Darkhold Omega #1 takes the fight to the Dark God Chthon as Scarlet Witch teams up with unlikely forces in a gripping tale that ushers in a new era.
When Doctor Doom unearthed the ever-powerful Darkhold, he inadvertently opened the gates of invasion to the mortal realm. The Dark Lord Chthon leads a fearsome force from the Other-Realm, and it is up to Scarlet Witch and the Darkhold Defenders to protect Earth. But when the five summoned heroes succumb to the corruption of the evil verses, they become defiled by the maligned memories of twisted realities and turn on their allies. Created by writer Steve Orlando and artist Cian Tormey, Darkhold Omega #1 takes the fight to the dreaded elder God and brings the curtain down on this epic Darkhold event, the consequences of which will have serious ramifications throughout the Marvel Comics universe.
Darkhold Omega #1 opens with an ominous scene. Chthon assembled a fearsome force of Other-Realm demons, ready to jump through a portal to Earth. Meanwhile, the defiled heroes have launched a relentless attack on Scarlet Witch. Outnumbered and out of time, Wanda desperately sends the book back to Doctor Doom and sics the Darhold Defilers upon the evil God. The corrupted heroes wreak havoc in the Other-Realm. But they soon learn that Chthon is no mere threat as he unleashes hell when a stranger swoops in to protect the Defiled.
Writer Steve Orlando began the Darkhold’s tumultuous tale in Darkhold Alpha #1, providing a solid base for future one-shots. While the Darkhold one-shots explored the horror wrought by the Darkhold, the final issue of this saga goes in a completely different direction. Darkhold Omega #1 dials up its mayhem to create a storyline focused on Armageddon. The linear narrative is easy to follow and pleasant to read. Orlando does well to keep the plot flowing even when there are more than half a dozen characters on the page, with each exhibiting individuality. However, the climactic boss fight never reaches the heights as hyped, but the story does end with an exciting turn of events.
Artist Cian Tormey captures dynamic scenes using wide, expansive panels and dramatic layouts. The ink work of Roberto Poggi, Marc Deering, and Walden Wong accentuate Tormey’s distinctive art style. However, there isn’t much attention given to the panel’s background art, and Chthon’s demonic forces have a generic design at best. The artwork improves with the arrival of a terrifying antagonist, and the Lovecraftian designs give the book a sinister undertone. Colorist Jesus Aburtov uses bright shades, mostly crimson and ochre, to portray the hellish landscapes of Other-Realm and its nightmarish residents. However, the colors in this issue often feel flat, which dissociates the audience from the story’s thrills.
Darkhold Omega #1 presents a good vs. evil fight, but in a different light. In this story, Marvel heroes aren’t confined by their morality. Set in a pocket universe, Darkhold: Omega moves at a breakneck pace, and presents thrilling encounters on each and every page. This issue brings major changes to the Marvel Universe while reintroducing the almost forgotten character of Omega the Unknown into the main lore. In short, these are exciting times ahead for Marvel fans. Darkhold Omega #1 will be remembered for ushering in a new age.
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