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Dark Reign

Dark X-Men Dossiers: Cloak & Dagger

Our Dark X-Men Week continues with an in-depth look at Cloak and Dagger



By Marc Strom With the release of DARK AVENGERS/UNCANNY X-MEN: UTOPIA #1 on June 24, writer Matt Fraction and legendary X-artist Marc Silvestri begin one of the most eagerly anticipated stories of the summer. As Norman Osborn continues to extend his Dark Reign, he assembles a group of Dark X-Men loyal only to him. This week, Marvel.com presents the Dark X-Men Dossiers, bios on each of the team's members straight from Cyclops' personal files, along with writer Matt Fraction's thoughts and exclusive art from Terry Dodson.
A Chance For Exoneration Unlike most of Osborn's other Dark X-Men recruits, Cloak and Dagger have typically

Dagger sketch by
Terry Dodson

fallen into the category of the Marvel Universe's heroes. But while their actions have sometimes landed them on the wrong side of the law, fans shouldn't taken their new roles as a sign that Tandy Bowen and Tyrone Johnson have developed more villainous tendencies. "They're here presented with a chance to have their reputations exonerated and their records sealed [if they join the Dark X-Men]," explains Fraction. "Osborn presents it to them as the ultimate public service, [where] they can work off their past indiscretions—[such as] Cloak's dealings with the Avengers during the [Skrull] invasion." Cloak and Dagger have always maintained a reputation as loners, and Fraction admits that fact made it all the more appealing to see how they would react in a team scenario. "They're fish out of water because they're not team players, and suddenly they're on a team," the writer points out. "They're taking orders and they're in front of cameras and everything they've spent their lives avoiding they're [now] forced to endure in the interest of being able to stop being hunted. And of course, like every deal with the devil, there's a price." And that price may have the two questioning their involvement with Osborn as the story goes along, as Fraction admits that "they each have moments of asking themselves

Cloak sketch by
Terry Dodson

and asking one another, 'Is this a good idea?'" Beyond what they bring to the team dynamic, Fraction also wanted to make them a part of the Dark X-Men and "Utopia" in order to shine a larger light on the two characters. "I think they're tremendous characters, I think they've got a great history and I think they're ripe for this current era we're in," expresses Fraction. "I wanted to use this as an opportunity to dust them off and put them front and center." According to Fraction Cloak and Dagger don't feel a part of the mutant community that has recently become so concentrated in San Francisco, but that may begin to change with the upcoming crossover. "No, they don't [think of themselves as part of the mutant community], and that's the thing: in a time when there are so few mutants left, can they afford to not at least acknowledge the existence of this community, this family?" asks Fraction. "I mean, they're not 14 and 15 years old anymore. They're a little older and beginning to sense that living like teenage runaways

maybe isn't the wisest, most advisable, [healthiest] way to live a life. And then suddenly they're presented with this opportunity [to join the Dark X-Men]." Cyclops' Strike File: Cloak and Dagger Though Tyrone Johnson and Tandy Bowen, also known as the duo Cloak and Dagger, have never officially been confirmed as mutants, following the M-Day Event we can hardly afford to overlook them any longer. Because their powers did not manifest until an agent of the criminal Maggia organization injected them with an experimental drug, many have designated them mutates rather than mutants. However, several former X-Men—including Sunfire, Polaris and Thunderbird—also required specific external conditions to awaken their respective mutant abilities, thus allowing for the possibility that Cloak and Dagger could yet claim their status as mutants. While many heroes have fought side-by-side with both Cloak and Dagger, the two have frequently found themselves on the run from authorities, going back to their status as runaways when they first met and continuing today with their involvement in Captain America's anti-registration faction during the super human community's Civil War.

Through his ability to access the dark dimension, Cloak has demonstrated great ability in the past as a teleporter, allowing himself and his allies to approach their opponents without warning. Bowen's powers allow her to create "light daggers," from which she derives her costumed alias. Furthermore, these daggers fall completely under her will so she may direct them as needed and, upon striking her intended target, they sap the individual's strength. As such, neither Johnson nor Bowen can be ignored in a combat situation, and any group with Cloak on its roster would have a strong tactical advantage over their opponents. However, it should be remembered that Cloak and Dagger's primary allegiance has been and will always be to one another. Consequently, eliminating either one of them in a group scenario would cause the other to break ranks with their team, both isolating them and disrupting the group's dynamic.
DARK AVENGERS/UNCANNY X-MEN: UTOPIA #1 launches one of the biggest events of the summer on June 24, but be sure you check back here tomorrow for another Dark X-Men Dossier on Weapon Omega! Not a subscriber to Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited yet? Join now! Check out the official Marvel Shop for your favorite Marvel Heroes! Download episodes of "X-Men: Evolution" and "Wolverine and the X-Men" now on iTunes!

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      I'm normally right up there with you on that thought. They've got it ALL worked out, probably at [i] least[/i] an entire arc's worth. I also hate sounding like yet another fanfic writer or something; however, I believe giving 'Marvel' such tips, suggestions and/or feedback (not that they necessarily get to read - or care to read - much/any of what posters say) gives them an idea of how their characters are perceived beyond their own house. Remember they are creating an illusion of real people and for some of the depth and plausibility they wish to add to implausible characters at times, knowing what will be more popular, believable, logical or at least a natural progression of previous events through the eyes of the reader can help their creative process.Heck, I very much believe sometimes that a writer may avoid doing something heard of or suggested in an unprofessional setting like a chat room or discussion board, simply because they do not want to be unoriginal, predictable,... what have you, but many times, an idea can grow out of someone's unsolicited suggestion and grow into an even better thing.And Squirrel, I'm all for a lot of what Scott's stood for recently and I understand much of his rationale for things like X-Force, for example... this is all about Ems though, it would definitely fit her if she does something shady with the best of mutantkind's interest at heart, since supposedly, that's been what she believes she's being doing since the days of the Hellions. It's just that when it all hits the fan, I see her as the sort to make sure she went out in style without a hair out of place. She's still not anywhere near one of my favorite characters, but I can get behind what shaped this character, and I am all about character diversity; else the Marvel U would be one worn down cookie cutter.


      I always find it so funny when posters make suggestions to "Marvel" as if the creative hasn't worked this ish out long ago. Especially when it's Matt Fraction, people - have faith).That being said Terry Dodson is making Dagger's boobs too big (can we say boobs?? I'll spell it backwards: sboob)Oh and BlackSamurai - How machiavellian is Scott lately? He's regula Sun Tzu up in this piece. "Crush Crush Crush" (in a Borat accent)


      I have long envisioned a formed X-team pulling in the prominent fringe mutants of the MU. Specifically Cloak, Dagger and Namor. I did not realize the character with the omega sign on him could've been Michael Pointer at first, but I'd be happy if it is just to see a fairly decent attempt at a new character (that is not simply a rehash and tweak of an old one - not saying he doesn't have some similarities to a few though) not be relegated to limbo.Still, Marvel; please do not jump the gun and spiral this into 3 or 4 solo minis immediately. Beyond the initial 'interactions' with the X-Men and what's not, I hope they save the individualistic story points for the main title so it can retain some longevity. Cloak and Dagger alone sustained decent sales figures way back when, so we already know many of these characters have breakout potential outside the teams - but here's an idea, keep it as intertwined or back up features when we find the main stories need too much stretching to cover an arc (or even just 22 pages).Now here's an intriguing way to handle a breaking point if some of this is to spiral into an end to Summer-Frost; a rekindled relationship between Namor and Em's behind Scott's back... this could make her more truly be a queen as Namor's consort (not that I have anything against Slim, but with the secrets and shady dealings these two have between them, it's going to be more the stretch that their relationship would/should last - despite them both having understandable motivations to do what they've been doing in secret) and Emma can still continue on as a not-truly-villainous character. We might even get to see Scott have to decided whether he can so calmly send X-Force after Emma if certain events come to a head. Just let's not have a Scott/Emma break up where Scott comes off as a pathetic dweeb, mistaking her interaction with (say, Namor) as something before it is... let Frost be the true Machiavellian and do something classy/sleazy again. :cyclops: :emma:


      Most members of this 'Dark' X-Men team are characters who seem like they just wanna be heroes, with the exception of Namor and Emma, who both know the truth behind Osborn's schemes. Daken and Dark Beast are just bad guys in any right though. The Utopia story does seem to be a great read and I can't wait, especially to see the aftermath, how Emma going against Cyclops is going to affect everything. I do hope they use this as a chance to bring Cloak, Dagger, Mimic, and Michael Pointer front and center, they all are great characters with a lot of potential.


      I agree with the previous comment: Cloak and Dagger are part of this group of great characters that don't see much shine, if any at all. And Dark Reign is bringing them to the forefront and presenting them to everyone. Plus, all of these mutants that are "hidden" or that we as readers are unaware of need to come out with the decline of the Mutant population and at the rate they are being targeted and eliminated and help in the fight, such as Mimic, Cloak & Dagger, and yes....NAMOR!!! I can't wait to read UTOPIA and ultimately, Dark X-Men. I'm excited about this book! :x-men: :x-men: :x-men:


      The Dark X-Men tend to reveal at last some good aspects coming from Dark Reign : there was many characters like Marvel Boy, Mimic, Sub Mariner ( and Cloak and Dagger especially ) I've been waiting for to see under good circumstances, and it seemly had each times no way to provide it ( reader's opinions, editorial reasons ) so I'm glad now and I hope they'll soon all become so inescapables that nobody would imagine an X- team without them.