I’m happy to share The Definitive Cloak & Dagger Collecting Guide and Reading Order! It includes every Cloak & Dagger appearance ever published – both together and apart – with notes on trade-reading order and the importance of guest appearances.
I know what most of your reactions will be – “Who the hell are Cloak & Dagger?” They’re not exactly Marvel’s most-prominent characters and they haven’t had an ongoing series to call their own since the 1990s, but they happen to be Marvel’s most-recent property to garner an order for a television season – on ABC’s Freeform network.
Bright-eyed readers may have seen this guide already, but as of today the guide is officially out of its beta-release phase and ready to help you collect Marvel’s pair of would-be-mutants who recently garnered an order for a TV show!
Who are Cloak & Dagger?
The short answer is that they were writer Bill Mantlo’s insertion into Spider-Man of a pair of teens whose lives were altered by the prevalence of street drugs in blighted, early-80s NYC. They adopted the powers of darkness and light and briefly took on a life of their own for the next decade.
Marvel was having a bit of a younger-character resurgence in the early 80s, with Chris Claremont spinning New Mutants off of X-Men and Louise Simonson launching Power Pack. Cloak & Dagger were conceived just prior to those two moves but offered a terrific contrast to them both. They were more rough-around the edges than either team, and lacking in the scholastic environment of Xavier’s school and the familial love of Power Pack. (They would make guest appearances in both series.)
Cloak & Dagger first spun off into a 1983 mini-series after their Spider-Man debut, and then into a 1985 ongoing title that was released bi-monthly. In 1987, they were relaunched into Strange Tales, Vol. 2, a monthly title they split with Doctor Strange.