Spoilers for the first two episodes of Season 1 of ‘Marvel’s Cloak & Dagger’ will be discussed.
Much like their growing empire across the big screen, with the acclaimed Marvel Cinematic Universe spawning nearly twenty feature films now, the realm of Marvel Television has steadily come into its own as an ever-expanding collection of bold and grounded superhero stories. While the likes of Iron Man, Thor and Captain America duke it out across the silver screen, the small screen has slowly become populated with an equally-compelling roster of heroes. Spanning across most of the major networks now — from its gritty Netflix dramas in “Daredevil” and “Jessica Jones,” its angst-filled adventures on Hulu’s “The Runaways” and the one that got that ball rolling in ABC’s own “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” — the latest television endeavor for Marvel could be their most promising yet. With the former ABC Family network, now dubbed Freeform, chalking up their “Cloak & Dagger” series as a down-to-earth superhero origin bleeding with potential, the first two episodes have given us our first peek at a fascinating, super-powered duo.
Despite my initial hesitance to approach the series, the newly-dubbed Freeform mostly consisting of somewhat mediocre teen dramas without much bite, something unique drew me to “Cloak & Dagger.” While I expected the show to follow the network’s familiar beats, subpar writing with the occasional pop music fodder filling the background, “Cloak & Dagger” teased a story from Marvel that we haven’t yet seen play out on-screen before. With its powerful duo in teens Tandy Bowen (Olivia Holt) and Tyrone Johnson (Aubrey Joseph) spawning from the sidelines of a 1982 Spider-Man comic, the characters at the center of the series were never major names across Marvel’s history. Unlike the ranks of Spider-Man, Daredevil and other street-dwelling superheroes out of New York, Cloak & Dagger remained mostly independent of themselves. With that, their live-action debut promised not to take us beat-by-beat through the duo’s origins in the comics, but rather hint at the new and evolving stories the leading characters could produce.
Even while the first two episodes in “First Light” and “Suicide Sprints” felt profoundly reminiscent of your average origin story set-up, cluing us in on the upbringing of Tandy and Tyrone as their struggling family lives shape their personas in the present, “Cloak & Dagger” managed to shuffle on with a distinct air of mystery and rising potential. Showcasing the clear divide between its main duo, Holt’s Tandy tossing out her life of privilege for one of criminal activity and Joseph’s Tyrone struggling to escape the fear he faces after the death of his brother, the complicated relationship between the two titular teens looks to be the saving grace for the series so far. While the show is still working towards the unexplored edge it promises to deliver, the chemistry between its characters and their individual journeys towards heroism could definitely shape “Cloak & Dagger” into something truly iconic.
‘Marvel’s Cloak & Dagger’ airs Thursdays at 8 P.M. on Freeform. Catch up on the latest episodes on Freeform and Hulu.