Cloak & Dagger will be the newest show to hit Freeform, and we’re excited to say the least
First appearing in Marvel Comics in 1982, Tandy Bowen (Olivia Holt) and Tyrone Johnson (Aubrey Joseph) are two teenagers who are brought together through the discovery of their divine powers. Tyrone, better known as “Ty,” is a 17-year-old teenager from Boston, Massachusetts that ran away to New York due to the guilt of his speech impediment that leads to his best friend dying at the hands of a police officer. Tandy, 16, comes from a privileged family from the fictional town Shaker Heights, located in Ohio. She too, ran away to New York after her “supermodel” mother was too busy to spend time with her.
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However, things are a bit different in the live-action version, which you can almost always expect when bringing to life comic books. In the series, Ty doesn’t have a speech impediment and lives the privileged life that Tandy has in the comics and this time, his brother is the one that is shot and killed. On the flip side, Tandy is a serial-thief whose mother is a drug addict. As kids, the two were subjected to a freak scientific accident that granted them their powers that have now started to manifest as teenagers. The series also takes place in New Orleans, rather than New York City.
After getting an insight as to who they are, it may come as no surprise as to why we’re excited to see the show manifest into the small screen. Between the analysis of social issues, shedding light on interracial relationships, and much more, Cloak and Dagger is the summer show to look out for!
1. Cloak & Dagger’s prevailing themes are enough reason to watch the show alone
Black and white. Light and dark. These seem to be the prevailing themes of Freeform’s newest show. Not only is this exhibited through the actors’ races, but it also manifests through their powers and backstories.
As mentioned earlier, Ty and Tandy’s backgrounds have switched in the transition from the comics to the show. In the series, Ty didn’t always come from a privileged family but as he got older, his family was able to work hard for the life they wanted. Tandy’s once privileged life turned dark after her father’s death which turned her mother into a drug addict.
“My character Tandy is one of the very few women on television that I’ve seen who is not just bold and powerful but complicated and resilient and she’s her own woman.” — Olivia Holt
These themes are also exhibited through their abilities. Ty’s ability is to literally “cloak” himself and anyone in darkness, which also raises a darkness out of him. In the trailer released earlier this year, we see Ty attending a prestigious school and telling his mother: “It’s like you’re afraid if I don’t do everything perfectly you’re going to lose me.” The goodness in him and his willingness to make his mother proud counteract the darkness that manifests through his powers.
Tandy comes from a dark past and has to steal to make a means for herself upon running away. Her powers, however, give her the ability to create shards of light, aka “daggers.” In a way, it’s the literal light she’s always needed in her life, and we can’t wait to see how the show tackles the themes more in-depth!
2. Cloak & Dagger indirectly highlights the importance of interracial relationships and diversity
We’re not sure if the show will directly mention how important it is for these two characters to be together, but it surely doesn’t go unnoticed. It’s important simply not because Ty is black and Tandy is white, but it’s refreshing to see it being normalized — because it is. Similar to DCTV’s The Flash with Barry (Grant Gustin) and Iris (Candice Patton), the series could open a discussion for those who still see interracial relationships as taboo. Interracial relationships are just normal relationships, not a political statement. Though the characters’ race is the same from the comics, we’re glad the showrunners didn’t change it for the show.
“It was one of the first roles that, to me, fully showcased what it is to be a young black male in America right now.” — Aubrey Joseph
Diversity is important, especially when viewers can resonate with a character. Cloak & Dagger does just that with Tyrone. Similar to the importance of Marvel’s Black Panther, Tyrone is crucial simply because there aren’t many mainstream black superheroes out there. Tyrone is another chance for people of color, especially black kids, to feel represented.
3. Ty and Tandy’s powers try to keep them apart, but it’s the very thing that draws them together
We’re a huge sucker for star-crossed lovers, because no matter what outside forces try to keep a relationship apart, it’s the very thing that makes us ship them! After discovering they are better together than apart, Ty and Tandy’s growing romance for one another makes things complicated. In the comics, Tyrone’s powers consume him with so much darkness that Tandy becomes his light, and is the only one who can ease him. How can you not ship these two?
In the show, every time the city has been struck with catastrophe, it always comes down to the “divine pairing” to stop whatever force is at play. The only problem is that one of the two will die in the process trying to stop it, at least that’s what the trailer promises! This is another reason why their love story is complicated, but that’s not stopping us from shipping them! It will be interesting to see how the show tackles their doomed destiny, and how Ty and Tandy will try to overcome that huge obstacle!
4. The series showcases a realistic portrayal of adolescence
Imagine one day you wake up with powers and on top of that, you discover that you’ve had them from a very young age. We love the fact that this show remembers that Ty and Tandy are only teenagers who are essentially going through something traumatic. Cloak and Dagger won’t stray away from their inner battles from their past and the new discovery of their powers. Often times fantasy shows overlook the humanity to a character, and we appreciate the fact that Ty and Tandy will still be in high school as they originally were. We look forward to the nuanced portrayals of adolescence, struggling between school and home life and their supernatural world.
5. It could make way for interesting crossovers with other Marvel characters
Cloak & Dagger first made their appearance in Peter Parker, the Spectacular Spiderman #64 and after their many appearances in his issues, they were given their own 4-limited issue series, even merging with Doctor Strange for their own bimonthly issue.
The series has teased its connections with the MCU in the trailer specifically. In one shot, we see Ty standing on a building with a huge sign titled ‘Roxxon Corp.’ If the name sounds familiar, that’s because it’s an oil company that has been mentioned in other shows like Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.LD., Agent Carter, and Daredevil.
In the comics, the duo appears many times in the Runaways comics, and have a connection with many other major MCU characters like Captain America, Ironfist, and Venom. It’s safe to say you won’t see Cloak and Dagger joining the Avengers in the fight against Thanos, but it at least leaves room for them to join forces with the other Marvel television characters!
Cloak & Dagger is refreshing, fun, and different — put it in your Summer must-watch list!
Prevailing themes, star-crossed lovers, and connections to the MCU: these are just a few of the reasons why Cloak & Dagger is the summer show that could be a game-changer. To be fair, the series hasn’t aired yet, but it already feels like it will live up to the hype.
It has an abundance of source material to pull from, but we already love the contrast between the comics and the live-action. From what we’ve seen, the series has a great balance between its original form, all while putting a spin on it.
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We are looking forward to the nuanced portrayals of adolescence, drug use, and also an intersection of privilege without relying on the racial stereotypes that the comics leaned on. Cloak & Dagger is a show that brings the lightness, darkness, and freshness to Freeform, a network that isn’t home for many fantasy series. We can’t wait to see how it evolves — it could be our very own light in the dark.
Will you be my light in the dark?Check back for roundtables, reviews, live tweets, and more news on Cloak & Dagger!