Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Cloak and Dagger #1 (One-Shot)

There are certain comic book characters who keep getting another shot at a comic of their own - but it never seems to succeed.

At Marvel alone, we have (off the top of my head) She-Hulk, Sub-Mariner, the Thing, the Human Torch, Dr. Strange, Spider-Woman and Cloak and Dagger.

They've all been part of some good stories, and all have enjoyed some degree of success - but it never seems to last.

A lot of that can be chalked up to the creative teams involved - for whatever reason, they just didn't click. But in the case of Cloak and Dagger, a lot of the problem is because of the basic concept.

The duo gained their powers when they were given an experimental drug. That's their origin. Pretty thin stuff.

Since they gained their powers, they've been runaways. Dagger is Tandy Bowen, a beautiful blonde who throws energy daggers. Cloak is Tyrone Johnson, a young black man who controls some form of dark energy and can teleport thanks to his billowing cloak.

Different creative teams have tried various approaches to the characters. They've been loners. They've been members of the X-Men (and were thought to be mutants at one time).

This issue seems to be an attempt to get them back to their roots, but first it has to jump through lots of hoops and clean up some continuity, since these days the duo are firmly wedged into the X-Men family.

The story by Stuart Moore isn't bad, but it suffers from the same problem as past attempts - Tandy and Tyrone are just one-note characters, with no real personality to speak of, other than their devotion to each other.

The art by Mark Brooks and Walden Wong is quite good, with a unique, watercolor-ish look to it. Unfortunately, everyone spends entirely too much of the book standing around and talking - but they look good doing it. Tandy seems much more, uh, well-developed here, and as a result her costume must require a lot of double-sided tape - but that's a minor quibble.

It's a promising start, but not really good enough to bring anyone to demand a new title for these characters. They're really a blank slate, and the right team could work wonders with these characters - but it's a take we haven't seen yet.

Grade: B-

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