Chris Dahlen fondly remembers Bill Mantlo’s Cloak and Dagger in a column for Pitchfork Media:
I’d never read a comic this dark, with Rick Leonardi and Terry Austin’s grim but luminous art and writer Bill Mantlo’s ruminations on crime and justice. But what hooked me were the characters themselves. They were perfectly yin-yanged– a blonde white girl from a rich, broken home, paired with a young black man from the ghetto; a statuesque girl wearing a costume slit to her navel, opposite a man who was formless. Dagger was incredibly beautiful. In my pre-teen crush she awed me so much that I didn’t even picture what was under that costume. But I also admired Cloak, and his struggles to contain himself. Cloak’s darkness gave him a hunger, and if Dagger didn’t feed it, he’d crave human lives. An allegory for redemption versus vengeance, they were also just a couple of kids: They wanted to use their powers for good, but were constantly tempted to wreak havoc.
The columnist spoke with Marvel editor Tom Breevort not only about where C&D went wrong, but also about Civil War:
Pitchfork: There’s no message like, “We want them to demand that the US shut down Gitmo Bay.”
TB: Not specifically. Again, individually, there may be. Mark Millar may be sitting there in Scotland going, “Right, Guantanamo Bay, I’m going to bring attention to this, and I’m going to influence the way people think.” But it’s not an overall strategy. And honestly, I think it’s good that that informs his storytelling.
And again, with Civil War being so big, different people have slightly different perspectives. In some stories the Negative Zone prison is a much more horrible place than in others. And that has a lot less to do with, we’re not keeping consistency across the line, and more to do with, different writers have different things, different messages, different ideas they want to get across in their stories.
It’s a very well-done opinion column/interview; I came for the Mantlo love, but stayed for the political allegory …