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|“||This time, we join the fight.||„|
— Mark Russell (Godzilla: King of the Monsters)
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
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.||„|
During the battle in Boston, Mark and Emma mended their differences to find Madison. When Emma chose to sacrifice herself to distract Ghidorah, Mark was unable to prevent her death.
|“||Madison, you all right, hon?||„|
Mark loved his son Andrew more than anything in the world. When Andrew was killed during the San Francisco incident, Mark was devastated and blamed Godzilla for the death of his son. Mark barely managed to move on from Andrew’s death, though he found peace when he let go of his hatred on the Titans.
Mark hated Godzilla for the indirect death of his son Andrew and believed that he along with all the other Titans should be destroyed to prevent more catastrophes. However, when Mark realized that Godzilla was the only creature who could defeat Ghidorah, he started to realize the errors of his anger and chose to fight alongside Godzilla during the battle in Boston.
Mark'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 after Emma received a job offer. 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 separated from Emma, 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
|“|| 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
Mark and the rest of Monarch are then briefed on the culprit of Emma and Madison’s abduction: Alan Jonah, a former British Colonel who had become an eco-terrorist. The outpost is then shaken when Godzilla flashes his dorsal plates before departing. Mark concludes that the Titan’s erratic behavior could be caused by the ORCA as they manage to trace Godzilla’s destination to Outpost 32, which is located in Antarctica.
Monarch arrives in Antarctica as Diane Foster leads the G-Team into the outpost. Upon witnessing the gunfight, Mark’s concern forces him to run in and attempts to save his family. Emma then activates the detonator on her hands that separates her group from Mark’s. As Outpost 32 crumbles, Emma uses the ORCA to awaken Monster Zero. Mark and several others can return to their Osprey as Monster Zero uses his gravity beams to obliterate the remaining soldiers. Shortly after, Godzilla rises from the ice and starts to fight Monster Zero. In the ensuing chaos, the Osprey got pushed to the edge of a cliff and Mark got trapped beneath several cables. Vivienne manages to free Mark as Monster Zero pushes Godzilla into the remains of Outpost 32. Monster Zero then devours Vivienne and uses his wing to deflect missiles from the USS Argo and the accompanying fighter jets. However, one missile knocks Mark into unconsciousness as Monster Zero takes flight with Godzilla chasing after him.
Hours later, Mark finds himself awake in the Argo’s sickbay and heads out to tell the others that Emma is in league with Jonah. His suspicions are confirmed when Emma contacts the Argo and reveals her plan to use the ORCA to awaken all Titans. Mark chastises Emma for endangering Madison, for not putting Andrew’s death behind her, and for jeopardizing billions of human lives.
As the Argo arrives on Isla de Mara, Mexico, they find Rodan bursting out from the volcano and that Monster Zero is heading towards their location. Mark suggests luring Rodan towards Monster Zero and the plan work. In the chaos, Mark opens the Argo jammed hangar doors by destroying one of the Ospreys so that the Osprey that is carrying the G-Team and several civilians can enter. Monster Zero defeats Rodan before turning his eyes to the Argo. Before he can attack, Godzilla leaps from the water and drags Monster Zero into the ocean. Godzilla manages to tear one of Monster Zero’s heads off as the US military fires an Oxygen Destroyer at them. In the end, Monster Zero emerges from the water, and Godzilla is presumed dead.
As the Titans rise from their dormancy, Mark realizes that Monster Zero has become their Alpha and that he is in fact “Ghidorah”, an alien who wishes to reshape earth into a suitable habitat. When Mark tries to find Madison on his own, Mothra appears and reveals to everyone that Godzilla is still alive. Understanding that Godzilla is the only Titan who can defeat Ghidorah, he suggests using a nuclear warhead to revive the wounded Titan.
Mark, Ishiro, Rick Stanton, and Ilene Chen descends into the Hollow Earth with the USS Scorpion and finds the temple where Godzilla is resting. Because of the slow healing process and that the launching mechanism is damaged, Ishiro volunteers to set off the warhead manually, sacrificing himself in the process. Mark and the others bid farewell to Ishiro as they depart.
Upon returning to the surface, Mark meets the rejuvenated Godzilla and listens to the latter’s vocalization. He realizes that Emma uses a combination of Godzilla’s and human’s bioacoustics for the ORCA, which allows them to trace the signal to Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts.
Godzilla and Mothra battles Ghidorah and Rodan as Mark and the G-Team search for Madison. They find the partially damaged ORCA and meets up with Emma before finding Madison in their old home. Mothra sacrifices herself to protect Godzilla as Mark and Emma fix the ORCA to lure Ghidorah away from Godzilla. Emma decides to sacrifice herself to protect her family and drives off with the ORCA as Mark and Madison watch in despair. Emma’s death gives Godzilla enough time to enter his burning form and destroys Ghidorah. Mark and the others then watch as Rodan and the other Titans bow down to Godzilla as they accept him as their Alpha.
Mark is set to appear in this film.
- Mark Russell's birthplace, Warren Valley OH, is a reference to the fictional town of the same name that was the setting of Mike Dougherty's feature directorial debut, "Trick r' Treat"
List of appearances
- Godzilla: Aftershock (First appearance)
|Godzilla: King of the Monsters|
|Godzilla vs. Kong|