The following contains major spoilers for Moon Knight Annual #1, now available from Marvel Comics.
Over the past month, fans have watched as various Marvel superheroes have been drawn together by some unseen force, all to do battle for prizes that none of them fully understand. Fortunately, at least a few of those involved have figured out that things are far more complicated than they seem. In fact, it is Agatha Harkness, the orchestrator of these bouts, who has finally revealed exactly why her Contest of Chaos is taking place to begin with – and it is the winners are bound to suffer the most because of it.
Like every other competitor throughout the course of Agatha’s Contest of Chaos so far, Moon Knight Annual #1 (by Jed MacKay, Creees Lee, Arif Prianto, and VC’s Cory Petit) finds its titular hero drawn into combat against Tae-Won, better known as Taegukgi of Tiger Division, for seemingly no reason at all. As the brutal and bewildering battle rages on, Moon Knight becomes acutely aware that some ominous outside force is manipulating them. In turn, the Fist of Khonshu decides to simply concede the fight to his opponent. Although this is an unceremonious end to what was otherwise an epic confrontation, how things pan out ultimately doesn’t matter to Agatha Harkness so long as she garners yet another champion to add to her personal army.
Agatha Harkness is Behind Marvel’s Contest of Chaos
When Agatha first confronted the Scarlet Witch about having taken possession of the Darkhold and, by extension the dark Elder God Chthon, the latter Master of the Mystic Arts made it clear that she had no intention of setting either of her infernal quarry free any time soon. At the time, it appeared as though Agatha was willing to accept that Wanda had things under control. Of course, appearances were deceiving in that regard, with Agatha having secretly planted a seed of herself within the Scarlet Witch in order to kick off her efforts to recreate the Darkhold as it once was.
To that end, Agatha has been in need of numerous artifacts and ingredients which will ultimately allow her to complete a new Darkhold in one form or another. Somehow, Wanda has yet to notice these efforts, let alone that the very heart of Chthon was taken from within her. Similarly, few of the heroes who have walked away from Agatha’s Contest of Chaos have taken it upon themselves to investigate exactly what it is that they were involved in and where it might be headed next. For those that have, the answer to that question is already bound to lead them toward utter disaster, but for the winners of Agatha’s tournament, the future is infinitely worse.
Agatha Harkness is Stealing Away Marvel’s Greatest Superheroes
On top of acquiring the pieces that Agatha needs to complete whatever spell or ritual she has planned, the heroes who have emerged victorious from their individual battles have all ended up both at her side and under her control. While this could easily be explained by Agatha needing these various figures or their respective abilities to fuel her endeavors, the truth of the matter seems to be even worse. So far, Agatha has had no problem staving off the dark forces of Korrosion, an old ally of hers turned villainous. However, Korrosion won’t be the only one gunning for Agatha if a new Darkhold is created.
This threat is precisely why Agatha has been stealing away the champions of her Contest of Chaos. Having mindless, superpowered servants gathering resources for her is one thing, but the heart of Agatha’s Contest has always been to build an army capable of standing up against foes even more powerful than Korrosion. Assuming Agatha is able to recreate the Darkhold, Korrosion’s portent of the future will assuredly come true sooner rather than later – and there is a good chance that the future will be worse than what has been foretold.
What Contest of Chaos Could Cost Agatha – And the Marvel Universe
Aside from fending off whatever supernatural villains and demonic entities come looking to claim the new Darkhold for themselves, the heroes under Agatha’s thrall will likely end up having to stand in the face of the original Darkhold’s creator for their troubles. When Wanda absorbed the true Darkhold into herself, she also absorbed Chthon, sealing him away within herself for the foreseeable future. This connection between the Darkhold and Chthon hasn’t always tied them together so closely, but it has always connected the two beyond one merely being a product of the other.
At this rate, Agatha’s new Darkhold could very well unleash Chthon, and considering how poorly she would fare against him alone, her unwitting army is meant to take him on for her. For Agatha, being able to throw heroes like Wolverine and Taegugki at a vengeful Elder God may provide enough time for her to escape his wrath while someone else finishes the fight she started. For the heroes tasked with taking on that fight, staring down Chthon in all his reborn glory will likely be a death sentence – or worse. Even if someone like the Scarlet Witch does presumably step in to clean up Agatha’s mess, there is no telling how many lives will be lost before that happens, nor how many innocents will suffer in the process.
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