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Review: Darkhold Alpha

Darkhold Alpha

After what feels like an extended delay, Darkhold Alpha is here kicking off the miniseries that promises to twist and turn some of our favorite heroes. The story focuses on Scarlet Witch who must assemble a team to stop Chthon who’s back and wants to break into our world. Who’s Chthon? Well, the demon has history with Wanda and that’s all you need to know. While I’m sure there might be something more interesting in the comic for those who know the history, it’s not vital. But, of course things can’t be easy and as this debut ends, exactly where this series is going could be interesting.

Written by Steve Orlando, Darkhold Alpha has a bit of a vibe of the 1990s Marvel horror line. The Darkhold played a key roll then, so it’s not surprising that this issue has echoes in that era of comics. What Orlando does that’s solid is set up the challenge as exactly that, a challenge. Dr. Doom is the one who sets things in motion by trying to obtain the Darkhold and through Doom, Orlando makes it feel like our heroes really have a battle ahead. Here is an arrogant but powerful character who can’t stand up to Chthon himself. That choice is a solid one as it doesn’t feel like a character is sacrificed for the hell of it. If Doom is so easily beaten, what chance do our heroes have?

There’s some foreshadowing that is a bit too obvious. Our heroes must prepare to enter the “Other World” to take on Chthon and prepare their minds. Read too much of the Darkhold and they become corrupted. You can see where this is going after the fifth time that’s uttered. It’s a little too obvious but creates a nice hurdle in that the future of this story isn’t as clear. Where one might have expected the heroes to get “powered up” and go and battle, that’s not quite as clear now.

Cian Tormey‘s art is good. There’s some good emotion and cool character designs but there’s also some panels which feel a little odd in reactions. Where Tormey excels is in some small details, a Doombot’s head on fire for example, or Doom himself beaten up. With color by Jesus Aburtov and lettering by Clayton Cowles, the look of the comic fits the horror genre well without being dark and ominous. It keeps its feet planted in the world of superheroes and the magical side of the Marvel Universe and does it well.

Darkhold Alpha is an interesting start. There’s a lot thrown in and it does an excellent job of explaining things. As far as beginnings, it does what it needs to setting things up and keeping the overall story a bit of a guess. While this so far isn’t a miniseries that’s a must read, it does have enough interesting aspects to check out and see where it all goes.

Story: Steve Orlando Art: Cian Tormey
Color: Jesus Aburtov Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Story: 7.5 Art: 7.65 Overall: 7.6 Recommendation: Read

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


Purchase: comiXologyKindleTFAW

Graphic Policy’s Top Comic Picks this Week!

Inferno #1

Wednesdays (and now Tuesdays) are new comic book day! Each week hundreds of comics are released, and that can be pretty daunting to go over and choose what to buy. That’s where we come in

Each week our contributors choose what they can’t wait to read this week or just sounds interesting. In other words, this is what we’re looking forward to and think you should be taking a look at!

Find out what folks think below, and what comics you should be looking out for this week.

10 Years to Death (AfterShock) – What happens when the murdered becomes the murderer? That teaser text has us intrigued.

Amazing Fantasy #3 (Marvel) – The series has been fantastic mixing fantasy and superheroes. The art is amazing, it’s just a hell of a lot of fun.

BRZRKR #5 (BOOM! Studios) – The series has been a great mix of action, mystery, and some character depth. It’s clearly all a treatment for a film but it’s exceeded our expectations.

Corset #1 (Scout Comics) – A world-famous reclusive fashion designed and inventor invites a girl to his tower where he plans to reveal his dark secrets to her.

Darkhold Alpha (Marvel) – Scarlet Witch must save the Marvel Universe in this dive into the dark mystical side of the Marvel Universe.

Deathstroke Inc. #1 (DC Comics) – Slade Wilson gets the spotlight again in a brand-new series that seems to shake things up for him a bit as he takes on a team as he’s enlisted by the secret organization, T.R.U.S.T.!

Gun Honey #1 (Titan Comics) – A gun runner is enlisted by the US government to get back the escaped criminal she helped escape.

Human Remains #1 (Vault Comics) – Invading monsters have deprived gumans of feeling emotions which makes Dax and Bisa’s love dangerous.

Inferno #1 (Marvel) – The endgame to Jonathan Hickman’s X-Men run begins here!

Night of Cadillacs #1 (Scout Comics) – Rival supernatural gangs come to Earth in a raiding mission to retrieve life-restoring blood from humans.

Party & Prey (AfterShock) – Alan is used to being ignored by younger guys, so he hardly believes his luck when lithe, handsome Scott makes a move on him in the crowded gay club. But there’s a wolf on the dance floor tonight, and he’s hungry for fresh prey…

Teen Titans: Beast Boy Loves Raven (DC Comics) – The latest graphic novel in the “Teen Titans” series, this one’s a hell of a lot of fun as the various characters start to come together. But, it’s the interaction between Beast Boy and Raven that steals the show.

Transformers: Shattered Glass #2 (IDW Publishing) – The first issue was good and we really want to see where this “Mirror Universe” take on the Transformers goes.

Unborn #1 (Source Point Press) – On a strange world, five explorers mine for super fuels in a last-ditch effort to save a collapsing Earth, but the mission goes to hell when they are overrun by a hostile alien species.

Undiscovered Country #16 (Image Comics) – Each issue is a wild ride and gets us to think about about what makes up “America”. A series that entertains and has some depth to it.

Preview: Darkhold Alpha #1

Darkhold Alpha #1

(W) Steve Orlando (A) Cian Tormey (CA) Greg Smallwood
Rated T+
In Shops: Sep 29, 2021
SRP: $4.99

ENTER THE PAGES OF THE DARKHOLD – AND LOSE YOUR MIND IN MIGHTY MARVEL FASHION!
Critically acclaimed writer Steve Orlando joins forces with extraordinary artist Cian Tormey for a story that will delight and terrify! For hundreds of years, scholars and heroes alike have searched for the complete text of the Darkhold – a.k.a. the Book of the Damned, written by the elder god Chthon. Now one of the greatest sorcerers in the Multiverse has found it – and Chthon has found him. To save them all, the Scarlet Witch must gather the world’s greatest heroes…and unleash their inner darkness. Witness the Marvel Universe’s descent into chaos!

Darkhold Alpha #1

Early Preview: Darkhold Alpha #1

Darkhold Alpha #1

(W) Steve Orlando (A) Cian Tormey (CA) Greg Smallwood (VCA) Juan Cabal, Greg Smallwood
Rated T+
In Shops: Sep 29, 2021
SRP: $4.99

ENTER THE PAGES OF THE DARKHOLD – AND LOSE YOUR MIND IN MIGHTY MARVEL FASHION!
Critically acclaimed writer Steve Orlando joins forces with extraordinary artist Cian Tormey for a story that will delight and terrify! For hundreds of years, scholars and heroes alike have searched for the complete text of the Darkhold – a.k.a. the Book of the Damned, written by the elder god Chthon. Now one of the greatest sorcerers in the Multiverse has found it – and Chthon has found him. To save them all, the Scarlet Witch must gather the world’s greatest heroes…and unleash their inner darkness. Witness the Marvel Universe’s descent into chaos!

Darkhold Alpha #1

The Madness of the Darkhold Grips Iron Man and Blade in Tie-In Issues

This September, a new mystical Marvel saga begins in Darkhold Alpha #1! Written by Steve Orlando with art by Cian Tormey, this extraordinary one-shot will kick off an all-new story centered around the Scarlet Witch and Doctor Doom as they prevent the recently resurfaced Darkhold text from unleashing chaos on the Marvel Universe. The highly anticipated epic will be told through a series of one-shots, each centering on a different hero recruited to combat the Darkhold’s horrifying effects. Two of these mind-melting adventures will release this October: Darkhold: Iron Man #1 and Darkhold: Blade #1!

Ryan North, the brilliant mind behind The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, teams up with artist Guillermo Sanna to bring you the body-horror tale of the century in Darkhold: Iron Man! Called forth to face the dread god Chthon, Iron Man reads from the ancient ill-fated text known as 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.

Emmy-nominated writer Daniel Kibblesmith, known for his bold work on the Loki comic book series, and artist Federico Sabbatini will bring Marvel’s resident vampire hunter into the action in Darkhold Blade! After reading from the cursed Darkhold, Blade attempts to enter Chthon’s dimension and stop the ancient god from destroying the Multiverse. But reading the book has changed all their lives and histories…and for Blade, the consequences are far-reaching. 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.

Enter the Darkhold if you dare when this strange and terrifying saga begins this fall! Check out the covers for Darkhold: Iron Man #1 and Darkhold: Blade #1 below as well as Cian Tormey’s “defiled designs” for Iron Man and Blade. Plus, get a sneak peek at pages from Darkhold Alpha #1, on sale September 22nd!

Marvel Reveals Some of What’s Coming in June

Marvel has released its special edition of The Pull List, unveiling exclusive information for the hottest books coming to comic shops this June!

This special previews announcement gave viewers a first look at critically acclaimed writer Steve Orlando’s Marvel debut in Darkhold Alpha #1, the next two adventures in the Kurt Busiek-curated trip through Marvel history in Marvels Snapshots: Captain Marvel #1 and Marvels Snapshots: Civil War #1, the epic showdown between Juggernaut and the Immortal Hulk in Juggernaut #2, and the dramatic decision that young mutant Molly Hayes will face in Runaways #34!

DARKHOLD ALPHA #1

Written by STEVE ORLANDO 
Art by CIAN TORMEY 
Cover by GREG SMALLWOOD

ENTER THE PAGES OF THE DARKHOLD —AND LOSE YOUR MIND IN MIGHTY MARVEL FASHION!

Critically acclaimed writer Steve Orlando makes his Marvel debut with a story that will delight and terrify! For hundreds of years, scholars and heroes alike have searched for the complete text of the Darkhold—AKA the Book of the Damned, written by the elder god Chthon. Now one of the greatest sorcerers in the Multiverse has found it—and Chthon has found him. To save them all, the Scarlet Witch must gather the world’s greatest heroes…and unleash their inner darkness.

DARKHOLD ALPHA #1

MARVELS SNAPSHOTS: CAPTAIN MARVEL #1

Written by MARK WAID  
Art by COLLEEN DORAN
Cover by ALEX ROSS

A team of heroes fights a stirring battle for the safety of the planet. A young woman struggles with desperation and despair, trying to cope in the modern world. But that’s only the beginning.

Featuring Captain Marvel, Ms. Marvel, and a few more surprises, Kurt Busiek invites superstar creators MARK WAID and COLLEEN DORAN to tell a tale of inspiration within inspiration, as we see how the world’s marvels have inspired others—and how they’ve been inspired themselves.

MARVELS SNAPSHOTS: CAPTAIN MARVEL #1

MARVELS SNAPSHOTS: CIVIL WAR #1

Written by SALADIN AHMED
Art by RYAN KELLY
Cover by ALEX ROSS

In the heart of the Civil War event, a human story unfolds. A S.H.I.E.L.D. agent, doing his best to do the job with honor—but is that even possible? A young, low-level Super Hero, trying to help his neighbors—but that’s not even legal any more. The two come together in a story that’ll test their commitment, ideals, hopes, and dreams.

Featuring Captain America, Giant-Man, Maria Hill, and more, Kurt Busiek recruits Hugo-Award-winning writer Saladin Ahmed and all-star Ryan Kelly to uniquely retell this iconic Marvel story.

MARVELS SNAPSHOTS: CIVIL WAR #1

JUGGERNAUT #2

Written by FABIAN NICIEZA
Art by RON GARNEY
Cover by GEOFF SHAW

SMASH OR BE SMASHED!

Juggernaut isn’t the only one who’s left destruction in his wake, and he thinks it’s about time for the IMMORTAL HULK to take responsibility for his actions! But is this Juggernaut’s way of defending mutant honor for Krakoa? Or is he back to his old ways?

JUGGERNAUT #2

RUNAWAYS #34

Written by RAINBOW ROWELL
Art by ANDRES GENOLET
Cover by KRIS ANKA

Wolverine and Pixie guest star in RUNAWAYS and answer what Runaways fans have been asking for months: With the X-Men’s opening of Krakoa, the island-nation that welcomes mutants in existence, will Molly go? You may think you know the answer to that or what is going to happen here, but this comic is like its stars: They never do what they’re told—or expected—to do.

RUNAWAYS #34

“Make Mine Marvel” Declares Steve Orlando

This June, writer Steve Orlando is heading to Marvel from DC! The recent writer on Wonder Woman will be writing Darkhold Alpha #1. That comic will feature art by Cian Tormey and check out the cover by Greg Smallwood below.

ENTER THE PAGES OF THE DARKHOLD —AND LOSE YOUR MIND IN MIGHTY MARVEL FASHION!

Critically acclaimed writer Steve Orlando makes his Marvel debut with a story that will delight and terrify! For hundreds of years, scholars and heroes alike have searched for the complete text of the Darkhold—AKA the Book of the Damned, written by the elder god Chthon. Now one of the greatest sorcerers in the Multiverse has found it—and Chthon has found him. To save them all, the Scarlet Witch must gather the world’s greatest heroes…and unleash their inner darkness.

Darkhold Alpha #1