- If you're g-g-gonna sacrifice anyone, sir... it should b-b-be us!
- -- Cloak, speaking for himself and Dagger src
Raised in a poor South Boston neighborhood, Tyrone Johnson was a good student despite his chronic stutter, a disability he struggled to master with the support of his best friend, Billy. When Tyrone was 17, he and Billy witnessed the robbery of a local store and the fatal shooting of its clerk. The thieves fled, and Billy ran as well, fearing that he and Tyrone might be wrongly suspected of the crime. When a policeman ordered Billy to stop, Tyrone tried to proclaim Billy's innocence; but his stuttering made it impossible to speak clearly, and the officer shot Billy dead. Feeling responsible for Billy's death and afraid of the police, Johnson ran away to New York City.
Arriving at Manhattan's Port Authority Bus Terminal, a penniless Tyrone considered robbing Tandy Bowen, a rich girl who had also run away from home; yet when someone else robbed her first, Tyrone impulsively tackled the thief and returned Tandy's purse. The two teens became fast friends. When the naïve Tandy accepted an offer of shelter from some strange men, a wary Tyrone went along to protect her; however, the two teens were soon forcibly delivered to criminal chemist Simon Marshall.
Marshall was developing a new synthetic heroin for the Maggia, testing it on runaway teens with fatal results. Johnson and Bowen in some way survived the injections of the drug, and they fled. During their escape, Tyrone found himself engulfed in darkness and seized by a strange hunger which eased in the presence of Tandy, who was glowing with a brilliant light. Trying to hide his newly shadowy appearance in a makeshift cloak, Tyrone began absorbing Marshall's thugs into his darkness while Tandy struck them down with daggers of light. The two teens dubbed themselves Cloak & Dagger and declared war on drug crime.
Cloak & Dagger started out as merciless vigilantes, killing Marshall despite the interference of Spider-Man, who saw the duo as misguided innocents and gradually became their friend. After ill-fated assassination attempts on the crime-lords Silvermane and Kingpin, Dagger became less ruthless and tried to steer Cloak in a similar direction; however, since his power compelled him to consume living beings, Cloak found it more difficult to follow this gentler path, even though Dagger's light could satisfy his hunger temporarily.
Cloak & Dagger befriended the super-powered preteens Power Pack and twice aided the New Mutants, junior trainees of the X-Men. The duo eventually learned they were mutants themselves, and that Marshall's drug had awakened their latent powers. Though they tend to target ordinary street criminals, they have faced such diverse foes as Doctor Doom, the Beyonder, Vermin, the Zapper, the Disciplinarian, the Warlord of Kampuchea, Set, Mephisto, Thanos, the Assembly of Evil, Firebrand and Lightmaster.
Cloak & Dagger found sanctuary at the Holy Ghost Church with the sympathetic Father Francis Delgado; but over time, Delgado became romantically obsessed with Tandy. Regarding Cloak as a demonic influence, Delgado tried and failed to split up the duo, going mad in the process. After Delgado was institutionalized, Cloak & Dagger found a new mentor in Tandy's uncle, Father Michael Bowen. Tandy's father, meanwhile, had become a cult leader as the Lord of Light in India. A "light vampire" who fed on others' life force, he clashed with Cloak and Dagger until he realized what he had become and tried to atone by hurling himself into Cloak's ebony abyss.
Police detective Brigid O'Reilly regarded the duo as a menace until they helped her capture serial poisoner Duane Hellman and told her of their origins. Later, when O'Reilly was betrayed and left for dead by corrupt cops, Cloak & Dagger used their powers to save her life, but the experience mutated Brigid's body and warped her mind. She became the vicious superhuman vigilante Mayhem, often fighting crime alongside Cloak & Dagger. O'Reilly's former partner, police detective Rebecca "Rusty" Nales, would become an ally to Cloak & Dagger as well.
Cloak continued to struggle with his power, and with the hungry Predator within his darkness. During a period when Cloak swore off consuming living beings, the Predator released the spirit of legendary killer Jack the Ripper to torment Cloak; however, when Jack betrayed the Predator in search of personal power, Cloak absorbed the madman and the Predator consumed Jack again. The drug-dealing crime boss Ecstasy (Renee Deladier) twice stole Cloak's powers for herself, largely because the Predator preferred the more ruthless Deladier as a host body. Cloak regained his powers both times, thanks in part to Doctor Strange. When the dream-demon Nightmare targeted Cloak, Tyrone prevailed with the aid of Dr. Strange and Dagger, who even managed to nullify Cloak's darkness altogether for a time; however, Tyrone feared that Dagger could only relate to him as Cloak, and he was soon manipulated into reclaiming his dark powers by the malevolent mystic Mister Jip. Tyrone's willing resumption of his Cloak form estranged Dagger, who briefly worked with the Black Cat before going back to Cloak, who had tried and failed to find a new partner in Dazzler. By this time, Jip was trying to usurp Cloak's body with the aid of his agents, Night and Day. Dagger defeated them all with the aid of the Predator, and the partners were reunited. Jip would continue to hound them, striking Dagger blind for a time, using the mad Delgado as a pawn, temporarily corrupting Dagger through the power of Night, and killing both Delgado and Father Bowen by mystically usurping their bodies. Cloak and Dagger would thwart Jip's plots again and again.
Though Cloak & Dagger once rescued homeless youth Anna Johnson from cultists, only Anna herself was aware of the fact that she is Tyrone's long-lost sister. Tandy did stay in touch with her stepfather Philip, who persisted in offering Tandy moral and financial support. He even moved to New York City to be near her, caring for her during her temporary blindness, and the two gradually developed a real father-daughter relationship. Sadly, he was killed by an overdose of the designer drug D-Lite, a creation of the demonic D'Spayre, who feeds on human misery. D'Spayre revealed that he had helped create Cloak & Dagger, whose powers would have been quite different had they developed normally. Apparently, their powers would have activated naturally through contact between Tandy and Tyrone; but D'Spayre inhibited this reaction, allowing Marshall's drug to trigger their powers instead. D'Spayre also secretly placed two aspects of his own power--one light, one dark--within the teens, reshaping their mutant powers. These dark and light forms were meant to act as storage batteries for D'Spayre, accumulating pain and suffering he could tap for future use. He had selected Tyrone and Tandy as host bodies since he thought mutants were especially prone to suffering. When D'Spayre tried to reclaim the light and dark forms for himself, Cloak & Dagger resisted, and D'Spayre was seemingly destroyed. In the process, Cloak's and Dagger's powers were altered, though their original abilities reasserted themselves over time.
Cloak & Dagger are devoted to each other, but the lonely Dagger often wants more from life. While on an international case, Tandy performed with Eurocirque as Lady Light and shared a romance with supposed FBI agent Bill Clayton, who was exposed as a criminal but ultimately sacrificed himself to save Cloak & Dagger. Tandy found new friends in the New Warriors, who teamed with Cloak, Dagger and other heroes to defeat the shadow-lunatic Darkling. Around the same time, Cloak & Dagger teamed with Spider-Man and others to halt a murderous super-villain rampage led by superhuman serial killer Carnage; later, Dagger helped rescue the New Warriors from the supremely powerful Sphinx. She accepted an offer of New Warriors membership, though Cloak declined to join. Serving as a Warriors reservist, Dagger also undertook a single mission with the informal Secret Defenders group.
Bloodthirsty fellow vigilante the Punisher has been both an ally and an enemy to Cloak & Dagger over the years. When Cloak went missing recently, Dagger helped form the unofficial "Marvel Knights" alliance with the Punisher and other vigilantes, and joined most of the other Knights in hunting the rogue Punisher after he left. Meanwhile, a Nightmare-manipulated Cloak embarked on a mad quest to consume all lawbreakers, absorbing the Punisher and many others until Dagger teamed with Dr. Strange to purge Cloak's corrupting darkness and rescue his victims. In the process, Cloak reverted to his human form as Tyrone Johnson, though this condition would prove temporary. Shortly thereafter, the Marvel Knights disbanded.
More recently, the secret criminal group known as The Pride tricked Cloak & Dagger into trying to retrieve their super-powered children. An encounter with these young Runaways soon convinced Cloak & Dagger of The Pride's true nature, but before they could act on this knowledge, the villains erased the duo's memories of The Pride. Cloak & Dagger continued to roam the mean streets, bringing the light of hope to the innocent and dark justice to the guilty.
More recently, orderly Reginald Mantz managed to replicate Cloak's powers with drug Mutant Growth Hormone. He then beat Dagger and left her hospitalized. The Runaways and the New Avengers found evidence of "Cloak" acting this way and confronted them; however, they eventually discovered the truth.
Powers and AbilitiesEdit
Darkforce Conduit: Cloak's body is a portal to the "Darkforce Dimension," a world of strange ebony energy. Cloak is linked to a pocket realm of that dimension dominated by the Predator, which compels Cloak to absorb the life forces of other beings; but Dagger's light can temporarily satisfy this craving.
Darkforce Channeling: Cloak can channel Darkforce to create a field of darkness in his general vicinity, usually using his cloak as a focal point to manipulate this darkness, though it can spread well beyond the confines of his cloak. People enveloped by Cloak's darkness feel numbing cold and crippling fear, sometimes seeing disturbing visions. Overlong exposure to the darkness can drive people insane. Unprotected victims trapped in Cloak's dark realm are gradually drained of their life force, and presumably die unless Cloak releases them. Dagger's light renders her largely immune to Cloak's darkness, and she can extend her light to protect others within Cloak's darkness if need be.
Darkforce Teleportation: Cloak can teleport by entering the Darkforce dimension, moving a short distance within it and emerging back on Earth a great distance from his point of origin. A span of miles on Earth can be traversed in only a few steps via shortcuts through the Darkforce. Cloak can teleport other persons or objects along with himself in this fashion, too, a feat usually reserved for Dagger since most beings cannot safely traverse the Darkforce. During Civil War, he teleported at least a hundred heroes and Thunderbolts from the Negative Zone to the middle of New York. This effort weakened him considerably however.
Darkforce Intangibility: As Cloak, Tyrone is usually intangible, though he can solidify through an act of will, or by absorbing enough "light" to saturate his form temporarily. On the rare occasions when he resumes human form, he usually reverts to his old stutter, which vanishes when he becomes Cloak. Tyrone's link to the Darkforce has been severed on several occasions, but he seems drawn to the darkness and vice versa, and he always regains his Cloak form eventually.
|Power Grid |
Tyrone's strength has been enhanced to an unknown degree, but it is enough to allow him to lift up to twice his body weight, as a result Tyrone can press lift at least 310 lbs.
EquipmentHis cloak, which apparently has existed on other beings with similar powers.
Teleports himself when needed.
Cloak and Dagger have a long and convoluted backstory, full of details that were later contradicted by writers who'd (understandably?) not fully researched them. Here are some of the many tidbits of C&D continuity that seem to have been lost to antiquity.
- The hunger for 'light' that Cloak feels isn't actually an aspect of his connection to the Darkforce Dimension, but some sort of link to a demonic creature in the Darkforce known only as the Predator. The Predator must feed on the light of the living or it weakens and dies, and injuring the Predator causes Cloak to feel pain too.
- Cloak's powers have a variety of nuances that are rarely referenced. Tyrone Johnson stutters, but Cloak does not, which is actually an aspect of his powers. He has deeper vocal qualities, an enhanced vocabulary, he grows in height, his skin becomes vaguely similar to petrified wood (or at least it used to; he used to be drawn to look more inhuman), and he is apparently immortal, or at least unhindered by death from "natural causes."
- It's unknown how much of Cloak's powers come from him, and how much from his cloak. His cloak seems to have powers all its own, and has been passed down to other people who then become linked to the Darkforce. Cloak once met an old man who had possessed the cloak before him, but it'd appeared more like an opera coat at the time. Tyrone also lost the Cloak to Ecstacy twice, and it reformed as a shredded collection of prehensile tendrils. Whoever wears the cloak seems to feel the hunger for light that the Predator causes, so the cloak itself may be connected to the Predator.
- The biggest clichés in Cloak and Dagger stories: (1) They lose their powers, and then get them back later; (2) their powers are altered; (3) Cloak does something passive-aggressive to try to keep Dagger close to him, and it screws things up; (4) Cloak's powers go out of control; or (5) their powers are given to other people. Writers have trouble using the two characters without rehashing one or several of these clichés.
- Cloak and Dagger are confirmed by Doctor Nemesis as NOT being mutants because they have no X-Gene.
- Cloak had two sisters and one brother. One was his twin sister Anna who was presumably separated at birth from Tyrone since he didn't recognize her when they met as adults . Anna knew Tyrone was her twin brother but chose not to let Tyrone know this . Another unnamed sister died from a drug overdose after she was introduced to drugs by their brother Otis .
- There is a character who appears in Heroes For Hire and Daughters of the Dragon who is named Otis Johnson. This is not the same character as Tyrone's brother Otis Johnson. The Heroes For Hire character is white and Tyrone's brother is black.
Appearances in Other MediaEdit
Cloak and Dagger were chosen as one of the many properties in Marvel's new film deal with Paramount Pictures, along with Captain America, Nick Fury, Doctor Strange, Avengers, Hawkeye, Power Pack, Shang-Chi, and Black Panther.
- 215 Appearances of Tyrone Johnson (Earth-616)
- 42 Images featuring Tyrone Johnson (Earth-616)
- 3 Quotations by or about Tyrone Johnson (Earth-616)
- Character Gallery: Tyrone Johnson (Earth-616)
- Fan-Art Gallery: Tyrone Johnson (Earth-616)
- Profiles of Cloak and Dagger at Spiderfan.org
- Cloak And Dagger Comic Book Covers
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