WARNING: The following article 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.
As much as it's a monster brawl, Godzilla: King of the Monsters makes a significant change from its 2014 predecessor by introducing a human antagonist: Alan Jonah, the former British army colonel turned ecco-terrorist played Charles Dance. But rather than wait until the sequel arrived in theaters this weekend, Legendary shed light on the mercenary with a comic book prequel.
Godzilla: Aftershock depicts Alan as having been obsessed with the Titans, the MonsterVerse's name for kaiju, for decades. However, rather than view them as the enemy, he wants the monsters to be victorious in a coming war with humanity.
Godzilla: Aftershock introduces Jonah Alan as he's interrogated by the U.S. military in Guam. It turns out he's been tracking the MUTO Prime there, which comes out from the ground to feed on nuclear weapons, just as he anticipated. A former British army colonel and MI-6 agent, Jonah defected after becoming disillusioned by humanity.
To his mind, mankind is a virus, and to cure Earth of this infection, he looks to the Titans to "level the global playing field" and restore the natural order. He stalks Vera Farmiga's Emma Russell throughout the comic as she visits Monarch sites researching how to help Godzilla against the MUTO Prime. Jonah is waging a secret war on Monarch, scouting sites so that he can also obtain information about the MUTO eggs we saw in 2014's Godzilla in the Philippines expedition. They were laid there in the carcass of Godzilla's ancestor, Dagon, and Alan wants to find more of those sites, believing the data holds the key to creating more MUTOs.
However, his mission gets better as Emma decides to use the Orca, a sonar device, to communicate with the Titans to distract the MUTO Prime so Godzilla can kill it. It's the golden ticket Alan has been looking for, and he ramps up his pursuit, hoping he can get his hands on it for his anarchist eco-terrorist group funded through the trafficking of Titan DNA. The Orca is the ideal tool for Alan, as he may be able to encourage more Titans into turning against mankind.
Alan has been searching for this X-factor since 2005, when he was jailed in a Pakistani prison after encountering Monarch agents while attempting to breach the walls of another MUTO dig site. He has also been raiding some of Emma's labs around the world, believing that, by bringing back the Titans to their glory, he will potentially set things right.
The comic prequel places Alan in danger, as Emma's colleague, Tarkan, captures him in Siberia, and turns the mercenary over to the Russians. After that we don't see much of Alan, but we do find out at the end of the comic that he escaped, setting up another mission for Emma in King of the Monsters. He views her and the Orca as the way of course-correcting Earth's future. Ultimately, it doesn't matter to Alan which Titan reduces the population, only that humanity is decimated.
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.