Saturday, November 28, 2009

1983 - Cloak and Dagger


Cloak and Dagger miniseries - #1-4
November 1983 - January 1984
Writer: Bill Mantlo
Art: Rick Leonardi/Terry Austin

Cloak and Dagger made their first appearance in Spectacular Spider-Man #64. After a few sporadic appearances in that title, the powers that be at Marvel decided that it was time to try them on their own.

This four issue miniseries was clearly setting the stage for a ongoing series. It successfully established a secondary cast of characters that tempered Cloak and Dagger's vigilante tendencies. Mantlo introduced two characters, a police detective, Bridgid O'Rielly, and a priest, Father Delgado, who would challenge their vigilante behavior from the point of view of the law and of the church, respectively.

In their early appearances, Cloak and Dagger had no problems killing the drug dealers they preyed upon, but if they were to now be heroes they would have to stop killing. The series also focused on the powerfully symbiotic relationship between Cloak and Dagger that bind the two teenagers together.

Issue #4 retells their origin and goes into a bit more of the background of who Tyrone Johnson and Tandy Bowen were before they become Cloak and Dagger.

After this miniseries, they would make an appearance in Marvel Team-Up Annual #6. In 1985 they would get their own regular series which would run for 11 issues. And after a run in Strange Tales (1987), they’d get another regular series that actually ran 19 issues before being cancelled.

Cloak and Dagger was always a tough sell for me. I enjoyed the odd issue when it crossed over, but I never found it compelling enough to add to my pull list. Interestingly, the two supporting characters, Delgado and O’Rielly stand out in my mind more than Cloak and Dagger actually do!

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