CLOAK & DAGGER: Page 3 of 8

Publication Date: 7th Sep 2023
Written By: Monolith.
Image Work: Douglas Mangum.


Dagger became grimmer and more aggressive in their mission after her encounter with her mother. When Spider-Man incidentally crossed paths with her stepfather at a shelter as Peter Parker, he came to the Holy Ghost Church to tell Dagger that Philip was in town. Dagger wasn't interested in another attempt at reconciliation though and focused on her mission with Cloak to locate a new shipment of drugs nicknamed "Santa Angela" being smuggled in at the west side piers. [Cloak and Dagger (2nd series) #3]

Cloak and Dagger found their unforgiving black-and-white attitude towards drug dealers challenged when they crossed paths with the Beyonder in human form. Seeking to understand human desire, the One From Beyond was lured into a drug den by some heroin dealers, whom Cloak and Dagger then took down. After an exchange, he came to understand the Darklight Vigilantes' mission and the dealers' true nature. On their behalf, he removed Cloak and Dagger's cursed powers and then summarily executed every human being affiliated with the drug trade in Manhattan. Shocked at the ease of it all, even Cloak finally recognized that there were degrees of evil. They pled with the Beyonder to reverse his murders, and rededicated themselves to a mission of trying to save and reform evil doers before dealing out punishment. [Cloak and Dagger (2nd series) #4]

In their hunt for the Santa Angela drug shipment, Cloak and Dagger learned of a trap being set for Brigid O'Reilly by dirty cops on the take. At an abandoned Marshall Pharmaceuticals plant, Detective O'Reilly was murdered by her fellow officers in an airtight chamber, using gas from the plant's inventory. Cloak and Dagger arrived too late to save her, but Cloak pulled her out of the death trap into his cape of darkness, where Dagger tried to revive Brigid using her living light. Their actions unexpectedly restored Brigid O'Reilly as the undead vigilante now known as Mayhem. The effects of Marshall's gas mixed with the drug-given abilities Cloak and Dagger received from related chemicals, giving Mayhem superhuman powers of her own. Furious at her own demise and willing to cast aside her beliefs in law and order to seek revenge, Brigid O'Reilly was now a more aggressive vigilante than even her would-be saviors. [Cloak and Dagger (2nd series) #5]

Mayhem was an even darker influence on Dagger than Cloak was, as Tyrone was trying to abide by their new mission to redeem the guilty. Learning that the drugs were to be distributed at the Santa Angela festival hidden in religious figurines, Cloak and Dagger's mission put them at odds with Father Delgado. The priest refused to believe his own church elders were a part of the drug trade, and he again blamed Cloak for twisting Dagger into believing such nonsense. On the edge, Dagger even threatened to force the priest back into Cloak's Dark Dimension to make him see the truth, a threat she quickly walked back when she saw what she was doing. When the truth was revealed, the "god-fearing church elders" opened fire in the streets in order to avoid the vigilantes hunting them. This revelation of wolves in his flock pushed Francis Delgado even closer to the abyss.

Meanwhile, Cloak and Dagger captured the last of the drug smugglers fleeing from them and congratulated themselves on making the streets of New York drug free. The smugglers simply laughed, saying some other suppliers would replace them the next day, and the vessel the Santa Angela shipment came in on was already leaving for another run. Seizing on the idea, Cloak and Dagger decided to follow the ship back and cut the drug chain off at its source. [Cloak and Dagger (2nd series) #6]

As stowaways, Cloak and Dagger teleported aboard the Santa Angela ship as it crossed the Atlantic. In the cargo hold they met Bill Clayton, who introduced himself as another stowaway aboard the vessel. Bill was instantly smitten with Dagger, and tried to make himself useful to their mission. Bill claimed to know all about the drug trade from listening to the men aboard the ship: the drugs were exchanged for computer parts, which would then be traded for weapons in Europe, and in turn for other drugs, and so on down the line. The son of a diplomat who knew many foreign languages, Bill helped translate for the vigilantes as corrupt customs officials came aboard in Marseille, France to receive their bribes. Cloak and Dagger's attack on the exchange set the ship on fire, and Cloak prepared to teleport Dagger and Bill out, leaving the criminals paralyzed by their powers to suffer their fate. Dagger refused at the last moment, using light-knives to revitalize those shocked by Cloak's darkness, so they had time to escape. [Cloak and Dagger (2nd series) #7]

Bill deliberately started trying to drive a wedge between Cloak and Dagger, in order to claim Tandy as his own. He encouraged Dagger to indulge herself and see the sights in France before following the computer parts on the next stop of the drug trade, knowing Cloak would be unable to join them in public. Tyrone instead amused himself hunting other drug dealers in the local area. He had a surprising encounter with Rene Deladier, who peddled designer drugs too new to have yet been rendered illegal under the law. When he tried to expose the self-titled Ecstasy to his Darkforce Dimension, however, she claimed the power for herself. Deladier mused that the darkness merely liked her better, as she would let it gorge itself on light instead of the pittance Tyrone fed it over time. Luckily, Doctor Strange sensed Tyrone's peril and entered the Darkforce Dimension. He used the purest light imaginable, the gaze of the Eye of Agamotto, to draw the darkness away from Ecstasy long enough for Cloak to reclaim his power and return them to the Earthly plane. [Cloak and Dagger (2nd series) #8, Doctor Strange (2nd series) #78]

In Cloak's absence, Bill made Dagger's time in France as fun as possible in contrast to her grim partner. He even arranged for her to join a circus, using her powers on horseback as "Lady Light." Naturally, Cloak threw a wet blanket on Dagger's frolicking when he returned, just as Bill intended. Still, Tyrone managed to recover and apologized to Tandy for his demeanor. He even agreed to Dagger continuing to work with the circus, for both the circus and the drug smugglers were traveling the same route along the autobahn. When smugglers attacked the circus looking for the vigilantes, however, Dagger's horse was killed and she realized her fantasy could not be sustained. [Cloak and Dagger (2nd series) #9]

The vigilantes took a winding path from France to Latveria, Turkey and then the West Bank. By this point, the computer parts had been exchanged for weapons to arm Palestinians in the conflict with Israel. As the age-old struggle broke out around them, Dagger learned that Bill Clayton was actually responsible for the drug chain they were following. Bill had stolen the computer parts from his father's company to sell for profit, and he wasn't a stowaway but actually the captain of the Santa Angela's crew. Bill had intended to have his contacts kill Cloak once they reached the Middle East so he could have Dagger all to himself. Still, Bill genuinely cared enough about Tandy that he threw himself in the path of gunfire to protect her during the conflict. Shaken by Bill's betrayal, Dagger numbly followed Cloak onward to the final link of the drug trade.

In Cambodia, weapons were once again being exchanged for drugs. A Vietnam-era soldier had discovered great personal power like Cloak and Dagger from using the drugs cultivated in the area. He transformed himself into a local Warlord who imposed his will on slaves to grow poppies for opium at the foot of his temple. Cloak and Dagger arrived as rebels killed the smugglers they were following to use the weapons to fight the Warlord. The vigilantes toppled the Warlord's regime, but their presence only exacerbated the local chaos as bombings destroyed crops of both drugs and food for the villages. Cloak and Dagger got what innocents they could to safety, but had come to realize just how hopelessly outclassed they were at stopping an international smuggling operation of this scope. Having come to the end of their quest, the dejected duo decided to accept what victories they had and return home to New York City. [Cloak and Dagger (2nd series) #10-11]

On their long journey home, Cloak and Dagger traveled by boat to the shores of India, where an accident capsized their ship. Unable to do anything to save their fellow passengers, the duo watched from the Dark Dimension as the victims slowly drowned. Suddenly, a congregation of lights arrived from the distance, visible only to the unique senses of Cloak and Dagger. The lights made contact with the people as they died, drawing some of their light up into themselves. Curious, Cloak and Dagger followed the moving lights to a temple in the hills. They discovered a commune of living light manipulators guided by the Lord of Light, who was shockingly revealed as Dagger's own long-absent father.

The Lord of Light explained how he left America to find enlightenment, and learned to manipulate the light of all living things in his studies. In turn, he taught others how to enhance their own light for brief periods. Similar to an astral form, the Lord and his disciples were able to cast their light out of their bodies to roam freely over the countryside. The Lord and his people claimed to preserve the light of people as they expired, in some way allowing the dying to live on within them. The Lord of Light demonstrated the skill he wielded with lifeforce by striking Cloak with a dose of such concentrated light it not only assuaged his hunger, it fully transformed him back into Tyrone, seemingly for good.

As Dagger and her father became reacquainted, however, Tyrone grew suspicious of the Lord's behavior. On closer inspection, the Lord of Light appeared to be only "lending" light to his disciples, seemingly giving them light powers of their own before reclaiming the lion's share of light after each display. While exploring the hills, Ty came across a mother and child injured by an overturned carriage. As he rushed to help them, however, the Lord of Light and his followers appeared in their light projection forms, draining the light from the injured (but not dying) victims. When Tyrone tried to intervene, they drained him as well, causing him to revert back to Cloak.

Cloak confronted the Lord of Light, and explained what he had seen to Dagger. In his arrogance, the Lord of Light siphoned all of Tandy's pure light into himself in order to fend off Cloak. He told himself he was doing his daughter a favor, freeing her of the powers she considered a curse. When Cloak pointed out the Lord hadn't left Dagger with even the light necessary to continue living, however, he was shocked back to his senses. In a display of penance, Tandy's father fed her enough light to restore her life, but not her powers, and then cast himself into Cloak's darkness where he unleashed all of his stolen light. While the Lord of Light was apparently lost forever in the Dark Dimension's void, Tyrone and Tandy had been cured of the curse of Cloak and Dagger. [Strange Tales (2nd series) #1-2]

Having phoned Philip Carlisle for money, Tandy and Tyrone chose to purchase tickets and fly the rest of the way back to New York. Tandy had big dreams for their future together, imagining them as friends living a normal life, going to school, helping Ty with his speech therapy, etc. Tyrone was struggling to adjust more than Tandy. As Cloak, he needed no food or sleep to survive, and consequently emerged as malnourished and sleep-deprived in his human form as the abstinence caught up to him. His weakened mind was also vulnerable during his fitful sleep to a visit by Nightmare, lord of the Dream Dimension that lay adjacent to the Dark Dimension. Seeing Tyrone as a potential catspaw against his enemy Doctor Strange, Nightmare subconsciously prodded Tyrone into reopening the portal to the Dark Dimension that still existed in his body. A demon escaped from his body to feed on living light, causing chaos on the airplane and reverting Tyrone back into Cloak. Seeing no other choice, Dagger leapt to intercept the light being drawn out of the passengers into the demon, kickstarting her own powers. Together, Cloak and Dagger contained the demon and saved the plane, but apparently at the cost of their normal lives. [Strange Tales (2nd series) #3]

Cloak and Dagger did not face a happy homecoming. An impulsive decision led Cloak to absorb a group of undercover cops into his darkness, believing them to be actual criminals. In the heat of the moment, Dagger lashed out at him for the mistake, leaving Cloak questioning his own virtue. Meanwhile, Father Delgado had fallen to madness in their absence. He had degenerated into a carnal lust for the beautiful and "pure" Dagger, and his obsessive efforts to save her from the demonic Cloak even led him to study exorcism against the will of the church. When Delgado cast a vial of holy water on Cloak as Ty came to apologize to Dagger at the Holy Ghost Church, it reacted violently with Cloak's cape. Fearing this confirmed the priest's worst fears about him, Cloak fled in horror.

In fact, the darkness within Cloak finally revealed itself as a demon known as the Predator, lurking within the folds of the Dark Dimension and feeding on whatever light it could find. Tyrone's urge for light energy was not his own, but rather the craving of the Predator as it pressed against the access tap that Cloak's body opened into the Dark Dimension. It was actually Cloak's iron will that kept the Predator from escaping the Dark Dimension to feed indiscriminately on humanity. Feeling Cloak was uniquely off-balance by the priest's assault, the Predator decided to take advantage of the situation and destroy Cloak's will entirely by driving him mad.

Using the soul of Jack the Ripper, which was under his dominion, the Predator released Jack to commit a series of murders designed to point the finger at Cloak and his light-absorbing darkness. Both Cloak and Dagger came to fear Cloak was responsible for the murders. Dagger hunted her partner down, Cloak himself feared he was attacking innocents during blackout spells. When they encountered each other, Cloak begged Dagger to kill him, but ultimately she couldn't bring herself to do it. Instead, she released a tidal wave of living light that reversed his transformation from Cloak back to Tyrone. This illumination brought out both the Predator and Jack, revealing for the first time to Ty and Tandy that Cloak was not responsible for his appetites. Feeling vindicated of both the murders and his hunger, Cloak and Dagger defeated their foes and cast the Predator back into the Dark Dimension. All was not well, however, as Father Delgado was broken completely by the experience and taken away to a psychiatric institution. The Holy Ghost Church was now considered haunted and abandoned, the secret residence of Cloak and Dagger, and nothing more. [Marvel Graphic Novel #34]