Portrayed By: John Goodman
Appears In: Kong: Skull Island
- "I spent the last thirty years trying to prove the truth of what I learned that day. This planet doesn't belong to us. Ancient species owned this Earth long before mankind, and if we keep our heads buried in the sand, they will take it back."
A senior Monarch official in charge of the expedition.
- Admiring the Abomination: Instead of freaking out when he sees Kong's humongous, bloody handprint, he simply utters an awed "Magnificent," and lines up his own injured hand with it.
- All for Nothing: The true purpose of the expedition was for Randa to get proof of Kong's existence so he could get the government to take the latter out afterward. The expedition results in numerous deaths including his own, with him being Swallowed Whole by a Skullcrawler, along with the proof he needed to provide for the government to send The Cavalry.
- Animal Nemesis: He's indicated to have this when he tells Packard that his true goal with the Skull Island Expedition is to expose the existence of monsters to the world so that they can "send in the cavalry" — all because the ship he was stationed on in World War II was sunk, implicitly by Godzilla.
- Anti-Hero Substitute:
- To Dr. Serizawa. Both are Monarch scientists with knowledge (and a degree of reverence) of the monsters, but while Serizawa cooperated with and deferred to the military, openly spoke his mind, and didn't want to risk human life, Randa is willing to pester Senator Willis for weeks about funding the expedition, lie about its true purpose to Packard and his men, and treat everyone else in the company as expendable pawns, all for his own gain.
- Also to Joe Brody. Much like Joe, Randa has been in a tragic incident that involves Kaiju-sized monsters, and they both spent the majority of their lives trying to uncover the truth no matter the cost, even if they are seen by others as crazy. Unlike Joe, Randa is willing to lie about the true purpose of his mission to Skull Island to get what he needs, which leads to the deaths of dozens of soldiers who should've been on their way home after the Vietnam War ended.
- Apocalyptic Log: His field notes on Skull Island's biome which were typed up during the expedition before he died (titled "Beyond Flora and Fauna: A Post-Darwin Thesis on the Nature of our World") are available to read in the Skull Island: The Birth of Kong graphic novel.
- Arbitrary Skepticism: Although he believes in Kaiju and has been desperately trying to prove they exist, he dismisses people who believe in aliens as nuts. Which is ironic because Ghidorah in this 'verse still has his original origins as an alien.
- The Cuckoolander Was Right: After being attacked by an unknown kaiju as a young man, he theorized that a larger ecosystem was at work in the world. He was, of course, completely right.
- Death Glare: Delivers one to Packard when he talks about what motivated him to search for Kong. And it actually scares Packard.
- Dramatic Irony: While the original purpose of Monarch is murky, Randa was a senior Monarch official obsessed with discovering monsters so he can reveal them to the world and advocate for their extermination. The current heads of Monarch in 2019 have the exact opposite goal of preserving them; neither party likely knew about this difference of opinion and the divisiveness exists even into the current iteration.
- Dropped a Bridge on Him: Very abruptly killed halfway through the movie, courtesy of a Skullcrawler. Made worse when you consider he is the lone survivor of a possible Godzilla attack.
- Expy: Of Carl Denham as the guy behind the Skull Island Expedition, specifically having the manipulative traits of Denham in King Kong (2005). To underscore the point he's seen filming footage of Skull Island.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Randa's duplicity is what results in the conflict between Kong and Packard in the first place. Not only does he lie to Packard about the true purpose behind the expedition to Skull Island but his decision to bomb the island in order to draw out a monster is what causes Kong to kill Packard's men. It also leads to the Skullcrawlers waking up.
- Smug Snake: A not-all-villainous version, given he uses his hidden agenda to convince a senator to provide him the resources he needed to launch an expedition to Skull Island but lies about the true purpose of the mission.
- Sole Survivor: He was a crewman on a U.S. warship when he was young. A monster attack on the ship left him the only survivor, and he spent his life uncovering the truth about the monsters to the world from that point on.
- Swallowed Whole: He's eaten by the same Skullcrawler that ate Chapman. Based on what's known of how Skullcrawlers eat and digest their prey, he was probably still alive for some time before being fatally digested. Though at least his busted camera flashing gave the others some warning.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: He tells Col. Packard that he did what he did to reveal the truth to the world that giant monsters exist and humanity needs to be prepared for them, a truth that everyone dismissed and even ridiculed him for.
Portrayed By: Corey Hawkins, Joe Morton (older)
Appears In: Kong: Skull Island | Skull Island: The Birth of Kong | Godzilla: King of the Monsters | Kingdom Kong
- "The world never belonged to us. It belonged to them. The question is, how long 'til they take it back? Kong is not the only king."
A young geologist and graduate of Yale University who was recruited by Monarch for his groundbreaking theories on seismology. Later in life, he is one of the Monarch scientists who witnesses Mothra's final form.
- Beware the Nice Ones: Brooks is pretty friendly, but he can also handle firearms to defend himself from the monsters on Skull Island. He even saves Kong's life in the climax when he fires the mounted machine gun on Marlow's boat at the alpha Skullcrawler to distract it from delivering the killing blow to Kong.
- Big Damn Heroes: Shortly after Kong pulls one, Brooks and San return the favor courtesy of riding in on Marlow's boat and distracting Ramarak from a pinned Kong by shooting at the former with the ship's mounted gun.
- Black and Nerdy: He's black and a geologist recruited by Monarch for his research in seismology.
- The Cameo: He only makes a One-Scene Wonder appearance in King of the Monsters.
- Changed My Mind, Kid: At first, Brooks is very happy about going off ahead to find the boat but later, when it is time for him and San to leave, they find themselves far more conflicted. Just as it seems like Kong and everyone else is going to get finished off, Brooks and San return in the boat, distracting Ramarak with its weapons.
- The Cloudcuckoolander Was Right: He and Bill Randa have apparently been called tinfoil-hat wearing loonies before for believing in the existence of monsters and the Hollow Earth theory.
- Demoted to Extra: After being one of the main cast in Kong: Skull Island, he only makes minor appearances in The Birth of Kong and Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019), until Kingdom Kong once more grants him a more significant if non-action role.
- Facepalm: He makes a despairing one when he's listening to Aaron's Apocalyptic Log, at the moment when he realizes just why his son went to Skull Island.
- Hollow World: It was his proposal of this theory, involving the planet being honeycombed with large hollow pockets, that got Randa's attention and ended up with him being brought into Monarch. It was Randa who advanced the theory that those hollow spaces were occupied by something big.
- Ignored Expert: Brooks's Hollow Earth theory made him a laughingstock to everyone except Randa at a committee.
- My God, What Have I Done?: In Kingdom Kong, he says this almost word-for-word when it hits him that he's unwittingly hastened the emergence of Camazotz.
- Nerd Glasses: He has a pair of browline glasses.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero:
- In Kong: Skull Island, not only did the seismic charges enrage Kong and cause him to attack the expedition crew, they also awakened a lot of the Skullcrawlers which otherwise only come to the surface every so often. This convinced Kong that the Air Cavalry who were dropping the charges were a threat, and he responded accordingly; killing several of them, and also arguably influencing Packard's Sanity Slippage which made Packard himself a threat.
- He has a pretty severe case of this in Kingdom Kong which is probably only second to the U.S. military's kill-the-Titans blunders in severity. By persisting in conducting operations on Skull Island's Vile Vortex entry, he hastens the emergence of Camazotz, which ultimately leads to the destruction of the Iwi and Skull Island's entire ecosystem by a Perpetual Storm.
- Not Listening to Me, Are You?: After explaining to Packard how the Skullcrawlers are the real threat, the latter point about Kong not being the threat completely goes over Packard's head when he says they will wipe out the Skullcrawlers, only after Kong is dealt with.
- Number Two: To Randa.
- Oh, Crap!: He has one in Kingdom Kong overlapping with My God, What Have I Done? when he realizes Camazotz has awakened.
- Platonic Life-Partners: With San. Subverted in the tie-in comic series where it's revealed that they married and have a son together.
- Put on a Bus: The Godzilla vs. Kong novelization reveals that he's retired from Monarch sometime after the Lind brothers' failed attempt at entering the Hollow Earth.
- The Reliable One: During the preparation phases of the Skull Island Expedition, Brooks comes off as this. He's the one who's able to make the case for the expedition to the senator, putting it in terms (mainly that Monarch's discoveries could let America one-up the USSR) that convince the highly skeptical senator to agree to allow Monarch to piggyback along with the Landsat expedition, while all Randa had managed to accomplish was to come off as more and more unhinged throughout the same scene.
- Say My Name: He says Aaron's name in disappointment when listening to the Apocalyptic Log, during his Facepalm.
- Shotguns Are Just Better: He carries an Ithaca 37 while on Skull Island.
- Time-Shifted Actor: Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019) briefly features Joe Morton as present-day Houston in the scene where Mothra emerges from her cocoon.
Portrayed By: Jing Tian
Appears In: Kong: Skull Island | Skull Island: The Birth of Kong
A young biologist working for Monarch.
- Asian and Nerdy: She's a scientist with a clear Asian ethnicity.
- Beauty Is Never Tarnished: San only suffers a couple of cuts and scratches.
- Platonic Life-Partners: Clearly bonds with Brooks. Subverted in the first issue of the tie-in comic Skull Island: The Birth of Kong, where it's revealed that they got married and had a son named Aaron.
- The Generic Guy: She's stated to be a biologist, but brings no scientific insight to the table, and doesn't notably contribute to any of the group's endeavors (for good or bad).
- The Quiet One: The least vocal of the Monarch personnel sent to the island.
The Sky Devils
Portrayed By: Samuel L. Jackson
Appears In: Kong: Skull Island
- "It's time to show Kong that man is king!"
A United States Army Lieutenant Colonel and the leader of the Sky Devils helicopter squadron hired to chopper the group of explorers on the expedition.
- Adaptational Villainy: Gets one moment in the novelization. Unlike in the film (where he only finds out Chapman is dead after the Boneyard), Packard overhears Chapman being killed on the radio and lies to his men about it, going out of his way to put them in even more danger for the mere sake of acquiring more weapons.
- Alliterative Name: Preston Packard.
- All for Nothing: There are implications that part of what drives him into eventual madness is that, after years of intense combat duty in Vietnam, the American army is ultimately pulled out before achieving a decisive victory by the same micromanaging politicians who'd caused so much hassle for the troops getting cold feet over the sudden turn in public opinion. In other words, he shed all that blood and sweat and then was told to pack up and just say it was all a waste — an opinion very common for Vietnam veterans, especially given the harsh treatment they received after getting back to the States. His reflection as he looks at his medals best sums up his sorrow.Packard: All this, and for what?
- Always a Bigger Fish: He's on the receiving end of this trope for much of the movie. While he's a very capable threat and a veteran of the Vietnam War, he is just a human in a world where might makes right. Bloodlust and determination can only carry you so far when you're on an island where a gargantuan ape and man-eating lizards are at the top of the food chain. And that's not even getting into all of the smaller predators that roam the island.
- Animal Nemesis: When he locks eyes with Kong, something changes in Packard and he swiftly descends into an obsession-fueled madness. It's like a twisted version of love at first sight; Packard was feeling depressed because the Vietnam War was over, but in Kong, he found a new target he could focus all of his rage and bloodlust on. Jackson even outright says he's Ahab and Kong is his white whale.
- Angry Black Man: He is portrayed as a vengeful man resentful of the Vietnam War's end, becoming a vicious hunter throughout the movie dead-set to kill Kong.
- Anti-Villain: At first. His backstory of a shell-shocked soldier is genuinely sympathetic and he seems to care about the well-being of the soldiers under his command, and even though he seeks vengeance against Kong at all costs, it's because Kong killed his men. Subverted by the third act, as he devolves into a full-blown villain, and it becomes clear to everyone, even his own men, that Packard only cares about killing Kong and will happily sacrifice them all to do it.
- Armies Are Evil: In contrast to the rest of his men under his command, Packard is a bloodthirsty and selfish officer looking for a fight.
- Asshole Victim: He is killed while trying to murder Kong, who by this point was already proven to have nothing but good intentions.
- Badass Boast: It's Samuel L. Jackson, what do you expect?Packard: Remember the tale of Icarus, whose father gave him wax wings to fly. But he flew too close to the sun, and his wings melted, and he fell into the sea. But the US Army is not a neglectful father, so they gave us wings of white-hot, cold-rolled Pennsylvania steel, guaranteed not to melt.Packard: I am the cavalry.Packard: It's time to show Kong that MAN is king!
- Badass Normal: He's a decorated officer of the military and survives longer than most on the island. That's not even going into how he almost kills Kong—something not even the Skullcrawlers (sans Ramarak) could do!
- Bald of Evil: Being a Samuel L. Jackson character, he doesn't have any hair under that helmet.
- Berserk Button: On top of having to pull out of Vietnam after fighting there for nothing, having half of his men killed by Kong sends him over the edge.
- Big Bad Ensemble: Alongside Ramarak, though not intentionally. His obsession with revenge on Kong poses just as much risk to the survivors as Skull Island's wildlife and he gets a large portion of them needlessly killed as a result and makes him a threat to Kong himself.
- Big Bad Wannabe: While a genuine threat to the human cast and even to Kong at one point, he's basically a pebble compared to Ramarak, the film's true antagonist. As soon as Ramarak awakens, Packard quickly loses control of the situation and is swiftly dealt with by Kong.
- Blame Game: Packard accuses journalists like Weaver of being the reason behind America's decision to abandon Vietnam. Granted, he has a point since the Vietnam War is often called the first "televised war" and, thanks to media coverage becoming accessible from the comfort of their homes, people were able to see and hear about the horrors of war in great detail like never before. The rise of mistrust in the government on the issue of credible news on the war contributed to the controversy as there were accusations of the gov't deliberately handing "fake news" to the populace rather than objective first-hand accounts. To maintain support for the war effort, the U.S. government manipulated news outlets to focus on optimistic topics to paint the Vietnam War as a noble mission and the troops as glorious figures. Meanwhile, media correspondents overseas focused more on the negative aspects and painted a dark picture of the war for the American people. On top of that, second-wave feminism was in full effect with the womens liberation movement, and women were very vocal in the anti-war protests as well as the issues of equal rights and better treatment from men. To be fair, a number of U.S. citizens and soldiers were against the war from the get-go and protested against the country's involvement during the anti-war movement, and being anti-Vietnam War didn't automatically make someone a communist sympathizer (though there certainly was overlap). At the same time, some members of the media would later admit to deliberately slanting their coverage to undermine support for the war and turn public opinion against it. It's unknown whether or not this was Weaver's intention but since she declares herself anti-war, it's a high possibility that it was, and though she doesn't exactly go out of her way to get along with Packard afterward, the feeling is mutual.Packard: Ah, you were in the shit. I respect that. But it's people like you that lost us support back home.Weaver: You're not seriously blaming the people without guns for losing the war, are you?
- Blood Knight: For him, it's hard to accept that the war is over. He is determined to fight Kong as if he were still in 'Nam fighting the NVA and the Viet Cong, going far enough to call the fight against Kong a war he will not lose.
- Colonel Badass: He's been through it in Vietnam, and he goes through much worse on the island.
- Colonel Kilgore: Packard is downright heartbroken when the Vietnam War comes to an end. He seems both angry that the war ended without a proper resolution and that it ended in the first place; after so many years fighting, combat is his natural environment.
- Colonel Kurtz Copy: Downplayed. He's a Vietnam War veteran tasked with escorting a research team to a tropical island who ends up going rogue when Kong kills much of his men. Obsessed with revenge, he decides to kill Kong, even when he's warned that doing this would allow the Skullcrawlers to run rampant over the island. He even nearly gets into a shootout with the other survivors when they just want to go home. Considering that Kong: Skull Island was based on Apocalypse Now, this was most likely intentional.
- Commander Contrarian: He opposes Conrad's plan of trying to reach safe shores and instead takes what's left of his men to kill Kong. Needless to say, doom is upon him.
- Curb-Stomp Battle: He's on the receiving end of one from Kong, who rips his Sky Devils right out of the air while Packard is largely helpless to stop him.
- Death Glare: Packard gives many of these throughout the film toward anyone who gets on his bad side or opposes him. There's Kong, Weaver, and Conrad to name a select few.
- Detect Evil: Deconstructed. Packard claims to "know an enemy when he sees one," with Kong being that enemy. However, Kong isn't actually evil, just an animal protecting his territory from what he understandably believes to be intruders.
- Disc-One Final Boss: Packard's insanity makes him the main antagonist to both the survivors (whom he recklessly endangers in his vendetta) and Kong (whom he's trying to kill) along with the Skullcrawlers. But in the same confrontation he's killed in, Ramarak is awakened by Packard's attempt to kill Kong and firmly takes over as the main villain for the rest of the film.
- Dramatically Missing the Point: Marlow and Brooks tell Packard that killing Kong is a bad idea since his absence would enable the Skullcrawlers to run rampant, but Packards deteriorating mental state causes him to completely ignore the point that mankinds survival depends on that of Kong's.Marlow: You can't kill Kong, Colonel. Kong is God on this island. Hes the only thing keeping them lizard things in the ground.Brooks: Hes right, Colonel. We cant kill Kong. And that other creature? That's the threat. And there are more of them down there. If you take out a species natural competition, they will proliferate out of control.Packard: Then well end them too! After we bring this thing down.
- Driven to Madness: After being ordered to withdraw from Vietnam, Packard finds himself longing for a purpose, lacking a civilian life to go back to. When Kong wipes out half of his men and strands him on an island crawling with dangerous predators, Packard transforms into a revenge-driven madman who selfishly puts his grudge over the lives of his troops.
- Entitled Bastard: Upon their first meeting, he is immediately hostile to Weaver, reasoning that people like her who are in the media make soldiers like him look bad so that makes her an enemy to him. He doesn't even try to see things eye-to-eye with her afterward as he only cares about his side of the situation. Even though the Monarch operatives kept him in the dark about the expedition's true purpose, Packard refuses to acknowledge that he's also at fault for Kong killing most of his men since Kong wouldn't have reacted the way he did if Packard hadn't antagonized him first by dropping bombs onto his home (as ordered by Monarch) and attacking him (done on his own authority). As his misguided grudge against Kong intensifies, Packard develops a slight "My Way or the Highway" kind of attitude, making the others have to choose between either doing whatever he wants since hes the commanding officer or being left behind to fend for themselves and be picked off by a predator. Being a strong believer in "an eye for an eye," Packard feels he's within his rights to get even with Kong and continuously tries to justify his demand for his pound of flesh as he refuses to let what happened to his men go unpunished regardless of what anyone else says otherwise.
- Establishing Character Moment: While flying through the storm surrounding Skull Island, Packard relates a much-abridged tale of Icarus (see Badass Boast), before stating that their wings will not melt, thus they can fly as high as they like ... demonstrating exactly the kind of hubris the story of Icarus warns against. Hubris is one of Packard's defining character traits.
- Evil Counterpart: To Admiral Stenz in Godzilla (2014). Both are senior U.S. military commanders tasked with protecting civilians from giant monsters. However, whereas Stenz is a reasonable figure who listens to his civilian advisors and is more concerned with saving lives, Packard ignores the warnings of his allies and is more than willing to jeopardize the lives of his men just so he can kill Kong. Interestingly, Stenz is usually a non-action officer who operates from mission control, whereas Packard is a field soldier and Shell-Shocked Veteran as an important part of his character.
- Evil Is Petty: One of the first signs that Packard's morality and sanity are decaying is when he shoots a Leafwing that was just minding its own business for being an "ugly ass bird".
- Fatal Flaw: His need for revenge. After Kong decimates the Sky Devils, Packard forms an obsessive grudge that overtakes any sympathetic traits he may have. Despite caring for his men and wanting to avenge their deaths, Packard needlessly puts his surviving troops in danger, getting even more of them killed. His hatred of journalists puts him at odds with Weaver, and he refuses to see her as anything else besides another enemy he has to deal with. It's Packard's unwillingness to let go of his personal vendettas or even compromise that turns him into even more of a monster than most of the predators that roam the island.
- A Father to His Men: Packard is basically a Deconstructed Character Archetype of this, if not a suversion; while Packard does care for his men and takes their deaths personally, his thirst for blood takes precedence. His Sky Devils were about to be sent home to their families and lives, but Packard (who has no life outside of combat) accepts a highly dangerous mission without stopping to think about the men under his command. From there on, he repeatedly and carelessly places them in danger. Notably, his search for Chapman is pretty transparently not about Chapman at all, but about the munitions he had at his disposal, to the point of going to his crash site even after learning about his death, despite the effort being a waste of everyone's time.Conrad: I'm sorry, Colonel Packard... [holds up Chapman's dog tags] Chapman is dead.
Packard: Doesn't change a thing. We're still going to that crash site.
Conrad: What's at that crash site that you want so badly?
Packard: Weapons! Enough to kill it!
- Faux Affably Evil: Packard is an inherently selfish man who disguises that part of him in machismo, speeches, and fatherly care for his men. After the attack by Kong, Packard ostensibly tries to lead his men to Chapman because he never leaves a man behind. In reality, he just wants the weapons at Chapman's crash site.
- Foil: To Conrad. Randa's Armor-Piercing Question when trying to hire Conrad is "Men go to war looking for something. If you'd found it, you'd be home by now." What Conrad was looking for revolved around his issues with his Disappeared Dad, and a failed rescue mission involving a young girl. Conrad gets some closure helping another Disappeared Dad find his way back to his family, and helping get the other survivors off Skull Island. Packard was looking for an enemy he could be victorious against, and he found one in the form of Kong.
- General Ripper: Having never lost a man in Vietnam, losing most of his squadron to Kong makes Packard immediately label him an enemy and uses the event to wage war against Kong, and try to kill him through any means including burning him with napalm and trying to blow him up with bombs.
- He Who Fights Monsters: Packard's single-minded desire for revenge turns him into a selfish madman who will sacrifice whatever's left of his squadron if it means he'll kill Kong, making him just as much a threat as the Skullcrawlers.
- Hypocrite: His motivation for his hatred against Kong is the death of several of his men. And to get revenge on Kong, he proceeds to...needlessly get even more of his men killed, all the while never taking responsibility for any of it.
- Irrational Hatred: Played with. He is civil to Weaver upon meeting her but turns bitter toward her almost immediately when he finds out what she does for a living, making it clear that he's not a fan of people in her line of work since he holds them responsible for the troops in Vietnam losing stateside support and being forced to withdraw without a proper victory. According to Samuel L. Jackson, Packard's unfavorable attitude toward Weaver stems from his belief that journalists like her are a threat since their coverage can cast soldiers in a bad light and cause the people back home to react to them negatively as if they're monsters. He may or may not know any of Weaver's work but that doesn't stop Packard from taking his frustrations out on her whenever he gets the chance. Plus, Samuel L. Jackson said that if Packard ever has his way, he'll probably kill Weaver if Skull Islands predators don't get her first. After the events in the Boneyard and Conrad's group tries to reason with Packard against killing Kong, he noticeably points his assault rifle at Weaver longer than any of the others who confront him. Not only does Packard hold his gun on Weaver, he holds it at her face at point-blank range complete with a long Death Glare, even over ten seconds after Conrad finishes trying to talk him down. Not to mention Packard's response to Weaver's attempt at a Kirk Summation when he later tries to kill Kong.Weaver: Stop! The world is bigger than this.Packard: Bitch, please!
- It's Personal: After Kong wipes out most of his men, Packard makes it his mission to get revenge. If Packard didn't take his losses so personally, he'd understand the bigger picture but since Kong attacked his squadron and presented himself as an enemy, Packard feels it's completely fair and justified to strike back at Kong and take him down.Packard: Before we leave this island, we're going to bring that ape down.
- Jerkass: He becomes a prick towards Weaver within ten seconds of meeting her. As for Randa, the novelization reveals that Randa can't stand Packard for his condescending attitude towards anyone who's not military. Needless to say, Packard becomes worse as he goes crazy.
- Karmic Death: He's killed by the very thing he was trying to murder in cold blood a few seconds ago.
- Killed Mid-Sentence: "Die, you motherf-"
- Motive Decay: Over the course of the film, he loses track of the fact that his mission is supposed to be supporting and protecting the expedition, not waging a private war against the local cryptids. This causes him to go back into the jungle to set a trap for Kong when he's being presented with a safe way off the island and there are no more people he needs to account for before leaving.
- The Neidermeyer: While he seems to care for his men, he has no problem with putting his obsession to kill Kong over the safety of whoever remains in his group.
- Nerves of Steel: Madness aside, Packard's got a LOT of guts. When the Sky Devils fly through a vicious hurricane, he calmly recites the myth of Icarus; when face to face with Kong, he just glares with pure malice; when confronted by monsters, he hunkers down and goes in guns blazing; when faced with Ramarak hot on his ass and Kong a few meters in front of him, he still attempts to utter a Pre-Mortem One-Liner.
- Never My Fault: Not once does Packard consider that Kong never would have attacked and killed his men had Packard not dropped bombs on his home and attacked him first.
- No One Gets Left Behind: His stated reason for risking his current troops to reach the crash site is to rescue Chapman. It's unclear how much of this is a genuine concern for Chapman's well-being and how much is the desire for the weapons cache he is currently with.
- Not-So-Well-Intentioned Extremist: While he's (somewhat of) A Father to His Men, his obsessive vendetta with Kong gets many of his surviving troops needlessly wiped out. He says that a soldier has to commit vicious acts so that people won't have to live in fear and their country can be safe; however, his actions have been anything but well-meaning, only meant to serve himself and his grudge. This could very well be Packard trying to justify himself in the face of scrutiny.Packard: We are soldiers! We do the dirty work, so our families and our countrymen don't have to be afraid! They shouldn't even know a thing like this exists!
- Pet the Dog: As insane as he is, he does genuinely care a lot for his men. He's shown embracing Mills and Cole tightly when they are reunited, going so far as to pat the back of Cole's head affectionately. He also provides a proper burial for the fallen soldiers, and orders Mills to take Chapman's note back to his family after he was killed. He also lets Conrad escort the civilians back to safety while he and his troops go after Kong.
- Rare Guns: Packard carries two Colt M1902 military pistols in a dual-shoulder holster over his jacket; while semi-justified, as many high-ranking officers carried non-standard firearms up to and including the time of the Vietnam War, only just over 18000 M1902 military sidearms were ever produced, and the gun would be considered antiquated even at the time.
- Revenge Before Reason: His fixation on revenge on Kong for killing his men gets more of his surviving men killed. Even after seeing firsthand how insanely dangerous one 'little' Skullcrawler is and learning Kong is the only thing keeping the species in check, he still refuses to give up his vendetta. Despite Ramarak, the Alpha Skullcrawler who is clearly the more dangerous threat, rushing at the both of them, he spends his final moments trying to kill Kong.
- Revenge Myopia: He wants to avenge the deaths of his men at Kong's hands, despite Kong having done so out of defense for the island.
- Sanity Slippage: Packard wasn't the most even-tempered fellow in the first place, but Skull Island pushes him further into lunacy and it even gets Lampshaded. Best shown when after setting Kong on fire, the rest of his men have varying degrees of horror on their faces, but he has a Slasher Smile.
- Scary Black Man: If being played by Samuel L. Jackson wasn't enough, his obsessive grudge with Kong is unnerving at best and he only gets worse as the film continues.
- Shoot the Messenger: Played with. According to Word of God, if the island's predators don't kill Weaver first, then Packard would do the deed himself for her role in the troops losing support for the war.
- Shut Up, Kirk!: He's quick to cut off Weaver's Kirk Summation with this golden exchange:Weaver: Stop!...The world is bigger than this.*Beat*Packard: Bitch, please!
- Slasher Smile: In contrast to his men, Packard is downright gleeful as he watches Kong burn in his napalm trap.
- Smug Snake: He's fully confident that he can take out Kong. Five seconds before having the chance to do so, Kong squashes him like a bug with no problem whatsoever.
- Squashed Flat: This is how Packard dies. As he's midway through saying "Die, you motherfucker" and getting ready to blow up Kong, Kong brings his fist down on Packard and squashes him into the ground.
- Sunk Cost Fallacy: Packard is understandably upset that Kong killed so many of his men, but this creates a vendetta that prevents him from just cutting his loss and escaping the island with the men he has left and only gets more of them killed in service of his selfish grudge.
- Suspiciously Similar Substitute: To Lieutenant Colonel Nevitt in King Kong Lives. Both men are U.S. Army lieutenant colonels with an extreme hatred of Kong (and both die by Kong's hand, literally, the same way), but whereas Nevitt is never given a precise reason for hating Kong and wanting to kill him, Packard, at least, has a leg to stand on, blaming Kong for the deaths of several of his men.
- Taking You with Me: Almost pulls this off on Kong, but Kong was just a bit too fast.
- This Means War!: After Kong kills more than half his men and strands everyone on the island, this is what's on Packard's mind from then on.
- Tragic Villain: In the vein of Captain Ahab, Packard's quest for revenge consumes him. He begins the film as a fairly reasonable man thrust into a situation out of his control. He tries his best to save as many people as he can even as the situation rapidly deteriorates. As the film goes on the need to kill Kong overrides everything else and avenging his men quickly devolves into a Sunk Cost Fallacy as he loses more in pursuit of that revenge. Any traits of gratitude, honor, and even self-preservation are pushed to the side as his vendetta grows. By the end, everyone has left him and he stands alone against the monsters of the island.
- Ungrateful Bastard: As he descends into insanity, he tunes out whatever voice of reason he hears trying to talk him out of going after Chapman and killing Kong. Packard also couldn't care less that Weaver saves him and the others from the Skullcrawler in the Boneyard, and later "repays" Weaver by pointing his rifle at her.
- Unknown Rival: He arrogantly believes that he, with his military cunning and human technology, is the biggest threat to Kong on the island, and acts as if the two are locked in a mutual war for dominance. While Packard indeed nearly kills Kong and the beast is shown to hate him with an animal fury, it's made clear Kong's real Arch Enemies are the Skullcrawlers who devoured his parents and have made every day of his life a bloody, hellish fight for survival; when Packard is about to deal a killing blow and Ramarak is approaching the two of them, Kong dismissively crushes the man almost like he wants him to shut up, then gets to his feet to fight the much bigger foe.
- Villain Has a Point: It's true that Kong did kill a large number of Packard's men, some of which very violently. From the colonel's perspective and the perspective of everyone there, he did this for no reason beyond a territorial dispute. Who wouldn't respond by seeking vengeance for the innocent men who were killed by a giant "monster"? He loses his point in the third act, though, once he meets Lieutenant Marlow who tells him why killing Kong is a terrible idea, but he pursues his vengeance anyway.
- Villainous Legacy: A surprisingly positive one. According to the Godzilla vs. Kong novelization, his use of napalm against Kong in '73 led to Monarch in later years discovering how to knock Kong out so they could seal him inside a bio-dome for his own protection and later transport him off Skull Island.
- Villainous Underdog: A normal human armed with only standard explosives and weaponry, and the command of a handful of men, makes it his mission to kill Kong. He almost succeeds.
- Villainous Valor: He's way out of his league when he first encounters Kong, but it's admirable how far he gets with only a few men, explosives, and the Power Of Hate.
- Why Don't You Just Shoot Him?: He could have ended Kong's life or at least severely wounded him had he just pressed the detonator instead of attempting a Pre-Mortem One-Liner. Naturally, Kong pancakes him before he has the chance to finish.
Portrayed By: Toby Kebbell
Appears In: Kong: Skull Island
- "Dear Billy, this place is Hell..."
A U.S. Army Major and Packard's right-hand man. He's eager to get back to his son, Billy.
- Butt-Monkey: Life is downright cruel to this guy. First, he's recalled back into duty for one last mission by Packard when he was about to go home to see his son and start working in an airline career. When they crash on Skull Island, he is separated from the others and left all alone as the sole survivor of his helicopter crash with a broken radio. He has several close calls with the monsters on the island. During his encounter with a Spore Mantis, it looks like he can drive it away with his gun, but then he turns back and realizes that the Mantis was fleeing away from something far worse: a Skullcrawler, which then proceeds to eat him alive. Finally, his half-digested skull is spat out when the Skullcrawler is attacking the main group, making it obvious that the guy got a very messy death.
- Dying Alone: He gets stranded all by himself on the most dangerous part of the island. Naturally, he bites the big one.
- Fatal Family Photo: Not a photo, per se, but he has written a note he plans to send to his son Billy. He never makes it back, and Packard orders Mills to take the note back to his family in his place.
- Mauve Shirt: Gets decent characterization and quite a bit of focus. It does him precisely zero good when the Skullcrawler finds him.
- Nerves of Steel: His reaction to seeing a two-hundred-foot-tall gorilla rise against the sunset has to be seen to be believed:
- Number Two: To Packard.
- Retirony: He's about to quit the military when Packard enlists him on one last mission. He doesn't get home from Skull Island.
- Swallowed Whole: Chapman meets the Skullcrawler and is Killed Offscreen by it (though some of his blood is seen splattering onto the radio he placed nearby). His skull and dog tags are vomited back out later, giving proof to the survivors that Chapman is dead.
Portrayed By: Jason Mitchell
Appears In: Kong: Skull Island
- "We just got taken down by a monkey the size of a building!"
A young, loyal warrant officer. He's also one of the Sky Devils' helicopter pilots.
- Black Dude Dies First: Averted big time. He's part of the small group of survivors who actually makes it off Skull Island in one piece.
- Eaten Alive: Just barely avoids this fate from the Mother Longlegs.
- Momma's Boy: The others tease him for writing over four times the amount of letters his mother sends him.Reles: Hey, Mills. How many letters did you end up writing her?Mills: I don't know. Uh, ten, fifteen?Slivko: How many did she write you?Mills: Uh, three, four?(Slivko visibly grimaces)Cole: Man, you got a shitty mom.(Reles and Slivko crack up)Mills: Thank you, Cole, for clearing that up.
- My God, What Have I Done?: After Packard sets fire to Kong with napalm, Mills, along with the rest of the Sky Devils, are visibly horrified.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: The more reserved blue to Cole's erratic red.
- Those Two Guys: With Cole. Subverted when Cole tries to sacrifice himself to kill Ramarak.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: With Cole, whom he chides for nonchalantly eating beans after their first encounter with Kong and lighting up a cigarette in a danger zone.
- You Have GOT to Be Kidding Me!: His overall reaction to Cole opening a can of beans despite having been knocked out of the sky by Kong only a few minutes prior.
Portrayed By: Shea Whigham
Appears In: Kong: Skull Island
- "Sometimes the enemy don't exist 'til you go lookin' for one."
A seasoned Captain of the Sky Devils with a "unique" perspective on the mission.
- Cloud Cuckoolander: Even without the PTSD, he has his strange and silly moments.
- Deadpan Snarker: He tends to have an almost Seen It All attitude, like when Mills calls him out for eating a can of beans right after being attacked by Kong.Cole: Yeah. That was an unconventional encounter.
- Death Seeker: It's not outright stated, but it's heavily implied that he suffers from PTSD after the Vietnam War. Much of his screentime has him with a blank expression and a thousand-yard stare. This finally reaches its conclusion when he decides to perform a Heroic Sacrifice by blowing himself up to kill Ramarak, or at least slow it down. It doesn't end exactly the way he wanted.
- Fantastically Indifferent: While Mills is (rightfully) freaking out at being swatted out of the sky by, in Mills' own words, "a gorilla the size of a building", Cole just sits down and eats some rations.Cole [After Mills points the aforementioned fact] It was an unusual encounter, yeah...
- Feed It a Bomb: Tried to do this on Ramarak with the explosives on his chest. Unfortunately, it doesn't work.
- Hidden Depths: The story behind his AKM - it was taken from a farmer conscripted into the NVA. Cole remarks that sometimes an enemy doesn't exist until you look for one.
- Hot-Blooded: While typically pretty quiet, he gets very loud and action-oriented during the battle with the Mother Longlegs. Granted, it's because his best friend was about to be eaten, but it's still the most emotion we get from him until a few minutes before his death, where he's shown to be visibly terrified.
- My God, What Have I Done?: After Packard sets fire to Kong with napalm, Cole, along with the rest of the Sky Devils, are visibly horrified.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: The erratic, slightly perky red to Mills' more reserved and grounded blue.
- Senseless Sacrifice: Near the end of the movie, Cole tries to sacrifice himself to kill or at least delay Ramarak. He pulls out two grenades (and is wearing a bandolier full of 40mm rounds for his M79 grenade launcher, which will make a MUCH bigger boom) and presumably expects Ramarak to try and eat him, allowing him to blow it up from the inside. Instead of eating Cole, it simply whips him with its tail, sending him and the explosives flying uselessly away.
- Those Two Guys: With Mills. Subverted when he tries to sacrifice himself to stop Ramarak.
- Tragic Keepsake: He carries an AKM (as opposed to the other soldiers' standard-issue M16A1s), which he tells Randa was taken from a farmer fighting for the NVA. The way he tells the story suggests the experience still haunts him."He surrendered right after we leveled his village. He was 50 years old — said he'd never even seen a gun 'til we showed up. Sometimes, an enemy doesn't exist till you go looking for one."
- Unusually Uninteresting Sight: Despite just being ripped out of the sky by a 50 ft ape, the first thing Cole does is start eating a can of beans. Mills, understandably in disbelief, lampshades how asinine the act is.
Portrayed By: Thomas Mann
Appears In: Kong: Skull Island
- "We're really not gonna talk about it? You know this is not normal, right? Stuff like that doesn't just happen!"
A young bandanna-wearing hipster and warrant officer of the Sky Devils known for carrying a portable record player.
- Badasses Wear Bandanas: Despite being the youngest member of Packard's platoon, he managed to survive both Skull Island and the Vietnam war, and he's almost always seen with a red bandanna tied around his head.
- The Baby of the Bunch: According to the King Kong wiki, Slivko is only seventeen years old during the events of the film.
- Conflicting Loyalty: Halfway through the film, he learns about Kong's true nature and develops a friendship with Marlow, who is the only other soldier in the civilian group. Later on, Slivko's loyalties are tested when Packard sets Kong ablaze with napalm and orders him to move Weaver out of his way. Slivko ultimately makes the right choice and turns on his now-unhinged commanding officer.
- The Heart: He's this for the Sky Devils. As soon as he trains his gun on Packard, the others lower their weapons as well.
- Intergenerational Friendship: Bonds with World War II veteran Marlow. This friendship convinces him to turn against Packard's insanity.
- Mauve Shirt: He's given a decent amount of characterization, being one of the few survivors of the expedition.
- Mr. Fixit: He came from a family of mechanics from Detroit and boasts that he's been taught to fix any machine. He's also the one who gets Marlow's boat operational.
- My God, What Have I Done?: After Packard sets fire to Kong with napalm, Slivko, along with the rest of the Sky Devils, are visibly horrified. He's shown hesitating before setting his section of the napalm-filled lake on fire, and looks quite close to tears when Kong passes out from his burn wounds.
- Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!: His time with Conrad's group and Marlow makes him the first soldier to turn on Packard when they realize that Packard no longer cares about anything except taking revenge on Kong.
Portrayed By: Eugene Cordero
Appears In: Kong: Skull Island
- "Dear Billy, this place is hell."
Packard's door gunner.
- The Big Guy: Big, thick, and wields an M60.
- Groin Attack: Nearly receives one via the Mother Longlegs.
- Mauve Shirt: Of the soldiers in the expedition, he's among those who get special focus. He also ends up surviving the film.
- My God, What Have I Done?: After Packard sets fire to Kong with napalm, Reles, along with the rest of the Sky Devils, are visibly horrified.
- The Quiet One: He hardly speaks throughout the film.
- Twitchy Eye: Does this the moment he overhears Packard wants to go after Kong.
Portrayed By: John Ortiz
Appears In: Kong: Skull Island
A senior Landsat official on the expedition.
- An Arm and a Leg: When a Leafwing divebombs into his arm, it slices the whole thing off with its sharp beak.
- Cruel and Unusual Death: He's devoured by the Leafwings, but not before one of them chops his arm off. We hear him screaming in pain the entire time.
- Dropped a Bridge on Him: Just when the civilian group is about to rendezvous with Packard and his men, a group of Leafwings appear out of nowhere and carry him off.
- Only Sane Man: Initially, he wanted to call off the mission, on account of the storm surrounding Skull Island being more dangerous than they'd initially presumed. He's also the most vocal in suggesting that everyone should get the hell out of there as quickly as possible. Sadly, it doesn't save him from being eaten alive.
Portrayed By: Marc Evan Jackson
Appears In: Kong: Skull Island
A Landsat employee on the expedition.
- Beware the Quiet Ones: Despite being a geological survey technician, he becomes increasingly infatuated with the opportunity to use an M16A1 and fight alongside the soldiers, to the point of joining Packard in his final push to kill Kong, albeit reluctantly.
- Peer Pressure Makes You Evil: At first Steve insists on going straight to the pick-up point. However, when Packard asks if he's coming along to kill Kong, phrasing it as 'running with the big dogs or staying on the porch,' Steve dejectedly remarks that he doesn't want to 'stay on the porch.'
- Squashed Flat: His final fate. Kong steps on him just mere moments before he kills Packard in the same fashion, albeit with his fist.Woodward: Oh, dear. SQUISH
- We Hardly Knew Ye: Doesn't get much characterization throughout the movie until his death before the climax.
Other Expedition Members
Portrayed By: Tom Hiddleston
Appears In: Kong: Skull Island
- "An uncharted island? Let me list the ways you're going to die. Rain, heat, mud, disease-carrying flies and mosquitoes. Sure, you could load up on the atabrine for the malaria, but what about the other bacteria? And we haven't even started on the things that want to eat you alive."
A disillusioned former British Special Air Service Captain who served in the Vietnam War. He is then hired as a tracker for the expedition by Randa.
- Action Hero: He's the main badass in a movie full of them.
- Beauty Is Never Tarnished: To some extent, Conrad gets a bit dirty without it detracting too much from his good looks.
- Blue Is Heroic: He wears a blue shirt the entire time they're on the island, and his leadership is noticeably cooler and more level-headed than Packard's revenge-fueled rampage.
- Cynicism Catalyst: See My Greatest Failure.
- Deadpan Snarker: Conrad has several moments of sarcasm and snarking, such the "many ways to die" rundown he gives Randa and Brooks, how he calls Weaver out for joining the expedition hoping to win a Pulitzer, and how she doesn't strike him as a war photographer when she outright calls him a mercenary. He has another brief moment with Weaver when he reluctantly agrees to go look for Chapman and he reminds Weaver to tell him that it's a bad idea, which she does.Weaver: This is a bad idea.
- Disappeared Dad: His father, a Royal Air Force pilot he idolized, had his plane downed during WW2.
- Establishing Character Moment: He proves his combat skills to the audience in his introductory scene at the night club when he takes out two mooks with ease.
- Great White Hunter: Conrad is hired for his ability as a tracker and his skills in jungle survival.
- Heroes Prefer Swords: He borrows Marlow's shin-guntō in the Bone Graveyard and puts it to good use against the Leafwings.
- Implied Love Interest: With Mason Weaver. They never do anything overtly romantic but they share many scenes together where they're clearly bonding. Subverted in the novelization where an attraction between Conrad and Weaver starts forming from the moment they meet each other.
- Manly Tears: He's noticeably teary-eyed with awe when he meets Kong up close.
- My Greatest Failure: The novelization reveals that roughly eight years ago, Conrad left the British Special Forces after a mission from the Malaysian government, during which he failed to save a 7-year-old girl named Jenny, the illegitimate daughter of a Malaysian woman and a British embassy worker, who was kidnapped and held for ransom by a unit of rogue Indonesian soldiers. Jenny and two of Conrad's five men were killed by a sniper in an ambush while approaching the border, as if the mission was always meant to fail. It was his last mission as a soldier in the SAS and this failure marked the beginning of his disillusioned outlook as Conrad had lost trust in his gov't and country as well as himself, and from then on cautiously chose only freelance missions where the odds weren't stacked against him.
- Only Sane Man: His priority is in keeping everyone—especially the untrained civilians such as Weaver and Brooks—safe, and actively advises others to not shoot otherwise harmless creatures in an environment as hostile as Skull Island's.
- Rank Up: In the end, Conrad is recruited into Monarch with Weaver.
- Redemption Quest: When Randa recruits Conrad, he says the latter is still looking for something since he didn't return home after the war. According to Tom Hiddleston, Conrad has unknowingly been seeking redemption for his past failure. During his and Weaver's up-close encounter with Kong, Conrad learns of his innermost desire as he looks into Kong's eyes and his heart is reopened to wonder, innocence, and humility. Hiddleston says Conrad starts his journey from a place of cynicism as a soldier looking for an easy payday, sleepwalking through his life, but once he meets Kong, he sees a glimmer of his former self and he's snapped out of his rut, fully awake again, and his survivalist skills kick in. Immediately after said encounter, Conrad finds the determination to save Kong from Packard's misguided wrath and still manages to get the remaining survivors off the island.
- Save the Villain: Despite nearly getting shot under Packard's orders only a few minutes before, he still tries to reason with the deranged colonel and even offers his hand when Ramarak finally emerges from the earth and Packard's own men abandon him. Unfortunately, Packard is too lost in his madness, and Conrad—who eventually realizes that the whole thing is pointless—finally leaves him, albeit with a guilty expression on his face.
- Shout-Out: His surname is taken from that of "Heart of Darkness" author, Joseph Conrad.
- Tragic Keepsake: His late father's RAF lighter, which comes in handy for Weaver later on.
- Two First Names: His surname, Conrad, can also be used as a first name.
Portrayed By: Brie Larson
Appears In: Kong: Skull Island
- "We don't belong here."
A noted investigative photojournalist and self-proclaimed "anti-war" photographer.
- Action Girl: Could be an Action Survivor, but has two standout cases for this instead, throwing a lighter to blow up a Skullcrawler, and firing a flare straight into Ramarak's eye.
- Armies Are Evil: Mostly averted. Due to her anti-war status, one would think a serious conflict of interest would arise given Weaver's beliefs and the nature of her job, and expect her to have a bit of friction with the soldiers. However, with the sole exception of Packard, Weaver and the others get along just fine. This is shown when Weaver takes pictures of the men posing for her and goofing around with her on the way to Skull Island.
- Beast and Beauty: Averted. Like King Kong Lives, this one doesn't retell the Beauty and the Beast love story like the other King Kong films. There are subtle hints to it during the moments between Kong and Weaver but instead of love, their connection is born out of mutual respect for the creatures on Skull Island.
- Beauty Is Never Tarnished: Played with. Weaver goes through a lot of abuse including a violent helicopter crash, several explosions, a very deep fall into water, and being held in Kong's ginormous fist when its pulled down Ramaraks throat, yet the worst she gets are dirty clothes, a minor bruise and two scrapes under her left eye, a scrape on the left side of her jaw, and a bruised right shoulder. Apart from that, she looks gorgeous from beginning to end.
- Beneath the Mask: Mason comes across as passionate, determined, and sure of herself but in reality, she has deep feelings of insecurity and a deep desire to live in the background as a result of unintentional emotional abuse from her father as he made her feel like she was a disappointment to him. Conrad deduces this is what drove Weaver to live behind a camera and remove herself from the world under the impression that by doing so, she can no longer fail at anything, and that she follows all the bad stuff that goes on because they make her feel like a good person.
- Camera Fiend: A heroic example as she takes photos showcasing both the danger and beauty of Skull Island. In the novelization, it's said that Weaver would gladly live in the same set of clothing for weeks if it means getting the shots as it's all about the photos. As being someone whose sole purpose is to record and share, Weaver feels a duty to her photos but rarely to her subjects. She also wants her pictures to prompt action and understanding from those who see them.
- Category Traitor: Played with. Packard may be impressed with Weaver's credentials and he may respect her willingness to enter crazy situations and get her hands dirty but as far as he's concerned, Weaver might as well be a traitor to their own country since she and other members of the press vilified the U.S. troops for their actions in Vietnam and caused America to back out of the war, making all the blood, sweat, and tears shed by him and thousands of other men all for nothing.
- Custom Uniform: She wears a military-inspired outfit complete with dark brown knee-high boots and olive drab pants similar to the soldiers' fatigues. This could be due to Weaver's experiences embedding with military units on the job, and she, therefore, dresses like them to blend in.
- Daddy Issues: In the novelization, it's said that Weaver had a demanding but well-meaning father who loved her until he died when she was 16. Weaver even says that he ran her household in the style of a "benevolent dictatorship". She says her father was a good man but she was never able to impress him or live up to his expectations and that despite his good intentions in trying to shape his only child into the adult he wanted her to be, he instead tried to mold Mason into the type of person he wished he had been himself and forgot to consider what she wanted.
- Deadpan Snarker: When she isn't currently trying to be the voice of reason, she's probably snarking at someone and being sarcastic. Some instances include the moment involving her gender-neutral name, Weaver calling Packard out for singling out journalists as the cause for America abandoning Vietnam, telling Conrad how she hopes that he's worth the money he was paid when they're stranded on Skull Island, the possibility of Packard and his group getting eaten by a large predator, and how Marlow should try to reason with an ignorant and unhinged Packard for a second time.Conrad: That flare was only two klicks north. They should be here soon.noteWeaver: Unless they were eaten by something that's bigger than us.
- Doesn't Like Guns: Mason is the only main character to never wield a gun. note
- Fire-Forged Friends: After getting off on the wrong foot with the Iwi, Mason bonds with them by taking their photos. She even lets them take pictures of her, and teaches them the peace sign.
- Foil: To Packard. Weaver is a compassionate individual who respects nature, understands there is more to life than war and violence, and she is also more than willing to hear out the perspectives of other people and not be quick to judge. On the other hand, Packard is a belligerent and gung-ho loudmouth who likes everyone to know he's the one in charge as if he can never be wrong about anyone or anything. This is shown by how he treats Weaver with hostility and ignores whatever she says just because of her role in the war, and labels Kong the enemy and doesn't let up despite learning that Kong's attack on the helicopter squadron is justified. Burdened by his unfinished business with Vietnam, Packard takes it out on Skull Island, always looking for a fight, not caring about how much damage he inflicts on the island or how many lives he endangers since war is now all he knows and understands. As Packard becomes increasingly psychotic, he refuses to listen to the sensible people telling him the folly of his vendetta against Kong, and the consequences that killing Kong will have on the whole world. Although he may care about the men under his command, their well-being takes a backseat to his desire for revenge.
- Friend to All Living Things: When her group comes across a Sker Buffalo, Weaver takes a picture of it and smiles at the creature as it leaves peacefully. When she later finds another one trapped under a downed helicopter, she tries to help it despite the impossibility of the situation until Kong arrives. Later on, when she and Conrad finally meet Kong face-to-face, she touches him gently and is clearly awestruck instead of afraid.
- Gender-Blender Name: Lampshaded. The novelization reveals Weaver sometimes takes pleasure in the surprise of others who meet her when they at first assume her to be male because of her name, but despite being used to the casual discrimination she encounters on the job, it mostly angered her because most people believe women should be at home keeping the bed warm while the men go out to war.Weaver: Mason Weaver, photographer.Woodward: Mason Weaver ... is a woman?Weaver: Last time I checked.
- Going for the Big Scoop: Whenever she believes there is a worthwhile story, Weaver will risk her life to get the exclusive, even going on a geological mapping mission to an uncharted island on the hunch of it being a ruse covering up a secret military operation. Also to the extent of trying to snap a picture of Kong and the alpha Skullcrawler before Conrad pulls her away when the Skullcrawler spots her.
- Heel Realization: According to Brie Larson, Weaver begins the film seeking to take photos that will bring her more acclaim but after learning about Kong's role as a protector and seeing his true benevolent nature up-close, she starts to view him as something that's greater than herself and should be protected, realizing people are better off not knowing about Skull Island.
- Ignored Expert: Given the bad blood between her and Packard, whenever Weaver says something that any sensible person would agree with, he completely ignores her as if she didn't say anything, such as when she says the group should listen to Marlow and avoid the Boneyard since he knows the island better than any of them.
- Implied Love Interest: With James Conrad. They never do anything overtly romantic but they share many scenes where they're clearly bonding. Subverted in the novelization where an attraction between Conrad and Weaver starts forming from the moment they meet each other.
- Improbable Aiming Skills: An astonishingly good shot with a flare gun, especially for someone claiming to be a pacifist.
- Improvised Weapon: On two separate occasions, she pulls a Big Damn Heroes moment with only Conrad's lighter and a flare gun, respectively.
- Intrepid Reporter: She earned her anti-war reputation with her strong sense of intuition that helped expose the lies of many institutions, and it's what tipped her off that there was more to the Skull Island Expedition than just being a mapping mission as many sources told her. She's even asked why she's going on the secret mission when her Vietnam pictures were already good enough for her to be up for the cover of Time Magazine.
- Martial Pacifist: Even though she declares herself to be anti-war and doesn't carry a gun, Weaver is armed with a knife on her left hip that she almost takes out when the group is surrounded by the Iwi natives. However, she never uses it throughout the film, giving the impression that the knife is a last resort weapon for her should the worst happen. For the most part, Weaver is 'armed' with only her trusty Leica M3 camera and her wits. However, despite using non-traditional "weapons", she is the only human character to kill a Skullcrawler, and also the only person to cause considerable damage to the alpha, looking as if she Took a Level in Badass while doing it.
- Ms. Fanservice: She's a very attractive and quite well-endowed woman, something the film's creators made sure to emphasize as much as possible. Just look at her page image. Fortunately, she does a lot more than just serve as eye candy.
- Mythology Gag: Except for King Kong vs. Godzilla and King Kong Lives, Kong is shown pining for a blonde woman. However, like Amy from the latter film, Mason is a brunette (albeit with golden brown hair that can be mistaken for blonde), she never wears a dress, and she doesn't become the object of Kong's affections as the bond formed between them is strictly platonic.
- Nature Lover: Due to her rural upbringing, Mason has an affinity with nature and believes people should work with nature and co-exist with it instead of fighting it and trying to dominate it.
- Nerves of Steel: Coming with the job as an investigative photojournalist and photographer, Mason is brave enough to go to war zones and other dangerous places whenever there's a story she believes must be told, though her passion to expose the truth at all costs gets her into trouble because of publications and the men in her photos hating the dark side of war being shown to the general public. Having endured and survived two years in Vietnam while embedded with the Command & Control South (CCS) detachment of MACV-SOG in Ban Me Thuot, its impressive that she shows no signs of PTSD given everything shes seen and been through. Besides braving the beasts of Skull Island, she is also gutsy enough to face the end of Packard's assault rifle at point-blank range without flinching or showing any fear, and seeming completely unfazed by it as she snarks about it to Marlow afterward, leading one to think that wasnt the first time Weaver has had a gun pointed at her. In the novelization, when she and Conrad stand between Kong and Packard, Weaver goes as far as telling Packard that if he kills Kong, then he will have to kill her as well.Weaver: You wanna talk with him about it again? He seemed to really go for it the first time.
- Never My Fault: She seems confused as to why Packard would blame people in her line of work for costing the U.S. military its public support in Vietnam and ultimately the war.Weaver: You're not actually going to blame the people without guns for losing the war, are you?Packard: Camera's way more dangerous than a gun. And we didn't lose the war, we abandoned it.Weaver: Right. (scoffs)
- No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: By killing the Skullcrawler in the Boneyard, Weaver unknowingly avenges Chapman's death. Despite this, Packard is still dead-set on killing Kong for the deaths of his other men and, like an Ungrateful Bastard, he "repays" Weaver by pointing his gun at her face when she tells him to get a grip.
- Non-Lethal Deadly Weapon: Her camera, according to Packard. This isnt completely false since some people do believe that while guns take lives once the trigger is pulled, cameras can be considered more dangerous because people can jump to the wrong conclusions based on a photo without knowing the whole story. Firearms either wound or kill someone instantly but seemingly harmless photos can lead to sometimes baseless controversies and riots, more or less causing a greater number of deaths and lives being destroyed than those caused by a single gun. Not to mention the photographer winding up on the receiving end of unwanted/unwarranted negative attention and death threats that border on disproportionate retribution simply because someone doesn't like their photo(s), regardless of whether or not the photographer intended to stir up trouble or if they only did so on someone else's orders. There is also the fact that while people can immediately recognize a gun as a weapon, a camera is unassuming in appearance and an otherwise everyday object people wouldnt normally consider threatening, and can therefore easily fly under the radar.
- The Not-Love Interest: Unlike both Ann and Dwan, Weaver is saved by Kong but, like Amy, doesn't earn his affection. Ditto for Conrad, despite them bonding.
- Rank Up: In the end, she and Conrad are recruited by Monarch.
- Right Makes Might: In the words of Brie Larson, Weaver believes that "unity can be achieved without aggression."
- Scapegoat: Packard blames journalists like Weaver for the war's outcome.
- Street Smart: From growing up in an environment dominated by men and working with them, Weaver knows how to form boundaries and assert herself to make sure men don't belittle her. As an investigative photojournalist, she knows who to talk to and what questions to ask to get to the bottom of things. Mason also has great intuition when it comes to sussing out people and situations, the ability to think on her feet, and the ability to stand her ground whenever things get tense.
- Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Her friendship with Kong makes her similar to Dwan and Ann Darrow, as shes portrayed in the 2005 King Kong film.
- Tagalong Reporter: She is the only one who wasnt recruited for the mission in any way but she nevertheless manages to worm her way onto the team to uncover the conspiracy she believes is at work. The novelization reveals that a man named Chin, whom Randa had in his pocket was originally meant to be the team photographer but he dropped out at the last minute, and Randa is angered by Weavers uninvited presence since she got the job without a background check.
- Tank-Top Tomboy: Wears one for most of the film. Justified considering the film's tropical setting.
- Took a Level in Badass: She begins by simply taking pictures but slowly becomes more hands-on and involved in the action, going on to save Conrad and Slivko from a Skullcrawler by blowing it up, bravely confronting Packard in a heated standoff twice, firing a flare to guide Brooks and San to the other survivors, and destroying the alpha Skullcrawler's right eye with a well-aimed flare.
- Women Are Wiser: She may not be a scientist or soldier but Mason has enough Street Smarts to not only be a strong voice of reason but also ask the right questions and think of the larger picture. Plus, shes doing quite well for herself during the time of the second-wave womens lib movement.
- Wrong Genre Savvy: Initially joins the expedition because she believes it to be a secret military operation and plans to expose it.
Appears In: Skull Island: The Birth of Kong
- "My father—Monarch—wants Skull Island kept secret forever. But to Hell with that. I'm not entrusting humanity's survival to a giant monkey, not without a lot more assurance. It's that simple."
The son of Houston and Lin, Aaron is a young security officer for Monarch who went rogue, taking his team on an unauthorized expedition to Skull Island in 1995 to gather evidence of its existence and expose it to the world at large. He's been missing since.
- Action Survivor: Severely underestimating the dangers of Skull Island because he has his father's notes, it's a miracle he has lived this long.
- Angry Black Man: Is furious that his father took the same stance as Serizawa in letting Skull Island's creatures be instead of razing them to the ground.
- Animal Nemesis: Sees much of Skull Island's fauna as this due to their aggressivity.
- Asian and Nerdy: His mother is San Lin and he loves Norse Mythology.
- The Atoner: At the story's end, he opts to stay on Skull Island a while longer and doesn't even ask for any rescue in the log he sends out to sea, feeling he needs to help make up for the mess he made for the Iwi and for the deaths of his party caused by him launching the expedition.
- Big "NO!": He screams one when Matemavi dies.
- Black Dude Dies First: Subverted big time he even gets to live past the main story and is confirmed by Aftershock to have eventually reunited with his father.
- But Not Too Foreign: African-American from his father's side, Chinese from his mother.
- The Dead Have Names: At the end of his log, Aaron lists the names of those who have died on his expedition as the awful price he ended up paying to realize his father was right about Skull Island, and takes full responsibility for their deaths.
- Determinator: Downplayed and ultimately subverted. He's stubborn enough to go through with taking his own expedition to Skull Island after his argument with his father, in order to expose its existence to the world or at least work out if his father was right about Kong being a protector, but after the island thoroughly beats the whole expedition's asses in short time, he knows when to call it off and focus on getting off the island alive.
- Failure Hero: From the moment he leads his team to touch down on Skull Island, things go totally south for them. He can't save any of them from being killed one by one until he's the expedition's Sole Survivor. He really does try to save the Iwi from the Mother Longlegs, but his firearms don't make much if any difference and it's only Kong's intervention that saves the day.
- Foil: To Randa and Packard.
- Heel Realization: In issue 3, after learning about Kong's birth and how he lost his parents, Aaron sees Kong in a different light upon realizing Kong isn't a savage brute but a grieving orphan avenging his parents. Then in issue 4, Aaron sees firsthand how Kong is protective of humans when he arrives in a time of need.
- Jerk-to-Nice-Guy Plot: Starts as a hot-headed young man at odds with his father over Kong and Skull Island being kept secret from the world, but after nearly a year stranded on Skull Island and learning Kong's history, Aaron sees the ape for the protector he is and realizes his dad was right all along about nature striking its own balance.
- Mission Briefing: The graphic novel shows him going over this with his expedition one last time onboard their Osprey when they're flying through Skull Island's storm.
- More Dakka: Gets his hands on a Vietnam-era M60 in issue 3.
- Never My Fault: Averted hard by him. He acknowledges everything that goes wrong during the story is his fault, since it all originally comes about due to him starting the expedition in the first place.
- The Password Is Always "Swordfish": Dr. Brooks is able to easily guess the password on Aaron's recorder is Gjallarhorn, because Aaron loved hearing his father read him Norse mythology as a child. Justified, as Aaron chose that password so his father alone could unlock the recording if the recorder ever made it to the outside world.
- Redemption Quest: He decides to stay with the Iwi and help them rebuild their village from the damage caused by his actions, sending a message to his dad promising they will meet again one day. which as confirmed in Godzilla: Aftershock did happen.
- Say My Name: He screams Matemavi's name when she's shot by Riccio.
- Shotguns Are Just Better: Obtains one in issue 2 after finding a downed Sky Devil helicopter from the first expedition to the island.
- Sole Survivor: By the end of issue 4, he is the only member of the team left standing.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: Much of his actions are because he fears what would happen if the more malevolent life forms on Skull Island ever got out.
Appears In: Skull Island: The Birth of Kong
- "Still hurts. I just don't care anymore."
The cryptobiologist of Aaron's team.
Appears In: Skull Island: The Birth of Kong
- "A "pilgrimage"? We're scientists, not holy believers."
The combat medic of Aaron's team.
- Action Girl
- Badass Bookworm: MD, PhD, name the initials, she's got them all.
- Died in Your Arms Tonight: She dies being held in Aaron's arms — or she was already dead when her body fell backwards and Aaron was cradling her.
- The Medic: A combat-trained, monster hunting one.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: Like everyone else on the team, she believes the world should know about Skull Island.
Appears In: Skull Island: The Birth of Kong
- "We're 15,000 feet above a monster-infested island, flying through a hurricane in a misappropriated military prototype. Why worry?"
A survival instructor and former Navy legend, she roped in the team's pilot Cejudo.
- Action Girl: She's an In-Universe one as the team's survival instructor and is a "real legend" in the US Navy. Sadly, that doesn't count for much at all on Skull Island, becoming the first member of the expedition to die.
- Cruel and Unusual Death: She is torn apart fighting the Death Jackals so the rest of the team can make their getaway. The survivors themselves note that she didn't deserve to go out in such a horrible way.
- Curb-Stomp Battle: Her Heroic Sacrifice ends up being a borderline exaggeration. She tells the rest of the group to take cover, clearly intending to at least buy them time with her machete and handgun, but she's seized around the waist and promptly ripped apart before she can even get a single strike in at the Death Jackals.
- Devoured by the Horde: She gets literally ripped into pieces by Death Jackals.
- Heroic Sacrifice: She orders the rest of the expedition to take cover in caves from the Death Jackals whilst she holds them off, and is almost-immediately Devoured by the Horde.
- Sword and Gun: Helen uses both a machete and pistol together.
- We Hardly Knew Ye: She's the first member of the expedition to die within five minutes of arriving on the island.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: Like everyone else on the team, she believes the world should know about Skull Island.
Appears In: Skull Island: The Birth of Kong
- "Your father only scratched the surface, Aaron. We will unlock the secrets of The Mountain-Who-Thunders-Death."
The team's mythographer.
- Admiring the Abomination: He seems like this at first, openly admiring Skull Island's beauty when he first sees it just after their Osprey was attacked by Psychovultures, whilst saying they need to seek out the Iwi to avoid becoming snacks for the island's predators, but it's heavily implied he's just using the latter as an excuse to seek out the natives for his own intellectual benefit. He goes way, way overboard with the admiring part and loses the "still acknowledge it could kill him" part entirely thanks to his Sanity Slippage.
- Bitch Slap: He smacks Ato across the face with the butt of a gun for speaking up when he reveals he intends to take down the Iwi village's barrier.
- Commander Contrarian: He puts his fixation on finding the Iwi and learning as much as possible before Aaron's more pragmatic concerns about the group's safety and he isn't quiet about it, and he only grows more antagonistic towards the expedition's leader as he suffers Sanity Slippage and when Aaron calls the expedition off whilst Riccio is more concerned about his "pilgrimage" to see Kong.
- Contrasting Sequel Antagonist: He's one to Packard from the movie. Both men suffer Sanity Slippage after coming to the island which leads to them endangering all the other humans for their own selfish agenda; but whereas Packard was an unstable military man using vengeance and military duty towards civilians as an excuse for obsessing with killing Kong, Riccio instead is a mythographer who takes revering Kong as a holy deity to a thoroughly insane degree. Also, Packard was ultimately reliant on the support of his squad to pose as much of a threat to the island's balance and the remaining cast as he did, whereas Riccio causes a lot more damage after he strikes out on his own than before.
- Evil Is Hammy: Very much so as his Sanity Slippage progresses, spreading his arms and screaming like the guy in the hood here.
- The Fundamentalist: He descends into this with his reverence of Kong and initial respect of the Iwi as his Sanity Slippage sets in, getting angry with the rest of the expedition just for not yet donning Iwi markings and allegedly not showing the Iwi proper respect. Aaron calling off the expedition before Riccio has completed his perceived pilgrimage to see Kong is all that Riccio needs to fully go off the deep end.
- Going Native: A nasty example. He fully assimilates into Iwi culture, but horrendously misinterprets it, culminating in him deciding that the world must die because no human deserves Kong's glory.
- Insane Troll Logic: He descends into this late into his Sanity Slippage. He goes from respecting the Iwi to assaulting and threatening them as he becomes more concerned with his idea of Kong as God, and he decides to bring the Iwi's wall down as a test to see if Kong is the kind of god that will come to their aid; rationalizing that if Kong doesn't intervene to save the Iwi, then it means the Iwi and everything in the world is unworthy of Kong specifically and can all die, not to mention all his talk about removing the barriers that divide creatures even if doing so is suicidal as in the case of taking down the Iwi's wall.
- Instant Expert: Aaron's narration mentions that he's "scary smart" enough that upon coming in contact with the Iwi, Riccio learns their language practically overnight.
- Jumping Off the Slippery Slope: Everyone probably knew he was going to be the antagonist from early on when he had his first so-called vision, but still, he firmly crosses the line when he shoots down the expedition's Osprey and murders Cejudo in the process.
- Karmic Death: He blows up the barrier that prevented Skull Island's predators from invading the Iwi's village en masse in an insane attempt to prove whether or not Kong is really humans' savior. After Kong does indeed come to drive the invading horde off, the King of the Primates is unimpressed by Riccio's ravings that Kong has proven his divinity, seemingly realizing that Riccio is responsible for the harm to the Iwi and squashing him flat.
- Killed Mid-Sentence: He's in the middle of babbling his head off when Kong squashes him flat.
- Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: It's ambiguous whether his painful visions of Kong's parents really are real ("The devils of [Skull Island] whisper[ing] into his ear" as Ato puts it) or are solely hallucinations of his own mind's making brought on by his overconsumption of the Iwi's medicinal brew. Aaron himself briefly lampshades this after Riccio's death.
- Naked Nutter: First he strips his upper-body down to just his undershirt upon coming in contact with the Iwi, then as he integrates himself into their culture and his Sanity Slippage progresses, he goes around topless for the rest of the story, up until he dons an Iwi robe just before his death.
- Omniglot: He already knows multiple languages before he comes in contact with the Iwi and learns their language overnight.
- One-Hit Kill: Kills Matemavi with a single shot from his pistol.
- Psycho Serum: The Iwi's medicinal brew which he over-consumes is heavily implied to be instigating and exacerbating his Sanity Slippage, and it might even be the entire cause of his visions of Kong's parents which fuel his conviction that he's on a holy pilgrimage.
- Psycho Supporter: As his Sanity Slippage progresses, it becomes more and more clear that he's this regarding his initial respect for the Iwi and his reverence for Kong as a divine being, what with the actions he takes to endanger the Iwi and his conviction Kong is the only thing in the world that matters.
- Sanity Slippage: From drinking a lot of the Iwi's medicine brew and becoming a Mad Oracle, he begins to lose it as he assimilates the Iwi culture and insists on continuing the sacred pilgrimage to meet Kong despite his friends' objections and desire to leave Skull Island. The others realize how unhinged Riccio has become when he shoots down Cejudo with a rocket launcher as he flies in to pick them up, shoots Matemavi dead, and holds the rest of them at gunpoint. He goes on to hit Ato across the mouth with his gun and say the outside world can burn and die if Kong doesn't save the Iwi since it doesn't deserve Kong any more than the Iwis do.
- Seers: He believes he's this when he starts having conscious dreams of Kong's parents and of the Skullcrawlers killing them just after Kong's birth, although it's a case of Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane whether he's really this or is just hallucinating as a result of overusing the Iwi's medicine.
- Smug Smiler: Early on, he has a smirk on his face that speaks of this and is slightly condescending towards Aaron before things all go to heck for the expedition. He exchanges it for frowns and manic grins as his Sanity Slippage kicks in.
- Squashed Flat: Dies from being crushed by Kong's fist.
- TV Genius: Knows five different languages, and soon quickly learns the Iwi's language.
- Villain Has a Point: Whilst his actions after his Sanity Slippage are way out of line, causing many deaths and nearly resulting in the Iwi's destruction, they do in the end conclusively prove to Aaron what Kong's moral alignment is and put Aaron's concerns about Kong and the island to rest. Aaron himself admits that in a roundabout way Riccio did complete Aaron's core reason for coming to the island.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: Like everyone else on the team, he believes the world should know about Skull Island.
- Would Hurt a Child: After his Sanity Slippage, he smacks Ato across the face with the butt of a gun for speaking up, to say nothing of how he intends to expose the Iwi's entire village to the predators that their wall keeps out regardless of the fact there's children in their village.
Appears In: Skull Island: The Birth of Kong
- "Adventure of a lifetime, Captain—Go!"
The team's pilot.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: Like everyone else on the team, he believes the world should know about Skull Island.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: The team isn't even sure if he is still alive. However, he's discovered to have survived the crash in issue 3. Unfortunately, at the end of this issue, he's killed when he is shot down by a rocket fired by Riccio.