The science fiction genre gives readers (and viewers) great opportunities to explore planets—both real and fictional. Star Wars is especially famous for transporting its fans to dozens upon dozens of different worlds that are as unique and beautiful as those of our own galaxy. But for me, one of the most intriguing, fascinating fictional planets I’ve ever seen comes not from Star Wars, but from Marvel. The Marvel TV show Agents of SHIELD.
Maveth is first introduced in Season 2 of Agents of SHIELD. One of the main characters, Jemma Simmons, gets teleported to and stranded on the planet for several months. As she struggled to survive, and as her friends worked to bring her back home, the planet disturbed me. To this day, I count it as one of the most eerie and unique sci-fi settings I’ve ever seen. But what about Maveth is so disturbing? What about it captured my interest in such a strong way?
Well, how about the fact that Maveth sees no sun for eighteen years at a stretch? Everything on the planet is awash with a blue-tinged half darkness that almost never lets up. (I have to admit, this makes for a beautiful landscape, in an odd way.) And when the sun does appear, the sunrise and sunset happen within a few minutes of each other. Sunlight and the warmth of it are almost like life to me, so Maveth’s lack of sun definitely stood out to me—and not in a good way!
Besides that, Maveth is also the planet on which ‘It’ lives. (No, not the creepy clown!) ‘It’ is a god that HYDRA (Marvel’s version of Nazis, kind of) has been feeding for centuries. They’ve sent plenty of men through a portal to Maveth, in order to keep ‘It’ alive so that one day they can figure out how to get ‘It’ back to Earth to rule over HYDRA (and, by extension, the world). In the show, several of the characters come across a broken down HYDRA-esque statue, and it’s a genuinely chilling moment (one of many on the planet). Most viewers would have the background of knowing just how terrible HYDRA is from watching various Marvel movies, so seeing something of the origins of this movement is both cool and sobering.
And then there’s just how traumatizing Maveth is for more than one beloved character on the show. While Jemma faced terror and isolation on the planet, her loved ones back on Earth also struggled with her disappearance. Watching characters we admire and feel for having to deal with Maveth and the different circumstances, creatures, and villains connected to it… that all contributes to the general feeling of dread, fear, and hopelessness surrounding the planet.
You might think that Agents of SHIELD sounds like a pretty depressing show. But the Maveth plot has a happy ending eventually! (Though true, unmarred happiness on the show doesn’t happen until the last few minutes of the series finale. :P) In fact, I hope this post inspires you to watch Agents of SHIELD—and to see the creepy beauty and terror of Maveth for yourself.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Eva-Joy Schonhaar is an aspiring author who has written several novels and hopes to be published some day soon. She’s a Christian fangirl who drinks insane amounts of coffee, thinks that chocolate chip cookies solve pretty much everything, and always uses the Oxford Comma. In her spare time she can be found geeking out over superheroes and reading The Hunger Games for the millionth time.