Despite the ongoing war between Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige and Donald Trump campaign contributor and Marvel CEO Ike Perlmutter that has seen even Joss Whedon, actual brother and brother-in-law of the show's co-showrunners throw shade at it, ABC drama Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is still trying to give the impression that it's part of the shared, successful Marvel cinematic universe. The latest attempt comes via an article on Marvel PR-proxy Comic Book Resources, attempting to tie together Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and the upcoming Doctor Strange film. The connection is a magical book called the Darkhold, which was mentioned on last night's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.. Though there's no indication that the Darkhold will play any role in Doctor Strange, it is magic, so that's good enough for CBR to go on in a desperate plea to drive more viewers to the ailing show:
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.
Unclear how it will factor in, in this case, means "will not factor in at all," just like every other Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. plot point that is avoided like the plague by Marvel's films. But hey, if just ten CBR readers tune into the show next week, that's like a 20% increase in viewers, so whatever it takes, we guess.
A teaser for next week's episode shows that one of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s Inhumans has a case of the sniffles and has to visit a doctor for some cough medicine (the good kind, with codeine). Doctor Strange is a doctor, so boom, there's CBR's angle for next week's shill attempt. We'll keep you updated.