WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Godzilla: Aftershock, by Arvid Nelson, Drew Edward Nelson, Allen Passalaqua, Jeremy Colwell, John Roshell, Jimmy Betancourt and Sarah Jacobs, on sale now.
Legendary's MonsterVerse hasn't offered much insight into Godzilla's past, other than the fact he's existed for centuries. Of course, this is something we can basically say about all the Titans. Even 2014's Godzilla failed to provide much backstory other than he stayed off the grid for centuries, only surfacing to combat the rising MUTO threat.
In Godzilla: Aftershock, however, which serves as a precursor to Godzilla: King of the Monsters, the story goes further back and sheds insight into Godzilla's ancestor from more primitive times, the lizard called Dagon.
When Emma Russell (Vera Farmiga's character) and Ishiro Serizawa (Ken Wanatabe) realize Monarch have uncovered the secrets behind the new kaiju called the Jinshin-Mushi, aka MUTO Prime, they end up learning the truth behind Godzilla's species in Japan thanks to a Shinto temple. Though cave drawings, relics and a priest informing them about the past, we learn religious folk believed the thunder god Raijin used Godzilla as his avatar, giving rise to the Semitic sea dragon Dagon, the ultimate protector.
The scientists learn that Dagon and his kind have feuded with MUTO Primes for eons in a battle for the alpha position of the world (there's no mention of Ghidorah, oddly enough). They believe the Jinshin-Mushi may have had the upper-hand for years, with its pincers being the key to killing its enemies time and time again. But more than being able to pierce the lizard family's tough skin; these 'hands' allow the MUTO Primes to lay eggs inside the lizards. The eggs then feast on the creatures' internal nuclear energy, killing the large reptiles in the process.
Readers are also treated to a massive Easter egg when Dr. Ilene Chen, another Monarch scientist, brings up data from the Philippines dig from Gareth Edwards' movie. Remember, this sequence was set in 1999 and featured Ishiro discovering the cavern made by the MUTO who'd rise up 15 years later looking for its mate. It wasn't a normal site or cave, though -- the bones made it clear they were inside a carcass -- a huge one.
It turns out these were the remains of Dagon, and the MUTOs which escaped (the other was held by Monarch in its incubation phase) had sprung to life after gestating in Dagon's body. They rotted him out from the inside, killing Dagon, before breaking free into the world. It matches Ishiro's theory as he too thought he was inside a monster, only he didn't really have a clue back then as to who it could be.
From the Shinto priest's beliefs, it's clear his ancestors really did worship Godzilla too, which also syncs up to how King Kong was worshipped as well, truly painting these Titans as gods of old, and more so, rivals. Sadly, Dagon didn't fare well enough as the MUTOs harvested his body after losing to the Prime, but now, at least we know Godzilla's ancestors, like him, tried to save the world from extinction.
Directed by Michael Dougherty, Godzilla: King of the Monsters stars Vera Farmiga, Ken Watanabe, Sally Hawkins, Kyle Chandler, Millie Bobby Brown, Bradley Whitford, Thomas Middleditch, Charles Dance, O’Shea Jackson Jr., Aisha Hinds and Zhang Ziyi. The film opens May 31.