Marvel’s ‘Cloak and Dagger’: Doesn’t Matter If You’re Black Or White

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Ah, the Marvel machine is still chugging right along. Out now for your viewing entertainment on the unlikely platform of the Freeform Channel, is Marvel’s ‘Cloak and Dagger’, the story of two teenage mutants who have a destiny together.

Based on the comic book series of the same name, Cloak and Dagger have been around since their debut appearance in a Spider-Man comic, way back in 1982. Both Tandy Bowen (Dagger) and Tyrone ‘Ty’ Johnson (Cloak) are runaways in New York City, who find themselves, fighting the synthetic heroin trade and other bad guy shenanigans, after nasty experiments turned them both into super-powered beings. The pair have been guest stars in many other comic book series, such as ‘Runaways’, the “Dark Avengers” and “Uncanny X-Men” crossover ‘Utopia’, more ‘Spider-Man’ of course, they shared the double-feature series ‘Strange Tales’ with Doctor Strange for awhile, and naturally had their own featured series running several times.

While the original idea for their characters came from the comic books, the television series adaptation varies widely in their interpretation. Set in New Orleans, we meet our protagonists. Tyrone Johnson (Aubrey Joseph) is a privileged young black guy who goes to a private school, has an ambitious mother and a devoted father, but he is consumed by the weight of the death of his brother during some gang-related nonsense, that happened when Tyrone was a child. Conversely, Tandy Bowen (Olivia Holt) is a young white girl who runs constantly from her drugged-out mother, a thief and a liar and a con-artist still reeling from the death of her beloved father when she was a child. Matter of fact, it’s this shared childhood trauma, which happened right around the Roxxon Oil Gulf Platform explosion, that brought them together as children; the light and the dark saved each-other from death at a very tender age.

Ty is in the process of discovering his abilities that lead him to take the mantle of Cloak, to enclose others in darkness and transport them and himself through the Marvel concept known as the Darkforce dimension. Poor Ty also, after living in a world of fears from the awful death of his brother, has the ability to witness other people’s fears, which I’m sure doesn’t help his mental state. Tandy on the other hand, can literally emit light daggers and use them to furious and dazzling effect. Despite her cynical approach to running away from everything in life, Tandy also has the ability to access the hopes of other people through contact, which sure explains the bright visions she has after touching certain people. None of these things are helping her already fragile state of being, as we see clearly in Tandy’s reaction to her erstwhile partner Liam’s declaration of love in Episode 2.

Given the current political climate of 2018, it’s a bold move on the part of the show-makers to do a privileged version of POC and a down-and-out white lifestyle. The shared desires that both Tandy and Tyrone have, to fight their fears or run from them, to find a safe haven home with people who genuinely care for them, is something most of humanity can agree upon, that transcends skin color, race boundary, or class privilege. Done in a similar bright-but-dark style that made Marvel’s ‘Runaways’ quite the sleeper hit, ‘Cloak and Dagger’ flies under the radar of giant-budget Marvel action romps, delivering a super-secret sleeper hit that everyone should experience at least once!

Catch all the MCU hidden easter eggs with ‘Cloak and Dagger’, on Freeform now!

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