SPOILER WARNING: This article contains major spoilers for “Let Me Stand Next to Your Fire,” the latest episode of “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.”
Vampires and werewolves and curses, oh my! In “Let Me Stand Next to Your Fire,” the latest episode of “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.”, Agent Coulson revealed the ancient object that ties Robbie and Daisy’s missions together — as well as to Doctor Strange. As Daisy “Quake” Johnson and the Ghost Rider himself Robbie Reyes finally joined forces with S.H.I.E.L.D., Coulson put his cards on the table and told them about the Darkhold, also known as the Book of Sins.
After their fiery encounter with the Inhuman Hellfire, Robbie and Daisy recouped on the Zephyr with Coulson, Mack and Simmons. As the episode drew to a close, Coulson approached Daisy to tell her what, exactly, connected her Watchdog mission to S.H.I.E.L.D. as well as Robbie Reyes. Using his tablet, he showed them a drawing of an ancient text called the Darkhold. As it turns out, this is the same book Lucy and her ghostly coworkers had used to build the machine that ultimately killed them — the same one that caused Robbie’s uncle Eli to beat Lucy’s husband into a coma and landed him in jail. Released from her earthly prison, Lucy now seeks the text for herself.
But what connects the Darkhold to Doctor Strange? Well, in the comics, the Darkhold was last seen in the Sorcerer Supreme’s possession. The book — which debuted in Gerry Conway and Mike Ploog’s “Marvel Spotlight” #4 in 1972 — holds the key to a number of ancient curses, including lycanthropy and vampirism. In fact, it created the Marvel Universe’s very first vampire: Varnae. Using the Darkhold’s Montesi Formula, Doctor Strange once destroyed the vampires and restored Hannibal King’s humanity. However, while the book certainly has ties to the Good Doctor in the comics, it’s unclear at this time if or how it will factor into the “Doctor Strange” film.
The comic book version of the Darkhold was created by Chthon, one of the Marvel Universe’s Elder Gods. It has passed down through many hands, both good and bad; Varnae, Conan, Red Sonja, Morgan Le Fey, Staint Brendan, Gregor Russoff and — finally — Doctor Strange have all come to possess it at one time or another. The book’s curses are responsible for Nina Price’s vampirism and lycanthropy. Its pages also contain the demon Darklove and inspired the Necronomicon.
Airing Tuesdays at 10 pm ET/PT on ABC, “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” stars Clark Gregg as Agent Phil Coulson, Chloe Bennet as Daisy “Quake” Johnson, Ming-Na Wen as Melinda May, Iain De Caestecker as Leo Fitz, Elizabeth Henstridge as Jemma Simmons, Henry Simmons as Alphonso “Mack” Mackenzie and more.
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