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Dagger

Real Name: Tandy Bowen
Occupation: Vigilante
Identity: Secret
Legal Status: American citizen with no criminal record, still a minor
Former Aliases: None
Place of Birth: Shaker Heights, Ohio
Marital Status: Single
Known Relatives: Melissa (mother), unnamed father, Phillip Carlisle (stepfather), Father Michael Bowen (uncle)
Group Affiliation: Partner of Cloak
Base of Operations: The Holy Ghost Church, 42nd Street, New York City
First Appearance: SPECTACULAR SPIDERMAN #64

History: Tandy Bowen was a sixteen-year old who grew up in Shaker Heights, Ohio, a suburb of Cleveland where many wealthy people lived. Bowen's mother, Melissa, was a celebrated model who had become rich not only from her own career but also from receiving her previous husband's estate. That earlier husband, who was Tandy's father, had left for India, for "spiritual rebirth." Subsequently Melissa married a kindly man named Phillip Carlisle. But the self-centered Melissa, wrapped up in her career and social circles, neglected both Phillip and Tandy, and Tandy, hurt by her father's desertion, refused to accept her new stepfather. Feeling unloved, Tandy turned for affection to an older teenager, Rob Daltry. But when he left for college shortly thereafter, the despondent Tandy left home on a bus for New York City.

She arrived at Manhattan's Port Authority Bus Terminal and was spotted by another teenage runaway, the penniless Tyrone Johnson. Outside the terminal, he was about to rob her when another person snatched her purse. Johnson tackled the thief and returned Bowen's purse. In reward, Bowen bought Johnson some food at a nearby restaurant and they talked about why they had become runaways.

Upon leaving the two teenagers were approached by men working for criminal pharmaceutical chemist Simon Marshall. The men offered the two runaways a place to stay. Bowen naively accepted, and Johnson, knowing the men were up to no good, went along to protect her. At the Hudson River the thugs knocked Johnson out and then took him and Bowen by boat to Ellis Island, where Marshall had set up his secret laboratory.

Marshall was working for the Maggia to develop a new synthetic addictive narcotic drug which the mob hoped would be a cheaper substitute for imported heroin. Marshall experimented with the drug by injecting it into the bloodstreams of the runaways his men captured. He injected it into Bowen and Johnson as well. All of the other runaways who had been injected with the drug died, but Bowen and Johnson somehow survived. The two runaways escaped their cell, and, pursued by gunfire, were forced to dive into the river.

As they attempted to swim to Manhattan, Johnson found himself engulfed by total blackness. But then he saw Bowen, glowing with light. He swam to her, and her light dispelled the blackness. They reached the Manhattan shore, where Bowen fell into a delirium. Johnson then discovered that he had been transformed into a strange inhuman being. Bowen and Johnson were then found by the thugs who had taken them to Marshall. Johnson began to swallow them up within the eerie blackness within the large cloak he had just improvised for himself. Just then Bowen awoke and, acting instinctively, struck the thugs down with daggers of light that she projected from her fingertips.

The two runaways realized that the drug had transformed them into superhumanly powerful beings. Calling themselves Cloak and Dagger, they dedicated their lives to using their powers to save other children and teenagers from being harmed by drug dealers and other criminals. As Dagger, Bowen often tries to restrain Cloak from giving in entirely to the "hunger" that drives him to project people into a dimension of darkness. She also uses the "light" she generates to help satisfy that "hunger." She has attempted to leave her life as a vigilante, but hem returned to it, convinced that only Cloak truly loves her. Even when Spider-Man sought to reunite Dagger with her stepfather, she stood steadfast by Cloak's side. Tyrone attempted to envelop the wall-crawler in his cloak, angered by his interference, but Dagger grabbed hold of Spider-Man to protect him from the garment's effects. Within the blackness, she showed the web-slinger the world as Cloak sees it: an amalgamation of auras and evil, where darkness of the soul shines through like an ebony beacon. This experience reassured Cloak that Dagger never would dessert him.

No longer able to keep the darkness at bay, Cloak embarked on a mad quest to consume any and all lawbreakers -- from a healthy motorist who had parked his car in a handicapped space to the Punisher. A desperate Dagger sought the aid of a loose-knit band of urban-based adventurers: the Black Widow, super-spy turned super hero; Daredevil, fearless blind adventurer; Dr. Strange, Earth's Sorcerer Supreme; Moon Knight, undead avenger of evil; and Shang-Chi, Master of Kung Fu. In an attempt to reason with Cloak, Strange transported Moon Knight, Daredevil and the Black Widow into the dimension of darkness, which had been transformed into a nightmarish reflection of New York City.

There, the heroes learned that Cloak had come under the control of the demonic entity known as Nightmare. Meanwhile, Dagger confronted Cloak on the mortal plane. Tyrone had been transformed by the hunger, leaving Tandy no choice but to unleash the full extent of her power against her crimefighting companion. Through her love for her best friend, Dagger cleansed Cloak of the darkness and transformed him back into the young man he had been prior to Simon Marshall's experiments. The darkness that once possessed him now resides in Dagger, balanced by her light.

Height: 5 ft. 5 in.
Weight: 116 lbs.
Eyes: Blue
Hair: Blonde

Strength Level: Dagger possesses the normal human strength of a young woman of her age, height, and build who engages in intensive regular exercise. (However, it should be noted that Dagger, who was once a ballet student, exercises to develop and maintain her agility, not her ability to lift weights.)

Known Superhuman Powers: Dagger possesses the superhuman ability to generate an unknown form of luminescence. It is not known why Simon Marshall's drug endowed Bowen and Tyrone Johnson with unusual powers rather than killing them as it did others. There is apparently some unknown biochemical factor in the bodies of Johnson and Bowen that is responsible for the effects that Marshal's drug had on them.

The "light" that Dagger generates is a manifestation of the life force that exists within all living beings. Hence, Dagger's light is actually a form of psionic energy, rather than being ordinary light, such as is created by the sun or by an electrical lamp. Dagger generates far more of this psionic "light" within herself than ordinary living beings do, and therefore she can employ this extra "light" for various uses without depriving herself of the life energy she needs to exist.

Dagger's "light" responds to her mental commands, both conscious and subconscious. She can, for example, will herself to project her daggers of "light," but she might also release the daggers instinctively on seeing someone in danger without consciously intending to do so. Dagger's control of her "light" is limited by her own degree of understanding of her power and her degree of experience in using it.

Dagger can project her "light" around herself as a glow surrounding her body. She can also project her "light" from her fingertips, usually in the form of six-inch long wedge-shaped projectiles of pure "light" which she calls her "daggers of light" or her "light-knives."

When these projectiles strike a human target, they cause a biophysical shock reaction to the victim's nervous system by depriving him of part of his own life energy, or "light." If the victim is in poor physical condition to begin with, or is struck with more than one of these "light-knives." he or she may die. Dagger can also, by an act of will, generate "light-knives" with which she can kill even a victim in good health by depriving him or her of all of his or her life energy. Otherwise she can use the "daggers of light" to remove only part of the victim's life energy, leaving him or her temporarily paralyzed, usually for about five minutes, depending on the victim's metabolism. While thus immobilized, the victim feels frozen and ill, and fears he or she is going to die.

The paralysis has an additional effect on the victim's mind. While immobilized, the victim will have a vision of what he would be like if he or she fulfilled his potential for "good" (Dagger herself associates what she defines as moral "goodness" with the life energy "light.") However, if the victim is an "evildoer" who is set in his or her "evil" ways, he or she will return to his previous ways upon recovering from his paralysis. A victim who is not so determined to be "evil" might be inspired by his or her vision to adopt a more "moral" way of life.

The life energy that Dagger's "light-knives" remove from her victims flows into Dagger herself, increasing her own supply of "light." At times her stores of "light" grow so large that they threaten to overwhelm the young woman. She will then use some of this "excess light" to feed Cloak's "hunger" for projecting life energy into the dimension of darkness to which he is linked. She will "feed" Cloak "light" whenever she feels he needs it and he will allow her to do so.

Dagger has a certain amount of control over her "light-knives" while they are in flight She can, for example, make them alter their trajectories in mid-flight. She can, use them to seek out and strike victims who are far away from her. The exact limits of her range are unknown, but are probably confined to within the borders of a city. The further that the "light-knives" travel from Dagger, and the longer they are away from her, the weaker they become. Dagger can renew the life energy of the "knives" by mentally commanding them to strike living beings.

Perhaps because of the emotional bend between Cloak and Dagger, she can use her "light-knives" to locate him over an even greater range than she can use "light-knives" to locate her victims. In using her daggers of light to locate Cloak, however, she is limited by the amount of light within her own body. Once, after expending a great deal of "light" using her powers to search Manhattan for him. Dagger nearly exhausted her life energy and almost died.

Dagger can also use her "light-knives" to cleanse people of various kinds of physical "impurities" which threaten to diminish these people's "light" or life energies, and hence may even threaten to kill them. Such "impurities" include poisons and addictive drugs. When Dagger uses her "light-knives" to cleanse a person of impurities, she does not draw life energy from him or her, as she does with her victims. Rather, she projects some of her own life energy into the person (just as she projects life energy "light" into Cloak's dimension of darkness) The "light" that Dagger gives the person gives him or her the strength to overcome the harmful effects of the "impurity.'' However, using her light to purge the "impurities" of others can impose a great physical strain on Dagger.

When Dagger's "light-knives" strike a non-living solid object, they sometimes ricochet and at other times disperse, perhaps depending on the angle and force of impact. They do not have any apparent physical effect on the object themselves. Although the "light" projectiles are called "daggers" and "knives," they do not have the same effects on living beings that ordinary knives do: in other words, the "light-knives" penetrate the skin without cutting it physically.

To judge by the conservative manner in which she employs them, there seems to be a limit on the number of "light-knives" that Dagger can generate within a given period of time.

Due to the great amount of life energy "light" that she generates, Dagger is the only person known to be able to travel within Cloak's dimension of darkness, apart, of course, for Cloak himself, without suffering any ill effects to the body or mind. If she accompanies others within the dimension of darkness, she can use her "light" to protect them as well, although even then the people traveling with her will see visions within the dimension that may terrify them.

The great amount of "light" within Dagger increases her physical agility and swiftness, although not to superhuman levels.

Cloak can "teleport" Dagger from place to place through his dimension of darkness. She herself has no power of teleportation.

Other Abilities: Dagger is highly athletic, and is able to perform various gymnastic feats with great grace and style. In part her athletic skill is due to her own self-training, and in part it is the result of the effects of the great amount of life energy "light" within her body. Dagger also appears to have trained herself to become a good hand-to-hand combatant, although she prefers to use her superhuman powers in battle instead.

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