25 of the best fictional planets to visit

KRYPTON (Photo by: SYFY)
KRYPTON (Photo by: SYFY) /
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fictional planets
Flash Gordon pop up (Photo by Katja Ogrin/Redferns) /

2. Mongo (Flash Gordon)

This planet may not be a visual delight, though you may find the rocky cliffs of Mongo entrancing. Nor is it going to be a place where you can lie down and take a nap unless you want the evil Emperor Ming the Merciless to inevitably wreck your day.

Given that Mongo has been around as a fictional planet since 1934, there’s a lot of history to parse. It was first described as a rogue planet, floating freely in space until it locked into a collision course with Earth. Professor Hans Zarkov kidnaps Flash Gordon and heroine Dale Arden in an attempt to save the planet. The trio crashes their craft into Mongo (guess Zarkov isn’t a rocket scientist) and go adventuring.

Mongo is ruled over by Ming the Merciless. As his name telegraphs, Ming is a bit of a jerk. Different regions of the planet are ruled over by other kings and queens, who all more or less do what Ming tells them to do. Fair warning: depictions of Ming, especially earlier ones, are full of the “yellow peril” stereotypes that cast Asian people as devious evildoers.

The capital of planet Mongo is Mingo City, which conveniently sits on top of a gigantic power station. The power station, along with a network of underground passageways, allows ample room for rebel forces to rise up against Ming’s despotic rule.

Elsewhere, Mongo has a diverse array of environments. You might visit with Queen Undina in her underwater realm or the Lion Men west of the capital. If all of the other geologically active worlds you visited thus far still aren’t enough, then visit the Flame World, full of spewing volcanoes. There’s another Volcano World farther south, populated by the awesomely named Fire People.