Blade is the 'King of Death' over a world of vampires in Darkhold special

Darkhold: Blade #1
Darkhold: Blade #1 'Blade Defiled' character design by Cian Tormey (Image credit: Marvel Comics)

Update: This October, Marvel's Darkhold event expands with a tie-in one-shot starring Blade - but not necessarily the one readers are familiar with. Instead, writer Daniel Kibblesmith and artist Federico Sabbatini will take readers to a world twisted by the magic of the Darkhold into a place where Blade is the king of the vampires.

Darkhold: Blade #1 cover (Image credit: Marvel Comics)

"The King of Death! Are you fanged, or are you food? The world is divided into humans and vampires – and Blade, the one who walks between them both…and kills with equal impunity," reads Marvel's description for Darkhold: Blade #1, first announced through Monkeys Fighting Robots. "After reading from the cursed Darkhold, Blade and a cadre of other heroes were meant to enter Chthon's dimension and stop the ancient god from destroying the Multiverse." 

Blade has a longstanding history with the Darkhold. As one of Marvel's premier supernatural heroes, Blade was once a member of the Darkhold Redeemers, a group of occultists dedicated to containing and fighting the magic of the Darkhold.

"But reading the book has changed all their lives and histories…and for Blade, the consequences are far-reaching," the description continues. "Vampires rule the world, and he rules over them all. But there are some heroes left - and Blade is not as omniscient as he thinks."

Darkhold: Blade #1 'Blade Defiled' character design by Cian Tormey (Image credit: Marvel Comics)

Marvel's Darkhold story will kick off with Darkhold: Alpha #1, in which Scarlet Witch leads a team of heroes as the last line of defense against the cursed book. That may seem odd, given Scarlet Witch is currently dead in Marvel continuity with no apparent resurrection in sight. However, Marvel has confirmed to Newsarama that Darkhold takes place prior to the death of Wanda Maximoff.

Alongside Darkhold: Blade #1, Marvel has already announced Darkhold: Iron Man #1, also for October release (read more on that below).

Writer Daniel Kibblesmith draws his love of Blade as a character all the way back to 1998's Blade film, a seminal breakout hit for Marvel that began the reinvigoration and revolutionizing of superhero movies in the '00s, culminating in the launch of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

"Anyone who knows me (or follows me online) probably knows I've been writing this comic since the theater lights came back up in August of 1998. There isn't a single character more important to me as a Marvel fan and now creator, and it's a dream come true to put him through his own worst nightmare," Kibblesmith states, 

"Blade has been slashing his way down a dark path virtually since the day he was born — with his inner demons always barely held in check. When the Darkhold unleashes the greatest horrors the Marvel Universe has ever seen, we get to push Blade farther into the darkness than he's ever gone before and learn what makes a hero in a world that's already lost."

Darkhold: Blade #1 goes on sale on October 27 with a cover from Juan Ferreyra, seen here. Watch for Marvel's full October 2021 solicitations, coming soon on Newsarama.

Original Story Follows.

The Darkhold is going to turn Tony Stark into a 'Prison Man' in October's The Darkhold: Iron Man #1, one of five one-shots serving as the middle portion of The Darkhold event that begins with an Alpha bookend one-shot in September and concludes with an Omega bookend one-shot later in 2021. 

The Darkhold: Iron Man #1 cover (Image credit: Marvel Comics)

The Iron Man one-shot, which Marvel calls "the body-horror tale of the century," will be written by Ryan North, the usually more comedic writer of The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl and Dinosaur Comics.

"Ryan North turns his talents to a brand-new genre!" reads Marvel's description of Darkhold: Iron Man #1. "Called forth to face the dread god Chthon, Iron Man reads from the ancient ill-fated text the Darkhold…and it changes the course of his entire life. The armor that has saved him countless times is about to become a prison — one whose only escape is a fate worse than death."


The one-shot is illustrated by Guillermo Sanna with a cover by Valerio Giangiordano.

Darkhold: Iron Man #1 'Iron Man Defiled' character design by Cian Tormey (Image credit: Marvel Comics)

For North, the chance to write Tony Stark, even one as seemingly messed up like this one, was too good to pass up. 

Basically, North hearts Iron Man. 

"Tony Stark is one of my all-time favorite Marvel characters: brilliant, charismatic, and a total jerk sometimes," North says. "It's a hard mix to pull off but Tony does it really well. What got me so excited about Darkhold was the chance it offered to really spend time with Tony, and then see what might happen to him if he took a small step sideways into a slightly different genre. I'm sorry, Tony. I love you, Tony."

Now that's a man in touch with his feelings. 

Iron Man is again one of five one-shots in October starring characters who will read from the Darkhold, and if the Iron Man edition is any indication, really really go through some things. 

The other characters that will get one-shots are the Wasp, Black Bolt, Spider-Man, and Blade.

Peter Parker is either dying in the early fall or getting so gravely injured he won't continue as Spider-Man and will be replaced by Ben Reilly (or Ben Reillys), so Darkhold, do your worst. 

But given Wasp's powers is based on an insect (and she kinda/sorta was an insect at one time, but we don't like to talk about that anymore) and her past with Henry Pym, the fact that if Black Bolt speaks he can blow @#$% up, and that Blade is a half-vampire, Marvel writers can probably think of some messed up stuff to torture them with. 

Of course, the overarching storyline by Steve Orlando and Cian Tormey finds Doctor Doom and Wanda Maximoff, AKA the Scarlet Witch going head-to-head to gain possession of the Darkhold. 

The five heroes in the one-shots try to help Wanda while Doom has the Elder god (and the Darkhold's original author) Chthon on his side. 

Doom is a newlywed and Wanda is unfortunately dead (murdered in the X-books recently), but Marvel recently confirmed the Darkhold event - which was originally slated to be published in 2020 before the pandemic did a number on Marvel's schedule - takes place prior to these more recent events in whatever is left of post-COVID-continuity.

Look for more information about the other Darkhold character one-shots and Omega when it becomes available. 

North's affection for Tony may give him a leg-up on making Newsarama's list of the best Iron Man stories of all time.

I'm not just the Newsarama founder and editor-in-chief, I'm also a reader. And that reference is just a little bit older than the beginning of my Newsarama journey. I founded what would become the comic book news site in 1996, and except for a brief sojourn at Marvel Comics as its marketing and communications manager in 2003, I've been writing about new comic book titles, creative changes, and occasionally offering my perspective on important industry events and developments for the 25 years since. Despite many changes to Newsarama, my passion for the medium of comic books and the characters makes the last quarter-century (it's crazy to see that in writing) time spent doing what I love most.