Cloak and Dagger #5
Issue(s): Cloak and Dagger #5
Now, to be clear, Ecstasy & Dagger don't actually team-up and fight crime together. They won't even meet until the four issues are up, and at that point the real Cloak comes back. But since this is a bi-monthly title, that means we are Cloak-less for the majority of 1989 (he will start appearing in dream sequences later on). Instead we have two blond white females in scant clothing. Yes, unlike Cloak, Ecstasy's costume, or the Darkforce or whatever it is, doesn't quite make it all the way around.
It's entirely in character for her. She's a hedonistic rich girl that invented a new drug that plays up to those sensibilities (she's destroying the workings of her competition in the scan above)...
...so having her go around with no clothes on makes "sense". But the change does get some complaints in the lettercols. Two that really stand out are 1) a black reader who sees this as part of a trend along with the sidelining of Luke Cage, James Rhodes, and Battlestar as well as some changes in New Universe titles but is particularly upset to see the disappearance of a male black character with unique super-powers and 2) a kid whose dad nearly ripped up his comic after seeing Dagger and Ecstasy's outfits.
The majority of this issue is actually about Dagger, first trying to accept Cloak's death, including burying his cloak (which later makes its way to Ecstasy).
And then she accepts her blindness therapy. Actually, if you want to know what this issue is really about, it's a tutorial for how blind people learn to get around.
These sequences, the result of research that Terry Austin did and that he cites in the lettercol, are overlong. I can imagine enjoying something like this in a character driven indie book where it led to some sort of emotional resolution as part of a larger drama, and i think there is room in the Marvel universe for that kind of thing. Reading this, i actually got a Breakfast After Noon kind of vibe for a little bit. But there really isn't anything more going on here beyond the mechanics of Dagger actually learning about being blind. This isn't the end of it, either. Unless the idea was to establish a romance with her therapist, Dennis Fiedler...
...but if so it doesn't go anywhere by the time Cloak is back (and it would be pretty bad form of him to develop a relationship with a patient, i think).
This dog was a big hit in the lettercols, though:
The other event in this issue is Mayhem finally letting her former partner and friend Rebecca "Rusty" Nales know that she
Quality Rating: C
Chronological Placement Considerations: This issue takes place over a long period of time, with several "Sometime later" or "Much later" captions, and with Dagger's hair growing in over the course of the issue. It'll be back to its traditional length by the beginning of next issue.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (2): showDagger, Dennis Fiedler, Ecstasy, Father Michael Bowen, Mayhem, Phillip Carlisle, Rebecca 'Rusty' Nales
"Two that really stand out are 1) a black reader who sees this as part of a trend along with the sidelining of Luke Cage, James Rhodes, and Battlestar as well as some changes in New Universe, titles but is particularly upset to see the disappearance of a male black character with unique super-powers"
Posted by: Michael | September 15, 2014 8:57 PM
The National Coalition on Television Violence, deciding that they had to issue a report on things they didn't like in comics as well, cited this issue in a statement on 5/18/89. Their synopsis of it was quoted in Comics Journal #130:
"Two teen-aged mutant humans, one male who lives in a fourth dimension and one blind female star along with another virtually naked female in Marseilles, France. The second heroine takes over the international drug trade in a massive and brutal shootout that she causes. The first heroine is pictured on the inside cover of each issue totally naked. In one scene it appears that she is about to be raped by a demon. The second 'bad' heroine, besides being a very glamorized international drug dealer who works with the male hero killing other drug dealers, is also a cigarette smoker."
The Journal ran an accompanying illo of Dagger and Ecstasy captioned "A nudist and a cigarette smoker."
Posted by: Mark Drummond | March 6, 2015 10:51 AM
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