Spider Island: Cloak and Dagger #1 (of 3) review


Cloak and Dagger #1

Writer- Nick Spencer

Art- Emma Rios

Colors- Javier Rodriguez

First, let me say that I hope you all buy this comic. If the world could have a successful Cloak and Dagger series, that could unite the races. No more white and black tensions, the Israeli’s and Palestinian’s could share the land, etc. I think $2.99 plus tax is a small price to pay for that.

 

Plot-

The issue starts us off with a recap of how Cloak and Dagger got their powers and what not (if you don’t know go back and read the classic Spectacular Spider-Man 64).  After that the story cuts to the present day where the duo is being forced to leave the abandoned church they use as shelter, because it’s getting knocked down for a new coffee shop. Dagger (who’s name is Tandy) is trying to get Cloak (Tyrone) to have them move into Avengers tower. Cloak is still sour on joining a team after their time with the X-men (long story short, C&D are not actually mutants, a retcon of a retcon, because mutants were all the rage in the late 80’s).

She then finds out that Cloak (with a grant from the Future Foundation) has opened them up as a ‘hero’s for hire’ type organization. He envisions them as providing security, or private investigations etc. They are to be a non profit, only take donations of whatever the client can pay, and there will be a board of trustees to approve expenses.

C&D run into the Avengers during the events of ASM 667, and teleport them all to the scene where they are all fighting the Spidey imposters, and, unbeknownst the them, the real Spidey as well. Dagger than has to leave, but doesn’t tell anyone why. It turns out she is going to college, hoping to gain some semblance of a normal life. Meanwhile, Mr. Negative (who was created in the same experiments as C&D) is talking to some crazy fortune teller who drops many hints that he is soon to die at dagger’s hand. The issue is to be continued…

Commentary-

Wow. I don’t even know where to begin. I loved this comic. I’m a huge Nick Spencer fan. Iron Man 2.0, Infinite Vacation and Morning Glories have cemented him as one of my favorite comic writers ever. If anyone here things I’m heaping too much praise on a relative new comer, go check out an issue or two of Morning Glories, and then tell me I’m over hyping him. Or even if you think I’m spot on in my opinion, still, go check out an issue of Morning Glories anyways. I could not recommend that series enough.

If anyone read my Osborn reviews (they are classics) you’d be familiar with my love of Emma Rios artwork. I’ve always loved Cloak and Dagger. Recent years (and by recent, I mean since the mid 80’s) have not been kind to them. The old C&D appearances from Spectacular Spider-Man really got these characters right. I agree with Steve Wacker in the back of the book when he calls them Marvel’s most underrated characters (I’d say second most underrated, after Hank Pym :p)

If anyone loves C&D as much as I do, you should buy this, because from what Wacker was saying, I think if this sells well enough, it could lead to a C&D ongoing. He also says Nick Spencer fought hard to get this book, which makes me like him even more. I have always wanted to use these two in a fight club match, but it just wouldn’t be the same unless I could use both of them, which is against the rules. Maybe in season 3!

Anyways, why I loved this comic. The writing was superb. We get two different thought streams serving as narrators of this tale. Cloaks, and Daggers. You could tell that even though these two are very close, and have an attachment, they also have a certain disdain for each other that comes naturally after a prolonged amount of time spent with anyone. From what I gathered Cloak is pretty much in love with Dagger, and is always getting jealous, while Dagger doesn’t have the same kind of love for him, and wishes he would ease up.

Cloak thinks that Dagger is so amazing, and deserves something extraordinary, while Dagger thinks how all she wants is an ordinary life. I love the parallels here. Cloak is literally dependent on her for survival, by feeding off her light beams, but she kinda feels like he’s choking the life out of her, metaphorically speaking, or course.

Other series featuring these two have never been very heavy on characterization, and I feel like I understand these characters more from this one issue, than in all their other appearances combined. Spencer really gives a sense of the internal dynamic of these two. After reading this I think he could write a very good team book.

The artwork is great. Emma Rios I think, is going to be a very big talent one day. The next Alex Maleev maybe. Her art style really works well for a tale like this. You have Cloak looking very dark and menacing, and Dagger looking very vulnerable and young. Her Dagger is a really pretty girl, but not overly so like we see a lot these days in comics. All of her characters look great. Her Thing, Wolverine, Hawkeye etc.

A lot of times recently when Mr. Negative has shown up, it’s made me groan. It’s not that I dislike the character, but he seems to be over used. He showed up in Luke Cage’s mini a while back, and One Month to Live, and it’s just been too much here. A Cloak and Dagger series feels like the perfect place for him. Negative and C&D were created in the same drug trial experiments thing, and Cloak and Dagger have since dedicated their lives to wiping drugs off the streets, and stopping drug dealers, so no kids ever have to go through what they went through, Negative has become one of the city’s top supplier of illegal drugs. A crazy showdown is inevitable. Plus that last page teaser for next issue, indicating that Dagger is going to be the one to kill Negative, has me excited for the next issue.

Overall-

The scene where Hawkeye asks Cloak to teleport the Avengers to the scene of the disturbances only two block away, to me says everything about how these characters have been treated since before I was born. I hope this series leads to them getting the respect they deserve. I could not recommend this more. 5/5

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