Chthon returns in big Darkhold Alpha #1 preview

Darkhold Alpha #1 excerpt
Darkhold Alpha #1 excerpt (Image credit: Marvel Comics)

Remember the black magic tome the Darkhold? You know, the Lovecraftian horror hardcover that has popped up here and there in Marvel Comics and even twice in the MCU with Agents of SHIELD and WandaVision? Well, it turns out that's a bootleg copy, but we're about to finally get a story about real deal Darkhold.

(And no, it's not slabbed like a highly-valued comic, or even bagged-and-boarded!)

Starting with September 29's Darkhold Alpha #1,  the Scarlet Witch and Doctor Doom fighting over possession of the Darkhold. For Doom it's to conquer the universe, while for Wanda it's… well.. To save us from that, right?

Doctor Doom will be partnered with the Darkhold's original author, the Cthulhu-esque Marvel Comics villain Chthon (newly redesigned for this series), to possess and master the book's black magic. For her side, Wanda has recruited a motley crew of heroes: Iron Man, Wasp (Janet Van Dyne), Black Bolt, Blade, and Spider-Man (Peter Parker).

Check out this nine-page preview of Darkhold Alpha #1 by writer Steven Orlando and artist Cian Tormey:

This Darkhold comics event was originally planned to be released in 2020 in advance of Disney Plus' WandaVision series, but Marvel decided to delay it until fall 2021. Now it'll come out after the Scarlet Witch's death and the investigation into that in X-Men: The Trial of Magneto, but Newsarama has confirmed that this Darkhold event takes place before these events. For some that might make it feel inconsequential, but it could also mean it's setting up something for the murder mystery that is X-Men: The Trial of Magneto.

"At last, we're ready to open the Darkhold together," Orlando said in a recent press release. "Scarlet Witch and Doctor Doom are two of Marvel's most intimidating icons! And I am so excited for you all to get on board with this journey that pushes Wanda to the limit, as five of Marvel's biggest heroes must overcome the nightmares held by the Darkhold's pages, to stand with Wanda against one of her oldest enemies."

Greg Smallwood has drawn the primary cover to Darkhold Alpha #1, as well as a variant. He's joined with additional variant covers by Juan Cabal and Cian Tormey. Check them out here:

Darkhold Alpha #1 goes on sale on September 29.

The Scarlet Witch is one of the best supernatural superheroes in comics. 

Chris Arrant

Chris Arrant covered comic book news for Newsarama from 2003 to 2022 (and as editor/senior editor from 2015 to 2022) and has also written for USA Today, Life, Entertainment Weekly, Publisher's Weekly, Marvel Entertainment, TOKYOPOP, AdHouse Books, Cartoon Brew, Bleeding Cool, Comic Shop News, and CBR. He is the author of the book Modern: Masters Cliff Chiang, co-authored Art of Spider-Man Classic, and contributed to Dark Horse/Bedside Press' anthology Pros and (Comic) Cons. He has acted as a judge for the Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards, the Harvey Awards, and the Stan Lee Awards. Chris is a member of the American Library Association's Graphic Novel & Comics Round Table. (He/him)