Man, I loved Cloak & Dagger back in the day. When other heroes were being bitten by radioactive spiders, coming from another planet or gaining stretching powers after being hit by a meteor storm in space, C & D were doing drugs. In the four-colour age, they stood out in my mind as something else; modern non-heroes who walked a world that was more Hill Street Blues than Metropolis. They were pure Iron Age, but without the (equally four-colour) faux violence of The Punisher. And I ate it all up.
Tyrone “Ty” Johnson (Cloak) and Tandy Bowen (Dagger) met in New York City as runaways. Tyrone was a teenage boy from South Boston, Massachusetts with a debilitating stutter. He ran away to New York City when his speech impediment led to his best friend’s death. Tandy was a teenage girl from a privileged upbringing (born in Shaker Heights, Ohio) who ran away because she thought her multimillionaire supermodel mother was too busy for her daughter with her career and social life. They met when Tyrone, who had been considering stealing Tandy’s purse, returned it after someone else stole it first.
They were then seized and used as guinea-pigs for an experimental drug given to them against their will by agents of Silvermane. In their case, the drug turned them into super-powered beings. It was later revealed that they were both actually mutants, and that the drug had simply awakened their latent abilities.
The only fly in the ointment for me was the revelation that Ty and Tandy were mutants; I blame Chris Claremont for that one; he wanted the whole fricking world to be mutated into his twisted image. Let’s ignore that, and move on.
Cloak & Dagger worked on so many levels that it hurts. Ty and Tandy came from completely different sides of the street and exhibited a love and need for each other that’s not been matched in any other comicbook. It’s Romeo & Juliet meets Uptown Girl for Generation-X and then some. Add in the reversed roles – Tandy is a stronger, more forthright character than the stuttering Ty – and you’ve got something that takes it out of the ordinary two-dimensions of the genre. I much preferred Cloak & Daggers‘s team-ups with Daredevil (another one of my favourites) over their stints with Spiderman. They seemed to lose something of their edge in Peter Parker’s wholesome presence, but Hell’s Kitchen suited them perfectly.
Then there was Dagger’s costume. Holy crap – such a revealing, skin-tight costume wouldn’t show it’s face until Emma Frost hit the scene, and personally I’ll take Tandy over Emma any day of the week.
Anyhow. Cloak & Dagger are one duo who need (nay, beg) revising and bringing up to date. I’d kill for a C&D movie about a couple of street-level kids who come from different backgrounds, do drugs and become able to absorb folks in shadow and fire daggers of light. It could combine everything that’s great about superhero movies and chic flicks in one package that’ll appeal to both sexes. It would melt the box-office, I tell you.
We can but hope, eh? :D
DAZ Studio, no postwork.