Norman Osborn’s recruiting drive: Cloak and Dagger

We continue our series, where Norman Osborn — the Nick Fury replacement during the Marvel event Dark Reign — recruits superheroes/supervillains for his new X-Men team.  Y’know, because the old one doesn’t do everything he says when he says it without ever questioning or arguing with him.  So far, he bosses around Emma Frost, Namor, Mimic, and Dark Beast, but today he expands his roster with the delightful duo Cloak and Dagger.  Except that neither of them are mutants.

They used to be mutants.  It’s complicated.  As teen runaways, they were injected with a synthetic drug by a mob scientist that triggered their superpowers (Cloak’s teleportation/”dark dimension” doors and Dagger’s knives made out of light/healing powers).  Writers eventually retconned that the drug simply spawned their latent mutant powers.  Then writers retconned that.  Currently and officially, the two are not mutants, have never been mutants, and never will be mutants — despite one of their solo series in the ’80s titled The Mutant Misadventures of Cloak and Dagger.  Today though, we will cover a scene from Dark X-Men: The Beginning #2, written by Paul Cornell and drawn by Leonard Kirk, beginning with the normal mayhem expected of superheroes.

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With their whole origin a horror movie brought on by a drug-wielding mad scientist, you can imagine our two protagonists spend significant portions of their day battling drugs and dudes with machine guns protecting drugs.  As a side note, I love a character who’s named after the clothing he wears. Following Cloak’s example, allow me to present my new superhero name: Sweatpants.

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If you can admire anything about the ruthless Osborn, at least he handles stressful situations extremely well.  Fire rages all around, soldiers are shooting at them, Cloak just threatened to banish Osborn to eternal darkness, and he hasn’t so much as raised his heart rate.  Unfortunately for our poor superheroes, Osborn spent years of effort and hard to work to become Spider-Man’s arch-nemesis and all-around Marvel universe pain-in-the-butt (joining the impressive ranks of important crossover villains like Magneto, Doctor Doom, and Loki).  The two never stood a chance against Osborn the moment he landed in his Iron Man ripoff armor.  Like Batman, he’s always prepared. Unlike Batman, Osborn’s a horribly evil life-ruining terrible person.

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Yes, Osborn’s offer is really good.  Of course, most deals with the devil tend to be.  Also, if you’re a Republican and noticed Obama shaking hands with a bonafide supervillain, feel free to share this on your Facebook wall.  Don’t worry, no one reads political status updates anyway.  Most importantly, Cloak and Dagger don’t have a choice.  Dagger even mentions that on the next page.  Either they accept Osborn’s offer to be his personal weapons and mutant PR tools (both definitions of that word) or he destroys them to smithereens the second they refuse.  After all, they’re attacking government property and Osborn has shook hands with the president.  Oh, and just like Namor, he’ll never miss a chance to rub in his victory.

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Tomorrow, we finish up with Mystique.  Finally, Osborn gets to talk to a fellow sociopath.

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2 Comments on “Norman Osborn’s recruiting drive: Cloak and Dagger”

  1. Jimmatrix says:

    Ah Norman Osborn, I like him as a bad guy (even if I hope Spidey to kick his ass and destroy hip after all the horrible things he did).
    Also nice article!


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