Marvel Studios Propmaster Explains Why The Darkhold Is A Design Masterpiece

Scarlet Witch
Image via Marvel Studios

The MCU is full of powerful artifacts, but none gets around quite like the Darkhold. It made its debut in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., went on to play a role in the third season of Runaways, and most recently popped up towards the end of WandaVision. Given what we know about Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, it seems like it’ll be incredibly important in that movie —  and director Sam Raimi sure does know a lot about sinister magic books.

Marvel Studios propmaster Scott Bauer discussed what makes the Darkhold so special in a recent talk at the New York Comic-Con, as he takes us through its design, pointing out that the title is an ambigram that reads the same way forward, backward, and upside down.

Other intriguing elements include using vellum for the pages, the varied designs inside (and the thought that went into making those), and the high level of interactivity for the actors embedded with it. He concludes by calling the Darkhold a masterpiece and his favorite of all the props he’s worked on.

But in WandaVision, it looked quite different and learned into a much more ancient stone tablet-like form. Given the gulf between Marvel TV and the Disney Plus shows, it’s far more likely this new take will be the core version going forward.

The last time we saw the tome was in Wanda’s isolated cabin, where there were strong hints she would attempt to use it to resurrect her children. Bringing back the dead rarely goes well in fiction, so her tampering with the fabric of reality is likely to kick off multiversal shenanigans that’ll take the Sorceror Supreme to solve.

Let’s hope for a Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness trailer soon, which may include a peek at the book’s latest incarnation.