Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 1) Annual #28 (Story 2)

 Posted: 2008
 Staff: Matthew Spencer (E-Mail)


Tyrone "Ty" Johnson]] and Tandy Bowen met runaways in New York and quickly became best friends. When they were kidnapped by Silvermane's agents and given an experimental drug their dormant mutant powers were awoken and the due became Cloak and Dagger – vigilante heroes. During Carnage's recent genocide through the city, Dagger was thought murdered by on of Carnages lackeys (Web of Spider-Man #101) only to return after having time to heal within Cloak's Dark Folds (Spider-Man #37). With Carnage incarcerated the duo continues to repair the damage to the New York.

Story 'Fatal Instinct'

Our second story begins at a drug refining plants in Brooklyn, where a cocaine shipment is about to be transported out to the streets. Cloak materialises above the dealers promising swift, dark and terrible retribution as Dagger tackles the first of the targets. One dealer opens fire on Cloak, who merely traps the bullets and criminal into the folds of his cape. Dagger ponders why Cloak is acting more aggressive and reckless than usual – like he's being driven by something other than the never abating hunger lurking in his cloak folds. As more reinforcements arrive, Cloak snares Dagger and teleports her away before she can unleash daggers of light on them. Dagger demands to know why, after weeks of tracking the drugs to their source Cloak pulled them out before they could shut the operation down. Tyrone apologises – saying he reacted without thinking, which is something Tandy is quick to point out has become a frequent habit over the last weeks and presses him on what is actually wrong. Cloak is unable to tell her how after seeing her seemingly die once he could never go through the ordeal again – she is "the only part of him that matters". Instead he simply tells her its nothing to worry about, but this isn't good enough an answer, however the truth will have to wait as they have some unfinished business to attend to. On her insistence Tyrone returns them to the rendering plant despite his misgivings.

Back in the plant the trucks are being loaded rapidly in preparation should Cloak and Dagger return with the cops. These fears are only half addressed as the second assault is launched, with Dagger going after the gunmen while Cloak absorbs the drivers. The garage doors open revealing a man ready and waiting for Dagger. Cloak panics and whips Dagger away, but leaving the bullets heading straight for the people on the street corner – luckily, striking with pin-point accuracy, Dagger's Light Daggers melt the bullets moments before any damage can be done. Mission accomplished she rounds on her partner, but Cloak teleports away asking for her forgiveness as he does so.

It isn't until dawn that Dagger finds him atop Holy Ghost Church in Manhattan. She apologises for loosing her temper but Cloak insists it was not with out call, his carelessness nearly having cost the ultimate price. He explains how her 'death' caused him more loss than he had ever known and though he knows their work is important the thought of living through something like that again is unbearable. He tells Tandy he lover her, which she takes in the wrong meaning and agrees that she loves him like a brother too, but as partners the sum is greater than the parts. By choosing to fight for justice he has to accept the risk or else the greater whole will be lost.

General Comments

I like the characters and the way they play off each other, so it was great to see a decent response to how Cloak has dealt with the near death of his best friend instead of just glossing over it. Shame that most people never got the chance to read it. The story is sub-par, as it is merely a means to convey characterization, which was a good choice to be fair as the characters were and I believe still are seen as minor league hitters for the Marvel universe and so if you cant give them a really decent villain to fight, then may as well just give them what they need to progress with the story. So with glorious art work, a heart-felt conclusion to the events of Maximum Carnage, and wonderful character depth this one is a top scorer in my books.

Overall Rating

A worthy conclusion to the aftershock caused by the events of Maximum Carnage that gives greater depth to its protagonists. Add to that some stuning visuals and give it top marks.

 Posted: 2008
 Staff: Matthew Spencer (E-Mail)