Cloak & Dagger follows Ty Johnson and Tandy Bowen who both live in New Orleans. In a tragic accident involving an oil rig owned by the Roxxon Corporation, the two were mysteriously bonded as children after the deaths of Ty’s brother and Tandy’s father. But they become separated after the accident, and don’t meet for at least a decade. This is where the story continues. Cloak & Dagger takes two troubled teenagers and adds some mysterious powers in the mix – but the real draw of the series isn’t Ty’s teleportation or Tandy’s ability to summon daggers of pure light, it’s their grit and determination to overcome various obstacles in their lives.
The first two episodes are very character driven rather than pulled forward by superpowers. The comic book elements of the show are actually the smallest part. Whereas the murder mystery surrounding Ty’s brother’s death combined with the decaying nature of Tandy’s family both tied to the Roxxon Corporation is clearly the over-arching plot of the season. What’s incredible about this show is how quickly it ensures the audience care about their two leads.
And that’s likely to do with a scene on the beach as children, in which the pair both survive this heartbreaking accident. Combined with some impressive cinematography and some hauntingly beautiful music – it’s hard not to feel sympathetic for Ty and Tandy. But our favourite scene in the show so far has to be Ty waking up on the rooftop wrapped in his black sheet that looks like a perfect translation of his comic book counterpart, it’s visually fantastic – especially for a show with a small budget. But as well as bringing superpowers to the screen, the series masterfully looks at broken families, addiction and homelessness through Tandy. Because to the outside world she looks like a normal teenage girl, but she’s secretly extremely scrappy and desperate to make a better life for herself. These are heavy, societally relevant topics that Marvel Television seem to masterfully combine with their superheroic content.
And through into the second episode, Cloak & Dagger continues to strive forward in developing characters. For example, Ty’s role model isn’t his Father or his basketball coach – it’s his Mother. And that is genuinely wonderful to see. Considering this is essentially a teen drama, it’s incredibly raw and emotional for a comic book adaptation. But there’s one character that is developed through several small scenes, and that’s an as-of-yet-unnamed police detective. She’s shown working a case related to Tandy throughout the episode, and it’s through these brief appearances that we get a sense of who she is; determined, hardworking, and incredibly resourceful. The show also made a point of showing her getting a coffee barista’s number, although how this plays into her character or the storyline remains to be seen.
Overall, Cloak & Dagger might just be the underdog of Marvel Television, as it aims to provide an emotionally interesting story that just happens to involve superpowers. If you’re looking for a blockbuster-type series like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., you might be disappointed – but Cloak & Dagger aims to give you a superhero story with depth.
Have you caught up with the first two episodes yet? Let us know what you thought on Twitter @HeroesDirect!
A great story about the trials of growing up and realising your potential, this is a superhero story with real heart. We can't wait to see what's next.
- Character development