Warning: Full spoilers follow for Godzilla vs. Kong and all of the MonsterVerse films.
The MonsterVerse is Legendary’s shared universe which positions the secret government agency Monarch at the center of an eco-system of monsters, or “Titans” as they call them, both new and classic. The latest chapter in this saga, Godzilla vs. Kong (read our review here), pits not only the two titular Titans against each other but some new monsters as well – including Mechagodzilla!
Click through the slideshow, or read on, for all the monsters we know of so far in the MonsterVerse movies, from Godzilla to Kong: Skull Island and Godzilla: King of the Monsters, and all the way through Godzilla vs. Kong!
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Rogue One’s Gareth Edwards directed the somber and grim opening chapter to the MonsterVerse, 2014’s Godzilla, which of course reintroduced the titular monster to the world. Starring Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Bryan Cranston, Godzilla features the titan emerging from a long slumber to stop two rampaging parasitic monsters from mating. In 2019’s Godzilla: King of the Monsters, Godzilla battled a prehistoric alien Titan, “Monster Zero,” known as King Ghidorah. Now, in 2021, he’s been pitted against Kong and… Mechagodzilla!
Kong: Skull Island, from The Kings of Summer’s Jordan Vogt-Roberts, features a more adventurous tone than Godzilla ground zero, and starred Tom Hiddleston, Samuel L Jackson, John Goodman, and Brie Larson as members of an expedition filled with soldiers and scientists who travel to a mysterious island in the Pacific… where they of course find King Kong himself. This stands as the MonsterVerse’s Kong reboot/restart, 12 years after Peter Jackson remade King Kong (a film that also featured Skull Island). Now, in 2021, Kong’s being held captive by Monarch following the natural super-storm decimation of Skull Island… and being forced to lead an expedition to Hollow Earth.
Okay, so Godzilla’s M.U.T.O.s (Massive Unidentified Terrestrial Organisms) probably won’t marquee their own movie, but these prehistoric parasites wreak havoc on human civilization as they’re drawn to man-made radiation. They seem to love trampling anyone and everything in their path. Two unnamed M.U.T.O.s (a male and a female pair) appear in 2014’s Godzilla, while a second female debuted in the third film, Godzilla: King of the Monsters, heeding the clarion call of King Ghidorah. King of the Monsters also phased out the M.U.T.O. name, instead referring to any of the massive beasts in the MonsterVerse as Titans.
Scavenging Skull Island are pesky pack-hunting predators called Skullcrawlers (a term coined by John C. Reilly’s stranded islander Marlow) who generally make life miserable for both man and beast as an intelligent, burrowing, bullet-proof species of crawling carnivore lizard creatures. They come in both frightful airplane-size and also towering Alpha-size – like Skull Devil, who killed Kong’s parents. These critters also play a role in Godzilla vs. Kong.
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One of the more memorable scenes from Kong: Skull Island involved the perpetually in-peril platoon getting skewered by the sinister stems of a mammoth Mother Longlegs – a gargantuan spider with lethal limbs that our heroes didn’t know they’d walked under.
A flock of these bad boys, the Leafwings, could mean a world of hurt for any team of heroes. On Skull Island, they seemed harmless enough from far away. Close up, however, these heinous beasts attack in groups while also carrying off their prey. They’re also seen briefly in Godzilla vs. Kong, down in Hollow Earth.
First heralded by a fun Kong: Skull Island Easter egg, the iconic Mothra is a creature that dates back to 1961 when she starred in her own solo movie before becoming a recurring monster in the Godzilla films. A massive psychic Moth, who comes with her own tiny translating priestesses/fairies in the original films, Mothra is one of the most powerful beasts in the MonsterVerse. She plays a major role in King of the Monsters, helping Godzilla battle his rivals and ultimately sacrificing her life to give her partner the energy boost he needs.
Also seen in the Skull Island post-credit scene, and making a sinister showing in Godzilla: King of the Monsters, is King Ghidorah – the three-headed cinematic arch-nemesis of both Godzilla and Mothra who dates back to 1964. King Ghidorah is the main baddie of King of the Monsters, where he’s revealed to be the main rival to Godzilla at the top of the monster food chain. Ghidorah is also capable of attracting other Titans and bending them to his will. Though Ghidorah is ultimately defeated by a charged-up Godzilla in King of the Monsters, a post-credits sequence shows Charles Dance’s Col. Jonah purchasing one of the beast’s severed heads for a nefarious purpose – one that eventually helps create Mechagodzilla!
Dating back to 1956, and the third monster entering the fray in King of the Monsters, is Rodan – the famous flying Kaiju based on the prehistoric Pteranodon. Faster than supersonic jets and able to produce destructive winds and shockwaves with his wings, Rodan definitely has the air and speed advantage in Godzilla: King of the Monsters, though Mothra eventually gains the upper hand.
Godzilla: King of the Monsters introduces a number of minor new Titans, all of which are original creations rather than adaptations of existing Toho monsters. These new Titans include Scylla, the crab-like Titan who emerges from underneath a Texan oil field, Methuselah, a massive, armored creature, and Behemoth, a huge, mammalian Titan who’s basically a combination of a woolly mammoth and a sloth.
Several other new Titans also have cameo appearances in King of the Monsters, where they appear on computer screens rising from their collective slumber to join King Ghidorah. These monsters include Abaddon, Baphomet, Bunyip, Leviathan, Mokele-Mbembe, Sargon, Tiamat and Typhoon. These Titans play a bigger role in the film’s novelization.
Not long after Kong and the Apex expedition led by Dr. Lind discovered Hollow Earth in Godzilla vs. Kong, Kong was attacked by a duo of Warbats – ferocious flying serpents that, apparently, attack on sight.
These nasty winged creatures hung out on the ceiling of the Kong throne room in Hollow Earth, and then went berserk and killed a bunch of fleeing folks when Godzilla blasted a hole through the Earth, and into the subterranean temple, with his atomic breath.
Hollow Earth Spiders and Lizard
The infamous robotic version of Godzilla known as Mechagodzilla is the true villain in Godzilla vs. Kong. Originally the creation of aliens, when it debuted in 1974’s Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla, the crazed colossal mech is brought about this time by Apex Industries’ Walter Simmons, using the functioning neural pathways from Monster Zero’s skull. Intended to be a mechanized monster with a human operator at the telepathic helm, Mechagodzilla becomes so powerful that it breaks free of the human pilot and goes on a self-aware rampage, attacking Hong Kong. It is defeated by the joint efforts of Kong and Godzilla.
What lies beyond Godzilla vs. Kong? Well, there are clearly plenty of Kaiju to kick around — King of the Monsters reveals that there are 17 known Titans to date — which means more skyscrapers to topple and monuments to mangle. We can’t wait…
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