I think as a rule when you’re trying to launch a new series, it’s best to keep a consistent creative team in the beginning—to set the tone and establish why the book “matters.” Sadly, we’ve got a variety of pencillers here. That, combined with they subject matter, makes these issues a hard slog.
Technically, the concept and characters were introduced last issue–but that was part of a mega-event and they had very little to so. In these issues, we get to know Interpol Agent Sam Buchanan…
…And his partner, Professor Louise Hastings.
They’re the main stars. These two heroes (called The Redeemers because they redeem lost pages of the Book of Darkhold) retrieve a few pages from the book of the Darkhold that are guarded by a hellhound owned by a General who is working with the Darkholders. And also he’s got gamma bombs and wants to blow them up on U.S. soil to provoke the country into…I’m not really sure what.
Modred the Mystic is involved and so is Doctor Strange. In short shorts.
The comic offers a detailed history of Modred that recasts him as “misunderstood” (even when he possessed Scarlet Witch and tried to kill The Avengers). It also says that Merlin is still alive, and ruling another dimension.
Anyway, apparently Modred is one of the Redeemers now.
Throughout, there’s a woman who keeps getting raped as a result of the Darkhold Dwarf’s magics. It’s kind of disturbing.
And Sabretooth, for some reason, wants to kill one of the Redeemers.
Also, Ghost Rider and Punisher are in it because it’s 1993 and they’re in EVERYTHING. The Punisher sequence is pretty decent, actually. He shoots Speakeasy, a Ghost Rider enemy who can talk with the dead, and then Speakeasy comes back as a zombie and tortures Punisher by communicating with innocent people who were collateral damage and died during Punisher’s mission.
Oh and since Modred is here, there’s a subplot of Scarlet Witch getting possessed by Chthon again.
I mean, I guess it makes sense to mix Scarlet Witch and a comic about Darkhold, given her long history with the Book of Darkhold and Chthon.
This book is all over the place and can’t figure out if it is gritty horror, complex magic (like Dr. Strange), or an action book. And look how awful the art is in this comic.
The next story will be a 4-issue arc. We’re halfway through the run of this comic, which was 16 issues, and I still don’t really know (or care) what it’s about.