For those who need more Marvel superheroes in their universe, Freeform has just greenlit a show about the duo Cloak and Dagger. According to Variety, this will be a live-action "superhero love story" that looks at the titular comic book duo, also known as Tandy Bowen and Tyrone Johnson. But wait, you've never heard of Cloak and Dagger? Don't worry a lot of people haven't, even though they've appeared in Marvel classic comics like Spiderman and X-Men in the early '80s. And there are a whole lot of reasons to care about these two coming to television.
Cloak and Dagger are two teenage runaways living in New York City, who are dealing with puberty while also dealing with special powers. But that's where their similarities stop. Each come from very different backgrounds. Tyrone was raised in the slums of Boston with a terrible stutter that made it hard for him to express himself. The 17-year-old ran away after being unable to call for help after his best friend was shot by the police. Tandy grew up in Shaker Heights, Ohio, the daughter of a multimillionaire who dreamt of being a ballerina. The 16-year-old ran away after feeling like her supermodel mother couldn't be bothered with her.
They also have very different powers. Tyron can envelope people in darkness and teleport himself and others through his cloak. Tandy can manipulate light, throwing out daggers that can both harm or heal people. Clearly, their names do not lie. But don't call these two mutants; they are mutates, which means they are "non-mutant superbeings" in the Marvel universe. They were not born this way, but acquired their powers through exposure to mutagenic compounds. In Tyrone and Tandy's case, they were given experimental drugs by a mad scientist named Simon Marshall that turned them into crimefighters.
With these powers comes great responsibility, and the two realize that they're better as a team than on their own. Raging hormones definitely make this a little tougher, though. This romantic take on the superhero story certainly seems like a good fit for the teenage-driven Freeform and a new direction for the Marvel Universe. That's what's interesting about taking on these characters who are not household names. There are a lot of opportunities here to tell different stories, which seems to be Marvel's TV strategy, creating shows like Daredevil, Jessica Jones, and The Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.
With Cloak and Dagger, Marvel is able to explore the idea of race in this fictional world in a very real way. This interracial relationship offers a chance to have a larger discussion about love and the lines it blurs with its younger viewers who don't see Cloak and Dagger's relationship as taboo, which was likely why these two characters were always on the outskirts of the Marvel universe. It's rare we see that in comic book movies and a weekly episodic TV show allows this story to unfold in more realistic and thoughtful way. In 2016, the idea of having a comic book series that focuses on race is exciting and promotes diversity, even among superheroes. More interesting, it was reported in 2011 that Cloak and Dagger would be set in post-Katrina New Orleans, where race has been a larger factor in the development of the city. This could allow the show to have a political angle that could blur the line between fantasy and reality in this series.
These two characters have also been seen as vigilantes, who take on Simon Marshall for making them like this and the entire drug trade for taking advantage of runaways. This allows the show to delve into the idea of what is good and what is evil and how often, you can be a little bit of both. Cloak and Dagger can play with the idea of what it means to be a superhero, who often does as much destroying as he or she does saving. So, while these two may not be familiar to you now, it seems like you're going to want to make yourself familiar with them very soon.
Image: Marvel (2)