|“||We use explosives to shake the earth, helping us to map the surface of the island.||„|
— Houston explaining his plan to map out Skull Island
During Kong: Skull Island, Houston seems to behave in a typical, reckless, and aggressive manner, having no problems using seismic charges to map out Skull Island and pointing a shotgun at a group of Iwi natives when surrounded.
Years later, following Mission: Skull, and sometime either before or after becoming a father, Houston's personality has (as stated by his son Aaron in a flashback in Skull Island: The Birth of Kong) become similar to that of his Monarch co-worker, Ishiro Serizawa, primarily in his adamant insistence that "nature strikes its own balance."
Randa and Houston got along well since Randa agreed with Houston’s thesis about the Hollow Earth and recruited him to Monarch. Houston was visibly shocked when Randa met his demise in the jaws of a Skullcrawler.
Houston loves his son Aaron, but Aaron’s stubbornness and curiosity sometimes frustrate him. When Houston found out about Aaron’s plan on Skull Island, he became anxious and concerned about his son’s safety. Houston eventually plans to find Aaron and bring him back home.
Houston was an Ivy League student who wrote a thesis paper on the Hollow Earth theory being a fact instead of a long-discredited falsehood, and that subterranean pockets remain undiscovered all over the world. The academic community dismissed Houston's theory but it caught the attention of senior Monarch operative William Randa, who proceeded to recruit Houston into the agency.
In 1973 as the Vietnam War dies down, Houston and Randa are able to convince Senator Al Willis to provide funding for an expedition to the newly-discovered Skull Island alongside Landsat with a military escort led by the Sky Devils helicopter squadron leader, Colonel Preston Packard. Houston and Randa travel to Saigon, Vietnam, and coerce former British SAS captain James Conrad into joining the mission as a tracker. During the mission briefing on the ship, the Athena, using the cover of a geological survey, Houston explains the plan to use explosives to map the island's surface and writes off Conrad's voiced concern with the method.
On the following day, the group breaks through the storm surrounding Skull Island. The soldiers on the helicopters drop the seismic charges and Houston can prove his Hollow Earth theory with the data provided.
Between Kong: Skull Island and Skull Island: The Birth of Kong
After the expedition, Houston would go on to marry Lin and father one son named Aaron. Sometime around the year 1995, Aaron joins Monarch but soon comes to a heated disagreement with his father over the latter's decision to leave Skull Island under Kong's supervision. Houston tells Aaron that friends of his died there believing the island should be kept a secret, and he isn't going to let his son ruin all the hard work he and Monarch did in doing so. In the 1980s, Houston is approached by Landsat technician Rick Stanton, after Stanton grew curious concerning company whispers of the covered-up Skull Island mission. They become close friends and soon Houston introduces Rick to Ishiro Serizawa. Shortly after, Rick is offered a position at Monarch and he accepts.
|“||I'm warning you, Aaron. Leave this alone.||„|
Upon correctly guessing the password to the recorder to be "Gjallarhorn" because he would constantly read Norse mythology to Aaron during his childhood, and thus it became a shared password between them, Houston learns from Aaron's recordings that, much to his dismay, his son didn't go to Antarctica to investigate a MUTO fossil. Instead, Aaron defied his father and mounted an off-the-books mission to Skull Island. For more than a year, the mission resulted in the loss of the entire crew, leaving Aaron the sole survivor stranded on the island. However, the mission did help shed light on not only how Skull Island has evolved since Houston last "visited" it, but also Kong himself, revealing how he became the last of his kind and his protective instincts toward humans.
During his retirement party the next day, Houston, elated for his son's survival and the knowledge that Aaron is waiting for him, reveals his plan to travel "somewhere tropical."
|“||You've got that look on your face--the same look Aaron had before he disappeared. You're pushing yourself too hard. Just like he did.||„|
— Houston to Emma
After reconsidering his retirement, Houston goes back to working for Monarch. In the Yunnan Province in China, he is at a camp near Mothra's location after she escaped Alan Jonah's raid on the Outpost 61 containment facility. Houston meets Dr. Ling Chen, recognizing her from having previously known her mother, and together they walk the trail toward the waterfall housing Mothra's cocoon. He asks Dr. Ling about Mothra and she tells him that legends call Mothra a protector and guardian angel who embodies life. Having watched the video of Mothra's interaction with Emma and Madison, Dr. Ling believes the legend to be true. Looking at the cocoon, Houston says that he hopes she's right.
Sometime later, Houston, a science team, and a squadron of soldiers go to Outpost 61. The dead scientists' bodies have been removed and the techs confirm his suspicions about the security and containment being sabotaged, possibly with Emma's help. A few hours later, Houston is called back to the waterfall. He learns that all of the Titans are escaping the outposts, and contact with the Argo, Castle Bravo, Monarch, and all containment sites have been lost. Seeing Monster Zero atop the Isla de Mara volcano on a monitor, Houston realizes the Titans are responding to the three-headed dragon's call. Houston and Dr. Ling then bear witness as Mothra hatches from her cocoon and takes flight, with Houston noticing a look of reverence toward Mothra in Dr. Ling's eyes similar to the Iwi people's attitude toward Kong.
List of appearances
- Kong: Skull Island - The Official Movie Novelization
- Godzilla: King of the Monsters - The Official Movie Novelization