The following contains MAJOR SPOILERS for WandaVision episode 7, “Breaking the Fourth Wall.” If you have not watched the episode, we highly encourage you to do so before reading. Don’t say we didn’t warn you. Agnes won’t be happy.
“It Was Agatha All Along”
In easily the best musical sitcom-inspired interlude, we finally learned the truth about Agnes… or at least a version of it. As we leave WandaVision episode seven, we finally have the answer we were all expecting: that Agnes is actually the witch known as Agatha Harkness. There’s a lot of fun stuff here including Hahn’s delightfully demented performance as she luxuriates in being the bad guy. But we’re focused on that magical glowing book which could have huge consequences for the MCU. So let’s jump in.
Is that creepy glowing book the Darkhold?
We’ll admit, this is where our brain immediately went. After all, in the comics the book is directly connected to Chthon—whose powers connect to Wanda’s origin–and it holds pretty much all magic into the Marvel Universe. In case you aren’t already familiar with this esoteric bit of lore, here’s what you need to know. The Darkhold first appeared in Marvel Spotlight #4 (June 1972). It’s a spell book created by the Elder God known as Chthon. Early on in her origin, Wanda’s Hex powers are explained by the god’s powers almost imprinting on her. So there’s one big connection. In the comics, the Darkhold essentially holds the key to all magic in the Marvel Universe. That does seem like an important artifact that Doctor Strange and other heroes would want to protect.
Most importantly to WandaVision, Chthon created the book for one reason. The deity wanted to create a gateway between his realm and Earth. A way to jump through dimensions… You know, kind of like a multiverse? Which we know is key to the future of the MCU. If this is sounding slightly familiar, it’s because the Darkhold actually played a pretty major role in the previous iteration of MCU television appearing in both Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Runaways. That leads us to our next segment.
Here’s why it might not be…
This is Marvel Studios’ first ever TV project. It is in many fans’ minds the inaugural true MCU show, even though Jeph Loeb and his now defunct Marvel TV did used to make MCU-related series. It seems unlikely to us that Marvel TV would immediately introduce an artifact that was already utilized in their less popular TV world just years before. So in this case the fact that the Darkhold already exists in the MCU ironically makes it seem a little bit less likely to appear here. But saying that, there are things from that world we’d love to see introduced into the MCU *cough Nico Minoru cough* and we know that everything is up in the air in regards to universes, studios, and worlds. So don’t count out the Darkhold entirely… but let’s look at some other options for now.
So what else could it be?
Marvel Comics, Bill Mantlo, Rick Leonardi
Glad you asked. In case you haven’t been reading our WandaVision coverage and don’t know, we love to read an old comic here at Nerdist. In fact, lots of old comics. And the inclusion of Agatha’s glowing book led us somewhere very interesting. During the first issue of the Vision and the Scarlet Witch (1982) Vision and Wanda are given a magical book. It’s an ancient Druid Tome that was discovered by none other than Captain America—we’ll come back to that—who then gave it to Wanda in the hopes she could translate it. Alas, as Wanda and Vision make out in front of the fireplace, the magic book opens and releases the nightmarish demon known as Samhain. A demon who looks a lot like the figure who adorns Agatha’s brooch in the show.
This seems to be a likely option for Agatha’s book. Especially a she appears in the fifth issue of 1985 follow-up miniseries to fight Samhain after chastising Wanda for not correctly using her magic against him. These two mini-series have been the single most influential source material for WandaVision. So it makes sense the book would come from here. Plus, the whole story is directly connected to Captain America. If you recall, WandaVision was supposed to be the second Marvel Studios show. And The Falcon and the Winter Soldier was meant to be the first.
So could we perhaps expect to see the ancient Druid Tome discovered by Sam and Bucky? With the intent of giving it to Wanda? Maybe that’s even why Agatha trapped her in the Hex in the first place? If she wanted to access the book and its powers, then she might have been driven to create the magical world Wanda finds herself in.
And the most likely option is…
Marvel Comics , Marvel Studios
Most realistically, it’ll be a combination of both. The MCU loves to merge comics history. As they did a direct Darkhold story in their old Marvel TV world, we think they’ll avoid directly using the book here. They probably won’t want their key McGuffin to be old hat. Old magic hat. But we wouldn’t be surprised to see this tome referred to by one of the Darkhold’s other names like “Book of the Damned” or “Book Of Sins.” Saying that, though, if they did want to combine the two disparate worlds of the Marvel Studios television and movies and the very tangentially connected world of Marvel TV, this would be a smart way to do it.
While we think that Marvel will probably keep the worlds separate with a little hint that it could be the same book, the storyline in Runaways and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. in particular would fit into WandaVision. Especially when it comes to Wanda and her tragic love story.
During AoS, the Darkhold drove humans crazy. But Holden Radcliffe and his android known as Aida use the book to improve their fake world as well as a living body for the AI. They even thought that they might turn Aida from an android into a living human using the Darkhold. If they did want to introduce this stuff into WandaVision, we could potentially see a version where it was Wanda who sought out the book, looking for a way to save Vision. This also would fit into any potential Mephisto appearances. Why? Aida tore a hole into Hell. Then Robbie Reyes Ghost Rider had to take the Darkhold back to Hell… where it was later retrieved by Runaways’ villain Morgan le Fay. All caught up?
So what can we expect going forward?
While we don’t expect to see all of that brought into canon, we wouldn’t be shocked if it was alluded to. It would be great to see some of the teen heroes from Runaways join the MCU. But with the Young Avengers on the way, it seems way more likely that this will be a new iteration of a magical book, possibly found by Sam and Bucky. How the book ended up with Wanda and Agnes? Where it came from? Well, we’ll have to wait until the final two episodes of WandaVision to find out…
Featured Image: Disney+