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We use explosives to shake the earth, helping us to map the surface of the island
~ Houston Brooks.

Dr. Houston Brooks is a major protagonist of the 2017 action film, Kong: Skull Island and a cameo character in the 2019 film Godzilla: King of the Monsters. He is a geologist and Yale University graduate, recruited by Monarch for his groundbreaking theories on seismology. He is also the husband of San Lin and the father of Aaron Brooks.

In Kong: Skull Island, he was portrayed by Corey Hawkins, who also played Heath in The Walking Dead. In Godzilla: King of the Monsters, he was portrayed by Joe Morton.

Biography

Kong: Skull Island

Recruited into Monarch for his college thesis on the Hollow Earth Theory, Brooks worked as an assistant to senior operative Bill Randa. During the waning days of the Vietnam War in 1973, Brooks and Randa visited Senator Al Willis in the hope of securing funding for an expedition to the uncharted Skull Island, which was recently uncovered by NASA's Landsat satellite imaging. After some convincing, Willis approved funding for Randa to tag along with NASA's Landsat expedition to the island. Brooks and Randa personally recruited Captain James Conrad, a former British special forces member, to serve as a tracker for the expedition. Other members recruited to the expedition included Monarch's young biologist Lin San and antiwar photographer Mason Weaver, with an escort provided by the U.S. Army's Sky Devils helicopter squadron under the command of Colonel Preston Packard. Aboard the expedition's ship Athena, Brooks explained to the NASA and Army personnel the supposed nature of their mission. After penetrating the island's concealing storm cell, they would drop seismic charges to map the terrain of the island. Once the Athena finally reached the storm cell, Brooks rode aboard one of the helicopters which flew through the storm and finally above the island. As the charges were dropped, Brooks and Randa witnessed the results: the area underground the island was completely hollow. Their celebration was brief, however, as the charges drew out the colossal ape known as Kong, who brought down all of the choppers and killed many members of the expedition. Brooks and San were unharmed, and were able to regroup with Conrad, Weaver, Warrant Officer Reg Slivko, and Landsat field mission head Victor Nieves. Pressed by Conrad, Brooks finally explained the true nature of their mission. Brooks had written his college thesis on the long-discredited Hollow Earth Theory, which held that large pockets existed underground. While academics had laughed him off, Randa took an interest in Brooks' thesis. Randa believed these Hollow Earth pockets could house ecosystems of Massive Unidentified Terrestrial Organisms. Randa believed Skull Island served as a sort of "emergence point" for this Hollow Earth ecosystem, which is why they traveled to the island to map out its subterranean areas. The party continued moving through the jungle of the island, encountering a giant buffalo before suddenly being surrounded by natives wielding spears. The tension was broken by Hank Marlow, a U.S. Naval Air Force pilot who had been stranded on the island since World War II. He convinced everyone to stand down and brought the party inside the village of the native people, the Iwi. There, he explained that Kong was the god of the island, he defended the Iwi and every other creature on the island from threats, primarily giant ravenous reptilian monsters Marlow called Skullcrawlers. These creatures were responsible for killing Marlow's best friend, Gunpei Ikari, who had been stranded on the island with him. Kong was simply defending his territory when he attacked the helicopter squadron, as their seismic charges were drawing out the Skullcrawlers. Brooks and the others began to cooperate with Marlow to complete his boat, the Grey Fox, so that they could travel upriver and reach the extraction point on the other side of the island before it was too late. They were able to get the boat working and bid farewell to the Iwi. As they were traveling, they made radio contact with another group of survivors. They began to celebrate before Nieves was snatched into the air by a flock of Leafwings, which subsequently dismembered him.

Brooks' party finally rendezvoused with the other group in the jungle, which consisted of Randa, Packard, and most of the surviving Sky Devils members. Packard informed them that one of his men, Major Jack Chapman, was separated from the rest of the group and that they needed to find him before leaving the island. This forced them to pass through the "Valley of the Fallen Gods," a gigantic mass grave which contained the skeletons of Kong's mother and father. As the party passed through the valley, they were set upon by a Skullcrawler, which killed Randa by eating him whole. The others scattered and tried to evade the predator, but ended up awakening a flock of Leafwings that attacked as well. Fortunately, Conrad was able to slay most of the Leafwings using the katana given to Marlow by Gunpei, and killed the Skullcrawler by igniting a gas vent with his lighter while the monster was right next to it. In the confusion, the Skullcrawler had regurgitated Chapman's remains, but Packard shockingly insisted on continuing on their way. It became clear he was not after Chapman, but rather a munitions supply which contained enough weapons for him to claim his revenge on Kong. Brooks, Conrad, San, Marlow, and Weaver refused to go along with Packard's plan, and prepared to go their separate ways and head to the extraction point. However, they all came to the conclusion that they could not let Packard kill Kong, or else the Skullcrawlers would overrun the island and kill everyone and everything living there. Brooks and San headed back to the Grey Fox while Conrad, Weaver, and Marlow went to stop Packard. While Packard was stopped from killing Kong, his attack against him caused the largest Skullcrawler, the Skull Devil, to awaken. Kong killed Packard while the surviving Sky Devils members joined Conrad and the others to reach the extraction point. However, they were confronted by the Skull Devil, which was intent on not letting them escape. Fortunately, Kong arrived to fight the beast, while Brooks manned the guns on the Grey Fox to back him up. Kong was finally triumphant when he disemboweled the Skull Devil with his fist, and the survivors all boarded the Grey Fox, finally reaching the extraction point and escaping Skull Island with their lives.

Sometime after the mission, Conrad and Weaver were held in an interrogation room at a Monarch facility. Brooks and San entered the room and welcomed the two to Monarch. They explained that Kong was not the only "king," and that there were more giant creatures like him out there. They activated a film projector that displayed classified footage taken of Godzilla in 1954, followed by photographed cave paintings of Godzilla, Rodan, Mothra, Ghidorah, and finally Godzilla locked in combat with Ghidorah.

Godzilla: King of the Monsters

After the larval Mothra escaped from Outpost 61 in China's Yunnan Rainforest and cocooned herself behind a nearby waterfall, Brooks was one of the leaders of the Monarch team that established a camp at the base of the waterfall to monitor the situation. After seeing footage of various Titans around the world being aroused from their ancient slumber, he realized that they were all directly responding to King Ghidorah's call. Immediately afterward, Brooks and Dr. Ling witnessed Mothra emerge from her cocoon in her imago stage.

Personality

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.

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