by Titan emergence. Apex’s chief, Walter Simmons, had created a MechaGodzilla using the neural link of the remaining severed head of Ghidorah with the help of Ren Serizawa, son of scientist Ishiro Serizawa, which he aims to use for the protection of mankind and to decimate the Titans. Under Simmons’ command, Hollow Earth theorist Nathan Lind and Monarch scientist Ilene Andrews use Kong as a guide to Hollow Earth, with the help of Jia, a deaf kid who is the last member of the Iwi tribe and communicates with Kong using sign language. Godzilla senses the presence of another alpha Titan and attacks Kong, but due to human interference, Kong survives. As Kong reaches Hollow Earth, the Apex team manages to harness Hollow Earth energy and activate Mechagodzilla. However, Ghidorah’s consciousness takes control over the mecha-titan and kills Ren Serizawa by overloading the neural link. A decisive battle takes place between Godzilla and Kong in Hong Kong, where Godzilla emerges victorious, leaving a severely injured Kong in nearly fatal condition. However, MechaGodzilla’s emergence results in a weakened Godzilla getting brutally pummeled down, prompting Lind and Andrews to use Apex tech to revive Kong, whose timely interference saves Godzilla’s life. Godzilla and Kong fought together against their common enemy and finally destroyed MechaGodzilla. Even though Godzilla’s supremacy remains unchallenged, the giant lizard acknowledges Kong’s position as alpha. 

The upcoming movie will once again feature a team-up of these two iconic Titans as new Titan threats continue to emerge, which can not only push human beings to the brink of extinction but also rewrite the course of Earth’s history forever. 


Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Siddhartha Das
Siddhartha Das
An avid fan and voracious reader of comic book literature, Siddhartha thinks the ideals accentuated in the superhero genre should be taken as lessons in real life also. A sucker for everything horror and different art styles, Siddhartha likes to spend his time reading subjects. He's always eager to learn more about world fauna, history, geography, crime fiction, sports, and cultures. He also wishes to abolish human egocentrism, which can make the world a better place.

Latest articles