Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and WandaVision have revolved around a book called the Darkhold. But what exactly is this book? What powers does it have? WandaVision concluded its series on Disney+. Agatha Harkness introduced the Darkhold in WandaVision. She implacably told Wanda that she does not realize the power of her magic. In the second post-credit scene of WandaVision, we even saw Wanda reading the Darkhold in the astral plane.
Matt Shakman (WandaVision Director), comments on the discrepancies between his show’s Darkhold and the one from Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD. WandaVision concluded its 9-episode run last week with Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch and Agatha Harkness’s magical showdown. While explaining to Wanda the nature of the prophesied Scarlet Witch, Agatha reads from her spellbook, the infamous Darkhold, AKA, the Book of the Damned. In addition to being rooted in the comic book lore, the book has also appeared in the Hulu series, Marvel’s Runaways and Agents of SHIELD.
Shakman, in an interview with ScreenRant, spoke on the Darkhold’s connection to Agents of SHIELD. If there is a connection, it’s a vague one. While it is the same book, WandaVision’s creators did not look to previous depictions to design theirs: “Yes, we designed it anew,” said Shakman. “We didn’t look at the other Darkholds that had been designed. It is part of the Marvel Universe though, so I would imagine it’s the same book. I don’t know exactly how it was used in those other shows, because I wasn’t a regular viewer, but the Darkhold has a comic origin. Its mythology will continue to be developed.
The Darkhold’s author (essentially), Chthon the Chaos God, chooses Wanda to wield Chaos Magic. Every time she uses her power, she damages the fabric of reality. This was in reference to the comics. In WandaVision’s post-credits scene, Wanda has the Darkhold and uses it to better understand her powers. In almost every depiction of the Darkhold, it is an object of dark magic that tends to corrupt the mind of anyone who reads it. Elizabeth Olsen is confirmed to have a major role in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.
It’s logical to assume she’ll provide the eponymous madness. Not only does this jive with Agatha’s reaction to Wanda unleashing the power of the Scarlet Witch, but perhaps poises Chthon as the Sorcerer Supreme’s next adversary. Unlike Steven Strange, Wanda never learned that “warnings come after the spells.” While WandaVision’s Darkhold doesn’t look exactly like the one from Agents of SHIELD, it should nevertheless be a source of conflict.
In the comics, Chthon was imprisoned on the Wundagore mountain. It was the same place where Wanda was born. On that day, Chthon infused Wanda with some of his powers. His plan was to inhibit Scarlet’s body. For that, he needed her to be the strongest being in the world. Chthon is the reason for Wanda’s reality-warping powers. Modred the Mystic kidnapped Scarlet Witch years later. He brought her to the Wundagore mountain. Modred used the Darkhold’s power to allow Chthon to possess Scarlet Witch’s body. Even with the combined might of the Avengers, Chthon was too powerful for them. It took a surprise attack from the Beast to give them the advantage they needed to free Scarlet Witch of Chthon’s hold on her.
The show wrapped its 9-episode arc by shedding a powerful light on Wanda’s grief process and giving audiences a peek into Monica Rambeau’s powers, but fans are still hungry to unpack more of its MCU connections. Knowing that the final episode will not only lead into Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness but potentially even Captain Marvel 2 certainly doesn’t hurt its rewatch value.
Marvel has a habit of incorporating elements from both the comics and television projects without ever definitively declaring something canon. WandaVision may not have considered Agents of SHIELD’s Darkhold, but canonical history could be revised in future outings. The Darkhold works on the concept of give-and-take. It is one of the most powerful tools in the world. The spells can give you whatever you want, but everything has a price attached.
The Darkhold was introduced as the cause of lycanthropy – the Werewolf curse. The Darkhold’s first appearance was in Marvel Spotlight #4, the title that starred Werewolf by Night, Marvel’s most popular canine monster. It surely feels like the Darkhold will hold a special place in the Marvel Cinematic Universe for the upcoming years. It has certainly been established well. It is also said that whoever holds the Darkhold, can read the content in it in whichever language they desire to.
What do you think of the Darkhold?