Origins: Cloak And Dagger
Raised in a poor South Boston neighborhood, Tyrone Johnson was a good student despite his chronic stutter, a disability he struggled to master with the support of his best friend, Billy. When Tyrone was 17, he and Billy witnessed the robbery of a local store and the fatal shooting of its clerk. The thieves fled, and Billy ran as well, fearing that he and Tyrone might be wrongly suspected of the crime. When a policeman ordered Billy to stop, Tyrone tried to proclaim Billy's innocence; but his stuttering made it impossible to speak clearly, and the officer shot Billy dead. Feeling responsible for Billy's death and afraid of the police, Johnson ran away to New York City. Arriving at Manhattan's Port Authority Bus Terminal, a penniless Tyrone considered robbing Tandy Bowen, a rich girl who had also run away from home; yet when someone else robbed her first, Tyrone impulsively tackled the thief and returned Tandy's purse. The two teens became fast friends.
Tandy Bowen was a sixteen-year old girl who grew up in Shaker Heights, Ohio, a suburb of Cleveland where many wealthy people live. Bowen's mother, Melissa, was a celebrated and self-centered model who had become rich not only from her own career but also from receiving her previous husband's estate. Tandy's father had left for India seeking "spiritual rebirth." Subsequently Melissa married Phillip Carlisle. Although kind, Tandy was still hurt by her father's leaving and did not accept him. Her mother also neglected her. Feeling unloved, Tandy turned for affection to an older teenager named Rob Daltry. But when he left for college shortly thereafter, the despondent Tandy left home on a bus for New York City. While there a man tried to rob her, but was stopped by Tyrone Johnson. She bought him food and the two learned about each other.
Tyrone "Ty" Johnson (Cloak) and Tandy Bowen (Dagger) met in New York City as runaways. Tyrone was a 17-year-old teenage boy from Boston, Massachusetts with a debilitating stutter. He ran away to New York City when that speech impediment prevented him from stopping a cop from shooting and killing his childhood friend. Tandy was a 16-year-old teenage girl from a privileged upbringing (born in Shaker Heights, Ohio) who ran away because she thought her multi-millionaire supermodel mother was too busy for her daughter with her career and social life. Originally when they met, Tyrone considered stealing Tandy's purse, only to be shamed when she kindly offered him money. A thief stole the purse and Tyrone retrieved it for her. Afterwards, they had dinner and became fast friends. When the naïve Tandy accepted an offer of shelter from some strange men, a wary Tyrone went along to protect her. The two teens were soon forcibly delivered to a criminal chemist named Simon Marshall, who was developing a new synthetic heroin for Silvermane and the Maggia, testing it on runaway teens with fatal results. Johnson and Bowen somehow survived injections of the drug, and they fled. During their escape, 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.) Tyrone found himself engulfed in darkness and seized by a strange hunger which eased in the presence of Tandy, who was glowing with a brilliant light. Trying to hide his newly shadowy appearance in a makeshift cloak, Tyrone began absorbing Marshall's thugs into his darkness while Tandy struck them down with daggers of light. The two teens dubbed themselves Cloak & Dagger and declared war on drug crime in combating drug-dealers and helping runaway children. For all the work that Cloak and Dagger have done to help reform addicts and topple dealers, they realize that drug abuse is an evil greater than they can ever hope to conquer. Later it was revealed that during this time a demon, D'Spayre had been the direct cause of all of these events. He had been manipulating things from behind the scenes the entire time.
War of Drugs and other Heroes
Cloak and Dagger became vigilantes and hunted and killed Simon Marshall, and his drug-dealing henchmen responsible for activating their powers. They first encountered Spider-Man during these events. They next murdered Silvermane in revenge, and battled his reanimated cyborg form. They next teamed with Spider-Man to thwart the Punisher's murder attempt on the Kingpin. When their activities became too damaging for the illegal drug trade, some dealers kidnapped members of the New Mutants and tried to control them by injecting them with a drug similar to that which gave the duo their powers. For a time, they lost their powers to the heroes Sunspot and Wolfsbane but they cooperated in retrieving them when it was learned the others were not handling it well. Cloak and Dagger saved them with Spider-Man, but turned down an offer to join the X-Men's School for Gifted Youngsters. Cloak and Dagger battled Silvermane and the Answer. The Kingpin wanted Dagger to help heal his wife, but Dagger refused to help him. Cloak & Dagger befriended the super-powered preteens Power Pack and twice aided the New Mutants, junior trainees of the X-Men. The duo eventually learned they were mutants themselves. Though they tend to target ordinary street criminals, they have faced such diverse foes as Doctor Doom, the Beyonder, Vermin, the Zapper, the Disciplinarian, the Warlord of Kampuchea, Mephisto, Thanos, the Assembly of Evil, Firebrand, and Lightmaster. Cloak and Dagger encountered the Beyonder during Secret Wars II. They also encountered Mayhem, a police officer who had gained powers from illegal drugs similarly to what had been done to them. They next encountered Doctor Doom in Latveria. Alongside Doctor Strange, they battled Ecstasy. They were used in Nightmare's plot to defeat Doctor Strange. They battled Mister Jip, and Night and Day. They also encountered Power Pack again. Dagger was later possessed by Night, and battled X-Factor, and lost her sight temporarily. Cloak and Dagger battled Hydro-Man, the second Jester, the Hulk android, Rock, and Fenris alongside the Avengers. Dagger later regained her sight, and helped defeat Mister Jip. Cloak later unknowingly met his twin sister. Cloak and Dagger later battled D'Spayre, learning that he gave them their Dark Form and Light Form, which had been pieces of his soul, which interfered with their natural mutations. Cloak played a small part in the Infinity Gauntlet saga, and was among the heroes assembled by Adam Warlock to fight Thanos. Cloak was part of the team that attacked Thanos in the Infinity Gauntlet storyline. During his battle with Thanos, Cloak managed to suck Thanos into the Darkforce Dimension, but he was killed as Thanos released energy from within him; all that was left were pieces of his cloak. His life was restored after most of the events were undone. Not all the heroes remembered his involvement, not even Cloak himself, due to cosmic manipulation of time. Dagger was one of the "seven brides" selected for the serpent god Set in the Atlantis Attacks crossover storyline, the other six being Jean Grey, the Invisible Woman, Andromeda, She-Hulk, Storm, and the Scarlet Witch.
The two tended to live in churches, supported by friends and priests. The pair became romantically involved, though their relationship has had its ups and downs. Cloak has run away many times, not understanding that Dagger is fully willing to use her light power to satisfy his darkness. Cloak & Dagger are devoted to each other, but Dagger often wants more from life. While on an international case, Tandy performed with Eurocirque as Lady Light and shared a romance with a supposed stowaway on a drug boat. Eventually he was exposed as a criminal but ultimately sacrificed himself to save Dagger. Tandy found new friends in the New Warriors, who teamed with Cloak, Dagger and other heroes to defeat the shadow-lunatic Darkling. She also joined the team for a brief period.
Cloak and Dagger teamed with Spider-Man, Captain America, Black Cat, Nightwatch, Iron Fist, Deathlok, Morbius, Venom and Firestar to halt a murderous super-villain rampage led by serial killer Carnage. Dagger was supposedly killed by Carnage's "wife" Shriek while saving an injured Spider-Man, but was later revealed to be severely wounded and recuperating within Cloak's shroud, and was the key instrument in breaking up the Carnage "family".
When Tyrone leaves Tandy's side after when he was no longer able to control his hunger and was consuming any and every lawbreaker, no matter how small the offense. While searching for him in churches she meets the Black Widow who she teams up with to prevent a church from being robbed. Daredevil later appears and both assist him on a mission he received from the Punisher. Dagger becomes a member of the now-defunct "Marvel Knights" team, partnering up with many different heroes, including Shang-Chi, Luke Cage, Moon Knight and Daredevil. During her time with the Knights, Dagger developed a deep friendship with the Black Widow. Natasha brings Tandy to the guidance of Dr.Strange in the hopes of finding a crazed Tyrone. The Marvel Knights and Dr. Strange locate and battle an enhanced and deranged Cloak, in which most of the group absorbed into his cape. Dr. Strange reveals that has become possessed by Nightmare. Tandy manages to overpower and absorb Ty's Cloak powers, freeing everyone from his cape. For some time, The Black Widow lets Ty and Tandy live in her apartment, which was later attacked by a homicidal Life Model Decoy of Nick Fury. Though at this point he was a normal human, Ty managed to defeat the robot.
Cloak and Dagger make their return in Runaways, in which Tyrone appears repowered and stable. At one stage, the LAPD recruited the team to locate the Runaways. During their initial encounter, Dagger quickly knocked out Nico Minoru with her light and Cloak easily absorbed Chase Stein, Karolina Dean, Alex Wilder, and Nico. Gertrude Yorkes was able to halt Dagger's light attacks with her dinosaur Old Lace, as Dagger's light had no effect on animals, and Molly Hayes managed to pull Cloak's cloak from his body, severing his connection to the Darkforce Dimension. This caused a ceasefire, during which time Gertrude and Molly explained to Cloak and Dagger that the LAPD were actually corrupt and under the control of the Runaways' supervillain parents, the Pride. Cloak managed to reconnect to his cloak and rescue the Runaways he had absorbed, and he and Dagger both promised to return to New York and bring back the Avengers to stop the Pride and rescue the Runaways. But the traitor in the Runaways—Alex—instead contacted the LAPD, which had the Pride erase Tandy's and Ty's actual memories of the group, thus preventing them from helping the Runaways. Cloak was later impersonated by a man who was using Mutant Growth Hormones to replicate Cloak's powers. The man stalked and attacked Dagger, leaving her hospitalized. After a fight with the New Avengers, Cloak regained his memories and requested the Runaways' assistance in clearing his name, as he had been framed for attacking Dagger. He appealed to the fact that they all shared bonds in being runaways and explains the reasons he and Dagger never helped them as planned. They agreed to help him, and successfully apprehended his impostor, a delusional nurse who believed that he and Tandy were in a relationship.
Cloak and Dagger were revealed to be members of Captain America's faction of superheroes who oppose the Superhuman Registration Act during the Civil War story arc. Cloak was shot by S.H.I.E.L.D. tranquilizers while teleporting Captain America and the rebel faction to a chemical plant where they believed a catastrophic accident had taken place. It turned out to be a trap set by Iron Man, who was there waiting with the pro-registration faction. Dagger was hit with a lightning attack by a clone of Thor. It is then revealed that the pair were captured during a mission in Queens and jailed in the Negative Zone prison. They are freed by the shapeshifter Hulkling, who was disguised as the pro-registration Hank Pym, which leads to the climactic battle between the two sides, both of which Cloak teleports to Times Square, New York.
Luke Cage calls Cloak, who drops off the New Avengers at the top of Stark Tower to steal one of Tony Stark's quinjets. When Cage offers to take him with them to find the downed Skrull ship, Cloak refuses, and vanishes.
Norman Osborn tracks down Tandy and Tyrone in Columbia, burning down drug fields and approaches them to join his new team of X-Men. Initially against it, as they know of Osborn's past and don't consider themselves mutants, Osborn tells them that they can take their war on drugs to a global scale as well as having no trouble with police anymore. Dagger agrees to the deal for them both, but Cloak remains hesitant. Cloak and Dagger are later recruited into the Dark X-Men by Norman Osborn. On their first mission, they take down Hellion, Sunspot, Match, Meld, Lorelei Travis, Adam X and Avalanche, who are protesting against Osborn. After Emma Frost's and Namor's betrayal of the team, Emma offers them the opportunity to join the real X-Men and their exodus from the U.S.A.
Powers and Abilities
Living Light Generation: Dagger generates a form of 'living light', which is actually her lifeforce. She produces much more than normal humans do, but is usually conservative in the use of her powers. Overuse of her powers could be fatal. Dagger generates and stores this lifeforce energy automatically. If she goes for more than a week or so without using her powers, she will become fevered and delirious, and eventually discharge her energy involuntarily.
- Light Daggers: Tandy can form 6-inch 'light daggers' which she can throw from her fingertips. Her daggers may automatically form under certain conditions, such as another person in danger. The maximum effective range is unknown, but the daggers seem to weaken with further distance. Tandy has a limited ability to control their flight and reinforce them by compelling them to seek targets. They can track a being, but it is most effective when searching for Cloak. Those hit by these knives have their own lifeforce disrupted. Dagger can then drain a portion of their lifeforce; enough to kill if she wishes. Normally she chooses to leave them in a state of shock where they will see a vision of how their life might be different. The experience is powerful enough to make most individuals rethink their choices, although a hardened criminal or evil being is unlikely to change their ways.
- Living Light Detoxification: Tandy's energy can also 'purge' a person, removing toxins, drugs, etc.
- Living Light Manipulation: Non-living objects are unaffected by her daggers; sometimes, Tandy can redirect the daggers after they ricochet. other times, the daggers are dispersed if they hit a non-living thing. She can project her lifeforce energy in a diffused manner, allowing her to illuminate dark areas as if by natural light. Tandy can also projects her 'light' into Cloak's dimension to feed his 'hunger.' She is unharmed when traveling through his dimension and can pass this protection to others.
Strength level Dagger possesses the strength of a normal human female that engages in intensive regular exercise, focusing on improving agility rather than lifting ability.
Darkforce Conduit: Cloak's body is a portal to the "Darkforce Dimension", a world of strange, ebony energy. Cloak is linked to a pocket realm of that dimension dominated by the Predator, which compels Cloak to absorb the life force of other beings, but Dagger's light energy can temporarily satisfy this craving.
Darkforce Channeling: Cloak can channel the Darkforce to create a field of darkness in his general vicinity, usually using his cloak as a focal point to manipulate this darkness, though it can spread well beyond the confines of his cloak. People enveloped by Cloak's darkness feel numbing cold and crippling fear, sometimes seeing disturbing visions. Overlong exposure to the darkness can drive people insane. Unprotected victims trapped in Cloak's dark realm are gradually drained of their life force, and presumably die unless Cloak releases them. Dagger's light renders her largely immune to Cloak's darkness, and she can extend her light to protect others within Cloak's darkness if need be.
Darkforce Teleportation: Cloak can teleport by entering the Darkforce dimension, moving a short distance within it and emerging back on Earth a great distance from his point of origin. A span of miles on Earth can be traversed in only a few steps via shortcuts through the Darkforce. Cloak can teleport other persons or objects along with himself in this fashion, too, a feat usually reserved for Dagger since most beings cannot safely traverse the Darkforce. During Civil War, he teleported at least a hundred heroes and thunderbolts from the negative zone to the middle of New York. This effort weakened him considerably, however.
Darkforce Intangibility: As Cloak, Tyrone is usually intangible, though he can solidify through an act of will, or by absorbing enough "light" to saturate his form temporarily. On the rare occasions when he resumes human form, he usually reverts to his old stutter, which vanishes when he becomes Cloak.
Tyrone's link to the Darkforce has been severed on several occasions, but he seems drawn to the darkness and vice versa, and he always regains his Cloak form eventually.[http:// ]
Strength level Tyrone's strength has been enhanced to an unknown degree, but it is enough to allow him to lift up to twice his bodyweight. As a result, Tyrone can press lift at least 310 lbs.
Cloak teleports them whenever needed.
Cloak and Dagger have a long and convoluted backstory, full of details that were later contradicted by writers who had (understandably?) not fully researched them. Here are some of the many tidbits of C&D continuity that seem to have been lost to antiquity:
- The hunger for 'light' that Cloak feels isn't actually an aspect of his connection to the Darkforce Dimension, but some sort of link to a demonic creature within the Darkforce known only as the Predator. The Predator must feed on the light of the living or it weakens and dies, and injuring the Predator causes Cloak to feel pain, too.
- Cloak's powers have a variety of nuances that are rarely referenced. Tyrone Johnson stutters, but Cloak does not, which is actually an aspect of his powers. He has deeper vocal qualities, an enhanced vocabulary, grows in height, his skin becomes vaguely similar to petrified wood (or at least it used to; he used to be drawn to look more inhuman), and he is apparently immortal, or at least unhindered by death from "natural causes."
- It's unknown how much of Cloak's powers come from him, and how much from his cloak. His cloak seems to have powers all its own, and has been passed down to other people who then become linked to the Darkforce. Cloak once met an old man who had possessed the cloak before him, but it'd appeared more like an opera coat at the time. Tyrone also lost the Cloak to Ecstacy twice, and it reformed as a shredded collection of prehensile tendrils. Whoever wears the cloak seems to feel the hunger for light that the Predator causes, so the cloak itself may be connected to the Predator.
- It is unsure if Cloak and Dagger are or not mutants, due to countless retcons.
- The biggest clichés in Cloak and Dagger stories:
- They lose their powers, and then get them back later;
- Their powers are altered;
- Cloak does something passive-aggressive to try to keep Dagger close to him, and it screws things up;
- Cloak's powers go out of control;
- Their powers are given to other people. Writers have trouble using the two characters without rehashing one or several of these clichés.