Spider Island: Cloak and Dagger #1

Issue Date: 
October 2011
Story Title: 

Nick Spencer (writer), Emma Rios (artist), Javier Rodriguez (colorist), VC’s Joe Caramagna (letterer), Mike Choi (cover art), Alejandro Arbona (associate editor), Stephen Wacker (senior editor), Axel Alonso (editor in chief), Joe Quesada (chief creative officer), Dan Buckley (publisher), Alan Fine (executive producer) and dedicated to Bill Mantlo

Brief Description: 

Cloak and Dagger are evicted from the Holy Ghost Church, where they have been living recently. Afterward, they meet the Avengers, who are on their way to Bryant Square to engage a horde of people with spider powers. Cloak reluctantly gives everyone a ride through the Darkforce Dimension and both he and Dagger help with the fight. After a while, Dagger realizes it’s an easy win, so she decides to take off, going to a class which she’s been keeping quiet from Tyrone. Meanwhile, Mr. Negative meets with a witch named Suan Ming and hands her a briefcase in exchange for details on who will ultimately be the one who kills him.

Full Summary: 

Dagger is at the Holy Ghost Church at the junction of 42nd Street and 5th Avenue. She recalls how she came to be there. Simultaneously, Cloak does likewise. They recall how they were teenagers then. Tyrone ran away from home to escape his own guilt and found Tandy, who ran away from home to piss off her parents. They found each other. Someone tried to steal Tandy’s purse and so Tyrone beat them up. Unfortunately, they were found by some guys who Tandy trusted. She was so naïve then, but Tyrone was already getting jealous. Tandy thought it was hilarious. They’d only known each other five seconds. The guys kidnapped the pair of them and took them to Ellis Island, where Simon Marshall was testing out designer drugs on the runaways and the homeless. He injected Tandy and Tyrone with something called D-Lite.

None of the others survived the process, but the drug changed Tyrone and Tandy. It gave them powers. He became darkness and Tandy became light. They managed to break free and swore revenge on their captors, calling themselves Cloak and Dagger. They became partners. They became a team, trying to save kids from going through what they went through, or worse. They acted as judge, jury and executioner to those who would do them harm, going back and forth on the executioner bit. New York City, they remember, was a different place then. Everything smelled like pee. Criminals ran the streets, preying on the innocent. Poverty and homelessness were everywhere. It was a den of filth, perversion and greed. “God do I miss it,” thinks Tandy.

She peruses a story about a new luxury tower being built in the Lower East Side before hearing a knock on the door. It’s a New York City building inspector and Tandy reluctantly opens the door to him. She recognizes him from a week earlier when he’d called round. He informs her that they have a vacate order on the building. She asks why they want them out of there so badly and the guy replies by asking if there’s a second means of egress. “Egress?” she asks, surprised. He rephrases the question. “An exit. Is there a second exit?” Tandy pauses a moment and then says that her partner can teleport. He rolls his eyes and repeats that they have a vacate order on the building.

Tandy moans that this is dumb, crappy-ass gentrification. They’re gonna tear down their beautiful old church for what? So they can build another Coffee Bean? He replies, with his smart mouth, that it would be a Coffee Bean with a second means of egress. Tandy sighs. She asks if there’s any way they can get a little more time. They’re looking for a place but the rents around the area are just nuts. He suggests they look at Brooklyn. “Brooklyn!” she cries. She calms down and tells him she didn’t want to play this hand, but informs him that she and her partner are Cloak and Dagger. They’re super heroes and this is their secret headquarters. What does he have to say to that? she asks. He guy replies that she could be Reed Richards wearing an Iron Man suit carrying Captain America’s shield. That ain’t gonna stop the New York City D.O.B. Once he’s left, Dagger leans against the door. “Ten minutes,” she cries.

Eleven minutes later and Cloak has teleported them both outside. Cloak finds all this humiliating as the demolition team prepares to knock down their home. He wonders where they’re going to live. Tandy replies that they could be living in Avengers Tower, but Ty doesn’t want to hear that now. Tandy tells him she was just saying that Steve Rogers owes them big time. There’s no way he would say no if they asked. Ty reminds her that he doesn’t want to join another team, but she asks why not. When they were with the X-Men they got to live on their own island! Ty replies that it’s not their way and besides, they’re going to be too busy on their own. Tandy asks busy doing what? Trying to find a room on Craiglist that doesn’t mind their cat occasionally getting sucked into the Darkforce Dimension? He asks her to turn around.

She does as she is asked and looks up to see a billboard poster bearing their image. The blurb reads “Cloak and Dagger. Ready to Help! (212) 555-1212 #cloak-and-dagger.” She asks why they are in an advertisement, and he informs her that it’s so that people can hire them as private investigators or security, for help with runaways or drug addiction. Tandy can’t believe he made them heroes for hire. Doesn’t he think she gets called a skank enough already? He adds that they are a non-profit organization - donations only. They’ll have a board of trustees who will approve living expenses and such.

She rubs her forehead and asks when he did all this. He informs her that there was a seminar at the Learning Annex. It was supposed to be a surprise. She tells him it was and asks how he could afford the billboard anyway. It’s Times Square! He explains that they’ve already received funding from the Future Foundation. “What?” she barks. He tells her he thought she would be pleased. Before she can complain too much, they are interrupted by Wolverine and Hawkeye, who happen to be in the area with the Avengers. Clint asks if they’re on their way to the attack. Cloak’s jealousy kicks in and he wonders why they always have to talk to her. Tandy wonders why they’re looking at her chest and not her face.

Luke Cage, Iron Fist and Jewel appear and Luke informs them that there’s a big mob, all dressed as Spider-Man. They have his powers, too. They’re breaking stuff, stealing stuff… that kind of thing. Cloak says they were unaware of the disturbance but they’d be happy to assist. Tandy thinks it would be nice if he’d asked her. Iron Fist says that’s great. They could do with a lift over to the Public Library. Cloak tells him it’s two blocks away, but he replies that Cloak can teleport. Danny wins the argument, so Cloak envelopes them all in his cloak and they teleport to Bryant Park.

As the team heads straight into action, fighting against people dressed like Spider-Man, Cloak reckons that fighting alongside the Avengers is just what they need right now. The last few months have been difficult for the both of them. Working with Norman Osborn when he was forming his team of X-Men, and now losing the church…

As they fight, Cloak asks Tandy when she changed clothes. “While I was inside your cloak, duh,” she answers. “With Wolverine and Hawkeye right next to you?” asks Cloak. Dagger reminds him that they can’t see anything unless she lets them. It’s the Darkforce Dimension. She thinks that this is not what they need right now. If it’s not one thing it’s another. Getting the invite to join the real honest-to-god X-Men, only to find they were not actually mutants in the first place and now they’re back to the jealous non-boyfriend routine. However, she admits that the one cool thing about this gig is that when you’re in a bad mood, there’s always somebody you’re allowed to punch in the face for… um… justice.

She pauses a moment as one of the Spider-Men flees and Cloak asks if she’s hurt. She reaches inside his cloak and grabs her bag, telling him that it’s not that. She just has other plans. Ty asks if she’s really gonna walk away in the middle of a battle, but Tandy reckons these losers don’t have a chance against Ms. Marvel and Luke Cage. Cloak seems slightly hurt that he didn’t get a mention. Tandy says she’ll catch up with him that evening and heads off.

Watching her leave, Tyrone knows she’s not telling him something. He wishes she would just be honest with him. He’d understand. He loves her more than anything, but he feels she’s forgotten their responsibilities. They were given these powers for a reason, but a girl like Tandy doesn’t realize how special she is and how much she deserves. He wants to show her. All she needs is something extraordinary.

Glancing back as she departs, Tandy thinks about how she hates keeping stuff from Tyrone but he would never understand what she is doing. She loves him but thinks that sometimes he just needs to relax. He thinks everything has to be a big deal. It’s always about their destiny, or whatever. All she wants is something normal. She changes clothes as she walks and arrives at a lecture theater where the professor notes her late arrival. She apologizes for being late… again, and sits down next to a guy who asks her not to worry. He wrote his notes on copy paper for her.

In a quiet room, Suan Ming sits watching Dancing With The Stars on television whilst smoking. Mr. Negative’s assistant appears from behind a curtain and informs her that his master waits. Suan Ming replies that he can keep waiting. She’s watching her show. The assistant walks over to her and kicks her television set through forcefully. Suan Ming, a very odd-looking old lady tells him he owes her a flat screen and asks him to send his boss through.

Mr. Negative apologizes for his inner demon’s impatience. His servants are not accustomed to suffering such things. She asks if he brought it. Mr. Negative replies that it’s in the case he’s holding. Suan laughs. “Ha. He won’t be putting that in the downstairs girl no more! He screamed?” Mr. Negative replies that he did, as many times as she said he would. He kept count. She smiles and tells him she’s still got it.

She then asks what he wants. Mr. Negative warns her not to test him. He always has more bags that can be filled. She replies casually that she’s seen how she dies and it’s not at his hands. But, it’s not her death that will concern him. He asks her to watch herself, but she reminds him that they’ve been doing good business for years, to which he replies that he’s always honored his end of their arrangement as well. She laughs again, saying he uses the word honor like he knows what it means. “A man who can dishonor himself can honor nothing,” she grins.

He stares at her, but she knows he won’t be killing her so he seats himself across from her and tells her that on his last visit she told him he was going to die soon. She told him that she saw the one who took his life. He has done as she asked and now he wants to know who he is? She laughs again. “He? Gangster, you got that part wrong.”

Meanwhile, back in the lecture theater, Dagger tries to concentrate on her studies.

Characters Involved: 

Cloak and Dagger

Luke Cage, Hawkeye, Iron Fist, Jewel, Spider-Woman, Thing, Wolverine (all Avengers)
Firestar, Gravity, Spider-Girl (all Young Allies)

Mr. Negative, his companion and Suan Ming

D.O.B. official, the construction crew and other New Yorkers

(in flashback)
Cloak and Dagger
Simon Marshall and the gang
Other victims of Marshall’s gang

Story Notes: 

Craiglist.org is an online information outlet set up by Craig Newmark in 1995.

The Future Foundation was set up by Reed Richards and amongst its numbers are Spider-Man, the Invisible Woman, Leech and Artie.

Bryant Park lies between Fifth and Sixth Avenue and 40th and 42nd Street in Manhattan.

The Spider Island story runs through several titles - Amazing Spider-Man #666 - 673, Spider Island: Cloak and Dagger #1 - 3, Spider Island: Deadly Foes #1, Venom #6 - 8, Spider Island: Deadly Hands of Kung Fu #1 - 3, Spider Island: Spider-Girl #1 - 3, Spider Island: Avengers #1, Herc #7 -8, Spider Island: Spider-Woman #1, Spider Island: New York City #1, Spider Island: Heroes For Hire #1 and Black Panther #524.

Being set in the fictional Marvel Universe, there is no Holy Ghost Church at the location mentioned. There you will find shops, the Bank of America and the New York Public Library.

In this case, the D.O.B. is the Department of Buildings, as opposed to “Date of Birth” in other usages.

Suan Ming literally means “fate calculating.”

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