Cloak and Dagger: Shadows and Light

cloak and dagger shadows and light cover review trade paperback
8.0 Overall Score
Story: 8/10
Art: 8/10

Classic 1980s comics, interesting characters

Main characters jump around a lot since they are largely supporting characters in the collection

Comic Info

Comic Name:  Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man/Cloak and Dagger (Limited Series)/Marvel Team-Up (Volume 1)/Marvel Fanfare (Volume 1)/New Mutants (Volume 1)

Publisher: Marvel Comics

Writer:  Bill Mantlo/Al Milgrom/Chris Claremont

Artist:  Ed Hannigan/Al Milgrom/Rick Leonardi/Ron Frenz/Bill Sienkiewicz/Tony Salmons/Kerry Gammill

# of Issues: 17

Release Date: 2017

cloak and dagger limited series #4

Cloak and Dagger (Limited Series) #4

Reprints Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man #64, 69-70, 81-82, 94-96, Cloak and Dagger (Limited Series) #1-4, Marvel Team-Up (1) Annual #6, Marvel Fanfare (1) #19, and New Mutants (1) #23-25 (March 1982-March 1985).  Tyrone Johnson and Tandy Bowen were young runaways when trouble found them.  Picked up by criminals trying to create a new synthetic drug, Ty and Tandy find the drug creates a mutation in them and they become Cloak and Dagger.  With vengeance on their mind, Cloak and Dagger are out to punish drug dealers, but encounters with Spider-Man, the Punisher, the New Mutants, and other crime-fighters, have Cloak and Dagger questioning their methods.

Written by Bill Mantlo, Al Milgrom, and Chris Claremont, Cloak and Dagger:  Shadows and Light is a Marvel Comics superhero comic book collection.  The series collections the first appearance of Cloak and Dagger in Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man #64 (March 1982) and the following appearances with art by Ed Hannigan, Al Milgrom, Rick Leonardi, Ron Frenz, Bill Sienkiewicz, Tony Salmons, and Kerry Gammill .  The issues in the collection were also collected as part of the Cloak and Dagger Omnibus, Cloak and Dagger:  Crime and Punishment, Cloak and Dagger:  Child of Darkness, Child of Light, The Punisher:  Back to the War Omnibus, The Amazing Spider-Man:  The Complete Alien Costume Saga—Book 1 and Book 2, and New Mutants Epic Collection:  The Demon Bear Saga among others.

Cloak and Dagger were a big deal when I was starting to read comics.  The war on drugs was raging in the 1980s, and Cloak and Dagger brought the war to comic books.  Unlike characters like the Punisher who went after mob bosses and slaughtered them, Cloak and Dagger went after the dealers (which sometimes coincided with the mob bosses).  Also unlike the Punisher, the characters seemed to evolve more in the course of this collection and change their methods.

new mutants #23 cover review cloak and dagger

New Mutants (1) #23

Cloak and Dagger start out in Spectacular Spider-Man as essentially cold blooded killers out for revenge.  They murder the people who attempted to kill them and killed all the children.  Unlike Spider-Man who doesn’t cross the “kill” line, these characters do…and it feels rather harsh due to the age of Ty and Tandy.  The storyline has them dispatch the men who “made” them rather quickly so it leaves the characters with no long term plan for their actions.

With revenge accomplished, the characters are left to grow and they are a bit inconsistent in their behavior.  While they easily killed early on, they later bemoan their actions and work harder to purify drug users.  Unfortunately in the 1980s, the vilification of drug users was greater, and the idea of addiction as a disease wasn’t as prevalent.  It would have been interesting if there had been more exploration into the “cleaning” of the addicted and what that meant long term, but the comic was about the immediate action (like most comics of the time).

Cloak and Dagger is a fun throwback.  It has that grim ’80s feels that dominated the comics, but it still feels a bit like a teen comic book like New Mutants or New Teen Titans.  The issues in the collection mostly feature the characters as supporting roles in other comic book series and their characters and their actions aren’t quite as developed as a result (and I always found Cloak and Dagger’s powers rather ambiguous).  Cloak and Dagger’s story continued in the launch of their own series.  Cloak and Dagger:  Shadows and Light was followed by Cloak and Dagger:  Lost and Found.

Related Links:

Cloak and Dagger:  Lost and Found

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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