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|“||No. This time, we join the fight.||„|
— Mark Russell to Rick Stanton
Dr. Mark Russell is a scientist who makes his first appearance in the 2019 MonsterVerse graphic comic, Godzilla: Aftershock. He reappears in the 2019 film, Godzilla: King of the Monsters, and will reappear in the 2020 film, Godzilla vs. Kong.
|“||She's the only thing I got left, Sam. I wasn't there for her. I'm not gonna let that happen again.||„|
— Mark to Sam Coleman, about Madison
Better at listening than talking, Mark is a born outdoorsman who feels most at home amongst the wildlife, stemming from a strong fascination with the animal kingdom in early childhood. He's also academically gifted in fields of animal behavior and communication. He and the equally gifted Emma met over their shared love of nature, as well as the Massachusetts band "The Pixies". During his time as a Monarch operative, Mark preferred working out in the field. He sought to avoid Monarch's political machinations but continued to follow Emma's dream of mankind communicating with nature at its greatest potential, even though he believes there are some things in the world that humans aren't meant to understand.
Mark is a loving father who adores his children but after Andrew's death, Mark was so grief-stricken that he started drinking to cope with his loss, and he hated himself for letting Madison see him that way. Upon learning about Emma and Madison being taken hostage by Alan Jonah, Mark beats himself up for not being there for his daughter. After Emma reveals her betrayal, Mark considers Madison the only good thing he has left and refuses to abandon her as he did when her brother died. His hatred of Titans leads him to be unreasonable and inflexible about how to deal with them apart from exterminating them, but Mark soon realizes Godzilla does have intelligence behind him instead of being a mindless beast. Understanding that Godzilla is the only thing capable of saving the world and by extension, the only family he has left, Mark rallies Monarch to support Godzilla in the fight against Ghidorah.
|“||It's not all math, Emma. Some things, you can't control.||„|
Mark and Emma became estranged after losing their son in the Battle of San Francisco. Their opposing views on the Titans added to their conflict. Emma wants to protect them and figure out how mankind and the Titans can co-exist peacefully as she believes they can. However, Mark believes the Titans are destructive beasts that should be destroyed, especially Godzilla, as they have brought havoc to his family. Upon learning that Emma is working with Jonah, Mark tells her off for endangering Madison by making her an accomplice to terrorism and playing God with the fate of the world.
|“||Madison, you all right, hon?||„|
Mark loves Madison and though they have a distant relationship since he separated from Emma, Madison's safety is his top priority when she and Emma are taken hostage by Jonah.
Mark Russell's had a lifelong interest in animal sounds ever since growing up in Warren Valley, Ohio, and talking with the family's German Shepherd. Mark went on to become a respected expert in multiple disciplines consisting of animal behavior, zoomusicology, biocommunication, and apex predation. He graduated from the University of California, Berkeley with a Masters of Science in Ethology, and got a Ph.D. in Bioacoustics from MIT. After meeting and marrying fellow bioacoustics expert, Emma Williams, the two of them became the co-leads of Project ORCA and leaders in the field of bioacoustics. Even though it was initially developed to deter whales and dolphins from shorelines, Mark and Emma developed a prototype of the ORCA, a device representing a possible evolutionary leap in interspecies communication as it utilizes an ultrasonic wave map capable of detecting, transmitting, and translating audio at any frequency with great speed and accuracy.
In 2002, Mark and his wife Emma had a son named Andrew. Three years later in 2005, Mark and Emma caught Monarch's attention when they first activated the ORCA prototype, transmitting a signal similar to a previously recorded Titan song. Believing the signal to be a new Titan emerging, Monarch sent a field unit alongside Dr. Serizawa and Dr. Graham to investigate and found Mark and Emma in an MIT lab. Together, Mark and Emma continued to make groundbreaking breakthroughs with their research and revolutionized interspecies communication. Two years later in 2007, Emma and Mark had a daughter named Madison, and on May 4th, they were activated by Monarch.
As a member of Monarch, Mark preferred fieldwork and opted to stay out of the agency's politics and its ambition to find a way for humans and giant monsters to coexist. In 2014, the family moved to San Francisco from Boston. Amid the battle between Godzilla and the MUTOs in the city, Mark and Emma's 12-year-old son Andrew was killed. Shortly after, they took their seven-year-old daughter Madison and returned to Boston, and Mark and Emma destroyed their prototype of the ORCA. As the family tried to move on with their lives, Emma poured herself into her work in trying to save the world, while Mark began drinking to deal with Andrew's death. Mark left Monarch and became estranged from Emma because of losing their son, and their disagreements on how the ORCA device could potentially affect the world. Despite now being divorced, Mark kept in contact with Madison and saw her from time to time.
|“||Monarch is the last place she should be right now. I'm not sure she's in a good place.||„|
— Mark to Miles, about Emma
Months later at MIT, Mark is contacted via computer by Miles Atherton, a representative of the United Nations' San Francisco Commission tasked with accompanying Emma on assignment in Guam. Mark tells Miles to tell him if Emma is in any danger as he worries that she's in a bad place to be working for Monarch after losing Andrew. Miles assures Mark that Emma is safe at the moment and ends their conversation.
|“|| I advise you to kill these things. All of 'em. Especially him. You wanna make sure these things don't fall into the wrong hands? You kill them and the ORCA's useless.|
Emma wouldn't have wanted that. Even to save her life.
Well, it wouldn't be the first time Emma put all of this before herself or her family, would it?
— Mark and Ilene Chen
Now living in Colorado, Mark is observing wolves and recording their sounds when Serizawa, Graham, and Monarch's head of technology Sam Coleman arrive and tell him about Emma and Madison being abducted in China. They also tell Mark, to his dismay, that Emma rebuilt the ORCA after leaving San Francisco and moving back to Boston. Mark warns them that the Titans will mistake the ORCA for one of them, and by using the wrong frequency Monarch will be responsible for "1,000 San Franciscos", so it shouldn't even exist. Serizawa and Coleman tell Mark they need to retrieve the ORCA as it's fallen into the wrong hands and is the only thing keeping Emma and Madison alive. With Graham's promise to find his family by finding the ORCA, Mark accompanies them to Monarch's new flagship facility, Castle Bravo, in Bermuda.
List of appearances
- Godzilla: Aftershock (First appearance)
|Godzilla: King of the Monsters|
|Godzilla vs. Kong|