In my last review I covered the new Cloak figure from the most recent wave of Marvel Universe figures. For this review I’ll be looking at Cloak’s partner Dagger from the same wave. I considered reviewing them as a pair but I found I had so much to say about them that I thought it best to break up the text over two reviews.
I liked Dagger from the get-go. Sure it’s easy to say that I liked her because of her skimpy outfit but I really did find her to be a much more interesting character than her partner Cloak. Both of them started out as runaways who were kidnapped by crooks who tested experimental drugs on them. All of the kidnapped kids died from the testing except for Tyrone Johnson and Tandy Bowen. Instead of killing them the mysterious concoction gave them power over darkness and light. The reason why the drug affected them the way it did was later explained by saying that Tyrone and Tandy were actually both mutants whose powers hadn’t yet manifested. This mutant angle has been explored a few times, and the pair even joined the X-Men for a while but to this day I’m not sure whether they’re officially mutants or not. I personally don’t like the idea of them being mutants and prefer the simpler, cheesier, origin of them just being a couple of kids who got transformed into uber-powerful beings due to a bad hit of smack.
While I was a fan of Dagger in the 80s, I didn’t like Cloak so I never thought I’d ever collect an on-going book starring the two of them. Thus when their third series launched in 1988 I didn’t jump on-board right away. It wasn’t until the provocative cover of issue 5 caught my attention that I decided to give it a shot. That issued featured the villain, Ecstacy, who had stolen Cloak’s cape and gained his ability to control the dark dimension.
(I’ve only ever seen Ecstacy once or twice more in the 25 years since that issue came out; a shame. Some writer really should bring her back around.)
I discovered in that issue that Dagger was now blind which made her even more interesting. Dagger’s appearance was altered as well; her long blonde locks were cropped right off and I quite liked her short haired look. It helped to differentiate her from all the other super heroines out there. I enjoyed the issue and continued to buy the book monthly. I soon found myself invested in the story and characters. Even Cloak eventually grew on me. I went back and bought the first four issues of the series and I bought up all of Cloak & Dagger’s previous comic series’ as well including their initial 4 issue mini series, their 11 issue on-going, and the full run of Strange Tales. Unfortunately I got myself all caught up the characters’ history only to have their current book come to an abrupt end with issue 19. I was disappointed but I wasn’t exactly surprised. The book was good but never great and consistently plagued with lackluster artists.
In their most recent 3 issue mini-series “Spider Island” Cloak and Dagger had their powers swapped. So currently Tandy wears all black and controls darkness while Tyrone is decked out in white and tossing light knives around. It’s an interesting twist which I’m sure will be reversed before too long.
As for this action figure of Dagger, it’s a pretty good one. Her body is feminine and well articulated. Dagger doesn’t have the type of costume that would make it easy for toy designers to hide joints but the seams on this figure aren’t to distracting. The white paint used for her body suit isn’t as stark as the whites used on previous incarnations. It’s more of a pearl white which has a nice reflective quality to it. The blade shaped pattern is present in the front of her suit but it’s thin and not overly revealing making her appropriate for toy store shelves. The head sculpt is good with blonde hair flowing down her back and draped over her shoulders. I’d love to see a short haired variant but that’s extremely unlikely. I complain about this a lot but it kills me to pay $15 for a figure this scrawny with absolutely no accessories. If this figure retailed for eight bucks I’d say it was well worth it but at the $15 price point it’s hard to recommend. I had no choice but to buy this figure since I’m one of the few die-hard Cloak & Dagger fans out there plus I’m basically a Marvel Universe completist. Price point aside, this is a pretty good figure. I like it much better than the Marvel Select version who alway looked far too elfish to me. 7 out of 10.