They started out as part of the supporting cast in Spider-Man — runaways independently kidnapped from the streets of New York and brought together for a test of a new illegal drug. Every other kid given the drug died; but Tandy Bowen and Tyrone Johnson somehow survived, and became Cloak and Dagger.
Tandy — the hot, blonde rich girl who ran away from home to piss off her parents — was given powers of light. She can fire psionic “daggers of light” and drain the vitality of her victims.
Tyrone — a poor, black inner city boy — given powers of darkness. He can create portals into a realm of pure darkness, which in effect gives him the power of teleportation.
They have a symbiotic relationship; Cloak hungers for light, which Dagger can discharge into him to keep her powers from overloading and killing her.
So you’ve got a hot, rich white girl who gets to be even more sparkly than before she got her powers, and a poor black kid who has control over the ultimate darkness.
This just doesn’t set as well with me as it used to — probably because 20 years ago when I first was introduced to these characters, I didn’t even think about it. Now, it’s enough of a roadblock that I have a difficult time getting into stories about them. They’re in a three-issue limited series supporting Marvel’s big “Spider Island” event, and throughout the entire story (which included several pages retelling their origin for those who hadn’t been exposed to them before or who need a reminder), I just kept thinking how they’d be such significantly more interesting characters to me now if only their powers were reversed…
Dagger, the hot blonde woman, with the powers of darkness — striking down bad guys with daggers made of nightmares. Cloak, a shimmering paladin of light with healing energy and the powers of teleportation, who needs the balance of Dagger’s darkness to prevent the light from consuming him.
The more I think about it, the more that seems significantly more interesting than what we’ve got.