Marvel Team-Up Annual #6

Issue Date: 
October 1983
Story Title: 
The Hunters and the Hunted!

Bill Mantlo (writer), Ron Frenz & Kevin Dzuban (art), Rick Parker (letterer), Bob Sharen (colors), TomDeFalco (editors) Jim Shooter (editor-in–chief)

Brief Description: 

On a night out in Manhattan, the New Mutants are drawn into a brawl and Wolfsbane and Sunspot are kidnapped. Their teammates look for asylum in a church, where they chance upon Cloak and Dagger and Spider-Man, who has been following the duo. Cloak and Dagger are on a crusade to stop drug dealers, especially a particular group that is trying to recreate the experiment that gave Cloak and Dagger their powers. They realize that those drug runners are probably using the two kidnapped New Mutants for their experiments. Together, the heroes find and attack the drug runners, but not in time: Rahne and Roberto have already been injected with the drug and their powers go out of control. Cloak and Dagger attempt to heal them and are successful, however, they themselves are infected in turn. Using their powers against each other, they mange to return to their usual level of power. The New Mutants offer them sanctuary at Xavier’s School, but the duo declines and teleports away.

Full Summary: 

Spider-Man swings to an old warehouse near the river. Local activities have been disrupted lately. Known drug runners have been attacked and left unconscious and numb with cold. There have also been a number of reports about dead teenage runaways.

He ran into this kind of situation before when he first met Cloak and Dagger, a pair of runaways who were captured by mobsters trying to develop an synthetic addictive drug. The drug killed most of the other kids who were used as guinea pigs but Cloak & Dagger were changed, gaining strange symbiotic powers and now they are using those powers to wipe out anyone intent on addicting teenagers on drugs.

Spidey peers through a warehouse’s roof window, reminding himself that Cloak and Dagger are still only a couple of kids. This auto-shop seems to keep odd hours, he thinks to himself, and even odder practices. It’s a chopshop; a garage where stolen cars are broken down and sold for parts. Suddenly, Cloak and Dagger teleport in and order the men to cease their illegal activities.

The gangsters attack and Dagger fights with martial arts moves and light daggers, whereas Cloak swallows them in his cloak of darkness. Only kids, Spidey ironically thinks. Ha! He wonders why they are bothering with those criminals, only to see Dagger surrounded by a group with Cloak otherwise occupied. Spidey swings down and takes them out. The three of them quickly make short work of the gangsters.

With that accomplished, Spidey asks why they’ve gone out of the drug-busting business and into corralling car-thieves. According to their information, the car-theft ring is merely a front and they will find hidden narcotics behind that door, they reply. They teleport into the next room. Spidey follows to find a group of tied-up dead teenagers. Victims of men like those who created Cloak and Dagger. The drug-runners responded to their persistent attacks by trying to re-synthesize the drug that created them in the first place. They want to create a new Cloak and Dagger that will obey them and destroy the originals That drug killed everyone else it was tested on, Spidey protests, but the two are already gone.

Among the lights of Broadway, the four New Mutants, Cannonball, Psyche, Sunspot and Wolfsbane, have just finished watching a performance of Cats and compare their impressions of the show. Sam reminds the others that they’d better catch the bus back to Westchester. Roberto protests. He wants to enjoy a free evening. He promised he’d bring the others back right after the show, Sam insists. Well, he didn’t, Roberto shoots back and enters a video arcade. The girls don’t mind and so the others follow.

Roberto quickly scores high at the game of his choice and crowd gathers around the mutants. One guy asks Rahne where they come from, as he’s never seen them there before. From Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngster, Rahne replies shyly. Does she want to show him some of her gifts, he leers. Roberto tells him to buzz off and the guy draws a knife in response.

Roberto realized the danger. It’s dark and his powers are far from peak. Nevertheless, he shifts to his solar-powered form and hits the other guy. Sam and Dani tells him it’s time they hightailed out of here before they run into more trouble. Trouble has found them, as several friends of the guy intend to attack. Cannonball flies though them and tells the team to head for the bus station.

A few minutes later, the mutants find that they have lost their way. They’re too far away. Why are they running anyway, Bobby complains. Because, Sam replies, the creeps they fought have called out friends!

The mutants find themselves trapped on a bridge, surrounded on both side. Sunspot hits them, while Cannonball topples them over. Dani scares them with fear images of Cloak and Dagger. But then Bobby is knifed from behind. Wolfsbane runs to his side, unaware of the danger, as one guy shoots at her and the bullet glances her forehead. Both of them tumble down onto the railroad tracks, where two shadowy figures believe they have finally found the right guinea pigs. Rahne and Roberto are carried off into the darkness and their companions realize too late that they are gone. Sam angrily blasts away at their foes and he and Dani run, wondering what to do. Call the police? As the police arrive the teenagers start running.

At Times Square, Spidey hunching on a rooftop is looking for signs of Cloak and Dagger. As this is their turf, he figured his spider-sense would pick them up, if he swung around long enough. No such luck. Seeing a lot of police cars he wonders where they are heading and whether he should help, when his spider-sense kicks in. He follows it to Holy Ghost church on 42nd street.

Inside, he sees a priest kneeling in prayer, when suddenly Cloak and Dagger appear, asking if he will grant them sanctuary. Father Francis Xavier Delgado has harbored them for some time and tells them to rest. They can never rest, Cloak announces grimly, while they know that someone somewhere is experimenting on other runaways, trying to do to them what was done to the two of them. Is what they are so awful then, the priest asks. Yes, Dagger cries and starts weeping as she turns to Cloak.

While Spidey wonders whether to reveal himself, he sees Cannonball and Psyche heading for the church door. He recognizes their costume, as those once worn by Xavier’s original X-Men. Inside, Dani asks Sam why he led them here. They need to contact Xavier. Sam begins to explain that they are too conspicuous in their costumes, when they notice Cloak and Dagger standing next to the priest. Dani recognizes them from the fear images the creeps in the Arcade had. Seeing the visitors, Cloak teleports towards them.

Dani draws back in terror at his sudden appearance and instinctively defends herself by turning his greatest fear against him – his darkness growing out of control and consuming all light. Dagger shouts at them to stop it. He wasn’t attacking. Sam grabs Dani, telling her to stop. She is still shocked though by the darkness and hunger she sensed. Dani apologizes but she was just defending herself, Sam adds.

That moment, Spider-Man joins them all, suggesting they shelve the mutual animosity. The mutants are awestruck at meeting a genuine superhero. They’d never really believed Spider-Man existed. He’s surprised Professor Xavier never told them, Spidey retorts wryly. They are X-Men, aren’t they? They are New Mutants, Sam corrects him.

Cloak interjects that they have to discuss more serious matters and Sam explains about their missing friends. Spidey wonders if they were abducted by the same guys that Cloak and Dagger have been after. They could be experimenting on them even now, Cloak fears.

Sam demands some answers and Spidey explains what happened to Cloak and Dagger and how those crooks are trying to repeat the process. Everybody else died but Cloak and Dagger survived because of something unique in their body chemistry. Teenage mutants have unique body chemistries as well, Spider-Mans muses. Cloak and Dagger agree that they mustn’t be experimented on and vanish. They do that a lot, Spidey comments wryly, and tells the mutants to follow him. Maybe he can find out where they went. Left alone, the priest watches, wonders and prays.

An hour later, in a meat packing plant on West 14th street, Wolfsbane and Sunspot awake to find themselves tied to a butcher-block. A scientist asks Rahne he trusts they are not too cold or uncomfortable, and Rahne asks why they have been tied to this meat butcher’s block. The scientist marvels at the acuteness of her senses, but then that’s why she was chosen. As the criminals behind him cone up, he relates to them the tale of Cloak and Dagger and how they are trying to recreate the effect of that drug to create an army of junkie mutants in their service. As the two of them already possess powers, the drug should make them more than a match for Cloak and Dagger.

Sunspot struggles to ignite his powers, but he has been kept in the dark too long and one of the mobsters brutally hits him. The doctor prepares a syringe and Rahne turns to a wolf and bites the criminal who has hit Sunspot. Furiously, the gangster orders the doctor to inject them and the scientist complies.

Moments later, but still too late, Cannonball bursts trough the wall followed by Psyche, Cloak & Dagger and Spider-Man, who all proceed to attack the gangsters. Cannonball demands to know what they have done to their friends. Suddenly, one of the gangsters shouts to look at the kids. Wolfsbane has gotten free Snarling and glowing, all of her humanity has been submerged beneath the savagery of a chemical-created werewolf. Sunspot too rises up, wildly snarling, his powers enhanced far beyond his adolescent control.

Cloak observes that the drug obviously affects every individual differently, as it has enhanced the mutant powers of these two beyond their ability to control them. Without mercy, Wolfsbane smashes the mobster unconscious, while Sunspot runs on the doctor. They’ve become horrible, Dagger states. As horrible as they? asks Cloak.

Dagger decides she has to cleanse the drug from their bodies with her daggers of light. But, even as Dagger’s light knives strike, purging the drug from Wolfsbane, the werewolf jumps at her an bites her. Rahne turns to normal and sinks into Dagger’s arms, whereas Dagger’s light powers suddenly go wild – the wolf’s saliva having transmitted the drug and setting up a chemical imbalance.

Sunspot jumps to attack Cloak and is swallowed in Cloak’s all-consuming cape. Moments later, an unconscious, normal Roberto falls out of the cape. Cloak’s power, too, is acting out of control. The mutants and Spider-man can only watch, as a chemical-crazed Dagger unleashes light knives against Cloak and he, in turn, moves to envelop Dagger in his billowing cape of darkness. In the end, light and darkness dispel each other, leaving Cloak and Dagger as they were, cursed as ever before.

The mutants thank them. Dani wonders if they are also mutants and asks if they have a place to stay. Spidey suggests they could be mutants and explains about Xavier’s School run by a man that could help them. They could live with kids their own age. Dagger looks at them, clearly tempted, but Cloak declines. They still have much to learn about their power and themselves. They must do so alone. With that, he teleports them away, leaving the confused and sad mutants and Spider-Man.

Characters Involved: 


Canonball, Psyche, Sunspot, Wolfsbane (all New Mutants)

Cloak and Dagger


Kids from the arcade

Father Delgado

Story Notes: 

This issue includes several pin-ups of enemies Spider-Man faced within the pages of Marvel Team-Up:

A pin-up of Arcade by Don Perlin & Al Milgrom

A pin-up of Equinox by Jim Mooney

A pin-up of the city stealers by artists unknown

One of Infinitus by Jim Mooney
and one of D’Spayre by Perlin and Tartag.

The story takes place during the early adventures of the New Mutants, presumably between issues #1-5.

Spider-Man first met Cloak and Dagger in Spectacular Spider-Man (1st series) #64.

The events of this issue have repercussions for both Cloak & Dagger and Wolfsbane and Sunspot, as shown in New Mutants (1st series) #22 - 25.

Issue Information: 
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