Cloak & Dagger #4
The comic opens with Ty ending the phone call which might have led to him rescuing Tandy from The Grey in order to stop a madman from assassinating his boss with a trained murder of crows. The madman injures Ty badly and by the time he recovers he hasn't seen Tandy for months. Ty isn't thinking clearly, because of his hunger, and so he is shocked when his boss tracks down The Grey in a few minutes after asking for help from his fans on the internet. Ty teleports into The Grey’s apartment and fights through several hallucinations (including one in which Tandy is dead) before the woman herself (filthy, emaciated, but alive) clunks her assailant over the head with a chair, knocking him out. But there's no happy ending in sight yet because Ty is too weak to teleport them out without light, and Tandy is too weak to give it. The issue closes with The Grey rising up to overwhelm the pair with his hungry, hallucinogenic fog.
This issue maintained the stylish film-noir narrative tone that has proven to be the thumbprint of the series thus far. The dialogue for each character was consistent with who these people are supposed to be, and the characters themselves continued to be richly drawn. The pacing of this issue was a little slow, however. Certainly, it seemed to drag during Ty’s search for Tandy when Cloak’s distracted desperation could have been more easily and economically conveyed without the interlude he spent visiting the comatose Detective Ikeda in the hospital — though it was good to know that Tandy’s contact in the LAPD survived his encounter with The Grey.
On the other hand, the writer’s choice to follow Grey around for a while, as he slithered his way through his painfully banal daily routine (he really is a creature of smarm and appetite, utterly lacking imagination — exactly the vampire he should be) served to draw out the reader’s anxiety over what, exactly, he was doing to Tandy, there in the dark.
It was a beautiful touch, central to the core point of the series, that Tany and Ty wound up almost saving each other. There’s a real sense of balance, there, that underlines the fact that when they were functioning as a team, they were also almost functioning as a couple. But there’s still something wrong, between them, something as vitally wrong, within them, as the struggle they are enduring in the physical world. Whatever it is, it must be resolved before either one of them can move on into the rest of their lives.
Now. A word about the art. Asrar’s cover was as stunning as ever. His work is uniformly beautiful and Marvel should hold onto him for as long as possible. The interior art was slightly uneven. It worked wonderfully well during the scenes when Ty was hunting The Grey, but it fell apart during the final battle. The narrator tells us that Tandy is ‘scary skinny’ but she looks pretty much the same as she did before she fell into The Grey’s vampiric grasp. This let the story down, a bit, but as far as sins go, it’s venal at the worst.
The neo-noir tone of this comic is consistent throughout, but the careful character studies are a little let down by some pacing problems and a few instances of dubious art.
Cloak & Dagger #4, Lost in a Fog
- Writing - 8.5/108.5/10
- Storyline - 9/109/10
- Art - 7.5/107.5/10
- Color - 9/109/10
- Cover Art - 9/109/10
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