Classification: Magic item (Tomes of Eldritch Knowledge)
Aliases: The Book of Sins, the Shiatra Book of the Damned, the Chthon Scrolls;
Black Mirror (aka the Dark Mirror, a reflection of Chthon): The final page of the Darkhold, aka the Last Chronicle of Chthon, was secretly contained within and was the power behind the Black Mirror/Dark Mirror; the page (symbolically represented as the Black Mirror) represented the Darkhold in the Cornerstones of Creation.
Users/Possessors: Aelfric, Cagliostro,
Chthon, Darkholders, Thulsa Doom, Louise Hastings, Father Ramon Joquez, Marie
Laveau, Modred the Mystic, Giacomo Montesi,
Giuseppe Montesi, Marcello Montesi, Paolo Montesi, Morgan Le Fey,
Gregory Russoff, Lord
Ruthven, Silver Dagger (Isaiah Curwen), Dr. Stephen Strange, Taboo, Varnae, Verdelet
page(s): Blade (Eric Brooks), the Dwarf, Harvestor (Johnny Farmer), Mr. Hayward , Jinx (William Hastings), Marie Laveau, Mercy (Norman Zachos), Ian McNee, Nico Minoru, Robert Minoru, Tina Minoru, Victoria Montesi, Michael Morbius, Aurora Poule, Sarrah Roberts, Spider-X (Brian Kornfeld), Reverend Styge, Morton Thurnton, Clarisse Van Ripper, Donald J. Walsh, Lt. Frank West
First Appearance: (Mentioned) Marvel Spotlight I#3 (April, 1972);
(seen) Marvel Spotlight I#4 (June, 1972)
Powers/Abilities/Functions: The Darkhold is a written record of all of the Elder God Chthon's knowledge about evil and dark magic and contains a vast and varied number of spells. These spells, when cast by a magically skilled person behave the way spells do for most any other source of arcane energies. When the mystical barriers are thin enough and the Dwarf distributes pages of the Darkhold to people, usually unskilled in the mystic arts, they can still somehow chant the incantation that summons the Other and allows them to ask the demon to perform the spell contained on that page. In addition, the Darkhold parchment is completely indestructible. The binding of the book is not, but all the pages within can not be destroyed.
The Darkhold, in conjunction with the Ebon Rose, Serpent Crown, and Sword of Bone
is one of the Cornerstones of Creation. The Black Mirror and/or the
Last Chronicle of Chthon can be used with the other Cornerstones in
place of the entire Darkhold, presumably indicating it can channel or
serve as an access point for the Darkhold itself.
Collectively, the Cornerstones grant even greater power, allegedly enough to control all reality.
History: (Thor Annual#10 (fb)/Silver Surfer Annual#2/5 (fb)) - Realizing that the Demogorge could destroy it, the Elder God Chthon chose to inscribe all of its mystical knowledge on an indestructible parchment. This would become known as the Darkhold Scrolls.
(Darkhold#11 (fb)) - Wanting to ensure that, should another Demogorge ever arise it would be at the Elder God's own behest, Chthon added a spell to his scrolls that would cause the caster to become a new Demogorge. Chthon also created counterspell that would undo the Demogorge that could only be cast by one who was not mystically inclined.
(Thor Annual#10 (fb)/Silver Surfer Annual#2/5 (fb)) - With only moments before the Demogorge would arrive and destroy him, Chthon fled to another dimension, leaving the Darkhold behind to keep him in contact with his home.
(Dr. Strange: Sorcerer Supreme#11/2 // Conan the Barbarian I#245 (fb)) - In ancient Atlantis, a group of sorcerers, former followers of Thulsa Doom, found the Chthon Scrolls.
(Dr. Strange: Sorcerer Supreme#11/2// Conan the Barbarian I#245 (fb)) - One of them, Varnae, was dying (from wounds received in Kull's war with the wizards), and so he was the first to volunteer himself to unleash a great new evil force upon the world. As Varnae died, the other sorcerers muttered Chthon's hellish incantations over his body. Varnae died, but three days later the cultists unearthed his great stone sarcophagus or blood, and rose three days later as a vampire.
(Dr. Strange: Sorcerer Supreme#11/2) - Varnae and the other vampires who followed slew the other wizards, thus adding to their undead number.
(Midnight Sons Unlimited#6 (fb) - BTS) - The vampire Verdelet was also apparently one of those first vampires.
(Dr. Strange: Sorcerer Supreme#11/2) - The indestructible scrolls passed through the hands of many down the ages. The language of the scrolls seemed to change for any who were schooled in the dark arts of their time and culture.
(Conan the Barbarian I#245 (fb)) - Circa 10, 000 BC, Varnae received a vision of a group of mercenaries traveling upon a road. One of these mercenaries discovered an indestructible parchment from Chthon's scrolls. Varnae, aware that the scroll possessed spells to destroy vampires with, grew concerned. Using his ability to implant thoughts in the minds of others, Varnae generated images of a woman guarding treasure to lure the leader of the mercenaries, Amalric of Nemedia, to Varnae’s base in the Flaming Mountains of Khrosha.
(Conan the Barbarian I#244) - Conan, Red Sonja, and Zula, having escaped imprisonment, ventured into the Khrosha caves. The Afterlings -- Varnae's vampire-like soldiers abducted them, and brought them to Varnae.
(Conan the Barbarian I#245) - Varnae told Conan and his
compatriots of who he was, delighted to discover that Chthon had no worshippers
in the Hyborian era when they did not recognize his name. Deities worshipped
when Varnae had been a man, such as Chthon and Valka, affected him most when invoked against him.
Varnae also showed them a captured scout of the mercenary army he had guided towards himself, whom Varnae ate. Enraged, Conan and his allies attacked the Afterlings, to no success. Varnae, rather than kill the rowdy trio immediately, had them placed in a deep pit, to be saved for a special ceremony to come, along with Amalric’s mercenaries and the Afterlings. Conan, Red Sonja, and Zula escaped, however, and managed to reach the outside. However, having just emerged from the caves, they saw the Afterlings attacking Amalric. Conan saved Amalric from an Afterling, but another flew away with the scroll of the Darkhold. Red Sonja wounded and pursued the Afterling, only to be attacked by Varnae. The Afterling dropped the scroll and died. Conan came to Sonja’s rescue, freeing Sonja from Varnae’s grasp, but Varnae soon grabbed him. Zula went for the Darkhold parchment as Varnae prepared to eat Conan. When Zula began reading the parchment, Varnae sent an Afterling to attack him, but Sonja defended Zula as he completed the spell. The spell, invoking deities such as Valka and Chthon, mystically injured Varnae, forcing him to flee. He hurled Conan away, but an Afterling gave its life to break Conan’s fall.
(Conan the Barbarian I#249) - Natohk / Thugra Khotan arrived alongside his ape-demon-thing and Yun-Yothga (a camel-dragon-thing) and abducted Yasmela. To combat this magic, Zula drew the Chthon scroll from his saddle bag, and he voiced a spell that freed the ape-thing from Natohk's control, causing it to cast Natohk and Yasmela from the chariot. Sonja attacked the ape-thing, and Zula leapt atop Yun-Yothga, but Zula was forced to turn to aid Sonja, and the ape-thing stole the Chthon scroll. Zula skewered the ape-thing, which only stunned it, but he then cast it into Yun-Tothga's mouth, and the two demon-monsters exploded in a brilliant burst of light via the energies released from the scroll when the dragon's teeth bit into it.
(Savage Sword of Conan#194/2 (fb) - BTS) - Recalling that the Chthon scroll was indestructible, Zula went back and retrieved it from amongst Yun-Yothga's blood and guts.
(Savage Sword of Conan#194/2) - Zula and Sonja traveled across the Kharamun Desert towards Zamboula. Along the way, Zula occasionally took time to study the Chthon scroll once again.
(Savage Sword of Conan#195/2) - Arriving in Zamboula, Zula and Sonja were captured by the forces of Totramsek, whose runes had predicted the arrival of the Chthon scroll, which he had long sought. After recovering the scroll from Zula's bag, Totrasmek ordered his men to slay Zula and Sonja, and began voicing the spells (though he apparently had not mastered the dialect, and nothing happened). Zula and Sonja defeated their attackers, and Zula tore the scroll from Totrasmek. As a number of Totrasmek's men rushed to his aid, Zula read a spell from the scrolls to transport them to safety, but no sooner had it been completed (transporting them back into the marketplace), when the scroll vanished from his hands.
(Dr. Strange: Sorcerer Supreme#13/2) - At some point during the Hyborian Age the scroll with the spell for destroying all vampires on the Earth was taken to the East.
(Mystic Arcana#1 - BTS) - The Darkhold served as one of the four Cornerstones of Creation, along with the Ebon Rose (talisman of Gaea), the Serpent Crown (talisman of Set), and the Sword of Bone (talisman of Oshtur). See comments.
(Marvel Comics Presents I#135 (fb) - BTS) - Mephisto wrote the Darklove page.
(Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Deluxe Edition#9: Morgan le Fay (fb)) - Seeking the arcane power of the ancient Darkhold, Morgan gathered a number of students of the occult to assist her.
(Avengers I#241 (fb) / Dr. Strange: Sorcerer Supreme#11/2) - Morgan le Fay gathered together most of the parchments of the Chthon Scrolls, binding them into a single volume: The Darkhold. As she was soon affected by Chthon's black magic, Magnus discovered that her hatred had given way to total villainy.
(Amazing Spider-Man Annual#22 (fb)) - In the Sixth Century AD, Morgan Le Fey became leader of the Darkholders who worshipped Chthon's book. Morgan and the Darkholders attempted to use the book in summoning the Elder God and make him do their bidding, but he was too powerful for them. Morgan and the others attempted to banish Chthon back to his realm, but were not powerful enough to do so, so they used a spell of binding to trap some of the demon's essence in a single earthly location, Wundagore Mountain. Having seen true evil, Morgan's lover Magnus renounced the Darkholders and stole the Darkhold, hiding it where none with evil intent could get it. A tower on the Isle of Wight that would come to be known as the Tower of the Darkhold.
(Marvel Chillers#1 (fb)) - Towards the end of the Age of Camelot, the young mystic Modred came to the Tower of the Darkhold seeking to use the book for noble purposes. When the Other appeared to Modred it demanded a sacrifice in exchange for the power that he sought. Modred resisted, refusing to give up his soul, knowing that if he resisted, the power of the Darkhold could be his. Their struggle was interrupted when Modred's betrothed, Lady Janice, entered the Tower. The Other turned its sights on her and Modred sacrificed his own soul to save her. Modred then fell into a deathlike sleep that lasted centuries.
(Dr. Strange: Sorcerer Supreme#11/2) - Merlin and Brendan combined their mystical might to combat the Other's forces that had been unleashed. When they were triumphant, Brendan took the Darkhold and scattered the pages throughout the world.
(Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Deluxe Edition#9: Morgan believed that if she regained the Darkhold, she could use its powerful magic to break Merlin’s spells binding her. Numerous times she projected her astral form from her unaging body in the Sixth Century AD into various future periods in attempts to recover the Darkhold. She always failed, usually due to the efforts of Magnus, whose magic enabled him to survive on the astral plane in spirit form, and often take possession of the bodies of living people on Earth.
(Werewolf By Night I#3 (fb)) - In 1149, Aelfric, a monk who had come to worship Chthon -- though he believed them to be Satan -- gathered together many of the scattered pages of the Darkhold. Aelfric was burned at the stake, but the indestructible pages were found by petty scavengers digging through the ashes. These thieves tried to sell the scrolls to a scholar, who murdered them. In turn the scholar was killed by an Arabian bandit, who was killed by his own wife, who was eventually hung as a witch. In a manner such as this the Darkhold scrolls passed down through the ages...
(Werewolf By Night I#21 (fb)) - Aelfric also collected an impressive collection of other items of black magic apart from the scrolls which included a copy of the Libro del Malditos, which may have been a partial copy of the Darkhold. This collection was not destroyed, but passed down through the ages.
(Dr. Strange: Sorcerer Supreme#12/2) - The scrolls wound up in the hands of churchmen who sent them to the Vatican for safekeeping. Prior to 1153, a young monk named Paolo Montesi was curator of a library of dangerous occult objects and he studied the Darkhold scrolls. When the Pope asked if Montesi felt corrupted by the Darkhold the monk admitted he had been tainted, but his faith kept him from any urge to use the book. Thus the Pope decided that Montesi's bloodline would be given the task of watching over the scrolls for ages to come. The Pope also asked that the scrolls be bound as a book and officially called the Book of Sins. When Varnae learned of all this he was angry lest the Church learn that the book contained a spell that could rid the world of his kind.
(Dr. Strange: Sorcerer Supreme#12/2) - <1190 AD> - Varnae led a host of vampires in an attack on the castle and, though Montesi led a successful counterattack, Varnae did manage to kill the monk. As all this occurred, Montesi's wife died giving birth to his son.
(Dr. Strange: Sorcerer Supreme#13/2) - When he was old enough Paolo's son Giacomo became watchman of the Darkhold scrolls. He studied the scrolls and found them lacking. Among the missing pages, was the spell to destroy all vampires. Surmising it had been taken East during the Hyborean Age he sent expeditions to Tibet in search of it. Though the missions in 1246 and 1253 were unsuccessful, by 1350 he had begun to establish contact with the mystic city of Kamar-Taj., whose Nine Wise Men held the scrolls. Unfortunately, before he could trade for the scroll, he was killed by one of Varnae's human servants.
(Dr. Strange: Sorcerer Supreme#13/2) - At the dawn of the 14th Century Giacomo's son Marcello managed to re-establish communication with Kamar-Taj until Varnae helped a young mystic named Kaluu conquer Kamar Taj, cutting it off from Rome once more. But eventually Kaluu's hubris led to him desiring to conquer neighboring regions. His tyranny was ended by the young man who would one day be called the Ancient One. Communication with Marcello was thus restored. Wearied, Varnae decided to end his existence and pass on the Lord of the Undead mantle. His last act before doing so was to kill Marcello.
(Dr. Strange: Sorcerer Supreme#15/2) - Before his death Marcello had reunited the long-sought page, which had by now earned the name "The Montesi Formula", with his collection. In 1449, after slaying the vampire priest Father Bordia, the new Lord of the Undead, Dracula found information in the father's notes about the Montesi Formula. Dracula wanted to get the Darkhold away from Rome and so found the gypsy thief Murgo, reputedly the best in the world and forced him to steal the book (which was indeed now finally bound) from the Vatican or the vampire would kill Murgo's wife. Murgo did as Dracula wanted, but as he made his way out of Rome he was slain by the sorcerer Cagliostro, who wanted the book for himself.
(Mystic Arcana: Sister Grimm#1 (fb) - BTS) - At some point, the "Last Chronicle of Chthon," an indestructible page from the Darkhold, was placed behind the mystic Black Mirror (which was created in the 16th century).
(Dr. Strange: Sorcerer Supreme#15/2) - By 1775 Cagliostro had lost or left the book and it resumed being passed from person to person.
(Werewolf By Night I#13 (fb) - BTS) - Taboo found the Book of Sins in an old Balkan castle.
(Werewolf By Night I#13 (fb)) - In that same castle, Taboo used the Darkhold to cast the Spell of Changes on his son Algon, but before the ritual could be finished a mob of townspeople swarmed his castle and Taboo had to take up his son and flee with the ritual incomplete. The Darkhold ended up in Gregor Russoff's possession.
(Werewolf by Night I#3 (fb) / Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Deluxe Edition#14: Werewolf) - <Prior to May, 1930> Gregor bound the Darkhold back into book form.
(Mystic Arcana: Sister Grimm#1/2 (fb) - BTS) - The Black Mirror came into the possession of sorceress Marie Laveau, who was unaware that it contained a page of the Darkhold.
(Werewolf by Night I#15 (fb) - BTS / Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe, Update '89#2: Darkhold / Discussion with Jean-Marc Lofficier) - After having obtained the Darkhold, Gregor transcribed much of its content into his ancestor Grigori's diary, which he then used as his own diary.
(Werewolf by Night I#3 (fb) / Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Deluxe Edition#14: Werewolf / Dr. Strange: Sorcerer Supreme#27/2) - Reading of the origins of lycanthropy in the Darkhold under the light of the full moon drew upon the werewolf curse present in his ancestor, Grigori, transforming Gregor into a werewolf, and transferring the curse to his descendents as well.
(Dr. Strange: Sorcerer Supreme#15/2) - Taboo sold the Darkhold to Gregor Russoff in
Istanbul at the end of the Second World War.
Given the information we currently know, it is uncertain whether there was some unseen transfer of the Darkhold back to Taboo, or whether this is just an alternate retelling of how Gregor first got the book. Gregor had the book prior to 1930, that much is certain. He also had it in 1958.
(Uncanny X-Men Annual#12/3 (fb)/Avengers I#187 (fb)) <1958> - Gregor Russoff cast the Spell of Ascension from the Darkhold, hoping Chthon could free him from his lycanthropic curse. The Other rose from Wundagore and attacked the High Evolutionary and his Knights. Magnus, who had spiritually been possessing Jonathan Drew, left that host and possessed Russoff to recite the Spell of Binding, returning Chthon back to Wundagore.
(Marvel Spotlight I#4 (fb) - BTS) - At some point, the Darkhold apparently was taken back to Gregor's ancestral castle in Borgo Pass, Transylvania.
(Dr. Strange: Sorcerer Supreme#10/2) - A Cardinal named Isaiah Curwen read a number of arcane books in the Vatican's occult library, including the Darkhold or a copy thereof, which he read under the name the Shiatra Book of the Damned. His studies drove him insane and he took to calling himself the Silver Dagger and declared war on all mystical evil.
(Marvel Spotlight I#3 - BTS) - After Gregory Russoff (the son or grandson of the elder Gregor) died, Nathan and Agatha Timly and Kraig kidnapped his son, Jack Russell, intending to tell him where the Darkhold was, but he did not know. This was the first he'd heard of the book. After the Werewolf had killed Nathan and Kraig, Andrea attempted to summon her dark gods without the aid of the book, but died in the process.
(Marvel Spotlight I#4) - In his father's former castle, which Miles Blackgar had shipped to his island, Jack Russell found the Darkhold, but before he could find any answers in it, he changed to his werewolf form.
(Werewolf By Night I#1) - Breaking into the castle once more, Jack took the Darkhold. When Miles and Martine Blackgar came to try to get it back from him, he hid it in a box of Corn Flakes until after they were defeated.
(Werewolf By Night I#2) - Jack and Buck Cowan took the Book to Father Joquez to have it translated.
(Werewolf By Night I#3) - Having finished his translation Joquez unintentionally released the spirit of Aelfric the Mad Monk, who possessed the priest. Aelfric told Jack Russell some of the history of the tome and summoned Dragonus to fight him. When Dragonus accidentally injured Aelfric, killing Joquez's body, Aelfric was forced away. Jack, still a werewolf, took his sister and left caring little about anything else.
(Werewolf by Night I#13 (fb) - BTS) - The Darkhold was nowhere to be found after Aelfric's disappearance, and Jack believed it had perished with Aelfric.
(Dr. Strange: Sorcerer Supreme#9) - After Joquez's death Giuseppe Montesi, the Vatican's current priest in charge of the occult library, investigated. Within Joquez's translation notes Montesi found a copy of the Montesi formula once again.
(Werewold By Night I#13 - BTS) - Taboo and Topaz confronted Jack Russell intending to get the Darkhold and finish the Spell of Changes which Taboo had started so long ago. Reading the Werewolf's mind Topaz learned the book had been destroyed.
(Tomb of Dracula I#18) - Jack and Topaz went to Russoff Manor and found the Diary of Gregor Russoff (another copy of the Darkhold), but it was locked.
(Werewolf By Night I#15) - Topaz was able to open the diary allowing Jack to read it. Dracula realized that they had found the diary, which contained the secrets of the "Second Book of Sins" and realized he must prevent them from using it to destroy him. He came close to taking the book from them, but was prevented by the arrival of Rachel van Helsing who escape with it in a helicopter.
(Tomb of Dracula I#19 (fb)) - As Dracula attacked, van Helsing's helicopter crashed into a remote mountain peak injuring both. More concerned with his present situation, Dracula decided that the Diary was far enough from any civilization and he left it behind in the snow.
(Dracula Lives#6) - In the Vatican, Giuseppe Montesi studied his copy of the Montesi formula. Deciding that Montesi was not a man of action, Dracula worked up his nerve and snuck into the library, took the copy from Montesi's hand and set it on fire with a nearby candle. Montesi fled and Dracula realized that he must have memorized the formula followed with intent to kill. Though Dracula found it difficult to travel in the Vatican, he eventually caught up to Montesi in the Sistine Chapel. Montesi attempted to kill him, but the vampire dealt him a mortal blow. As he died the monk was happy to inform his killer that just days earlier he had made another copy of the formula and mailed it to Quincy Harker.
(Werewolf By Night I#19) - The trove of items once owned by Aelfric had made their way to Joshua Kane and then to his executor Geraldo Kabel and then into a movie studio's prop room. Here Jack Russell and Raymond Coker found the Libro del Malditos. Upon opening the book the text changed to English and told them how to cure the curse of a werewolf, by finding another and killing it on the full moon.
(Marvel Team-Up I#76 - BTS) - When the Silver Dagger had gained control of the Orb of Agamotto and kidnapped Clea, Dr. Strange, accompanied by Ms. Marvel and Spider-Man, was summoned to New Orleans by Marie Laveau. She told Strange that to save Clea he must master the lore contained in the Shiatra Book Of The Damned
(Marvel Team-Up I#77 - BTS) - Having entered the Astral Plane with him, Laveau mystically inserted the knowledge of the Shiatra lore into Strange's mind. In the process of this, at the mystic command of the Silver Dagger, she switched Strange's place with that of the Dagger who had been imprisoned inside the Orb of Agamotto.
(Marvel Team-Up I#80 - BTS) - Clea and Dr. Strange found that Dr. Strange was acting unusually aggressive, only to learn he has become a werewolf. Satana arrived stating her intent to either cure Stange, or kill him.
(Marvel Team-Up I#81 - BTS) - Satana revealed that Strange's exposure to the Shiatra book was what caused his lycanthropic state and that this was a bid by demons to steal the Sorcerer Supreme's soul. With Spider-Man she performed a ritual to save Strange's soul and was successful, though in the process the demon that dwelled inside her, the Basilisk was released and killed her.
(Dr. Strange: Sorcerer Supreme#9/2 (fb)) - Morgan's spirit recovered the
diary of Baron (Gregor) Russoff from the Alps where Dracula had discarded it.
The diary functioned as a copy of the Darkhold, as it contained text translated
from the Darkhold by Gregor.
Via the machinations of Magnus, the Darkhold copy was stripped from Morgan and passed into the possession of Modred the Mystic (see comments).
(Avengers I#185) - Now under Chthon's influence, Modred the Mystic brought Wanda Maximoff to Wundagore Mountain, where the Darkhold was floating on an altar.
(Avengers I#186) - Modred began using the Darkhold to perform a ritual that would bring Chthon to Wanda's body.
(Avengers I#187) - The Avengers defeated the Elder God in Wanda's body and took the Darkhold into their possession.
(Spider-Woman I#2 - BTS) - Morgan empowered and sent Excaliber ("Slapper" Struthers) to assault Magnus in an effort to learn the location of the Darkhold. Spider-Woman (Jessica Drew) eventually knocked the false sword from his hand, severing Morgan's ties to him and returning Slapper to normal.
(Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Deluxe Edition#9: Morgan le Fay (fb) - BTS) - Morgan sensed that Spider-Woman had spent much of her life on Wundagore Mountain where Chthon had been imprisoned. Morgan believed that Jessica had absorbed enough of the elder god’s magic to be able to give Morgan the power she sought from the Darkhold. Under this belief, she began plotting to gain control of Spider-Woman.
(Spider-Woman I#6) - Morgan forced Magnus to send Spider-Woman to recover the Darkhold. Magnus actually sent Spider-Woman to the home of Jack Russell, the Werewolf, as he had recently held the Darkhold. Spider-Woman successfully overpowered the Werewolf and brought her back to Morgan, but when Morgan found that the memory of the Darkhold was only in his unconscious mind and prepared to remove his mind to find it, Magnus unleashed his astral self to stop her. While Magnus held his own in the spiritual conflict, Morgan fired a blast at his body, seemingly destroying him. Morgan's spirit easily resisted Spider-Woman's attacks, and she opened a magical portal to Camelot, allegedly in order to reunite with her body and bring it to the modern era where she might rule. When Spider-Woman continued to resist her, Morgan apparently incinerated her lover, Jerry Hunt. Enraged, Spider-Woman fired a venom blast through the magical portal seemingly disintegrating Morgan's body as well. Morgan's spirit faded from the modern era, while Magnus soon revealed that he had used illusion to make it seem that Morgan had destroyed him and Jerry, and that both were unharmed.
(X-Men Annual#6) - When Dracula had turned Rachel van Helsing under his control and began turning the X-Man Storm to his side the vampire sent Storm to Pendarrow Manor to retrieve the copy of the Montesi Formula kept there (the one Guiseppe had sent Harker). Meanwhile Dracula's daughter Lilith took over Kitty Pryde's body and convinced Colossus to go to Pendarrow as well. Confronting Storm, Lilith (in Pryde's form), got the formula and began to recite it with intent to kill her father. Before the deed could be done, however, the X-Men arrived and interrupted. The copy of the formula was destroyed.
(Doctor Strange II#60) - Having learned that Dracula sought the Darkhold, Dr. Strange himself went to the Avengers Mansion to retrieve it. When Dracula showed up, Strange teleported the book away where no one would think to look, Baron Mordo's castle. This place was also chosen as its aura of evil would camouflage the Darkhold's presence.
(Doctor Strange II#61) - Dr. Strange and his allies arrived at Castle Mordo where Strange carefully prepared to use the Darkhold to wipe out all vampires on Earth by reciting the Montesi Formula.
(Doctor Strange II#62) - While fighting Dracula and resisting the Darkhold's seductive evil, Strange successfully completed the ritual, destroying all the Earth's vampires.
(Doctor Strange II#67) - After receiving a letter from Hannibal King Strange checked upon the Darkhold, which he now had stored in a chamber with many mystic protective spells. Later he joined King, Drake and Blade in stopping a small group of Darkholders who were using partial copies in an attempt to bring other dimensional vampires to Earth. The heroes stopped the Darkholders and their ritual was proven pointless anyway as the vampiric being ceased to exist seconds after entering the realm where the Montesi Formula's effect still held sway.
(Dr. Strange II#79 - BTS) - Dr. Strange's mansion, along with the Darkhold and a multitude of other mystic items and Topaz and Wong, was transported to a distant planet Gevaltu by the alien wizard Urthona.
(Dr. Strange II#80 - BTS) - Urthona explained to Wong and Topaz his intention to become the new Sorcerer Supreme of this universe.
(Dr. Strange II#81) - Having met Rintrah and sending his Astral form into his body while his own is healed, Dr. Strange borrowed a spacecraft from Reed Richards and flew to Urthona's planet to get his mansion back and save Wong and Topaz. In battle with Strange, Urthona used the Darkhold to summon forth the Dark Blood-Hunger of the Night, ethereal bat-like demons apparently once bound to vampires. They swarmed Strange and Rintrah until the latter banished them with a mystical light spell. As the battle continued, Strange realized that he could only defeat the alien wizard by destroying all of the stolen magical items, and so he did. With only the indestructible Darkhold remaining, Urthona fled.
(Dr. Strange: Sorcerer Supreme#9/2) - Only moments after Urthona's escape, the Darkhold vanished from his hands taken to the realm of Agamotto.
(Doctor Strange: Sorcerer Supreme#7) - The Book of Sins (and many other magical artifacts) were returned to Strange by Agamotto, who had whisked them all away to his realm when Dr. Strange intended to destroy them..
(Doctor Strange: Sorcerer Supreme#8) - Strange returned the items, including the Darkhold to his Sanctum.
(Doctor Strange: Sorcerer Supreme#15) - The newly freed Victor Strange took the Darkhold from Strange's Sanctum and brought it to Marie Laveau. She used it to escape from Dr. Strange and his allies.
(Doctor Strange: Sorcerer Supreme#16) - Laveau used the Book of Sins to bring forth a mystical night allowing her new army of vampires to awaken to fight her enemies.
(Doctor Strange: Sorcerer Supreme#17) - With the Darkhold Laveau summoned forth a tentacled demon, which Strange returned to the Outer Dark. She later summoned Dragonus, but sent him back when he almost hurt Victor Strange by accident.
(Doctor Strange: Sorcerer Supreme#18) - With a ritual from the book Marie brought Varnae back into existence. Laveau was defeated, and Strange recovered the Darkhold.
(Doctor Strange: Sorcerer Supreme#20) - Unhappy with an undead life, Victor Strange tried to use the Darkhold and the Montesi formula to destroy himself. He was stopped by Morbius. The page containing the Montesi formula was found to be blank, apparently having vanished as a balance when Dr. Strange banished the Vampiric Verses.
(Doctor Strange: Sorcerer Supreme#36) - The Darkhold was among many magical artifacts and talismans that Strange used in a futile attempt to challenge the power of Adam Warlock as he wore the Infinity Gauntlet.
(Excalibur I#37 / Marvel Zombies: The Book of Angels, Demons, and various Monstrosities) - Doctor Doom studied Darkhold copies, learning of the realm Otherplace (Belasco's limbo) and its magical metal, Promethium.
(Mystic Arcana: Sister Grimm#1 (fb) - BTS) - Sorcerers Robert and Tina Minoru gained Marie Laveau's trust and then stole from her the Black Mirror (which, apparently unbeknownnst to all, contained a page of the Darkhold. They intended to use it as a means to view the past -- which their Pride teammates Dale and Stacey Yorkes refused to share their own time-traveling methods -- to learn the secrets of the lineage of Clan Minoru
However, when they looked back at their lineage, what they saw terrified them to no end. As a result, they enchanted and locked the Mirror so that none could ever access it for such purposes again; the only thing that could unlock the Mirror was the blood of the last living descendent of Clan Minoru.
The Black Mirror now functioned only as a normal mirror, casting reflections.
linTerrified by what they found, the Minorus enchanted the Black Mirror to prevent its further use
(Excalibur I#37 (fb) - BTS) - Dr. Doom reviewed the Darkhold (possibly just pages or copies), learning of a portal to Otherplace (Belasco's Limbo) and of the metal Promethium.
(Darkhold#1 (fb) - BTS) - The Dwarf appeared to Donald Walsh and gave him an envelope with his name on it. Walsh opened it to find a page of the Darkhold, which he was somehow able to read and summon the Other. He wished for immortality and he was given it, as the Chameleon Worms.
(Darkhold#1) - Victoria Montesi (who due to her nature had visions whenever a page was used), Louise Hastings and Sam Buchanan found the page which Walsh had used.
(Darkhold#2) - The Dwarf presented a page to Morton Thurnton, who used it to summon the Hellhound. It was later found by Montesi and her companions (the Darkhold Redeemers, for brevity's sake). They noticed that as long as they held the Darkhold page they could control the Hellhound and investigated Thurnton's actions. When they confronted him, Thornton snatched the page back and ate it, so they couldn't have it. The Hellhound clawed its way into Thornton to return home via the page.
(Darkhold#3) - As the Redeemers met Modred he gave them the page Thornton had used. The Dwarf gave a page to Aurora Poule, who summoned the Other. At first she only asked for a dress so she would look beautiful, but later asked for revenge on the townsfolk who made her life miserable. This summoned the N'Garai to the town of Perfection. The Redeemers arrived and found the page she had used.
(Darkhold#4) - The Dwarf presented Reverend Styge with a Darkhold page.
(Darkhold#5) - Reverend Styge used his page to heal people and raise the dead. When he was killed by the Punisher (Frank Castle), the Redeemers found and took the page.
(Midnight Sons Unlimited#1) - John Blaze and Ghost Rider find the page that Clarice Van Ripper used to summon a demon.
(Midnight Sons Unlimited#1/2) - The Dwarf gave a page to Mercy, who after using it and being tortured by demons wrote his suicide note upon it. It was recovered by the Redeemers.
(Darkhold#6) - Dr. Strange, Wanda Maximoff and Agatha Harkness reviewed the Darkhold in Strange's Sanctum. Agatha noted that Wanda's life seemed to fit with a prophecy that told when "Saeculum Atrum" (The Hour of Chthon's Return) drew near. The Dwarf gave a Mr. Hayward a page, which he used to make a demonic replay of the World War II Japanese assault on Pearl Harbor appear over Maui.
(Darkhold#7) - As panic and violence spread over Maui, the Redeemers located Mr. Hayward, and Louise successfully talked him into recalling the demon war, though it killed him to do so. Louise deduced that it was a weakening of the mystical barriers that was allowing otherwise ordinary people to use pages from the Book of Sins.
(Darkhold#8) - Aboard a plane which the Redeemers were on the Dwarf gave a page to Sarrah Roberts who summoned the Wish-Demon. In Boston, the Dwarf got an envelope which contained the Demogorge page to Samantha Regent. In the chaos on the plane, Louise Hasting's daughter Caprice was killed.
(Nightstalkers#8) - Samantha Regent told her brother Rich about the letter she had received and how it could supposedly wipe out all the occult in the world. Samantha considered it, as their parents had wasted much of their money on "crystal balls and astrology charts". Concerned, Rich called Borderline Investigations and the message was heard by Blade.
(Darkhold#9) - Louise used the Wishing page to summon the Other, but only to make it clear that she knew what it was up to. She knew it had arranged Caprice's death to get Louise to use the page to wish her back, but Louise refused it. Having overheard this Jinx tried to use the page. Louise stopped him, but not before it was realized he was magically adept.
(Nightstalkers#9) - Still mulling over whether or not she should use the Demogorge page, Samantha Regent went out to a nightclub. She attracted the attention of a man called Maxxy. After Sam left the club Maxxy followed and attacked her, leading to Sam being hit by a car. Maxxy took the envelope.
(Darkhold#10) - While Darkholders tortured Vicki Montesi for the location of the Demogorge page, Jinx sneaked in and rescued her using the Wish page to take out the guards. Vicki used the indestructible page to short out lasers in Louise's cell. After learning that Interpol Chief DeGuzman was the leader of a sect of Darkholders, the Redeemers prevented an Interpol order that would have sent all pages found to him.
(Midnight Sons Unlimited#2/2 (fb)) - Frank West received a page and used it and gained the ability to see Troids. The page was recovered by the Redeemers.
(Marvel Comics Presents I#134) - Darklove page brought to USA and used to summon Darklove.
(Midnight Sons Unlimited#2/4) - Johnny Farmer was given a page by the Dwarf and used it to become Harvestor.
(Nightstalkers#10) - Blade found Samantha Regent recovering from her wounds in the hospital. Reluctantly she cooperated, telling him about Maxxy having taken the envelope. Blade retrieved the letter and escaped Frank Drake, Hannibal King and John Blaze, who had learned of his plan. Blade summoned the Other, was transformed into the Demogorge, and adopted the name Switchblade.
(Ghost Rider III#40 - BTS) - As Switchblade attacked Ghost Rider (Dan Ketch/Noble Kale) and killed the Demogoblin, Frank Drake realized they needed the help of someone who knew more about the Darkhold and decided they should seek out Louise Hastings.
(Darkhold#11) - Frank Drake and Ghost Rider found the Redeemers and told them what had been happening. Drake gave Louise the Demogorge page. Before being killed, Modred informed Louise that the counterspell to the Demogorge page was in the Darkhold itself and could only be cast by one who was not magically inclined.
(Morbius#12 - BTS) - The various mystical heroes fought off Switchblade as they made their way to Strange's mansion and the Darkhold.
(Spirits of Vengeance#13) - As the fight carried itself to Strange's manor it was Switchblade himself who was the first to reach the book. Upon grabbing it however, a protective Spell of Displacement was triggered which tried to pull the book into a vortex where Dr. Strange could later find it. Hastings noticed that the book itself seemed to be fighting this. Ghost Rider held the book with his chain, but he was also killed by the Demogorge. As Switchblade was distracted by Ghost Rider's Penance Stare, Louise took the book, found the proper spell and, at grave cost to herself, put and end to Switchblade and returned to life those he had killed.
(Midnight Sons Magazine#1) - The Darkhold vanished after the battle with Switchblade/Demogorge.
(Darkhold#12) - The Dwarf presented Modred the Mystic with a page, which confused him as he already knew every spell in the Darkhold. Upon summoning the Other, the demon offered the Mystic a trade for his soul. Modred agreed until he realized the soul wanted in trade was that of his beloved Janice. Modred gave his soul back to Chthon, the demon's point about Modred's loyalty having been made.
(Morbius#13) - Morbius went to the Redeemers' home in New Hope, Pennsylvania and took one of the pages they had found. With it he resurrected the body of Martine Bancroft, though she was now possessed by the Lilin called Parasite.
(Darkhold#13) - The Dwarf gave an envelope with a page to Vicki Montesi, promising it would help to heal her lover Nash.
(Darkhold#14) - The Dwarf presented Sam Buchanan with a page that would make Vicki love him, but he refused to use it.
(Midnight Sons Unlimited#3) - The Dwarf appeared to Spider-Man with a page, but he refused to use it. After that the Dwarf went to Spider-Man fan Brian Kornfeld who did use the page, which turned him to the beast called Spider-X.
(Namor I#62) - Morgan Le Fay summoned a group of Darkholder priests during her plot to raise Atlantis to the surface.
(Spider-Man Family#5) - Morbius used a page from the Darkhold in conjunction with the Vaal Talisman in hopes of gaining the magical power to cure his former mentor, Dr. Hammond, who suffered from ALS (aka Lou Gehrig's Disease). The spell went awry and summoned the demon Set-Dagon and his legions until Spider-Man smashed the Vaal Talisman, returning Dr. Strange's powers. Strange then banished Set-Dagon and the other demons.
(Mystic Arcana: Magik#1 - BTS) - Posing as Oshtur, Chthon appeared to Ian McNee and offered to save him from the Serpent's Sea (where he was trapped) in exchange for restoring the ancient Egyptian mystic Heka-Nut to save the mystic realms. After Ian vowed to do so, swearing by the thrice conjured crossroads, "Oshtur" instructed him to use the First Tarot to gather the Cornerstones of Creation.
(Mystic Arcana: Sister Grimm#1/3 - BTS) - As the gathering of the Cornerstones of Creation was necessary to restore the fabric of magic (damaged in the War of the Seven Spheres), the real Oshtur aided Ian in his quest.
(Mystic Arcana: Sister Grimm#1) - With the apparent deaths of Robert & Tina Minoru, Marie Laveau confronted their daughter, Nico Minoru, to have her remove the enchantment from the Black Mirror. After a short battle in which she seemed to overpower Laveau, Nico used her own blood to break the enchantment, but after receiving from one of her ancestors the message "You will always be one of us from one of her ancestors," Nico was startled and dropped the Mirror, which shatters, revealing "the Last Chronicle of Chthon," a page from the Darkhold. Laveau then ambushed Nico, took the page, warned Nico to heed the advice she had received, and departed.
(Mystic Arcana: Sister Grimm#1/3) - Ian realized that he had not found the
fourth Cornerstone, the mirror, because he had been thinking too literally, and
that the mirror was actually the perfect reflection of Chthon's soul, the
Darkhold. Marie Laveau then arrived at the Cornerstore on Creation, delivering
to him "the Last Chronicle of Chthon." Chthon then appeared again in the form of
Oshtur, and led Ian to using the gathered Cornerstones to cast the spell to
With aid from Ashake, Morgan, & Llyra, Ian released Heka-Nut's spirit from the canopic jar and gave it shelter within his own body, at which point Chthon revealed his true nature, and Heka-Nut threatened to take over Ian's form and make him Chthon's slave. Having suspected this, Ian then summoned Ashake to the present, and Morgan and Llyra (aided by the Cornerstone's powers) assaulted Chthon to protect Ian. Ashake used the Sword of Bone to free Heka-Nut from Chthon's control, allowing Ian to use the Cornerstones to banish Chthon, though Chthon took the Cornerstones with him, telling Ian he has tainted his soul with the use of the Darkhold, and that Chthon would return to collect what he is owed soon;
Ashake remained trapped in the present, and the real Oshtur appeared before them both back on Earth, telling them that the assemblage of the Cornerstones has helped repair the structure of magic.
(Mighty Avengers#22 (fb) - BTS) - Modred fell under Chthon's influence again and reassambled the Darkhold for his master Chthon.
(Mighty Avengers#22 (fb) ) - Modred found the last page in Vatican City and teleported to Mount Wundagore. Quicksilver couldn't stop him and when he arrived in the Darque Hold, the caverns beneath Wundagore, he found the Knights of Wundagore dead and was immediately overpowered by Modred.
(Mighty Avengers#21) - Modred transferred all Darkhold spells on to his body to become the Darkhold and summon Chthon. With the words now on his skin he transferred Quicksilver's spirit into former Darkhold and then proceeded to summon Chthon and give him Quicksilver as vessel on Earth.
(Mighty Avengers#22) - Bova followed Chthon and Modred while carrying the former Darkhold with Quicksilver's essence inside. She later attempted to use the book to knock out Modred, but her attack only served as a needed distraction for Iron Man to knock out Modred himself. Afterwards Bova talked with Quicksilver through the book.
(Mighty Avengers#23) - Bova showed the Avengers that Quicksilver was trapped inside Darkhold. Vision later recited Quicksilver's words to transfer his spirit into himself to empty the Darkhold. The book was then used to absorb all the spells that belonged inside the book and with them Modred and Chthon, who had taken possession of Modred after he was forced to leave Quicksilver's body. Quicksilver kept the Darkhold.
Comments: Created by Gerry Conway, Mike Ploog, and Stan Lee.
This book would be a heckuva lot easier to keep track of if someone would put it all together again. But it has spent so much time with pages going to all different corners of the world it can be hard to keep track of what's where when.
The book's appearance varies with pretty much each appearance it makes.
But perhaps the most common is the version with the "d" on the cover.
This is likely b/c there are many copies of the Darkhold, and each has a somewhat different appearance.
Dr. Strange: Sorcerer Supreme#9/2 identifies the book that Morgan Le
Fey used against the Avengers as being the Diary of Gregor Russoff, but
I don't think that's right. In Werewolf #13 Topaz read the Werewolf's
mind and learned that the Darkhold the Aelfric had used was destroyed,
but in the Aelfric issue (#3) the book just doesn't get mentioned after
Dragonus is summoned. I guess the Werewolf just assumed it was
destroyed, but it was not actually. Especially likely considering it is
indestructible. I don't know what happened to the Darkhold between
Aelfric/Joquez's death and Modred's enthrallment, though. Since we've
seen that copies of the Darkhold are not indestructible (such as the
one Varnae burned), and the pages of the Diary were seen to be pierced
by Rachel's arrow, I stick with that one panel showing Morgan finding
the Darkhold on the mountain to be in error. The rest is good.
Whenever possible, I try not to throw anything out. The easiest explanation is that after obtaining the Diary/Darkhold copy, Modred used its power (perhaps with Chthon's direct or indirect aid) to locate and obtain the original Darkhold, which merely vanished after Aelfric's destruction. Where did it go? Who knows, but it's indestructible. IIRC, the one that Modred used has fairly clear continuity from that point on, and it is referred to the original, and as being indestructible.
I had to refresh my memory, but in Avengers I#187, the Beast skewered the cover of the Darkhold with a lance from a set of Knights of Wundagore armor, but didn't pierce any of the pages.
It doesn't seem that we're told what happened to the pages the Redeemers recovered after Louise's death and the subsequent demolishing of that team (Chthon's guys really did a job on those poor folk), but I'd like to think Strange got them. Even Morbius commented they would be safer with him as he stole the resurrection page (apparently the same one Styge had used), which it now occurs to me may be missing again since I don't know that he returned it to the others.
The Libro del Malditos is a partial copy of the Darkhold. It was said
there were only three copies of the Libro del Malditos ever made and
all had gone missing until the one Jack Russell found.
Per Babelfish, "Libro del Malditos" is translated from Spanish as "Book of the Damned Ones." Aelfric was Spanish, but I'm not 100% certain that he wrote these copies.
For the record, "Book of the Damned" would be "Libro de los Malditos" in Spanish, and "Livro dos Malditos" in Portuguese.
That is assuming "Damned" to be plural, which I am not sure about; most Romantic languages (including Portuguese and Spanish) will have slightly different forms for the translation of "Damned" depending on whether one means singular or plural. For the singular form, it would be "Libro del Maldito", and in Portuguese it is "Livro do Maldito".
...and "Libro del maledetto" in Italian per Babelfish--Snood)
There are, of course, plenty of occasions in which a character is using a non-descript book of dark magic that could be one of those copies of the Darkhold (or Libro del Malditos). Two of my favorite such possibilities are the Vision story Marvel Mystery Comics #25, which was reprinted in the Golden Age of Marvel Comics Vol. 1 and the story called "The Monster Maker" in Uncanny Tales #2 from 1952.
Oh, and Strange owns a lot of books. One can never tell if one of those seen in the background is the Book of Sins.
I was uncertain where to place the Silver Dagger's origin as I don't know all that much about the guy. But if the Vatican do own this partial copy of the Darkhold, it must not have the Montesi Formula in it, as such I would assume it was a copy made while they were still trying to reach Kamar Taj.
I would be surprised if there wasn't some information in Spider-Woman someplace with Morgan and Magnus. And it's always possible I've missed something in Avengers or Dr. Strange. For example, I have found references to Dr. Strange once casting a spell including the invocation "By the Darkhold's Foul Tree", but I haven't located that one yet.)
The Cornerstones of Creation have a small entry in Mystic Arcana: The Book of Marvel Magic. Further, the Mystic Arcana series re-defined the Cornerstones as the Darkhold (powered by Chthon), Ebon Rose (powered by Gaea), Serpent Crown (powered by Set), and Sword of Bone (powered by Oshtur). I'm not 100% certain how that story fits in in with the Hyborian era story.
Werwolf By Night#25's letters page erroneously stated that the Darkhold had been destroyed.
In West Coast Avengers II#13, Dr. Pym's search for the Darkhold and/or Master Pandemonium drew the attention of Allatou, who subsequently attacked the Avengers.
The Punisher uses the Darkhold, an alternate version I
suppose? in my WHAT IF II #24 - WOLVERINE WAS LORD OF THE VAMPIRES with a return
appearance in #37.
In the novel Spider-Man: Requiem by
Jeff Marriotte, the Darkhold and Chthon appear. I did not get a chance
to look at this book more closely. Further information when I do.
Elder Gods and Cornerstones of Creation
Some insight courtesy of creator David Sexton:
I discovered the original Cornerstones of Creation on your Appendix website as I was investigating magic in Marvel and the idea of the number 4 as a repeated theme in Marvel. And, of course, the way that Tarot fits into all that.
When I saw the C of C on your site I connected it to Tarot and then the 4 Elder Gods. I knew that Gaea was Earth and Rose fit with her, that the crown was the Serpent Crown, and that the Sword which signifies intellect and the mind was Oshtur.
So then I was like how would a mirror work with Cthon and I realized that the Darkhold was the mirror of Chthon. A reflection of his twisted vision for the world.
In Marvel Tarot, it appears as the Ace of Wands (see image on right--Snood; the Ace of Swords is the Sword of Bone, the Ace of Cups is the Serpent Crown, and the Ace of Pentacles is the Ebon Rose)
In the image of Ian McNee using the Cornerstones of Creation, the Black
Mirror is just a magical construct to symbolize the Mirror.
In my mind, the Darkhold itself is the Cornerstone. Possessing the Last
Chronicle of Chthon / Darkhold page allowed Ian to access the
Darkhold's power (as far as the Cornerstones of Creation is concerned).
The Serpent Crown. The Ebon Rose. The Sword of Bone. and the Darkhold. Those are the four CornerstonesThe Cornerstones of Creation received a mini-profile in the Talismans of Mystic Power of the Mystic Arcana handbook. It stated:
by Patrick D Ryall and Snood
Images taken from:
The book: Darkhold#6, page 3, panel 4
Chthon authors the scrolls: Avengers I#182, page 16, panel 1
Passed down through ages: Avengers I#182, page 16, panel 2
Hidden in cereal box: Werewolf By Night I#1, page 31, panel 4
Dracula with the diary of Gregor Russoff: Werewolf By Night I#15, page 30, panel 3
Libro Del Malditos: Werewolf By Night I#19, page 32, panel 2
Dr. Strange begins Montesi Formula: Dr. Strange II#62, page, panel
Marie Laveau uses the book: Dr. Strange: Sorcerer Supreme#17, page 15, panel 5
The Dwarf bearing a black envelope: Darkhold#4, page 29, panel 1
First Posted: 03/02/2007
Last updated: 04/11/2020
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
Non-Marvel Copyright info
All other characters mentioned or pictured are ™ and © 1941-2099 Marvel Characters, Inc. All Rights Reserved. If you like this stuff, you should check out the real thing!
Please visit The Marvel Official Site at: http://www.marvel.com
Special Thanks to www.g-mart.com for hosting the Appendix, Master List, etc.!
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