Friday, January 31, 2014

Marvel Universe Cloak & Dagger

Presenting Cloak & Dagger from the final series of Marvel Universe Action figures, the Marvel Knights (Or so we're told).

I've always liked these two but I've never really followed the Cloak & Dagger comic book series. The Marvel "Knights" did not quite interest me as much as the groups did - except for Daredevil of course.

A little known fact about Marvel's Cloak & Dagger is that both have been members of the Avengers (Secret Avengers under Captain America), and the X-Men (Dark X-Men under the White Queen, and later the regular X-Men in Utopia under Cyclops).

This is a peculiar honor because, unlike Wolverine, Storm, Rogue, Sunfire, Havok, Quicksilver and the Beast, neither of them are mutants. They were with the X-Men by circumstance, and they did leave after a while.

The only other person I believe to have done this would be Dane Whitman, the Black Knight, who was I believe a member of Excalibur.


Cloak & Dagger share the same blister card - not quite sure if we can consider them variants of each other - and that blister card reads "Once, this super-powered duo fought crime together. Now, Cloak rages unchecked, controlled by a dark force. The Marvel Knights must stop him, but Dagger may be the only one who can return him to balance before he consumes them all!"

So this is an incarnation of Marvel's formerly drug-addicted teenage runnaways. Fast forward to the end of this review for their current - and quite different - state.

WHAT'S TO LIKE ABOUT THE MARVEL UNIVERSE - MARVEL KNIGHTS SERIES - CLOAK & DAGGER?

Well to begin with, it's nice that these two even exist. The Marvel Universe series is rumored to be closing with Marvel moving on to favor the creation of 3.75" figures aligned with the release of their movies. A bummer for most as this means that characters without the hope of ever having a series anytime soon may never be created. To make things worse, this means that our immediate future collections will contain nothing but rehashes of the same figures: Avengers, Iron-Man, Thor and Spider-Man.

So it's really nice to see these ill-fated lovers in 3.75" size. Especially since they do not have Marvel Legends counterparts (Marvel Select does not count). Given that those who dwell in the darker recesses of the Marvel Universe have such a cult following: Daredevil, Punisher, Ghost Rider, Iron Fist, Luke Cage, Elektra, SpiderMan, Black Widow, Dr Strange, etc.... it is absolutely imperative to have a Cloak & Dagger produced.


WHAT'S TO LIKE ABOUT THE MARVEL UNIVERSE - MARVEL KNIGHTS SERIES - DAGGER?

Well she's supposed to be 16 child of a supermodel which makes it kinda perverse to look at her, but if Shadowcat is old enough to have sex now without the X-Men crying statutory rape, I kinda doubt she's still a 16 year old. Dagger, the Lady Light prances around in a generous cleavage showing skin-tight leotard that has a front opening that points to her... unmentionables, so what's not to like?



The Marvel Universe version of Tandy Bowen, AKA Dagger is given a quite Christina Aguillera tan to contrast with her already pearlescent uniform and blonde hair. This version of her skin-color is accurate depending upon who colors her in the comic books - in some comic books she is portrayed as having pale white skin. But I like the contrast. I think it gives her depth.

Now you may or may not like her facial sculpt. I like how it makes her look older. I like the facial markings. I like how serious and stern she looks - which is unfortunately in contrast to her jail-bait waif like depictions in the comic books. This is a woman who means business.



I love the shimmer of the Marvel Universe Dagger's costume. Articulation is excellent - gotta love that butt.  Marvel Universe Dagger can kneel, but there's a limit to it - really long legs.


And the Marvel Universe Dagger is a darling to photoshop - so many possibilities:


WHAT'S TO LIKE ABOUT THE MARVEL UNIVERSE - MARVEL KNIGHTS SERIES - CLOAK?

Well I like the Marvel Universe Cloak's hood and facial sculpt. Very comic detailed.

Although I have to say that, as with Dagger, Cloak's facial sculpt makes him look a bit older - and a lot more sure of himself than he really is in the comic book (Less of a dependent addict? But not quite the rampaging hungry Cloak - as he seems so calm.)

Unfortunately, that's about it. 


WHAT'S NOT TO LIKE ABOUT THE MARVEL UNIVERSE - MARVEL KNIGHTS SERIES - CLOAK & DAGGER?

CLOAK!!!!! That about sums it up. Read the comic books and you have this figure that has an ever expanding cape of darkness that people come out of whenever Cloak uses his teleportation or whenever Cloak fills a room with darkness. The Marvel Universe Cloak can do none of that. I think this is a repaint/resculpt of Dr. Strange's Cloak of Levitation.

And then there's that horrible stick body that can barely move because of the thickness of Cloak's Cloak, and the fact that Cloak is top-heavy. What you see here is the extent of his articulation:


It might actually be better to display him without the body - pop his head off and just have the Marvel Universe Cloak "Float" there.

Also, why did I have to photoshop Dagger? She's an energy projector. Marvel knows that. They should have supplied her with her "Daggers"


Also I agree with the internet buzz that the two should have been sold as a 2-pack set. The Dungeon got Dagger from a friend in one of the forums we frequent as part of a set that he was selling off. Right after I met with him, I dove into the black-market of Greenhills looking for Cloak. Unfortunately, I saw the Black Series Princess Leia before I saw Cloak. When I did I really wanted him because frankly, one  is useless without the other (Even if one of them is crap).

I ended up trading A-Bomb for him (I can feel gasps of shock going on out there, but I'm not a Hulk fan, sorry).

If I could though, I would get another set just for the opportunity to customize them - what with Cloak and Dagger now having switched power sets in the comic books (Marvel has yet to expound on this).


The Marvel Universe Dagger - and because of the trade, Marvel Universe Cloak - roughly cost be PhP 800 each (US$ 17.77). Dagger is available on Amazon for US$ 18.95 (Roughly PhP 852.75 plus shipping). Cloak is available on Amazon for US$ 22.89 (Roughly PhP 1,030 plus shipping). A-Bomb would have set me back US 47.99 (Roughly PhP 2,159 plus shipping). Hmmmmm.

Still. A great find, a great buy and a must have for Marvel Knight collectors:



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