This is a pitch for a three-issue miniseries. It should be published under the "MAX" label.
The writer: Brian Azzarello
The artist: Kyle Hotz
Longtime Marvel readers probably know how Cloak and Dagger got their powers. They were kids on the streets that Silvermane's goons experimented upon. They were given an experimental drug, that activated their latent mutant powers. But what happens... when the drug wears off?
We start with a crackhouse. Several drug users are lying on dirty couches, mouldy armchairs or right on the dirty floor, passed out. We see syringes, crack pipes, tinfoil and other paraphernalia. We expect Cloak and Dagger to kick in the door to save those poor junkies, heal them and make them proud members of society again. The problem is... they are two of the junkies in the room.
Cloak and Dagger are fighting a gang. Suddenly, Dagger's power fades. Something is wrong. The gang members are overwhelming her, when Cloak teleports her away. But he doesn't get far. Because slowly, his powers start to fade as well. He's turning back into stuttering little Ty Johnson. The gang catches up to them and almost beats them to death.
In the weeks that follow, Ty and Tandy find out that the last traces of the drug that gave them their powers have been purged from their systems. Without the drug, they can't access their mutant powers. While it's not the first time that they lose their powers, they always got them back shortly. But not this time. And they are going through withdrawal. They need Silvermane's drug. On the street, they try to find a way to get more of this drug. But all they find is little dealers selling crack, heroin, crystal meth. When one of the dealers drugs Tandy, Ty tries to fight him, but without a connection to the Darkforce dimension, he has no chance. While Tandy doesn't regain her powers, at least she feels... something. She needs more heroin. And heroin makes her feel complete again. At least for a short time. After a few weeks, Ty tries it too.
Back to the present. The two are broke, powerless and hopelessly strung out. This isn't fun anymore. This isn't Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. This is Spun. This is not Trainspotting. This is Traffic. This isn't Half Baked. This is Requiem for a Dream.
Tandy is starting to sell her body. Ty is starting to steal. One day, he is caught by Spider-Man, whose spider-sense is tingling. He recognizes Ty. But Ty runs away. Spider-Man let's him go, but he can't sleep because of it. He wants to help the two of them. Soon he realizes that the only thing that can help them is getting them their powers back. So he contacts Reed. Reed talks to Xavier. Together, they manage to find a way to unlock Cloak's and Dagger's powers.
But Cloak and Dagger don't want their powers anymore. They have lost themselves in the drugs. They have lost their will to live. All they want is the next shot. They don't need their powers for that. In the end, the only way to make them detox is by chaining them to the wall. But Reed comes to the conclusion that you can't help those that don't want help. At the end of the series, Ty and Tandy are back in the crackhouse. They don't have their powers. They don't have money. They don't have self-respect anymore. The only things they have is drugs... and each other. And on that note, we end the miniseries.
If another writer really wants to use them later, giving them back their powers and getting them clean is a piece of cake. But if it were up to me, I'd end their story here.
Why Azzarello? Because of Cage. Brian Azzarello reimagined Luke Cage in a Max Series as a modern character in the ghetto. Together with Richard Corben, he turned a bad stereotype into another bad stereotype. But a bad stereotype with potential. Potential that Brian Bendis later used, first in Alias, then in Daredevil, then in New Avengers.
Why Kyle Hotz? Because he manages to show the dirty sides of the Marvel universe. Remember The Hood? I think he's the right choice for this. But I'm open to other suggestions as well.
What do you think? Should we go with this?