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Characters / Marvel Comics Cloak And Dagger
aka: Cloak And Dagger

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Cloak and Dagger are a pair of superheroes in the Marvel Universe. Originally appearing in Spectacular Spider-Man #64 (March, 1982), they were created by Bill Mantlo and Ed Hannigan. While never having been A-listers along the lines of The Mighty Thor or Iron Man, with their series often getting canceled after a very short period, they have a distinct cult following, which is somewhat tinted by nostalgia due to their 1980s background. They often team-up with other superheroes, namely Spider-Man, who is a good friend. Before the series was cancelled, they also had a brief membership in the New Warriors. Their most memorable recent appearances were in Runaways and Dark X-Men.

Tandy Bowen and Tyrone Johnson, a pair of teenage runaways, are experimented on by the mob, who are trying to create a new drug substitute for heroin. It proves fatal to all they test it on but the pair, who gain superpowers from the event. Tandy can throw daggers of light, which can also purge unhealthy chemicals from a target as well, while Tyrone's powers were originally to suck people into a dark dimension where he would strip them of their light. Together, they battle the drug trade while trying to balance out normal lives.

In 2013, Cloak and Dagger were made part of the Ultimate Marvel Universe when they debuted in Ultimate Comics Spider-Man with a new origin story. In this world, Ty Johnson and Tandy Bowen were the student council presidents of rival schools who, en route to Prom together, were involved in a vehicular accident, and then secretly taken by the Roxxon Corporation and pumped full of Dark Matter, resulting in the explosive awakening of their powers. They have been members of the All-New Ultimates.


In 2016, Freeform (part of the DisneyABC Television Group, and sister brand to Marvel) announced they'd ordered a television series starring the duo, starring Olivia Holt as Tandy and Aubrey Joseph as Tyrone. The series, also titled Cloak & Dagger, premiered in 2018.

Comics featuring them:

  • Cloak and Dagger Vol. 1 (October, 1983-January, 1984). 4 issues.
  • Cloak and Dagger Vol. 2 (July, 1985-March, 1987). 11 issues.
  • Strange Tales Vol. 2 (April, 1987-September, 1988). An Anthology Comic which they shared with Doctor Strange, for 18 issues. The 19th (and final) issue was a spotlight issue for supporting character Mayhem/Brigid O'Reilly.
  • Marvel Graphic Novel #34: Predator and prey (June, 1988).
  • Cloak and Dagger Vol. 3 (October, 1988-August, 1991). 19 issues. The full title for most of the series was The Mutant Misadventures of Cloak and Dagger, but it was shortened for the last year or so.
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  • Cloak and Dagger and Power Pack: Shelter From the Storm (1989). A crossover in graphic novel form.
  • Cloak and Dagger Vol. 4 (May, 2010). A one-shot.
  • Spider-Island: Cloak and Dagger (October-December, 2011). 3 issues.
  • All-New Ultimates (April, 2014-January, 2015). 12 issues.
  • Secret Wars (2015): Runaways (2015). 6 Issues.
  • Cloak and Dagger Vol 5 (June, 2018). Digital Original.
  • Spider-Man: Life Story (2019).

Tropes Shared in Both Incarnations:

  • All-Encompassing Mantle: Cloak's entire name comes because he looks like a disembodied face floating in a massive, void-like hooded cape. His power set revolves around literally swallowing things into his cape-body, and he even doubles as a mode of transportation.
  • Badass Cape: Cloak, natch.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Cloak, for all his broodiness, withdrawn nature and overall intimidating manner, is really a nice guy once people get to know him.
  • Living Shadow: Cloak's "body" is literally made up of one. Made even more explicit in the Ultimate Universe, where you can see black swirling mists emanating from the edges of Cloak's form.
  • Super-Cute Superpowers: Dagger can fling "light-knives" at foes, which can pierce armor and act like scalpels to "cut" the wickedness like tumors from her targets. These light-knife attacks appear wrenching and painful on impact, however.
  • Teleport Cloak: This is one of the secondary abilities of Cloak's powers.
  • Teleportation Sickness: Cloak's teleportation cuts through the Darkforce Dimension which literally drains people physically and mentally. People who go through it usually feel some debilitating effects if Tandy's not there to ameliorate the experience.

Tropes for Original Cloak and Dagger (Earth-616):

  • Aborted Arc: Their Spider-Island tie-in ended with a Sequel Hook suggesting confrontations a cult, D'Spayre, Nightmare, travels to other dimensions, all started by Mr. Negative attempting to delay his prophesied death at Tandy's hand, which he kicked off by using his touch to switch their powers. It's been years and nothing has come of it yet, the closest being another confrontation with Mr. Negative under a Spider-Man title again.
  • Absolute Cleavage/Bare Your Midriff/Cleavage Window: Dagger's costume is a bodysuit with a dagger-shaped cutout that manages to fulfill all three at once. Keep in mind, Dagger started as a 16 year old.
  • As the Good Book Says...: Their series started off each splash page with a paraphrased quote above the title. Psalm 139:12-14. "The darkness and light are both alike... I am fearfully and wonderfully made."
  • Adults Are Useless: Subverted in their series. With the exception of Tandy's stepfather, who is more Played for Laughs than anything else, most of the adults who help the duo are capable and responsible. It comes full circle in Runaways when they are the only ones who get anywhere close to helping the teens.
  • Beast and Beauty
  • Beauty Equals Goodness: It's mentioned by almost every male character who lays eyes on Dagger that she looks like an angel.
  • The Big Rotten Apple: Since they were created in the early '80s and focused on combating drugs and prostitution, C&D spent a lot of time in this milieu. It's lampshaded in their Spider-Island miniseries, where the characters talk about how different New York is now and the old Holy Ghost Church is bulldozed for urban renewal.
  • Brought Down to Normal: This seems to happen on a regular basis if the writers think it will move the plot forward, especially to Cloak. One notable instance is when Tandy's father strips them of their powers in a Heroic Sacrifice after he has a What Have I Become? moment.
  • Can't Live Without You: Mild example, but they need each other's powers to survive or they could die.
    • Some writers tend to abandon this: in the League of Losers alternate future, Dagger pursued a superhero carrier after Cloak was killed.
  • Christianity Is Catholic: Their base of operations is sometimes an abandoned Catholic Church. Tandy's Uncle Mike is a priest.
  • Create Your Own Villain: Of the "made an existing villain worse". Shriek, who was introduced in Maximum Carnage, is revealed in the second issue to have been a somewhat crazy drug-dealer whom was enveloped in Cloak's darkness... which activated her own latent mutant powers and rendered her homicidally insane, to the point she ended up in Ravencroft Asylum after going on a killing spree. And she gained Insanity Immunity to Cloak's powers in the process.
  • Contagious Powers: People directly exposed to their powers often end up getting some facsimile of them if they don't outright absorb them completely like one story arc of New Mutants did. Most often occurred with Cloak due to the nature of his powers.
  • Dance Battler: Tandy utilizes her ballet training when fighting.
  • Depending on the Artist: While Tandy gets drawn relatively consistently, the same can't be said for her partner. Cloak gets drawn looking like anything from a normal guy with his face in the shadows to a ghoulish monster that doesn't even look human anymore.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: According to Vol. 2 of the title (1985-1987) and related issues, all persons absorbed through Cloak's darkness are sent to a demon by the name of Predator. It first uses nightmarish illusions to cause victims to despair, then feeds on their lifeforce. It is immortal and seemingly all-powerful in its home dimension. Until #10 of the series, when Cloak sends Doctor Doom to the Predator. He fails to despair, quickly overpowers the demon, and leaves it in severe pain. He then simply steps out of the darkness back into the real world, something which typically required outside assistance for prisoners of the Darkforce.
  • Evil Costume Switch: When Tandy gets brainwashed evil, her entire costume, even the ring around her eye, turns black. Cloak's costume, meanwhile turns white.
  • Fanservice: There's some for both genders here. Tandy has a skin-tight costume with most of her navel and the sides of her breasts exposed. Tyrone ends up naked when he's depowered, which tends to happen a lot.
  • Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: Especially in the duo's early days, blonde Dagger was the sweet and friendly counterpart to Cloak's harsher outlook.
  • Horror Hunger: Cloak (or the being living inside his cloak, depending) has this for the "light" of human lives.
  • Light/Darkness Juxtaposition: Their entire motif. Cloak is a brooding dark-haired African guy in black who wields a cloak of darkness, while Dagger is a sweet blonde Caucasian woman in white who wields daggers of light. They not only work together but need each other, as Cloak hungers for light consumption while Dagger needs to constantly expel light, meaning both of them quell each other's urges.
  • Light 'em Up: Tandy's daggers are composed of pure light that can purge drug addictions.
  • Light Liege, Dark Defender: Part of the duo's original dynamic. Both were somewhat insular and completely devoted to each other, but Dagger (the light wielder) was still an optimistic person, and fairly outgoing, which attracted the attention of other heroes willing to be friendly. Cloak, who is darkness personifies, was much less friendly and tended to be quite off-putting to other people. But the quickest way to find yourself getting sucked into the Dark Dimension that was his cloak was to be perceived as a threat to Dagger. Those who knew about Dagger's powers being used to keep Cloak's hunger for life energy in check often mistook the relationship for Stockholm Syndrome, but Cloak proved repeatedly that he saw Dagger as more than just a convenience.
  • Lovecraftian Superpower: Cloak.
  • Lucky Translation: in French their are known as "La Cape et l'Épée" (The Cape and the Sword); in French, Swashbuckler genre is called "de cape et d'épée" (of cape and sword).
  • Male Might, Female Finesse: Cloak, a Mighty Glacier type hero paired with Dagger, a Fragile Speedster type with She-Fu. Cloak enfolds villains and mooks in the darkness of his cloak, wherein they come face-to-face with their own wickedness. Baddies emerge quivering, terrified wrecks. Dagger is an angelic young woman who has had ballet and dance lessons, and can fling "light-knives" that can cause villainous BSOD, or "cure" substance addiction.
  • Morality-Guided Attack: This is how Cloak and Dagger vanquish adversaries. Cloak can enfold them in darkness, wherein villains encounter their own wickedness face to face, which often leaves them a quivering, neurotic wreck. Dagger can fling "light knives" which can stagger mooks and paralyze villains. Interestingly, Dagger's light knives had no effect on Doctor Doom, who has never regarded his actions as evil, but rather as his rightful destiny.
  • Most Common Superpower: Dagger fulfills this trope, but she's surprisingly better proportioned than some of the superheroines in Marvel.
  • Nuclear Nullifier: One issue has the heroic duo teleport to Latveria, where they discover that Doctor Doom has a device that exploits thunderstorms to render the world's nuclear devices inert. He remains unswayed when informed that radiation treatments for cancer patients are likewise nullified.
  • Powers as Programs: They switch powers during the Spider-Island event. Their powers are also switched in Secret Wars (2015) Runaways. They still keep their respective Light and Dark sources to them though.
  • Powers via Possession: Cloak is covertly possessed by a demonic entity from the Darkforce Dimension known only as Predator who compels his Horror Hunger. Sometimes he'll grant his powers to another, more proactive host.
  • Rogues Gallery: D’Spayre, Mr. Jip, Mayhem, Ecstasy, Night & Day, Nightmare (borrowed from Dr Strange), Shriek (borrowed from Spider-Man), and Mister Negative (also borrowed from Spider-Man).
  • Salt and Pepper: Somewhat inverted, as Cloak is withdrawn and straitlaced, with Dagger being the one to get him out of his shell.
  • Shown Their Work: The writers did a lot of research when Dagger was blind, using many techniques utilized by the blind in real life, and even printed the names of books and people they had interviewed in their letters page.
  • Superpowerful Genetics: Dagger seems to have partly inherited her powers from her biological father the Lord of Light/Nathan Tyler. He had the power to drain the life-force of other beings and manifest it as a blinding light.
  • Super Serum: They got their powers from being injected with drugs. Not the most family-friendly backstory, as was lampshaded in Runaways.
  • Temporary Blindness: Dagger has a lengthy case of it which lasts over a year, creating one of the more interesting story arcs. She learns to readjust to being both a blind person and superhero, and once she is cured, her spatial awareness is left heightened.
  • Time Marches On: Looking at their old 80s issues, certain aspects of New York City like Times Square being a den of drugs and porn, seems almost laughable when comparing it to how it is today.
  • Vague Age: Orginally averted, as Tandy and Tyrone were said to be 16 and 17 years old, respectively, and were around the age of the New Mutants. Now, it's a little harder to pin down exactly how old they are supposed to be, but a safe estimate is at least somewhere in their 20s.
  • Vampiric Draining: Cloak's altered physiology demands that he regularly feed on spiritual energy, or "light", from other people. Without it, he begins suffering withdrawal-like symptoms and ultimately is compelled to feed. Light, on the other hand, has the inversion of this trope, in that she needs to be drained regularly or she becomes overwhelmed by the spiritual energy she produces in endless supply, which causes her to become extremely emotion-driven, impulsive and irrational. This is why they need to stay in close proximity at all times; Cloak is nourished by Dagger's excess light, and Dagger keeps her sanity through Cloak's feeding.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: A 1991 storyline introduced Cloak's twin sister, Anna Johnson. She was a vagrant with Danger Prone tendencies, which led to her having nasty encounters with neo-Nazis, demons, and arsonists. As of her last appearance, later that year, she was scared and hiding somewhere in New York City. Cloak was contacting a search for her in an effort to reconnect with his last living relative. Cloak and Dagger's title was cancelled at about this time and this plotline was never resolved.
  • Will They or Won't They?: It's been 30 years since the pair first appeared and they still haven't fully rectified their UST. Though, to be fair, when they first started Tyrone was prone to supernatural hunger for living light and Tandy had parental and abandonment issues. Even when that wasn't the case he and Tandy generally have more pressing matters or threats to contend with. As of 2012 onwards it has been confirmed they had been having an on again, off again relationship with them dating other people while working together for a period of time. In their last series they decided to give their relationship another try.


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Alter Ego: Tyrone Johnson

Notable Aliases: Demon of Darkness, Dagger

Nationality: American

Species: Human mutate

First Appearance: Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man #64 (March, 1982)

Tyrone Johnson is the "dark" half of the vigilante duo known as Cloak and Dagger. After a drug-related experiment awakened his powers, he became a living personification of darkness. Cloak is the Yin to his partner Dagger's Yang. Superheroes of the streets, Cloak and Dagger wage a war against dangerous drugs and drug-related crimes.

  • Anti-Hero: Type III-IV
  • Badass Cape: Is a cloak rather than a cape. In fact, he's nothing but a cloak. He's also otherworldly, dark, and conflicted.
  • Casting a Shadow: Can generate and control the Darkforce.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Despite his dark look, Cloak is ultimately good.
  • Horror Hunger: Cloak has this for a vaguely defined kind of human Life Energy, represented as light. It's generally not an issue because his partner Dagger naturally generates an excess of the stuff, but on one occasion when she'd abandoned him he came near to killing several innocent people.
  • Living Shadow: Can take on shadow characteristics.
  • Teleporters and Transporters: Cloak can teleport via the "Darkforce Dimension," which his cloak is a portal to. He can take passengers, but it's a pretty traumatizing ride if his partner Dagger isn't around to ameliorate the effects.



Alter Ego: Tandy Bowen

Notable Aliases: Lady Light, Cloak

Nationality: American

Species: Human mutate

First Appearance: Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man #64 (March, 1982)

Tandy Bowen is the "light" half of the vigilante duo known as Cloak & Dagger. After a drug-related experiment awakened her powers, she became a living personification of light, with the ability to generate super-luminosity at will and use it both offensively and defensively.

  • Anti-Hero: Type I
  • Absolute Cleavage: Her costume features quite a large cross-shaped boob window.
  • Beauty Equals Goodness: It's mentioned by almost every male character who lays eyes on Dagger that she looks like an angel.
  • Holy Hand Grenade: Her hands become light daggers.
  • Light 'em Up: Tandy’s Daggers are made of pure light.
  • Light Is Not Good: Started out as a Spiderman villain along with Cloak. They've both matured since then and become heroes in their own right.
  • Lonely Rich Kid: She used to be a lonely rich kid, but her father's enemies killed him and forced her to go on the run.

Alternative Title(s): Cloak And Dagger


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