'Darkhold: Alpha' Charts a Magical Future for Marvel

Darkhold Alpha - Publicity - H 2020
Greg Smallwood/Marvel Entertainment
The June release marks the first Marvel work for writer Steve Orlando.

After years as one of DC’s go-to writers, Steve Orlando has jumped ship to Marvel with a new project starring some of the company’s most high-profile magic users.

Darkhold: Alpha No. 1 sees the Marvel debut of Orlando (Wonder Woman, Justice League of America), who recently told The Hollywood Reporter that he was leaving his DC-exclusive contract to work as a freelance writer. Joining him on the title is Irish artist Cian Tormey (Batgirl, Annihilation: Scourge).

The story’s focus goes beyond the magical “book of the damned” of its title, providing a new home for the Scarlet Witch as she heads up a response to the fact that the Darkhold has been discovered by someone Marvel’s describing as “one of the greatest sorcerers in the Multiverse” — notably, the cover for the first issue, by Greg Smallwood, sees the book in the hands of Doctor Doom — with that sorcerer coming under the influence of the demonic elder god responsible for the book’s creation in the first place.

Although no further information has been released by Marvel, Darkhold: Alpha follows the tradition of a storyline that will continue through a number of different titles, rather than one single series. (Usually, the storyline will resolve in an issue bearing the designation “Omega.”) If that’s the case, Orlando’s first Marvel project might be significantly bigger than anyone anticipated.

Expect supernatural shenanigans and existential battles for the heart and soul of the heroes of the Marvel Universe when Darkhold: Alpha debuts in June.