Now that Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is on Disney+ for everyone to enjoy, I want to talk about one huge aspect of the movie that I still can’t decide if I love or hate: the Darkhold. If this was the last time we saw or heard of the mentioned book, it would be a shame. The book is not only incredibly powerful, but has the potential to connect a larger universe of characters and introduce them to the MCU.
The Darkhold really caught my eye after Wanda Vision finished, and just like Wanda Maximoff, I wanted to know more. So naturally, I picked up some comics focused on that. Wine’s amazing and very detailed Darkhold Reading Guide was incredibly helpful in my search for information.
[Warning: Some spoiler discussion for Doctor Strange In the Multiverse of Madness below.]
The Apparent Destruction of the Darkhold
In Multiverse of Madnesswhen Sarah (Sheila Atim) destroys the Darkhold and Wanda (Elizabeth Olsen) destroyed Wundagore, I was shocked. It looked like The Darkhold was going to be a character itself after-Wanda Vision and would have a future in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. While he was supposed to have a bigger presence in the sequel, his time was unfortunately very short.
The destruction of The Darkhold made no sense to me. The pages are also meant to be indestructible, which made me wonder if we might ever see it again.
Other Darkhold Users in Marvel Comics
In the comics, Wanda isn’t the only person to have used the Darkhold. The ancient book has a long history on Earth and has traveled everywhere. In Doctor Strange, Sorcerer Supreme (1989) #9-13after the Elder God Chthon wrote the Darkhold, he left it on Earth to forever have a connection to the realm it is in.
The Atlantians first used the Darkhold to create Varnae, the first vampire. In the Middle Ages, Mephisto used it to imprison a demon named Darklove. Then in the 17th century, the Vatican was in possession of the book, causing Dracula to send someone to steal it. Dracula was never done with the book, instead Cagliostro got it (Doctor Strange Sorcerer Supreme: Curse of the Darkhold Part 6).
In the 1930s, a man named Gregor Russoff acquired the Darkhold. Gregor read the werewolf origins section and after reading it, he became a werewolf himself. Gregor is one of the ancestors of Jack Russell (aka Werewolf by Night) (Night Werewolf #3, 15).
In the 1992 comic Darkhold: Pages from the Book of Sins, Darkhold pages were scattered all over the world. Interpol agent Sam Buchanan, occultist Dr. Louise Hastings, and Victoria Montesi – whose family was historically responsible for safeguarding the book – set off on a mission to find pages from the Darkhold.
Could we see a return of the Book of the Damned?
All this reading about the comics has made me wonder if there are any protected versions of the Darkhold or even their pages across the MCU multiverse. If there are any more pages, it would be a cool way to connect other supernatural characters or groups like the Midnight Suns and Blade to each other in the MCU.
In Multiverse of Madnesswhen Wong (Benoit Wong) said the book was a copy, I was shocked again. I know there’s more than one copy of the Darkhold in the comics, but having it recognized in the MCU is something else entirely.
This could also explain how there was a version of the Darkhold in Agents of SHIELD and Runaways. Now that the multiverse is open, any Marvel property could be canon. This makes me wonder if the version destroyed by Wanda is really the real Darkhold or not?
Possible repercussions of Multiverse of Madness
Now that the MCU’s version of The Darkhold and the Book of Vishanti are gone, there could also be negative effects on magic and the supernatural in the MCU. Spells that have already been cast from either book could potentially be reversed.
For example, in the past there was a spell that Doctor Strange and Blade used to kill all the vampires in Doctor Strange (1974) #59-62, 67 (The Montesi Formula). Could a spell like this be undone?
As far as we know, Agatha has had the book in her possession for hundreds of years. We don’t know what spells she cast or how she used the book at that time. With a bit of luck, Agatha: House Harkness will explore a piece of Darkhold’s past in the MCU.
Something that I liked in Multiverse of Madness was that Mount Wundagore had a magical purpose and was more than just a “comic book location”. It was something that worked in the MCU and made sense to comic book fans.
While I would have liked to see Wundagore be a peaceful place for Wanda later on since that’s where she was born in the comics, I think it was interesting that it was the original copy of the Darkhold.
Wanda went into exile in Wundagore after the events of House of M for years and only returned after the events of Young Avengers: Children’s Crusade (To see the Scarlet Witch Reading Guide to know more !)
Overall, I’m not thrilled with the Darkhold’s use in Multiverse of Madness. I hope future projects like Night Werewolf, Agatha: House of Harkness, and Blade will tell us more. Hopefully the folks at Marvel have something in mind to use The Darkhold again, especially since it has so much potential to connect a much larger universe of characters.
What did you think of the Darkhold in Multiverse of Madness? Do you think he will reappear? Let’s talk about Twitter and be sure to follow us for more Marvel news and content.