CLOAK AND DAGGER: CRIME AND PUNISHMENT (Marvel, 2012; Hardcover)
Collects Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man #64, 69, 70, 81, 82, 94-96, Marvel Team-Up Annual #6, and Marvel Fanfare #19 (cover dates March, 1982- March, 1985)
Writers: Bill Mantlo, Al Milgrom (#94-96)
Artists: Pencilers- Ed Hannigan, Al Milgrom, Ron Frenz, Tony Salmons, Rick Leonardi, and Kerry Gammill
Inkers- Jim Mooney, Al Milgrom, Kevin Dzuban, Terry Austin, Tony Salmons, and George Freeman
Progress and diversity are two things on the tips of the tongues of comic fans everywhere these days. Judging by the hype in the comic press, this is something new and now. Sorry kids, but writers like Bill Mantlo and others were blazing the trail decades earlier. Unlike nowadays, there were no plugs from CNN or USA Today whenever something new or daring was attempted...something like, say, an interracial superhero couple. Bold ideas were presented to the story more organically and thus enjoyed greater acceptance than many of the so-called progressive or diverse ideas forced down the throats of comic fans today.
Cloak and Dagger were teenage runaways who were kidnapped and experimented on with synthetic drugs by the mob, who were trying to make new addictive drugs. Due to some anomaly in their body chemistry they were the only ones to survive...and somehow get super powers in the process. They take up a crusade against drug dealers everywhere. This was all very 1980s, Nancy Reagan “Just say no” for the comic book set.
Spider-Man is in every issue except for one, so this is kind of like a Spider-Man hardcover as well. Dagger's light steals Silvermane's life in #70, a plotline revisited and resolved in issues 94-96. Those three issues are all special to me, as I bought #94-96 off of the stands and read them countless times during the summer of 1984. The Punisher losing his sh*t in issues 81 and 82 is highly enjoyable as well.
This is as close to Cloak And Dagger Masterworks as we will ever get. Combine this with the other Premiere Classic hardcover which collects their original mini-series and you have their early run collected. It would be nice to see these two make the silver screen if only to get more 1980s material collected.
Junk Food For Thought rating: 4.25 out of 5.
The OCD zone- The late, lamented Marvel Premiere Classic line was a sort of junior Masterworks line, where material was presented in a high quality format but at a much lower MSRP than the Marvel Masterworks. The line reached well over 100 volumes but petered out because Marvel flooded the market with them.
Linework and Color restoration: The linework is tight and clean. Not Masterworks level but I am fine with it. The coloring is pretty faithful to the original issues.
Paper stock: Thick coated stock with a slight sheen.
Binding: Smyth sewn binding, lays mostly flat.
Hardback cover notes: The dustjacket has that stupid dull matte finish which scuffs if you breathe on it hard enough. The images have spot varnish and the lettering has a foil stamp. These comments apply to the bookstore market design only. The Direct Market variant dustjacket is different. The cover of the hardback has that grainy faux leather casewrap with white die stamping.