Spectacular Spider-Man (Vol. 1) Annual #9

Background

Atlantis Attacks was a massive crossover event that played out in nearly every Marvel annual in 1989. Basically, the Lemurians (longtime rivals of the Atlanteans) have returned and are set to rule the world with a little help from the Serpent Crown and their evil serpent god Set.

Story 'The Serpent In The Shadow'

Tyrannus (an old Hulk foe) is posing as Dr. Tyrone and hosting “Save Our Society” clinics all over the country. He’s peddling a “miracle drug” that can cure any kind of addiction with one simple injection. Spidey is there to see a demonstration, but not because he suspects anything nefarious. He is just getting pics for a human interest story because he says he hasn’t sold any to the Daily Bugle lately. (Which is clearly a lie if you’ve read my review of Amazing Spider-Man Annual #23. But, I digress.)

Unfortunately, this issue’s guest stars are Cloak & Dagger. For those not in the know (read: pretty much everyone) Cloak is a black man with a blue, billowing cloak that allows him to teleport as well as siphon the life energy of anyone it enfolds and Dagger is a blind white woman in an all white bodysuit that can shoot solid-light “daggers” from her hands.

Spidey spies Cloak hanging out on the rooftop of the building where the gathering is taking place. Our hero approaches him, but Cloak quickly disappears. Then, Spidey sees Dagger nearby and tries to talk to her to see what’s going on. Cloak reappears, thinks Spidey is attacking Dagger, and sucks our hero into his cloak and deposits him somewhere in Central Park.

While Cloak is otherwise occupied, Lord Ghaur (the Lemurian bad guy) sees Dagger and thinks she would make an excellent Bride of Set. He orders Tyrannus to capture her.

Then Cloak returns to Dagger’s side and we are “treated” to the duo’s origin. (It’s a measly three panels long and I won’t spoil you with a recap. If you’re really interested buy the issue for yourself.) Anyway, Cloak reveals he has developed an addiction to the life energy he has been siphoning and as a result he has been feeding off of Dagger’s powers to get by (which was why he was interested in Dr. Tyrone’s treatments).

They argue about their relationship and Cloak leaves in a huff, which conveniently leaves Dagger wide open for a kidnapping. Just then, Tyrannus shows up and does that very thing.

Meanwhile, Peter is developing his photos in the Daily Bugle darkroom when he notices a Sons of the Serpent tattoo on one of Dr. Tyrone’s helpers. So back to the temple or meeting hall or wherever we go! And who should Spidey run into but Cloak. You see, Tyrannus was nice enough to leave a note for Cloak telling him where he took Dagger.

Anyway, this time around the two decide to team up instead of fight. Cloak heads to the basement where Tyrannus is holed up. Unfortunately, Tyrannus was waiting for Cloak and uses his funky hypno-power to sap the hero’s will. Then he orders Cloak to retrieve a mysterious book of power that is located in a Paris museum. With his nifty teleportation power, Cloak does so in a blink of an eye, returning the very next panel after he disappears.

Tyrannus is very pleased, but not pleased enough because promptly orders his minions to kill Cloak. They morph into half-man half-serpent monsters and attack. The sight jars Cloak out of his hypnotic stupor just in time for him to fight back.

Spidey, meanwhile, is following Brother Elton along the back hallways of the complex and ended up at the loading dock out back. He also learns about the miracle cure’s nasty side effect. Spidey is so stunned Tyrannus gets the drop on him and uses his hypno vision on him as well.

After dispatching the snake men Cloak rescues Dagger and transports back to the roof of the building. Somehow, Dagger got wounded during the melee. Cloak sees Spider-Man being loaded into the van at the dock. Now he has a decision to make – save Spidey or get Dagger to a doctor. He chooses Dagger, duh, and teleports away. Who will save our hero now?

General Comments

This issue heavily features Cloak & Dagger, a d-list duo that automatically makes any story they are in less exciting. In fact, I barely wanted to finish this review because of them, that’s how boring they are!

Overall Rating

Remember the TV miniseries “V” from 1984? It was about a race of human-looking aliens that were really man-eating lizards. That’s what this reminded me of.

Footnote

The Atlantis Attacks storyline is directly continued in Daredevil Annual #5. For more Spidey-centered action check out my review of Web of Spider-Man Annual #5.