When Cloak and Dagger were revealed as members of the (Dark) X-Men, my initial reaction was ‘Huh?’
They are favourite characters of mine, and have been ever since their first appearance all those years ago in the Spider Man titles. In fact, they soon became my main reason for reading the Spider-Man titles, I never had much time for Peter at that age, not that I have a great deal now. (A story has to be highly recommended for me to dig it out of the back issue bins.)
However, despite one encounter with four of the New Mutants back in an old Marvel team-Up annual, and maybe the big face off with the Beyonder at the culmination of the second Secret Wars where both they and the X-Men were present, our duo have never had a great deal to do with the Marvel mutant community.
And working for Osbourne? I had assumed that the talents of Emma Frost would be required to reel them into his clutches in the first place. It didn’t gel with me, despite being visually striking. Like his recruiting of Psionex and the Force Of Nature into the Initiative program, it just seemed like a random decision, played out mainly to give the story some background colour.
Boy was I wrong.
Dark X-Men – The Beginning #2 started off with the story of exactly how Tandy and Tyrone ended up in Norman’s latest team. It is believable, very realistic (well, as realistic as one can get in a world of mutants, thunder gods and aliens), and true to their character. The pair, led as ever by Dagger walk reluctantly into an offer that is too good for them to refuse, mainly government support in their own war against drugs. Cloak as ever is appalled and rebellious, but even he cannot deny what Osbourne dangles before them.
Of course now they are in Emma Frost’s tender care, but I wonder at just how much she would be able to dominate Cloak, as even his mind seems to exist within the Dark Dimension. But it would be great to see them enter into the X-Universe full time, the pair have been skirting comic book limbo for far too long.
There are a few questions that still need answering however. Unless I have missed a major storyline somewhere, how is it that the pair are back together again. The last I remember was that they had had a fall out and parted ways. Still, I suppose Cloak will always be drawn back to Dagger, as she remains the only one that can assuage the hunger of the darkness within his cloak. A true symbol of addiction, as caused by the drugs they make war upon.
Now if you are unfamiliar with the pair, then I have a recommendation for you from your local back issue bins. The second series of Strange Tales (1987-88) was 18 issues split between Doctor Strange and our duo, both very good stories in my eyes and well worth digging out.
So, here’s hoping we get to see a lot more of Cloak and Dagger in the future.
(One word of apology, this looks to have been uploaded late as it floated in the system and should have come out last week. I must have had a brain lapse. Oops.)