Scout Comics & Entertainment Inc. has announced that Henchgirl by Kristen Gudsnuk is now in development as a live-action television series at Freeform/Disney with screenwriter Alex Ebel attached to adapt. The District and Scout Comics are attached to produce. Lindsey Shockley is attached as showrunner.
Henchgirl, written and drawn by Gudsnuk, is the story of Mary Posa, who hates her job. She works long hours for little pay, no insurance, and, worst of all, no respect. Her coworkers are jerks and her boss doesn’t appreciate her. He also happens to be a supervillain. Cursed with a conscience, Mary would give anything to be something other than a Henchgirl! Beyond Henchgirl, Gudsnuk’s other works include the Making Friends graphic novel series published by Scholastic Books; the miniseries Modern Fantasy, written by Rafer Roberts; and the Minecraft graphic novel series Wither Without You, published by Dark Horse.
Alex Ebel is a genre-blending dramedy writer currently staffed on the reboot of the beloved 90s series Are You Afraid of the Dark for Nickelodeon. Her TV credits include The Astronauts, Deadly Class, and Blood Drive. Ebel is currently adapting Babysitter’s Oven for Nickelodeon. Her psychological thriller feature Mother of All Evil for MarVista Entertainment goes into production later this year.
Lindsey Shockley is onboard Henchgirl to EP and showrun. Shockley has been an executive producer on the ABC series Black-ish and Mixed-ish, has been nominated for three Emmy awards, and has developed multiple TV projects with ABC studios.
Ruben Fleischer and David Bernad are Executive Producing under their District banner. They currently serve as EPs on NBC’s Superstore and Freeform’s The Bold Type. ABC Signature, a part of Disney Television Studios, is the studio. Elias Gertler brought the project to the company and will oversee for The District.
The weekend is almost here and we’re getting ready for Halloween here at GP! What geeky things will you all be doing? Sound off in the comments. While you wait for the weekday to end and the weekend to begin, here’s some comic news and reviews.
The first few minutes of Marvel’s Cloak and Dagger‘s fourth episode “Rabbit Hold” are super intense with Mayhem vanishing into dark air, Tandy learning about a bonus “power” that Tyrone has and tries to help him figure out how to trigger it, while one of the snatched traffickers recognizes Ty’s mugshot and calls it in to his crew, and OG O’Reilly learns more about the crappy side of the NOLA PD. Tandy figures out to trigger Ty’s smoky dark side and uses it to find and hopefully pull out Mayhem and if possible Connor’s, the one man who can clear Ty’s name and give him his life back. While Tandy is deep fear diving for Tweedle Bad Guy and Tweedle Bad Ass, Ty gets a call from O’Reilly telling him the drug dealing traffickers might be headed to his parents’ house to get him.
Tandy encounters a tiny Not Pre-Teen Tyrone and tries to see if he can help her find Mayhem, he also tells her how to get out with a little apprehension about her taking Mayhem with her and, sends her on her way weaponless. Ty heads to his parents’ to save his mom but, since Tandy is in his darkness he can’t shift, so he has to get away from the bad guys the old fashioned way, with his mom hotwiring a car and driving away. In the void, Tandy follows Mayhems’ blood trail and tries to convince her to come with her to no avail. Back in the real world, O’Reilly goes to help Ty’s mom but arrive at an empty house, except for a lone patrolman responding to an alarm while Tandy and Mayhem arrive at a hall of mirrors and wax philosophical about who they really are.
Ty and his mom have a similar “Who am I?” chat while trying to evade the police and the drug/trafficking crew on their tail and in the darkness Mayhem and Tandy run across the hovel of a hiding , scarred and scared Connors’. Ty brings his mom to an unused coven to hide out for a while and, Mayhem tries to use feminism to get Tandy to turn on Ty. In a clever piece of storytelling, Ty tells his mom of the New Orleans legend of the Casket Girls is seamlessly interwoven with Mayhem and Tandy talking about the missing girls, who seem to be cataloged in the record shop they ran across in the darkness.
Ty and his mom find their safe space broken when they are held at gunpoint by a lone young gang member, Ty’s mom distracts him by talking to him and Ty takes his gun, just in time for an SUV of his fellow gang members, fully armed shows up outside the window. Tandy is stuck in her own personal hell as she discovers that playing the records in the shop that pertain to her only bring up bad memories and, nothing useful to help her get out until. Tyrone thinks smart and calls O’Reilly who brings in the cavalry and gets him mother out safely under the guise of his surrender while Tandy smashes records in the catalog vinyl shop of missing and lost girls. Mayhem comes across Connors’ and assaults him before trying to hang him, Tandy catches her and a fight ensues, she saves him and they get kicked out of the void just in time to allow Tyrone to get his powers back and escape. Unfortunately, because of the timing Connors’ escapes into the wild of New Orleans and he knows where Tandy and Ty are hiding.
Amanda Row brilliantly directed this intense episode and while there wasn’t a whole lot of action but, there was a whole lot of storytelling and layers. The story managed to maintain intensity and suspense using nothing more than words and visuals and it was beautiful to watch. The use of shadows and light that showcase the symmetry between what is happening with Tandy and what is happening with Ty is brilliant and adds a lot to the episode.
Overall, I give this episode a solid 8.8 as it served its purpose as a placeholder episode to propel the story along but, it also managed to maintain the momentum that the previous episodes created and served to engage the audience into the world of Tandy and Ty in New Orleans making us fall more in love with the story and the characters.
When we last saw our fave dynamic duo in Cloak & Dagger, they were face to face with two very different sides of a PTSD filled Bridget O’Reilly coin. The third episode of the second season “Shadow Selves” gives us a little more insight into everything that we missed in the past 8 months since the previous season ended.
Cloak &Dagger kicked off by bringing back our fave female scientist, Mina who is experimenting, humanely, on some mice who seem to have developed in a way similar to the way OG O’Reilly ended up with her very own Mayhem. It seems that a Roxxon water bath can be fatal in a way that no one could have predicted, immense rage and the desire for the clone to need to kill it’s OG when triggered. We flashback to OG O’Reilly’s split day and learn that Mayhem tried to kill her once before, while she was in a coma. Mayhem decided to put her kill mission on hold to kill Connors since he landed her in her current position. We then get put back in the present where the two O’Reillys’ are coming to term with the other’s existence, luckily Tyrone was able to get them out of there before Mayhem can cause a little bit more. After Tandy has a riddle me this meltdown asking for answers to questions that OG O’Reilly clearly doesn’t have, they decide to go to Mina who luckily, has an explanation, even if that doesn’t quite provide a solution.
We get to slide back and forth between now and then, time seems to fold back on itself until the present meets up with the past and it gives us a full picture of Mayhems origin story and her becoming. She started out on a quest to find Ty, by way of the semi-disgraced priest from Ty’s old school. This interaction was quite important because it provides an explanation for Mayhem’s obscure POV and mission statement, the interactions that follow seem to have given her something that the mice didn’t have, a moral compass. During a drunken confessional, the priest basically, and inadvertently, gives her permission to act out her violent impulses on people, as long as they are bad people and deserve it. With the priests blessing, Mayhem sets out to save all the missing girls when she notices a pattern and she plans to inflict her own brand of murder tinged justice.
Mayhem seems to burn through the city leaving bad guy corpses behind her and Ty , Tandy and OG spend most of the episode eating her dust, showing up when Mayhem has already killed everybody and reminding her that she can’t (she can) do things the way she does them. The trouble is, Mayhem gets things done, she gets drugs off the street, she breaks open sex trafficking rings like a fridge door and while her methods , logic and kill count would make Deadpool look sane and lazy, she does get results. In Selves’ she saves a whole truckload full of girls who were being trafficked and while her methods may be extreme and criminal, no one can say she doesn’t get the job done.
Tandy and Tyrone have a few heart to hearts leading to a bit of a switch in ideology, at the beginning of the episode Tyrone is very afraid that he’s going to end up like Mayhem and Tandy talks him back by explaining that he’s a protector and not a destroyer. This conversation is kind of pivotal in that you can sense in its fullness and ominous nature when held up in comparison to how Ty and Tandy handle their solo superhero duties in the first two episodes, that the tide could shift for them. By the end of Selves we see Ty should be more worried about Tandy falling over to the dark side than he should be worried about himself.
OG O’Reilly wants the same thing that Mayhem wants, to save the girls and stop the bad guys, she’s just not willing to go as far as Mayhem is. Once OG realizes that she can get inside Mayhem’s head because they share memories and thinking patterns, they go on a bit of a field trip to stop her. Unfortunately, since Mayhem has no fear and is basically what The Punisher wishes he could be, OG O’Reilly with a Tandy and Tyrone assist team, seem to always be a step behind her. OG spends most of the episode feeling inadequate, ineffectual and scared which is actually a very valid feeling and reaction to have when you find out your Roxxon Clone is really OK with having you dead.
This episode gave us a glimpse into the Mayhem behind the curtain, if humanized her and left us rooting for her instead of the “good guys” even if behind the curtain there’s nothing but righteous vengeance and furious anger. I found my self longing for Mayhem and Tandy road trip a la Thelma and Lousie, except instead of driving off a cliff they start taking down all the bad guys from coast to coast. We got to see everything that makes Mayhem tick, from the talk to the priest we learn that she doesn’t have guilt or remorse and we got to see that she wants to be “good” but, she can’t help herself. It’s bittersweet watching her try to find a humane way to be the psychopath that she is and kind of evolve into a Dexteresque character. She knows she shouldn’t hurt OG , Ty, and Tandy so her compromise is to hurt every bad person she sees until she gets to the bottom of the sex trafficking ring.
“Shadow Selves” seems to have ended way too quickly, I would like to say it is because we got two whole hours last week but, the truth is that the show is just that good. The writing is crisp, the directing was thought out and sharp and the music was again, PURE FIRE making episode three a perfect way to move the story along. There’s something about the way the creative team proposes realistic moral dilemmas and social action undertones, in a way that makes you see the human side of the story, in all of its shades of gray. There is a theme of hope, survival, and fear that runs through the story in a way that’s deeper and way less surface that Tandy and Ty’s powers in relation to the human condition. I like that you know you’re supposed to root for Tandy and Ty but, even Tandy can’t tell if their side is the right side. Everything about Cloak & Dagger provides the viewer with a perfectly curated experience that calls into question everything you thought was right.
White Lines is the title of the second hour of the two episode, two-hour premiere of Cloak and Dagger and it was just as brilliant as the first hour. The beginning slides into the end of the season premiere seamlessly, we pick up at the murder scene in the club where Tandy and Ty called Detective O’Reilly in to help them. O’Reilly kicks them out so she can clean the crime scene before the rest of the cops show up and everyone gets caught. Tandy and Tyrone have a fundamental clash of opinions, and in its simplicity, it highlights the differences in thinking between classes and races. The episode is split between all three major characters, with each getting to show things from their point of view which was a brilliant choice because it built up the tension , gave us a little relief and then ramp up the feeling again.
.Tyrone heads off on a mission to discover what the voodoo symbol was that one of the drug kingpins drew on the floor, he gets his answer, to a degree but, it also leads to a confrontation with Evita who is not too happy that he never made contact especially after he shows her his power. While trying to learn to control his power he comes accidentally poofs himself to a chained up to a gurney in an ambulance, Makayla who begs for his help. He tries to take her with him and save her but, it doesn’t work and he ends up back in the church alone, defeated and sad.
Next up is Tandy’s story. We see her in her group therapy session, Makayla starts to defend Jeremy and Tandy gets upset and yells at her causing her to run away. After her mom calls her on it, as a survivor of abuse, Tandy sets out to track Makayla down and save her, or at least apologize. After her search comes up empty, she goes back to talk to the group leader who leads her to Andre Deschaine, a community leader, who helps her on her search. Unfortunately, the rescue mission gets cut short, Tandy has a power surge when she sees a vision of her dead dad and runs off.
The third story we see is Detective O’Reilly as the devil at her brains door, Mayhem, escapes and decides to enact her own version of justice. Mayhem is much more assertive and violent and, it’s kind of glorious. She goes rogue and shows up to see the widow of one of the men who was murdered at the gang summit, after going Jack the Ripper on a $100k Kandinsky, and threatening to do the same to everything else in the house, she manages to find out the info she needs. She heads to the docks where she bumps into Tandy and that’s where things start to get hella interesting.
While watching the memorial for over a dozen missing brown and black girls from a poor neighborhood and getting a lesson in racial politics from Andre , he gets a call and Tandy rushes off to the hospital to see an almost comatose Makayla. Wanting to get to the bottom of what happened, she slips into her mind and figures out what happened to her, she gets a lead and uses social media pics to find out more, which is how she ended up bumping into Mayhem leading to an epic bad guy beat down with a riotgirl style soundtrack in the background. After Mayhem sends Tandy to stand guard she finds out that there’s another shipment of girls coming in and once she has gotten all she needs from the ambulance driver, she kills him in a way that would make Deadpool smile.
Evita shows up at the church to apologize to Ty, where he tells her about what happened in the ambulance and how she has to find her. It is nice to see him open up and it was equally nice to see her help him through it because, it works and they end up at the hospital putting him right back on the path of him and Tandy being a dynamic duo, kicking bad guy ass and saving all the missing girls. Tyrone heads to O’Reilly’s to fill her in on what he discovered and finds her tied up and, after he rescues her he poofs to Tandy to warn her and that’s where we discover that Mayhem isn’t the other half of a split personality, it’s a different person.
On Drugs in marginalized communities-
Those people choose misery and I’m sick of watching it
People don’t choose to suffer Tandy and, they don’t choose to hurt.
On missing minority girls-
Where are the cops, the reporters, they should be all over this.
They would be if YOU went missing.
– Andre Deschaine
Episode High: Watching Tandy and Mayhem, in an O’Reilly suit, go ape shit on the bad guys to stop them from trafficking women was everything. I love it when girls are more damn hell in a dress than damsels in distress.
I found White Lines to be amazing. Cloak and Dagger is setting itself up to be the This is Us of the Marvel Universe because I felt all the feelings and still got all the action. Jennifer Phang is a brilliant director and the way she frames shots and gets such honest and emotional performances out her actors is to be applauded. Between her directing, the killer script and the truly breathtaking performances I spent the second half of this two-part season starter feeling some pretty real feelings about some imaginary characters. Honestly, at this point in the game, if you aren’t all about Cloak and Dagger, I really don’t know what you are doing with your life. And, I’ve got to give a special shout out to the music supervisor because this soundtrack is FIRE.
I give this completion of the series premiere arc a 9.8
Season 2 of Cloak and Dagger picks up 8 months after where Season 1 left off and, a lot has changed in that time. We find our two heroes lives swapped, Tyrone is now living in the church, on the run from a murder rap and Tandy has a wonderful home life and is even back to doing ballet and living a normal life with her mom. Ty is spending his nights fighting cabin fever by robbing stash houses in an attempt to put them out of business by using his special gift much to Detective Brigid O’Reilly ‘s chagrin. Tandy and her mom are going to a support group for domestic violence survivor and victims trying to rebuild their relationship. O’Reilly is dealing with her own demons as she tries to put the pieces of her life back together while trying to clear Ty and put the group of corrupt cops behind her boyfriends’ death behind bars. O’Reilly isn’t the only one looking out for Ty while he’s been on the lam, Tandy has been dropping off supplies and doing movie night at the church with him.
Tandy and her mom have a heart to heart over cooking but, Tandy cuts things short under the guise of a makeup ballet class in order to do some recon on one of her support group members, Makayla, ex Jeremy. While Tandy is watching Jeremy Tyrone is playing master stalker himself, checking in on his parents and Evita to see how they’re doing. Both of the divine pairing are missing being a hero, even though them actually saving the world goes unnoticed by all of the people they’ve saved leading them to continue their hero antics separately. Tandy scares the crap out of the abusive Jeremy and Ty hits another drug stash house, while Ty ends up getting the crap kicked out of him mid-robbery, leaving Tandy to save him.
Tandy and Ty get into a deep discussion about everything. This episode explored the themes of loss, love, and family and the very real feelings of emptiness and the post-rescue conversation lays it all out on the table in a relatable and beautiful way. .Meanwhile, Detective O’Reilly is called in to help settle the turf was that Ty has started and her inner beast is getting harder to hold back.
By the end of the first episode, they both learn that they aren’t too good at the hero thing on their own. Tandy’s plan backfires and Makayla ends up back with her ex because he was terrorized by a gang of thugs (aka Tandy) and needs her. Ty and Tandy link up and he not only apologizes to her for lashing out but, asks for her help which is a good thing because they are so much better together. Leading them to a mission at a night club while they attempt to get evidence of the gangs’ activity using the recorder Tandy gave Ty to help him study. Sadly, their plan doesn’t work exactly as planned and the secret drug dealer meeting ends up with all of the local gangs, higher-ups slaughtered.
Fave Quote: “Solitude has made you sassy.”
Episode High: Movie Night. The banter between Ty and Tandy is amazing, it was funny, playful, sassy and provided a bit of lightheartedness to the sadness and isolation of Ty’s situation. It was nice to see them have a little fun.
Episode Low: It was hella heartbreaking to watch Ty hide in the bushes for glimpses of the people that he loves. Aubrey Joseph is an amazing actor and it is evidenced by his ability to break our whole heart as he watches from afar, just the look in his eyes will give you the weepies.
Overall I found Restless Energy to be one of the best season two premieres that I have seen in a long time. It didn’t feel like it missed a beat, built upon the momentum and anticipation from the season one finale, laid out all the major characters and, set up a multitude of possible storylines to keep the viewer on their toes. It was real, emotional, raw, beautifully acted and brilliantly directed. It managed to set things up and place things on 3rd base so that the second part of this two-episode premiere, could knock it out of the park.
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. They quickly learn they are better together than apart, but their feelings for each other make their already complicated world even more challenging.
Tandy and Tyrone come face-to-face as the two are able to sit down and talk. Having not been able to tell anyone else what they have been experiencing, both take the opportunity to finally confide in the one person who may truly understand what they are going through. Meanwhile, Otis reveals a secret side of himself and Greg seems to be onto something with Melissa’s case against Roxxon.
Tandy and Tyrone have finally come together and after what feels like an excessive amount of teasing, we’re finally getting into the mystery of it all such as Tandy’s father’s death, their powers, and more. I’d have liked to have seen this point sooner in a faster paced series we’re we need to be for things to get rolling.
Interspersed with their meeting we also explore the two’s outside world as they use their powers or smarts to deal with the issues facing them. Tandy wants to find out more about her father’s death but to do so she must figure out if her mother’s new boyfriend is trust worthy. The twist there is rather unexpected and a nice change of pace. Tyrone wants to find the killer of his brother and for that he must face the police. A young black man confronting the police isn’t something he wants to do and we as viewers are all to aware of the reality of that.
And that’s one of the strengths of the series. It, so far, hasn’t been afraid to tackle real world issues straight on with Tyrone and the police being a prime example of that. The series is all the stronger for it and places it in our reality helping us relate to the stakes better. The episode goes beyond that ongoing issue to also discuss suicide with a public service announcement at the end. It’s a shocking twist and one that’s a bit heartbreaking. It’s also some of the most real any of these characters have been. These two topics show this is a show that might revolve around heroes but it’s the real people that’ll make or break them.
We also get the focus on relationships beyond just Tandy and Tyrone but with their parents or a love interest. Much like the reality of police brutality or discussion of suicide it all grounds the series for the better. It took us too long to get to this point but we’re finally here and for that I’m grateful. Hopefully the rest of the series is more focused like this one instead of dancing around setting things up. While it’s good to watch the first three episodes this is the one where it feels like the series really starts.
Tandy is on the run as Detective O’Reilly closes in on her, but the detective may not be after her for the reasons Tandy thinks. Tyrone is desperate for answers and turns to Evita and her Auntie Clarisse, a Voodoo priestess, for help.
The third episode of Marvel’s Cloak & Dagger dives in to the connection between Tandy and Tyrone as each have spiritual journeys. And it’s those visions that are fascinating.
Tandy sees the experiences of Tyrone in a way invoking police brutality and lynching with imagery that are gut punches and evoke some of the more consciously aware aspects of Marvel’s Luke Cage which airs on Netflix.
It’s an interesting episode in that much of it is told from visions that eventually bring our two heroes together. They’re connected and through this we see them coming together in a way. The imagery is fantastic. The choice to do things this way is… creative and different.
Some of my criticisms of the previous episode are minimized too. The acting is better and there’s a lot of interesting emotional moments. The series is still a bit too slow but it looks like it might finally be picking up. While not the best Marvel adaptation for television, it’s an intriguing one that I want to catch more of.
Tandy and Tyrone try to grasp what has happened to them with their new-found powers, while Tandy’s past catches up with her and Tyrone becomes consumed with revenge. Meanwhile, Detective Brigid O’Reilly works an interesting case that has ties to Tandy.
The debut episode of Marvel’s Cloak & Dagger was a bit of fresh air in its interesting characters, reworking of the source material, and the direction. The episode is great to look at and the acting by the leads Aubrey Joseph and Olivia Holt were engaging enough. While the episode is a bit slow, it’s engaging in its set up creating a show between Marvel’s Netflix series and Hulu’s Runaways in look and tone.
The second episode takes some of that momentum and chucks it to the side revealing a lot of the flaws.
The biggest issue is lead Olivia Holt who plays Tandy. While there’s some great moments, her performance is often wooden and stilted reminding me a lot of Elisha Cuthbert’s Kim Bauer in 24. This is very apparent in the beginning of the episode where some line readings are rather painful to watch. But, there’s other moments where she’s great which makes it all the more confusing. Compare that to Joseph whose performance is top notch and you can feel his pain and turmoil. Even while standing there you know what he’s thinking and how he’s feeling. How this gap plays out when the two are on screen together will be interesting and hopefully Joseph ups Holt’s performance.
The episode focuses on two tracks, the spiral of Tandy and Tyrone dealing with the discovery of his brother’s murderer. Tandy’s plot is ok as she mostly deals with the events of the first episode and attempts to get out of town. It feels stretched out and we get to learn a little more about her but compared to Tyrone’s story, it’s something we can see in so many other shows. Tyrone though is focused on the man who killed his brother which has him distracted and impacting others. This is the more interesting of the two plotlines as we can feel for him and Joseph’s acting is so good. His reaction watching teammates running or himself doing suicide sprints, we know exactly what he’s thinking and feeling and can feel empathy for him. He might not say a ton but out of the two, we have a better sense of him. This is partially a case of one character being good and the other bad but even in the bad characters we need a bit of sympathy to not write them off.
While the powers are kept to a minimum there’s some interesting directions of the episode as the series builds and it leaves us with some cliffhangers. Not a bad episode but in many ways a step back from the debut.