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Listen, while you were sitting comfortably in some laboratory, we've been fighting for decades in one dirty war after another. I've seen human nature firsthand, and I'm here to tell you that it doesn't get any better. It just gets worse. „ 

— To Emma Russell

Overview

Alan Jonah is the overarching antagonist of the MonsterVerse franchise, serving as the secondary antagonist of the 2019 MonsterVerse graphic comic book Godzilla: Aftershock, the main antagonist of the 2019 film Godzilla: King of the Monsters and one of the two unseen overarching antagonists (alongside King Ghidorah) of Godzilla vs. Kong.

Jonah is a former British Army colonel and MI6 officer who, after being maddened into misanthropy by decades of war experience and the tragic murder of his daughter, became an international paramilitary eco-terrorist obsessed with restoring what he perceived to be the natural order to the detriment of humanity, causing the Titans to draw his interest after they were revealed to the world.

Personality

Jonah is a cold-blooded killer, who conducts himself with stone-faced professionalism and mercilessness when massacring the Monarch staff who are between him and his objective. He's shown to be a highly stoic individual who near-constantly projects an icy and composed demeanor, even after being affected to his core by the death of Asher; and when he does raise his voice it's almost always in a controlled manner. The extent of Jonah's unflappable demeanor is shown when he reacts with shock but complete composure to Ghidorah unexpectedly awakening all the dormant Titans simultaneously. He is deathly-quiet when he doesn't have any real reason to speak, but when he does speak, he displays a dry wit and a deadpan sense of humor. He doesn't mince his words, whether he is talking to an adult or a child. After the tragic loss of his daughter Lindy[4][5] and seeing the worst in humanity firsthand in his decades-long military career, Jonah took on a misanthropic mentality and now believes that humans don't deserve to live because of their escalating destructive tendencies, and he believes that human nature only gets ever worse and worse with time and progress. He believes that "evolution isn't always right", citing the mere existence of humanity as well as the basic human drive to care for their own species regardless of said species' faults (an impulse which Jonah has largely divorced himself from) as such a mistake[6]. His gritty sense of realism and awareness of how unpleasant his and Emma's eco-terrorist plan will be shows when he calls out Emma for not making Madison aware of how far a cry from an easy, painless process their plan was going to be.

Jonah vocally demeans both Emma and Madison for respectively not thinking things through during the debate about releasing Rodan, and it's shown throughout Jonah's interactions with Emma that he's fine with psychologically bullying, belittling and manipulating his extended allies once they're in his grasp to keep them under his thumb. Jonah enjoys holding power over others when he has them at his mercy, shown during his two encounters with Emma Russell during the MUTO Prime crisis and when he kept the ORCA around instead of destroying it once Ghidorah took control of the other Titans[7]. By contrast, Jonah seems to genuinely get on well with the paramilitary troops under his command via a sense of comradery, based on his interactions with Asher, his slight informal language when addressing Sergeant Travis[3] and Madison spying him and several other soldiers retrieving a bottle of whiskey. As evil as Jonah is, he does have rare moments of kindness, such as his attempt to amuse Madison when he caught her silently staring at him in the elevator in Outpost 32 on top of his aforementioned relationships with those under his command.

Thinking of himself as a well-intentioned extremist, Jonah claims that his objective is saving the Earth from an irreversible mass extinction at humanity's hands, and he has no qualms about billions of people getting killed in the process as he writes them off as necessary sacrifices for the greater good of the planet. However, once Ghidorah becomes the new reigning alpha, Jonah brushes off Emma's attempts to make him aware Ghidorah is actively creating an extinction event instead of restoring the planet's ecology, as he has a retort for every pointer Emma makes about how or why they should intervene to stop Ghidorah, using increasingly warped logic and excuses; claiming that they should let the Titans retake the world because it's the creatures' right regardless of how much destruction Ghidorah's process will do, citing human nature as being irredeemably despicable, and claiming Ghidorah will give the Earth a "clean slate" anyway. Instead, Jonah prioritizes keeping himself and his troops hidden in their bunker from Monarch whilst they wait out Ghidorah's apocalypse, refusing to let Emma blow their cover. Despite this, when Madison succeeds in stealing the ORCA, escaping, an disrupting Ghidorah's control over the other Titans, Jonah makes no move to head out and stop her despite the bunker's computer tracing the ORCA's location and he instead remains focused on keeping himself and his troops alive whilst claiming the ORCA no longer matters, showing a nihilistic side to him. Ultimately, unlike Emma who genuinely believed in making the world better and draws the line when she realizes how much of a threat Ghidorah is, saving the Earth is for Jonah nothing more than an excuse for his genocidal misanthropy, and he's a deranged hypocrite who twists his original eco-terrorism agenda out of shape to suit his desires once it looks like Ghidorah will actually bring Jonah the satisfaction of the human race's total eradication.

Relationships

Emma Russell

Man does not control the laws of nature, and neither do you. „ 

— Jonah, shooting down Emma's attempt to reason with him

Jonah first meets Emma at the onset of the MUTO Prime incident when attempting to take her plane hostage, and she subsequently becomes a person of interest to him as he attempts unsuccessfully to kidnap her in Siberia,. He attempts to raid her labs in various locations like Cairo and Tokyo, before ultimately, Emma approached him for an alliance so they could both see all the dormant Titans Monarch had contained released to retake their dominance of the planet and restore the ecological balance which human activity has disrupted. During their partnership, Jonah goads and encourages Emma to commit to their plan and do whatever's necessary, such as urging her to use the ORCA TO fully awaken Ghidorah and when they are about to release Rodan. As Madison begins to question their methods, Jonah is quick to call Emma out on her questionable parenting for getting her daughter involved yet sugarcoating the cold hard facts. It's clear throughout their partnership that although Emma is technically in charge of their plan to release the Titans, Jonah is the one who's really in charge of everything.

When Emma finally decides to abandon Jonah's cause to go and look for her daughter, Jonah attempts to stop her and verbally calls her out for hypocritically throwing away her original commitment to the alleged greater good because it's her child instead of someone else's that's in danger - it's ambiguous whether Jonah lets her leave once she points a gun at him because he has some sort of respect or moment of sympathy for Emma when she says she won't lose a second child, or simply to prevent her shooting him, but it's clear that as far as Jonah is concerned she is at this point of no further use to him.

Madison Russell

Madison, tell me, what exactly did Mommy sell you on? Some grand utopia? Man and monster living together in blissful harmony? „ 

— Jonah chides Madison

Jonah briefly shows a playful side to Madison when he catches her staring at him during an elevator ride, moving his hand in front of his face in an attempt to reassure her; she is unamused. Jonah scorns how Madison, being a child, believes she has any authority and can tell her mother what to do, and he's quick to argue when Madison tries to stop a conscientious-looking Emma from going through with releasing Rodan. When speaking to Madison, Jonah is just as stern and straightforward as he is to adults while condescending her naiveté for blindly believing her mother's words. He also cares nothing for Madison's feelings when ordering Emma to proceed with awakening Ghidorah over Madison's protests against leaving her father for dead. Jonah is furious and warns Emma to "curb" her daughter after Madison's attempt to stop Ghidorah attacking her father and the Monarch brass by using the ORCA nearly got Jonah and his accomplices all killed[8]. Overall, Jonah has little actual concern for Madison's well-being and he only views her as leverage to get Emma to do his bidding, and he's completely unconcerned about her fate when she's drawing Ghidorah and the Titans to Boston using the ORCA. In the novelization, Jonah outright threatens Madison twice: first he hovers his hand near his gun holster in front of her when she snaps at him as a warning[9], then when Emma wants to stop Ghidorah, Jonah casually orders one of his men to slit Madison's throat if Emma steps out of line, as a way to keep Emma under control[3].

Asher Jonah

Asher is Jonah's right-hand man, and when Ash is shot dead in Antarctica, Jonah momentarily breaks his stoic demeanor and screams Ash's name. In the novelization, Jonah and Asher share a close friendship: they share stories of each-other's past with one-another, and Jonah at one point has a genuine smile on his face while conversing with Ash, and he exchanges some comforting words with Ash about the atrocities their mission involves[6]. It's explicitly noted in the novelization that Jonah appears depressed after Asher's death, although he tries to brush it off as a sacrifice for the greater good which Ash knew the risks of[8], and it appears as if whatever connection to humanity Jonah had left in him died with Ash.

History

Jonah was previously a colonel in the British Army and a special agent in the Secret Intelligence Service (MI6) from 1990 to 2004 with tours in Kosovo, Bosnia[1]. However, after living through many tours of duty in the service, and after his daughter Lindy who murdered on her way home from school whilst Jonah was away at war[4][5], he became disenchanted by mankind so he defected and went rogue, obsessed with restoring the natural order. Since then, Jonah had been connected to a team of armed mercenary units working behind a mask of sociopolitical deceit, financed by trafficking samples of Titan DNA. In 2005, Monarch became aware of Jonah when he and a team of accomplice mercenaries were caught attempting to trespass onto a subterranean MUTO dig site in Bosnia[1], after which Jonah was jailed in a Pakistani prison until he sometime later went off the grid[10]. Labeled a Class-1 eco-terror threat, his current whereabouts remain unknown.[1]

Godzilla: Aftershock

Hello, Doctor Russell. That was a warning shot. I suggest you come along with me now. „ 

— Jonah to Emma

In 2014, a few months after Godzilla's existence was revealed to the world during his pursuit of the MUTOs, Jonah is being held and interrogated at the American military base of Joint Region Marianas in Guam. He's questioned for having an Australian passport, and he claims to have dual citizenship. Just then, the MUTO Prime appears, unleashing devastation upon the base and giving Jonah a chance to escape. When Emma Russell arrives to assess the damage, he stows away on her plane. As she boards, he ambushes and holds her at gunpoint, ordering her to signal the plane's pilot for take-off. Emma's colleague, Tarkan Cavusgolu appears and draws his gun, but Jonah tackles him and escapes.

He later stalks Emma to Siberia, where he once again attempts to take Emma specifically hostage. However, Tarkan anticipated this and manages to capture Jonah, having used Emma as bait. He then sends his men to hand Jonah over to Russian authorities. When questioned about his fascination with the Titans and what he's trying to prove, Jonah replies that mankind is the real monster in the world. Then he tells Emma that he will see her again soon. Emma is later informed that he has escaped Russian custody.

Godzilla: King of the Monsters

I seem to remember you telling me that the world always belonged to them. Well, maybe it's time we give it back. „ 

— Jonah to Emma

Five years later, Jonah and his group raid the Monarch facility in China's Yunnan province, which holds the larva of an insect-like Titan dubbed Mothra. The eco-terrorists swiftly kill all the Monarch personnel, with Jonah executing Tim Mancini by shooting him in the head. Jonah and his men proceed to apprehend Monarch paleobiologist Dr. Emma Russell (who by this time has secretly allied with Jonah to see the Titans released to reclaim the world), her daughter Madison, and the ORCA with which Emma and Jonah plan to control the Titans after releasing them. Jonah briefly observes the larval Mothra but does not capture her.

Wasting no time, Jonah and his men travel with the Russells and the ORCA to Antarctica in a stolen Monarch Osprey. They arrive at the Monarch containment facility Outpost 32 which holds the rival Alpha Titan "Monster Zero", and proceed to execute all Monarch personnel stationed there. After securing the area, Jonah, Emma, and Madison marvel at the sight of Monster Zero, who is frozen solid under hundreds of feet of ice. Jonah orders his soldiers to begin drilling holes and placing charges to free the Titan. They work for several hours before Monarch begins sending G-Team troops to take back the facility. Jonah's men hold off the Monarch operatives long enough for the charges to be placed, whilst Jonah, Emma and Madison attempt to navigate through the chaos to safety. Jonah ends up in a standoff with Mark Russell when Asher is shot dead by Colonel Diane Foster, until Emma picks up the fallen detonator and detonates the charges in the glacier herself. Jonah, Emma, and Madison quickly escape through an elevator, leaving Mark to be crushed by falling ice and debris. They reboard their Osprey, and once at a reasonable distance, Jonah demands that Emma activate the ORCA to complete Monster Zero's awakening, which she does. The trio watches as the three-headed monster terrorizes the trapped Monarch personnel below, until Madison abruptly snatches the ORCA from her mother's hands and attempts using it to disorient Monster Zero and save her father and the Monarch brass, at which point Jonah pulls Madison back whilst Emma deactivates the ORCA.

Jonah takes Emma and Madison to an abandoned Monarch bunker occupied by his organization just outside of Boston, Massachusetts. From there, after Emma gives her manifesto to Monarch via video feed, Jonah's men finish hacking into the systems of Monarch's Outpost 56 in Isla de Mara, Mexico which contains Rodan, and Jonah turns expectantly to Emma. The death and destruction created by Monster Zero's awakening coupled with Emma's argument with Mark and the Monarch brass during the video call cause Madison to try and talk Emma out of awaking Rodan, only for a frustrated Jonah to try and shoot her down whilst chastising both Emma and Madison for their respective naivetes and failures to think things through. Jonah reminds Emma that she came to him for assistance with her plan and they both want to save the world, which will be destroyed if they don't stick to the plan. Emma concedes to Jonah's argument and she blasts the ORCA's sonar pulses through speakers located at Rodan's containment site, which wake him.

Following Rodan's awakening, and Godzilla and Monster Zero being blasted by the Oxygen Destroyer (which seemingly kills Godzilla but has no effect on Monster Zero), Jonah and Emma are watching a video feed of Monster Zero (now the unopposed reigning alpha in Godzilla's absence) unleashing a call to awaken all the Titans around the planet from their dormancy simultaneously, and video feeds on 10 monitors of the Titans escaping as people run away in fear one by one as the feeds cut to static. Jonah calmly tells Emma that he thought they were going to release the Titans one at a time, and Emma quietly responds that she isn't doing this. Jonah then sees Rodan bowing to Monster Zero on the monitor showing Isla de Mara, which prompts Jonah to comment, "Long live the king", before walking away with his other soldiers.

Later, Emma argues with Jonah that under Monster Zero's (actually Ghidorah) rule, the Titans are not regenerating the Earth's biosphere and instead Monster Zero is rapidly creating an extinction event, but this doesn't bother Jonah. Instead, Jonah expresses his belief that humans are the most irredeemably destructive species on the planet, he uses Emma's argument that the world belongs to the Titans instead of humanity against her, and he overall is concerned with remaining hidden from Monarch in their bunker and weathering out the apocalypse there, refusing to allow Emma to go through with her plan to amplify the ORCA's signal and use it to disrupt Monster Zero's control of the other Titans. This leads to Madison stealing the ORCA and slipping out of the bunker unnoticed. Jonah notices when Madison begins broadcasting the ORCA from Fenway Park what has happened. When Emma prepares to go and find Madison herself, Jonah confronts her, refusing to let her leave with his troops and supplies, and trying to talk her down. When Emma pulls a gun on him and declares she won't lose a second child like she lost her first one, a calm Jonah analyzes her for a moment, then orders his troops to let her go; declaring they no longer need Emma.

After the subsequent battle between Ghidorah and a revived Godzilla in Boston which leads to Ghidorah's death and the rampaging Titans submitting to Godzilla, Jonah and his soldiers have apparently escaped being captured or killed. Some time later, Jonah and a few of his troops arrive at a warehouse on Isla de Mara, where the local fishermen (who are desperate and have lost their livelihoods due to the Oxygen Destroyer's impact on the local ecosystem) reveal they've dredged up Monster Zero's rotting left head that was severed during his underwater battle against Godzilla at the island. Jonah simply tells the fishermen, "We'll take it."

Godzilla vs. Kong - The Official Movie Novelization

Although Jonah isn't seen or mentioned in the film, five years after Ghidorah's death, the upper skull of San/Kevin's decapitated head which he retrieved has somehow made its way into Apex Cybernetics' hands.

In the novelization, two years before the main time frame (little over a year after Ghidorah's downfall in the novel due to changing the chronological year), a man who's heavily implied to be Jonah meets with Walter Simmons at the latter's Pensacola, Florida office after contacting him on the dark web; offering him two of Ghidorah's skulls (the origin of the second skull is unknown) in exchange for a lot of money. It's later stated in the novelization that during the crisis involving Godzilla's rampage and Mechagodzilla's emergence, Jonah is still at large as far as Monarch know.

Trivia

  • Alan Jonah's quote "Long live the king", is a nod to Charles Dance's role as Tywin Lannister in Game of Thrones.
    • The novelization takes it further, where he has a soldier under him who is so large, Madison calls him "The Mountain", a reference to Tywin Lannister's chief enforcer Gregor Clegane, who is known as "The Mountain that Rides" or simply "The Mountain".
  • Alan Jonah is the second human villain in the MonsterVerse, with the first being Preston Packard.
    • Coincidentally, both characters have military backgrounds.
  • His name is inverted as "Jonah Alan" on the Monarch timeline.
  • In Godzilla: King of the Monsters - The Official Movie Novelization:
    • It's revealed Jonah had a daughter named Lindy who was kidnapped on her way home from school, killed, and left to rot in a storm drain for six days before her body was found while he was away fighting in a war. Jonah remarks when asked about his daughter's death that it was the "tipping point" for him, but he'd already made up his mind about humanity being the worst plague on the Earth by then[4][5].
    • Also, several deleted and extended scenes portray Jonah as displaying significantly more evil nuances and actions than he was seen exhibiting in the film.
      • Emma calls him "a fanatic with no conscience and little if no empathy" to whom "there was no means too dirty to see him through to his desires ends"[7].
      • He also threatens Madison's life twice, as described under the Relationships section.
      • Additionally, some of Jonah's dialogue has religious undertones to further highlight his fanaticism - he's flattered by how Emma "came around to the one true church" when she turned to him after she "saw the light"[8].
      • When Emma initially attempts to go through with her plan to take the ORCA to Fenway Park, Jonah holds her at gunpoint and has the following to say: "The things I've done. The things I've seen... Humanity is a disease and the fewer of them there are the better it is for me. Thank you, Doctor. You cleared the way for us. And when the dust settles, we will live like kings."[11]
  • Three of Jonah's mercenaries are named to pay homage to celebrated special make-up effects artists in the film industry:
    • Lieutenant Bottin - Rob Bottin
    • Sergeant Baker - Rick Baker
    • Corporal Winston - Stan Winston
  • After Godzilla vs. Kong, Alan Jonah is the only main antagonist to still be alive.
  • Godzilla vs. Kong director Adam Wingard claimed (albeit in a joking tone) that Jonah was killed by Godzilla during the time gap between King of the Monsters and Godzilla vs. Kong. It should be noted that while the novelization portrays Jonah as being alive two years before the main time frame when he sells Ghidorah's skulls to Apex, it's not impossible that he could've chronologically died within the two years between that event and the main time frame.

List of appearances

Films

Comics

Novels

References

This is a list of references for Alan Jonah. These citations are used to identify the reliable sources on which this article is based. These references appear inside articles in the form of superscript numbers, which look like this: [1]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Operatives: Col. Alan Jonah - Monarch Sciences. Retrieved August 4, 2021
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Named in the end credits
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Keyes, Greg. Godzilla: King of the Monsters - The Official Movie Novelization. Titan Books. p. 201. ISBN: 9781789090925.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Keyes, Greg. Godzilla: King of the Monsters - The Official Movie Novelization. Titan Books. p. 88. ISBN: 9781789090925.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 Keyes, Greg. Godzilla: King of the Monsters - The Official Movie Novelization. Titan Books. p. 199. ISBN: 9781789090925.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Keyes, Greg. Godzilla: King of the Monsters - The Official Movie Novelization. Titan Books. p. 39. ISBN: 9781789090925.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Keyes, Greg. Godzilla: King of the Monsters - The Official Movie Novelization. Titan Books. p. 215. ISBN: 9781789090925.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 Keyes, Greg. Godzilla: King of the Monsters - The Official Movie Novelization. Titan Books. p. 120. ISBN: 9781789090925.
  9. Keyes, Greg. Godzilla: King of the Monsters - The Official Movie Novelization. Titan Books. p. 134. ISBN: 9781789090925.
  10. Nelson, Arvid. Godzilla Aftershock. 2019. Legendary Comics. ISBN: [[1]].
  11. Keyes, Greg. Godzilla: King of the Monsters - The Official Movie Novelization. Titan Books. pp. 200-201. ISBN: 9781789090925.
Godzilla: King of the Monsters


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