Herein lies the disjointed, and sporadically awesome collection of comics that this diabolical tome appeared in over several Marvel stories. The Darkhold was penned by the chaos god Cthon, and rumored to be responsible for Werewolf By Night’s terrible curse, the key to destroying Dracula, and the ultra shitty superhero Speedball,(I liked him as Pennance better sorry-not-sorry).
So what’s not to love about this gathering of black magic stories that promise to strike fear in the hearts of do-gooders everywhere? Well, it all takes place scattershot across several titles in their own larger character arcs, which muddies the narrative quite a bit, but Doctor Strange is the glue that holds it all together. That made this a fun, entertaining read for me, because he’s my favorite, but if you check out when he begins shouting things like “Hoary Hosts of Hoggoth!” you’re going to have a bad time.
The artwork was incredibly stellar in spots,(Mike freakin’ Ploog!) which held my interest when the story-telling turned stale, but some of the episodes where both fell apart,(good luck making it through the Thor VS Dracula portion of this book) figure in to what isn’t so good about this collection. It’s fun to see how each writer dredged up this bit of occult lore for a plot device resulting in a decidedly haunting element in each appearance.
I recommend picking this up, and settling in for a spooky comic treat that begins in 1970’s run of various titles,(dig Blade’s goofy green goggles!) but mostly exists in those 80’s comics I had tucked in my Trapper Keeper way back when, and concludes with short stints at the conclusion of 90’s comics I had no idea existed. These tales of dark sorcery are best coupled with the works of Bach played on pipe organ, and several glasses of whiskey. I insist.