- "I have never been able to resist doing something when I'm told the odds are impossible."
- ―Will Daniels[src]
William "Will" Daniels was an astronaut and a former United States Air Force pilot. In 2001, he joined Project Distant Star Return and was sent by NASA from Earth to the planet Maveth using the Monolith, unaware that he was in fact being sent as a sacrifice by HYDRA to the Inhuman known as Hive. However, Daniels was able to survive living on the planet by avoiding and hiding from Hive for years, creating a small home for himself with no hope that he would be rescued. In 2015, fourteen years into his isolation, he met Jemma Simmons, a S.H.I.E.L.D. scientist who offered him new hope after she had also traveled through the Monolith. However, when Simmons was rescued from the planet by Leo Fitz, Daniels ensured her safety by battling Hive, losing his life in the process and having his body taken over.
Studying the Monolith
Daniels spent most of his time focusing on excelling at his work; as a result, he never had a long term girlfriend as he always felt he would find time for that later, this led him to have a highly successful and respected career but a somewhat lonely personal life. Daniels was a test pilot for the United States Air Force when he was recruited by NASA. While working at NASA in 2001, Daniels was offered the chance with Project Distant Star Return to join a team in going through a portal created by the Monolith and learning to where it transported them.
Always wanting to experience the most difficult of challenges that most people would consider to be impossible, Daniels eagerly volunteered alongside scientists S. Austin, Brubaker and Taylor and was given the task of protecting the scientists while on the planet. Once they arrived, they set up base and began work while waiting for NASA to figure out a way to bring them home, ever confident that they would eventually return and be treated as heroes for their achievements. Unfortunately, the planet's sun never rose in any of their lifetimes, rendering their solar-powered equipment useless.
Losing the Crew
One day, the crew decided to explore while Daniels stayed behind and protected the camp. During this time, a huge sandstorm briefly swept the land. When they returned, each of the scientists began losing control of their sanity. Before long, S. Austin and Brubaker committed suicide by jumping off a cliff and setting himself on fire, respectively. Taylor's madness caused him to destroy much of the camp before attacking Daniels; after a brief fight, Daniels was forced to kill his friend and bury his body alongside the others.
Now alone on the planet, Daniels used his skills to build an underground home as well as various traps and hideouts to protect himself. He became certain that there was a being in the sandstorm which caused his crew to turn mad and as a result did everything he could to avoid the storms and protect himself. Noting where his crew had gone mad, he dubbed this area the "No-Fly Zone". Not knowing what this being was, only that it was evil and had driven his crew insane, he would come to refer to the being as "It". After months of living alone, Daniels came to the decision that he would never be rescued and would live out the rest of his days alone on the planet. Due to his watch having broken and the sun not rising, he completely lost track of time.
Meeting Jemma Simmons
In 2015, Daniels came across a young English woman who had accidentally fallen into the portal to the planet. They did not meet properly for a few days, as he entrapped and imprisoned her, believing her to be a hallucination. After determining that she was not, Daniels gave her food. The woman feigned a stomachache in order to escape, but injured her leg and was caught. Daniels warned the woman that "It" could smell her blood and brought her to the hovel he was living in, in order to heal her injury; Daniels had determined that she was not hostile, as she would have killed him if she were.
As they got to know each other, Daniels told the woman his name, and she introduced herself as Jemma Simmons. It was during this time that Daniels learned how long he had been on the planet; admiring Simmons' smartphone, which was completely alien to a man isolated from Earth since 2001, he learned the current year was 2015. He revealed to her that he was an astronaut. He told her then about "It" and its abilities to drive people mad. Simmons found a map of the area, while Daniels recounted his experiences on the planet, and learned that the Monolith was now in the hands of S.H.I.E.L.D. while Simmons recounted her experiences. He learned that Simmons was a scientist in a team of S.H.I.E.L.D. agents that had formed the beginnings of a reformed S.H.I.E.L.D., noting that she was particularly close to a Scottish man her age, Leo Fitz.
Jemma Simmons wanted to explore the "no fly zone", but Daniels warned her about "It". She went there anyway. After a while she returned, running from "It". She explained that she found a way to return to Earth, using his computer, her phone and by tracking the movement of the stars and tried to locate the next place the portal would open. After the battery of her phone was dead, she found the location and the time of the next portal, in the "no fly zone". Daniels explained to her that a canyon separated between them and the portal. As they prepared to go there, Simmons told him that she had a message in a bottle for Leo Fitz in case they would not reach to the portal. When they arrived to the canyon, it was longer than they expected. Daniels thought that It caused it. The portal opened in the other side, and Daniels shot the bottle toward, but portal was closed before the bottle reached it.
In their hideout, Simmons admitted that there was no hope on this planet, and it was hell. Daniels told her that he had also thought so, until he met her. The two then kissed.
Due to research into the stars conducted by Jemma Simmons, they were able to determine when the sun was due to rise over the planet of Maveth, the first sunrise in eighteen years. The pair shared a kiss as they stepped outside and waited to see the sun for the first time in over a decade. Suddenly Simmons spotted a flare being fired in the distance and determined it must be Leo Fitz finally having found her.
Simmons ran across the desert with Daniels as they tried to find the source of the flare, but became separated as a sandstorm appeared. Daniels heard Simmons call out that she could see a NASA space suit and had deduced that his team had found him, but Daniels warned her that it could only be "It" trying to trick her mind. Daniels ordered Simmons to run as he drew a gun and engaged the creature, firing his only bullet at It while Simmons followed the sound of Fitz's voice.
Death and Possession
Daniels was killed by It while protecting Simmons, and his body was possessed by the being, an ancient Inhuman later known as Hive worshipped by a cult Gideon Malick had been raised to swear allegiance to. The body was destroyed months later by Leo Fitz in Hive's attempt to escape the planet, forcing the dark Inhuman to choose a new host. Simmons was devastated when she learned Daniels' fate.
While kidnapping Holden Radcliffe, Hive came across Jemma Simmons, and accessed Daniels' memories in an attempt to manipulate her. However, Simmons was not fooled, but rather disgusted that someone with the face of a traitor and hated enemy would be impersonating her dead boyfriend, so the attempt only resulted in Simmons shooting him multiple times.
Later, Hive walked right into a trap made by the Theta Brain-Wave Frequency Machine that forced him to recall the most painful memories of multiple hosts. Even after being freed of the torture, this caused the dark Inhuman to uncontrollably recall random memories; Daniels' memories were among these, resulting in Hive referring to Simmons as if he were talking to her and, at the same time, nonsensically instructing R. Giyera and Hellfire to run.
Daniels presented himself as being always the first to volunteer, to push his limits. Due to his isolation, he became grim and distrustful. His time with Jemma Simmons did much to dispel his hopeless predicament, and their relationship grew into a romantic attachment.
- SIG Sauer P226: Daniels was issued a SIG Sauer P226 for protection when he was taken to Maveth, in order to protect the three scientists that traveled there with him. He kept the gun for many years, and used his last bullet to protect Jemma Simmons from the creature that lived in the planet. Once Daniels died and Hive took over his body, he discarded the empty gun.
|Appearances for Will Daniels|
In chronological order: