thanekos: Yoshikage Kira as Kosaku Kawajiri, after the second arrow. (Default)
thanekos ([personal profile] thanekos) wrote in [community profile] scans_daily2011-10-28 09:53 am

A layered slice of two lives, served web-side and left to bide?

That's Spider-Island: Cloak & Dagger, which ended this week.

Snappily written by Nick Spencer and evocatively drawn by Emma Rios, its three issues go like Black Panther's one does in the Queen's greater scheme: perpendicular.

There's of course a point of intersection in #1 (remember Cloak as Wayfarer Guide in ASM 667?), but from there Cloak and Dagger's story goes its own way, parallel and tangent to the horrors of Spider-Island.

It ends independent of Spider-Island's conclusion, unlike its fellow tie-ins. To read it from Steve Wacker's words, that's because this's an opportune "new beginning" for Dagger and Cloak. There's no plans yet to go ahead with more, but if you'd like 'em to, well..

I'd love to, myself, for the art and the colors and the writing. Spencer brought to this the same deft combination of existing canon and his own ideas his licensed work seems to always have, and Rios, well.. either you know, or you'll see.



I won't lie, him being promised as "Cloak and Dagger's Kingpin" was half the reason I was looking forward to this; not only was it a neat use of one of Spidey's better new villains, but it also implicitly capitalized on their shared origins.

#1 made it a little more explicit: once it'd established what Ty and Tandy were up to these days after Dark X-Men and that oneshot'd passed (living out of a church on 42nd and 9th, taking classes at the Learning Annex/ESU respectively) and tied into Day One of Spider-Island, it cut to one of Mister Negative's Inner Demons trying to ruffle an old fortune teller's feathers.

That didn't work, but she waved his boss in anyway because he'd smashed the TV she'd been watching Dancing With The Stars on.

"You just bought me flat screen", she remarks, though Mister Negative's already got a payment for her:

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(He looks leaner than he has before, doesn't he? But it's understandable, considering what happened to him following his clash with Anti-Venom..)

She isn't shaken by his threat; she's seen her death, and his is not the hand.

So he's the one who has to be humble here, not her:

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"Gangster, you got that part wrong."

It's Tandy whom fate's marked as his killer; #1 ends on a full page of her in civvies.

It's a nice ending, too, because of how it sets up Mister Negative as Kingpin; not as crime boss out to pull the newest thorns in his side, but as powerful man gunning for a woman unaware of him (and her friend, who's almost certain to be caught up in this).

When #2 opens, he's already got her, and him too; she's bound up in mystic chains and hallucinating for a few pages, he's laid out on the ground.

It's a lovely Rios-drawn one, featuring Tandy and Mister Negative as husband and wife with child and Ty's head in some groceries stockboy Spider-Man is setting up. Oh, and a giant spider's in the aisle with the diapers.

It's also a strange one; I'm guessing it's here to further the duality between Dagger and the Darkforce-empowered Mister Negative, and that's all I can figure out. I mean, its atmosphere seems a bit at odds with what the shadowy criminal wants..

.. or maybe it isn't.

"You know what, it's your day." says the dark man of her dreams. "Take your pick--"

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(Seeing Cloak's cloak so casually draped never won't amuse me.)

She probably didn't, but she definitely did when he came to take her away from a mass of Man-Spiders (in the process making the Kafka joke we were all waiting for).

Cloak came to save her, overpowering external Inner Demons..

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..only to be taken down by the most externalized of them all:

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That was then, and this is now, when Tandy awakens and something dawns on her.

"I recognize you."

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(No, he wasn't one of the Maggia, but a fellow test-subject for super-heroin. He was similarly spare-looking then too; is that why she recognizes his face?)

It's nice to see the koan-ish aspect of Mister Negative played up; others've gone for him as straight gangster, which is understandable, but still.

He quickly becomes more straightforward:

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She raises the question that I'm sure you've had; isn't he just causing his death, by trying to prevent it? Hasn't he seen 12 Monkeys (or its French inspiration), or even picked up on any of the countless fictive examples of such folly?

His response is surprising:

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That, and what Mister Negative's touch does to her, ends #2 with questions; what does he really want, and just what can a Dagger suffused with Darkforce do?

#3 answered that, with the former watching the latter spit darkness and foreshadowing all over Chinatown (one because that's what inverting Tandy does, the other because.. well, you'll see).

Ty rose under a hail of Inner Demon fists, begging Mister Negative to undo his work.

"Please--anything.." he says for his screaming friend.

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"Start a war."

(Really? This is Cloak and Dagger, not Hawk and Dagger. Still, duality.

Also, Negative looks different now that he's got he wants, a little happier.)

If negative Dagger is dark, can you guess what negative Cloak is? Exactly what Dagger needs; they touch, and a few blocks get this explosive feeling.

In the afterglow, they stand in each other's shoes, all alone on a rooftop surveying the effect of their climax.

Essentially resolving to take it one step at a time, Tandy wonders how Ty handled the darkness that's hers now.

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Yes, they've switched powers.

Rather neatly too; if a series never materializes, and someone wants to use them in a more familiar form.. there's precedent for Mister Negative's flips being undone.

All that's needed is a strong bit of feeling on the inverted's part. But what if, by chance, someone else's in on this little game?

There has to be some reason Mister Negative did what he did for the woman who'll kill him, and for her friend, hasn't there?

The epilogue tells us that yes, there is, to Negative's new.. assistant (crime bosses can get executive assistants? I'd buy it in 616), Melanie Santivale (whom I'm certain Spencer has a write-up for if this ever gets its ongoing).

She asks him (there's one panel, implying there's a little more behind her eyes than you'd expect) why he didn't do what one'd expect him to do.

He explains that yes, he knows he's still going to die by Dagger's hand; fate is fate.

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(Nice coat, man.)

What is that course of action that a man must take, you ask?

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Yup, D'Spayre there wanted Cloak and Dagger to be the other way around. (I guess, at least; he seems happy enough with what's happened.)

Why, you ask? For these little portents, that's why!

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Just look at that; Mayhem the transient, a book of fate, a cult that sounds like they worship the Star of Bethlehem's evil twin, extremities of dark and light, Nightmare having tea (who with, I wonder, and have they talked shit about Jericho Drumm at one point? I just bet they have.).

Spencer's great at defining and fleshing out concepts (it's just too bad his Iron Man 2.0 was so slowly paced, otherwise it might not've been cancelled) and Rios's art (of course, the colors too) really help illustrate them.

I know I'd like to see more of this, but Steve Wacker says not right now cause market indicators and all that.

So I guess I'll just wait for whatever follow-up may come, because this is a chapter in their lives I'd like to see any follow-up to.

It's a great "new beginning" that way, isn't it?
shanejayell: (Default)

[personal profile] shanejayell 2011-10-28 05:29 pm (UTC)(link)
Oooh, I remember Mayhem from the old Cloak and Dagger series. She was a cop who was given a drug based on the one that powered them up....
salinea: Deadpool win! (win)

[personal profile] salinea 2011-10-28 05:37 pm (UTC)(link)
Mmmm such pretty art!
hopeofdawn: (Default)

[personal profile] hopeofdawn 2011-10-28 06:22 pm (UTC)(link)
As a long-time Cloak and Dagger fan, this is not the first time they've done the power-switch thing--as I recall, their last ongoing series ended up with D'Spayre switching their powers, and remarking that it was the way they'd been intended to be all along. (Though holy COW were the new costumes awful--90's cheese, all the way.)

I wanted desperately to like this series, but sadly, the art doesn't do a thing for me ... :(
icon_uk: (Default)

[personal profile] icon_uk 2011-10-28 06:40 pm (UTC)(link)
I thought that was the scheme of Mr Jyp, not D'Spayre, but it's been a long time.
shadowpsykie: (ask the questions)

[personal profile] shadowpsykie 2011-10-28 06:25 pm (UTC)(link)
hmmm not sure how i feel about her needing to be rescued by Cloak.... would have liked to have seen her rescue him....

that said... so they permanantly switched powers? that mgiht be and interesting dynamic...
akodo_rokku: (Default)

[personal profile] akodo_rokku 2011-10-28 07:24 pm (UTC)(link)
To be fair, Dagger has been rescuing Cloak for pretty much their entire career.
glimmung: (Default)

[personal profile] glimmung 2011-10-28 08:28 pm (UTC)(link)
It is pretty much their thing in fact. Cloak being almost completely dependent on her..
drmcninja: (Default)

[personal profile] drmcninja 2011-10-28 11:11 pm (UTC)(link)
TO the point where I'm fairly sure he would die without her.
mrstatham: (Default)

[personal profile] mrstatham 2011-10-28 11:57 pm (UTC)(link)
Their powers feed each others, as I recall? She used to generate too much 'light', and he needed the light she generated to stay alive, from what I remember.
rainspirit: (Default)

[personal profile] rainspirit 2011-10-29 04:09 am (UTC)(link)
True, but I think while Cloak was "dead" she just released it outward in massive explosions of light when it got too much. (Usually in a place where no one would get hurt.)
mrstatham: (Default)

[personal profile] mrstatham 2011-10-28 08:47 pm (UTC)(link)
That's an interesting resolution, to be sure, and I'm loving this art - Rios did a similarly great job with the Osborn mini a few months back.

But I have to admit I'm not too fond of shoehorning Mr Negative into C+D's origin, as much as it kind of works. To some degree, it feels like they're putting him in that far back to give the not-entirely well-received ideas of post-OMD Spidey some sort of a foothold. But.. Well, at least they're doing it with one of the most interesting characters to come with this latest batch, I suppose. There's a handful of nice ideas following the reboot, and too often, it seems like Marvel focus on the more controversial ones - I'm looking at YOU, Cooper - on purpose.

So.. Yeah. I also wish we could get more Cloak and Dagger outside of appearing in everyone else's books and being tied infrequently into some mini-event Marvel does. From their appearances in Runaways they slipped into Civil War, from there to the Dark X-Men pap, and once we got yet another 'they're not mutants' resolution, they moved back to Spider-Man again.

It'd be nice for them to just get an ongoing, with one of the cooler, more animated pencillers Marvel has these days - like Rios or Miyazawa, I think it is, or LaFuente or Pichelli. Wacker can push out that 'market' stuff all he wants, and I admit to not entirely understanding production/sales=profit and the like, but even if they sold a book in small numbers and didn't print too many copies, surely it'd still be profitable?
rainspirit: (Default)

[personal profile] rainspirit 2011-10-28 09:21 pm (UTC)(link)
I'll buy it and hope for the best. Maybe send in a letter.

It's practically criminal that they only gave Nick Spencer and Emma Rios three issues to work with.
mrstatham: (Default)

[personal profile] mrstatham 2011-10-29 12:04 am (UTC)(link)
Is it any wonder that a huge amount of talent pops up in the smaller companies these days? Dark Horse and Image, amongst others, would've given this team all the chances and resources they need, IMO.
blackruzsa: (Default)

[personal profile] blackruzsa 2011-10-28 11:59 pm (UTC)(link)
This is lovely!
And interesting, plus I am tickled by their love. So sweet.

In any case, I wonder how this'll affect them, assuming Cloak and Dagger will be appearing sometime soon again. And Cloak, now that I think of him with the light daggers, reminds me of Moon Knight.
proteus_lives: (Default)

[personal profile] proteus_lives 2011-10-29 01:27 am (UTC)(link)
Nice.

I like the art.