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Cloak & Dagger

Marvel Universe
by yo go re

Once, this super-powered duo fought crime together. Now, Cloak rages unchecked, controlled by a dark force. The Marvel Knights must stop him, but Dagger may be the only one who can return him to balance before he consumes them all!

Wow, that is a timely bio - it's referencing the events of the mostly forgotten Marvel Knights series from 2000/2001. It does explain why these swap figures are sold under the name "Marvel Knights" rather than either "Cloak" or "Dagger," though.

Born a mutant, Tyrone Johnson's powers were altered by an experimental drug which granted him a connection to the mysterious Darkforce Dimension. As Cloak, he can control shadows and even teleport himself and others!

Hasbro really didn't break much new ground on Cloak, here: below the neck, it's the same body we've seen a lot of in the Marvel Universe line, right down to the specific hands (fist on the right, open palm on the left). But it's not like Cloak wears really complex costumes - he's usually just shown with a plain black body beneath his big cape, and using this generic body fits the bill perfectly.

He does get a new head though, because why wouldn't he? His deep, concealing hood is a molded part of the head, rather than being separate, so it turns when he turns. Befitting Cloak's generally gloomy outlook, he's been sculpted with a visible frown. The head is molded in black and then painted, allowing any under-fill on the face to look like inky black shadows.

Cloak doesn't have any accessories, but he does of course have his cloak. If he didn't, he wouldn't really be "Cloak," would he? He'd be "Body." It just hangs over his shoulders, held in place by the hood and the head, and is sculpted with a texture to make it look like a waffle weave fabric. The interior is black, while the exterior is dark blue with thick black stripes. Short of giving him a softgoods robe with a wire in the hem for posing, this is about the best you'd ever expect from a Cloak figure.

Enhanced by the same experimental drug that created Cloak, Tandy Bowen became Dagger and discovered she could construct fantastic blades of light, generate purifying energy and safely travel through Cloak's dimensional rift.

We recently mentioned that in a Wolverine story, Jeph Loeb got Cloak and Dagger's powers backwards, which seems like a pretty hard thing to do - it's right there in their fricking names! Well the fault might lie with the book's editor as well, who should have told Loeb that the two had their powers switched nearly a year before, after Mr. Negative learned from a fortune teller that Dagger was destined to kill him (though all that really did was put their powers back the way they were meant to be). So Cloak and Dagger are still Cloak and Dagger (not Dagger and Cloak), but these days Dagger has darkforce powers, and Cloak is wearing a shining white robe.

But this toy represents the old version, so she looks the way you'd expect. She uses the same body as Lady Deadpool, and gets Scarlet Witch's "hex" hands. Her costume is pearly white, and the dagger-shapped cutout on the torso is painted on. The legs are so long that they make the rest of the body look too small. Her face looks angry, and she has a circle painted around her right eye.

The figure has a balljointed head, hinged neck, swivel/hinge shoulders and elbows, swivel wrists, swivel/hinge torso, balljointed hips, swivel thighs, double-hinged knees, swivel shins, and swivel/hinge ankles that allow her to tilt her feet in wide poses. The hair impedes her head a little bit, and on my figure at least, the left hip is kind of wonky - it sits away from the body more than it should, and there's a gap between it and the thigh. One problem that won't be unique to my Dagger, however? The stripe of skin painted on her sternum does not continue beneath the upper torso, so when you move her chest, the line gets broken up. She has no accessories.

For whatever reason, Series 5 is the end of the Marvel Universe line, and in order to push as many figures as possible out the door before the new 4" lines start (seriously: Hasbro isn't ending the scale, they're just changing the name it's sold under), they resorted to our old favorites, swap figures: in addition to "Marvel Knights," there was also "Marvel's Abominations" (figure #019, Abomination or A-Bomb), Hulk (figure #021, grey or green), and Alpha Flight (figure #027, Northstar or Aurora). Of course, the odds of any store having both figures at the same time is almost nil, so you have to buy one and hope you see the other later - not a great strategy for ensuring sales. I mean, Cloak and Daggger are both decent figures, but if I hadn't lucked into finding them both at once, I'd never have bought either of them.

-- 05/19/14

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