Cloak: “You have a high regard for the law, Detective. Yet it was not the law that saved these children. It was Cloak and Dagger.” – Cloak and Dagger #1
A gang enters a rundown building. The squatters haven’t paid their protection and need to be taught a lesson. A young woman in white approaches the gang whose plans shift to another sort of payment. She spots the gang and raises a shining hand. Two blades of solid light fly out and knock the thugs back.
The gang runs for the exit but a man wearing a cloak blocks their way. The man opens his cloak as they reach him, and they tumble into a shadowy world. They see nightmares and eldritch horrors as their strength ebbs away. Cloak finally releases the fools as Dagger reaches him.
Cloak and Dagger are one of Marvel’s lesser known duos. The pair come from different walks of life, but have become an inseparable team. So who are they? How did they get their powers? And why do they have a new television show? Let’s find out.
Runaways: Cloak and Dagger’s Backstory
Victor: “Wait, your secret origin is drugs? That doesn’t set a good example for children…”
Cloak: “I AM NOT YOUR ROLE MODEL!” – Runaways #9
Cloak and Dagger debuted in Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man #64 in 1982. They were created by Bill Mantio and Ed Hannigan.
Tyrone Johnson and Tandy Bowen were runaways in the seediest part of NYC. Tyrone had fled his home after his friend was mistaken for a thief and killed by the cops. Tandy left to get away from her negligent millionaire mom. They met when Tyrone stopped a mugger from stealing Tandy’s purse and became friends.
The runaways were kidnapped after accepting a stranger’s offer of shelter. A drug kingpin used them as test subjects for a new type of synthetic heroin. Being Marvel, the drugs gave them superpowers and made them mutants instead of addicts. A cloaked Tyrone gained the ability to teleport while Tandy manifests daggers made of light. They escaped the kingpin and hunted drug dealers as a team called Cloak and Dagger.
Yin Yang Twins: Cloak and Dagger’s History
Cloak: “You are an admirable opponent, Spider-Man. It is a pity that we had to meet as enemies.”
Dagger: “Farewell. I hope your pain does not last long.” – Spectacular Spider-Man #64
Cloak and Dagger’s war on drugs led to a confrontation with Spider-Man when they tried to kill the scientist who experimented on them. They somehow beat Spidey and killed their target. After his beating, Spidey tracked them down and learned their story. He convinced Cloak and Dagger to be heroes instead of murderous vigilantes.
Cloak and Dagger worked with several other young heroes in their war, including the prepubescent team Power Pack, X-Men offshoot The New Mutants, and The Runaways. Cloak and Dagger eventually became Avengers, mostly so Cloak could transport the team.
During the event series Spider-Island a villain named Mr. Negative learned that Dagger was destined to kill him. He drugged Cloak and Dagger, turning them evil, and swapping their powers. Spider-Man found them and developed a cure. The reformed heroes left to wage war on Mr. Negative’s criminal empire since that whole vigilante lesson didn’t exactly take.
A Light Shining in the Darkness: Cloak and Dagger’s Powers and Personality
Dagger: “We’re immune to your poisons now.”
Cloak: “And we can be anywhere. In the shadows. In the light. We’ll be there.”
Dagger: “And we’ll be watching.”
Spider-Man: “Niiice. Is that whole thing the new catchphrase?” – Amazing Spider-Man #8
Cloak can open a portal to an another world called the Darkforce Dimension. He can travel through the portal to teleport vast distances. He can also trap enemies in the Darkforce Dimension, where they are drained of lifeforce and tormented by nightmarish visions. Cloak suffers from a vampiric hunger for life energy which Dagger can sate with her light.
Dagger generates an immense amount of life energy. She can telekinetically forge the energy into daggers made of solid light. The daggers can hurt her enemies and purge negative influences from their targets. This lets Dagger save people who have overdosed, exorcises supernatural threats, or simply calms her targets.
Dagger needs to frequently bleed off energy to avoid dying. Luckily, Cloak always need more energy.
Cloak and Dagger started out as friends, but their symbiotic powers bring them closer. Cloak broods, has a temper and thinks of himself as a monster. Dagger is kind, patient, with a little snarkiness. “Opposites Attract” should be their theme song.
The Actors who play Cloak and Dagger
Cloak and Dagger made their television debut in Ultimate Spider-Man, voiced by Phil Lamarr and Ashley Eckstein respectively. They were voiced by Adrian Holmes and Mariee Devereux in the motion comic Wolverine versus Sabretooth.
Cloak and Dagger’s live action debut occurs in June 2018. The eponymous show stars Aubrey Joseph as Cloak and singer Olivia Holt as Dagger. The show swaps their backgrounds, making Dagger a thief and giving Cloak a privileged life.
Didya get all that?
A superheroic odd couple.