STRANGE TALES #16-19 and THE MUTANT MISADVENTURES OF CLOAK AND DAGGER #1-2 (1988)

Look at the villain, above.  It’s everything people hate about comics–what with the fishnet and boobies.  Her name is Night but she looks a lot like Malice, an identity Sue Richards took on briefly at the hands of John Byrne.

I’ll be honest.  I cant really follow the Cloak and Dagger side of this book because (a) it’s confusing and (b) it’s bad.  And to make it worse, the stories are half-an-issue long (because they share it with Dr. Strange), and Cloak and Dagger have separate adventures.  So a split book is split.  And it gets worse.

On the Cloak side: There’s a guy called Mr. Jip who restores Cloak’s powers but wants him to give up Dagger to pay the debt, Cloak says no, there’s a bunch of black magic stuff.  It’s just ugh.

Then, for some reason, Thing is in it.  At least the Mayhem part.  Mayhem is really a story within the story–so the C&D half of a split book is being cut in thirds.  It makes any sense of contnuity or even basic story development almost impossible.

And there’s a somewhat random tie in to X-Factor #28, for the Dagger third of this story.

And the Cloak’s battle with Mr. Jip isn’t resolved until the first two issues of their new solo book.  Which means there’s even more to read.  The closer we get to the 1990s, the harder it is to keep going with this project.

Issues #1 and 2 have a tremendous creator pedigree: Steve Gerber returns to Marvel after suing them over Howard the Duck, and Rick Leonardi does the art.  It’s better for sure, but it’s still not good.

Their stories are still split: Dagger is doing the X-Factor thing.  Cloak is still doing whatever is going on there.  Mayhem cries a lot.  There are some weird indimensional things that seem to ride motorcycles.  Dagger goes blind.  And eventually all the stories come together.

The Strange stories aren’t terrible, but they’re done-in-ones.  He gets a haircut but, when Strange Tales ends, he still has an eyepatch.

The last panels are a good sendoff to a comic: Kinda like the great old movie Shane, or any of those old Westerns where the hero rides off into the sunset.

Creators:

Strange Tales Cloak and Dagger: Terry Austin (script), Dan Lawlis (art #16-18), Erik Larsen (art #19).  Grade: F.

Cloak and Dagger #1-2: Steve Gerber and Rick Leonardi.  Grade: C-.

Terry Austin and Mike Vosburg: #3.  Grade: D.

Doctor Strange: Peter Gillis and Peter Case.  Grade: C.

 

 

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