Nathan Tyler (Lord of Light)

The first two episodes of Cloak & Dagger promise a lot, let’s see if they’re up the challenge: surely it’s a very emotional and dark show, especially considered the expectations. Anyway, the first episode First Light also introduces (and kills off) one new character from the comics: Nathan Bowen, the father of Tandy. In the show, he’s a scientist working for Roxxon Oil (yup, always the same big company lurking in the shadows of nearly every single Marvel Studios series and movie), who ends up being killed in a car accident after witnessing the explosion of the oil rig he was responsible of. In the comics, his full name is actually Nathan Tyler, and he comes back in his daughter’s life eventually, even if just for a couple of issues… and not in the friendliest way. Let’s see together.

Before enlightenment, Nathan Tyler was a man who apparently had everything: he was a successful businessman, rich by family, and he even got to marry a beautiful and loving top model, Melissa Bowen. Everything began to change when he had a daughter, Tandy: that moment, Melissa became greedy and materialist, and planned the entire future of her daughter, even giving her her own surname in order to prepare her career as a model. It didn’t take much to Nathan to get tired of all this: he understood how much his life was void despite his fortune, and how sick his relationship with his wife was. He divorced Melissa, making her happy by leaving her the estate, and left his country, traveling to India to look for a completely different lifestyle… and breaking his little daughter’s heart in the process. He visited a number of ashrams and gurus, but never found the light he was looking for. Then, one day, Nathan witnessed a terrible train accident: approaching the site, he saw a number of dying people… and a marvelous light coming out of them. Without even realizing how he could do it, he absorbed their light, finally finding the peace and serenity he had been chasing so long. The answer came to him immediately: he didn’t have to look for masters to find the light, he was the master who would have guided others to the light. He moved to the forgotten sanctuary of Lashi, on a mountain top, where he established his own temple. Calling himself the Lord of Light, he invited others to share his enlightenment and reach godhood with him. His fame as the Resplendent One and the Radiant Luminescence spread, and many followers came to his temple, obtaining exactly what they were looking for. The Lord of Light’s aim, however, was much more sinister: the light he absorbed from dying people (and then even from perfectly healthy ones) was their life force, that he stored within himself: he shared but a fraction of it with his followers, giving them just an illusion of power, waiting to absorb theirs as well. He had become a life parasite.

The Lord of Light’s power grew, and so did the number of his disciples, but his hunger for light never ceased nor diminished. Years later, he found out that his daughter, in New York City, had become a light being herself, the heroine known as Dagger. Seeing how easy it was for Tandy to access the light he lusted for, the Lord and his followers traveled to the United States, where he planned to offer her child a seat by his side in godhood… and absorb the infinite light she could provide him with. It was quite easy to find a beacon like Dagger, but as he found out, she was always accompanied by her counterpart of darkness, Cloak. Realizing that Cloak’s darkness was hungering for light the same way he did, the Lord of Light touched him, releasing so much light to satisfy his hunger and to turn him back to his human form. Dagger intervened, but she immediately recognized her father; Cloak himself was grateful for having been freed of his curse and hunger. Since Tandy was overjoyed to see her father again, and impressed by his feat, Nathan offered to train her to master her powers, allowing her to become the perfect vessel of light. As Tandy asked him what they should have done with their powers, Nathan blatantly answered he aimed to reach godhood… while his daughter wanted nothing more than to help other people. The Lord of Light put a hand on Dagger’s shoulder, speaking softly to her, but she refused his offer, wanting something different from her gift. By touching her, however, the Lord of Light had already begun to absorb her light. In the meanwhile, Tyrone had fought some of the Lord of Light’s disciples, who had drained a woman and her child of their whole life force, but when they had tried to do the same with him, he had turned back to his Cloak form. Back to Dagger, he informed her of the truth behind the process of enlightenment of her father, and she believed him. The Lord of Light intervened just to prevent his daughter from escaping, but he was confronted by Cloak, who tried to appeal to his conscience, asking him what kind of father was ready to kill his own daughter. Finally, Cloak’s words managed to wake Ethan Tyler up from his hunger-induced frenzy…

Nathan Tyler is a man with a void within his soul he seemingly can’t fill with anything nor anyone, a hunger that leads him to search for “light” (actually life force) in every corner of the world. As the Lord of Light, he’s a powerful mutant who can absorb life force from others, killing them in the process, and distribute it also to others, giving them a fraction of his power; he can assume a form of pure light, that manifests itself as a glowing disc, being able to fly, to be intangible and to be impervious to any damage. A parasite who believes himself to be a god, the Lord of Light is a self-centered, greedy and arrogant man, a killer disguised as a saint, a drug addict whose addiction is to human souls: there’s nothing in the world he values more than light, and he’ll stop in front of nothing to attain it.