Cloak and Dagger is the most recent Marvel property to be reborn on television. Yet, there are still many who don’t know the origins of this classic Marvel offering with plenty of contemporary threads for modern television audiences.
Tyrone Johnson and Tandy Bowen first appeared together in Spectacular Spider-Man #64 as two runaways who gain superpowers after being experimented on by the Maggia organized crime syndicates in an attempt to perfect a synthetic heroin. The storyline is truly indicative of the sensibilities of the 1980s, with the exploding crack epidemic, urban decay, and corrupt institutions. However, the Freeform remake of this piece of Americana updates the idea for television quite successfully while switching minor elements of the original storyline.
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Instead of taking place in New York, Cloak & Dagger is now set in New Orleans in the series. I feel that’s apropos seeing as though the Big Easy still possesses a type of soulfulness that has long been nullified in the Big Apple. Also, while Tyrone was the more street savvy of the pair in the comic book, Olivia Holt’s Dagger appears to be the more hardcore of the two.
The Freeform version of Tandy Bowen, played by singer/actress Olivia Holt, is from an impoverished, dysfunctional background, is a prescription drug abuser and is pretty much a career petty criminal.
While Tyrone, played by actor Aubrey Joseph, is from a privileged upper middle class two-parent black household, attends a Catholic high school and is active in his faith. He’s also holding onto a great deal of anger about a police cover-up surrounding the death of his older brother ten years prior to the events of the series.
The manner that both Cloak and Dagger’s abilities interact with one another is the key to their existence in the comic book, with Cloak needing to feed off the light energy in order to stave off the hunger that ultimately comes from using his dark powers.
Marvel’s Cloak & Dagger is the story of Tandy Bowen (Olivia Holt) and Tyrone Johnson (Aubrey Joseph) – two teenagers from very different backgrounds, who find themselves burdened and awakened to newly acquired superpowers which are mysteriously linked to one another. Tandy can emit light daggers and Tyrone has the ability to engulf others in darkness.
While it remains unclear how the complete scope of their powers will be illustrated in the series, his official Marvel Universe description is as follows:
“Cloak’s body is a portal to the “Darkforce Dimension,” a world of strange ebony energy. Cloak is linked to a pocket realm of that dimension dominated by the Predator, which compels Cloak to absorb the life forces of other beings; but Dagger’s light can temporarily satisfy this craving.”
Dagger’s power description:
“Dagger can generate and throw “light daggers” which stun targets by forcing them to confront the darkness in their own souls. Her light can also cure drug addictions in some people, as a side effect of that painfully enlightening experience. Additionally, her light can alleviate Cloak’s thirst for light and warmth.”
Early on the series will build upon the world surrounding these two characters, and there are also some pretty big reveals on the near horizon. Fans can expect some necessary cosmetic differences between this Freeform version and Marvel version.
However, the first two-hours are just to whet our appetites for what’s to come.