10 Things Only Comic Book Fans Know About Cloak & Dagger – Screen Rant

The Cloak & Dagger Freeform series may be over but fans can still learn a lot more about the Marvel heroes from the comic book pages.
The Cloak and Dagger Freeform series may be over, but there is always a chance the characters could return to the MCU. If they do, comic fans know there is a lot for the franchise to draw on in terms of stories and characters. Cloak and Dagger have strong ties to many major Marvel Comics characters, including Spider-Man.
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From their debut in the 1980s, Cloak and Dagger have interacted with a number of powerful characters like Doctor Strange and the X-Men, positioning them for fantastic adventures in the MCU. From their first appearance to the present day, Cloak and Dagger remain intriguing characters with lots of comic history to chew on for potential fans.
Cloak and Dagger debuted in 1982, in the pages of Peter Parker, the Spectacular Spider-Man #64. When the Wall-Crawler first meets them, Tyrone “Ty” Johnson (Cloak) and Tandy Bowen (Dagger) are vigilantes hunting down drug dealers.
At the time, the duo believes the drugs are responsible for their powers, a mystery that becomes more complex with time. The two would continue to be closely aligned with Spider-Man over the years, including helping him out during the Maximum Carnage storyline as well as Spider-Island.
Cloak and Dagger’s campaign against the illegal drug trade would form much of their early adventures. When they received their first ongoing comic book series in 1985, they routinely battled against drug dealers including the individual whose drug activated their powers.
When the dealer brought the fight to the New Mutants, the team discovered that it wasn’t the drugs that activated their powers. Cloak and Dagger are actually mutants, which could potentially align them with the X-Men in the MCU if they all finally appear.
When Cloak and Dagger help rescue the New Mutants in Marvel Team-Up Annual #6, they receive an offer to join the X-Men. This puts them in rare company, as the X-Men have had at one point or another, almost every mutant in the Marvel Universe on the team.
Cloak and Dagger would eventually be part of an X-Men team, specifically the Dark X-Men organized by Norman Osborn at the same time he formed the Dark Avengers. This was one of the best X-Men rosters in the comics, including Wolverine, Namor, and Emma Frost.
Cloak and Dagger’s mutant powers are augmented even further by their experience. When Cloak fought the supervillain D’Spayre, one of the most powerful Doctor Strange villains, he gained D’Spayre’s ability to access the Darkforce Dimension.
This dimension exists outside of normal space and time, and Cloak is able to teleport enormous distances by bringing himself and others through the dimension and then out. He can also become intangible as a result, but he can adjust the degree of his physical form at will.
Just as Cloak is closely connected to the Darkforce energy, Dagger draws power from the Lightforce. While the Darkforce can be a corruptive influence, even driving people insane, the Lightforce can be healing. The Lightforce can be used to alleviate addiction or illness and was essential in their battle against the drug dealers in their early adventures.
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Dagger derives her name from her ability to form and sling daggers of Lightforce, weapons that allow her to both help and hinder others from a distance. The most important benefit of her power is mitigating the corruption Cloak suffers from exposure to the Darkforce.
In the Spider-Island storyline in 2011, Cloak and Dagger swapped their powers. This comes about from a confrontation with Mister Negative, who uses his powers to invert Dagger from the Lightforce to Darkforce. He also does the same to Cloak, who only wants his powers to change so he can use the Lightforce to combat the acidic corruption of the Darkforce on Dagger.
They take an antidote to restore their original powers by the end of the storyline, though they discover that D’Spayre intended for Dagger to possess the Darkforce instead of Cloak.
Most comic fans know that Doctor Strange has had a number of notable titles over the years, including Strange Tales. For a time in the ’80s, Cloak and Dagger shared the revived Strange Tales series with Doctor Strange after both of their solo titles came to an end.
Though they only co-headlined the series for nineteen issues before Doctor Strange returned to his own book, they did team up for a storyline that ran between issues #3-7 of Strange Tales. The superheroes fought against Nightmare as he tried once again to destroy Doctor Strange once and for all.
Though Cloak and Dagger weren’t part of Avengers: Infinity War in the MCU, they were a part of the original comic book storyline The Infinity Gauntlet. Dagger was snapped when Thanos erased half of all life in the universe, but Cloak remained and took part in the battle against Thanos.
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Cloak actually did his best against Thanos in the first engagement between the surviving superheroes and the Mad Titan. He pulled Thanos into the Darkforce Dimension, but with the Gauntlet, Thanos was able to escape and destroyed Cloak.
Dagger went solo herself for a period of time and joined the Marvel Knights team in the early 2000s. She strikes out on her own after Cloak’s Darkforce overwhelms him and he begins absorbing villains without any regard for who he is attacking or why.
Dagger’s time on the team has interesting potential for the MCU, as she shares the spotlight with Shang-Chi, Moon Knight, and Daredevil, all characters who have been major parts of the MCU or are about to be. A Marvel Knights team including Dagger would be a welcome addition to the franchise.
Cloak and Dagger sided with Captain America and the opposition to the Superhero Registration Act in 2006’s massive Civil War comic book crossover. Cloak plays a key role in the final battle, which begins in issue #7 of the main Civil War mini-series, by teleporting many of the heroes to New York City.
Dagger is overwhelmed by the clone version of Thor, who hits her with a bolt of lightning. Though they didn’t take part in the MCU version of the story, they could play a role in future stories that explore the fallout of the Sokovia Accords.
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DARBY HARN is the author of the novels Ever The Hero, The Judgment Of Valene, and A Country Of Eternal Light. His short fiction appears in Strange Horizons, Interzone, Shimmer, and other venues.


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