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.
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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.
Overall Rating: 7.75
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.
Overall Rating: 7.5
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.
Overall Rating: 7.0
Ahead of their television debut this Thursday night on Freeform, Marvel has announced a new Cloak and Dagger digital exclusive comic series written by Dennis Hopeless with art by David Messina! The first issue of the 6-issue can be download right now in the Marvel Comics App or on ComiXology and Kindle!
After meeting as runaways, vigilante teenagers Tyrone (“Cloak”) Johnson and Tandy (“Dagger”) Bowen were illegally experimented on and gifted with mysterious powers. As the living personifications of light and dark, their complementary abilities force them to rely on each other as they team up to save innocent people on the streets of New York, and around the world. This in-continuity Digital Series has been specifically designed to welcome new readers while giving long-time Marvelites the latest eagerly-awaited chapter in this fan-favorite duo’s story.
The highly-anticipated new television series, Marvel’s Cloak & Dagger premieres Thursday, June 7, 8/7c on Freeform.
Two teenagers from very different backgrounds find themselves burdened and awakened to newly acquired superpowers which are mysteriously linked to one another. The only constant in their lives is danger and each other.
While I know of Cloak and Dagger, the characters are two I never read a lot of. I’ve enjoyed their cameos in other Marvel Comics series, and the little I’ve read is entertaining, but the pair aren’t two characters that were must reads for me in their 42 years of existence. With Freeform‘s new live action series, the characters are now in the spotlight.
The characters, and series’ underpinnings are familiar. Two very different individuals are brought together through a connection. In some cases, like those of Shakespeare, it’s love and romance, but in this case it’s shared traumatic experiences and superpowers linked to each other.
Olivia Holt is Tandy Bowen, aka Dagger while Aubrey Joseph takes on the role of Tyrone Johnson, aka Cloak. One representing the light the other the dark, at times the idea of the presentation of a blond haired white girl representing the light while a black man represents the dark would make me wince. What Freeform and Marvel has done here however is give us a debut episode that challenges our biases, twists our expectations, and updates the series in a few ways.
No longer are the two runaways who gain their powers from synthetic heroin, instead they’re teens who have each experienced trauma. Tandy’s father died in a car crash in which she was in the back seat while Tyrone witnesses his brother being shot. One reminds us of the corrupt corporate America we live in while the other reminds us of the corrupt police state we live in. Both speak to modern times. But, instead of Tyrone being a thief in the comics, instead he’s the troubled youth who’s good underneath while Tandy is the one lashing out at her life situation. The light is a little dark and the dark is a little light. It’s not too shocking in ways and feels rather comic by numbers, the changes from the source material make more sense and feel fresher in many ways, though the use of opioids would have been rather timely.
The debut episode is a solid one that has me interested in finding out more about these two, their powers and what Roxxon corporation has to do with it all. That corporation is a thread that has run through many of Marvel’s live action movies and series and the use of it here is smart in that it not only ties into the greater meta but also delivers a villain for the times.
The two actors give worth performances that are entertaining and touching and their chemistry for the time they’re together is good. Each is put through their own situations and we get to know them and it sets up what we can expect.
Production value is good and while a lot of the show is shot in a dark setting, it’s not to a point that it’s difficult to see what’s going on. The use of special fx is minimal and when it’s used, it feels special and unexpected.
The show is a grounded one having more in common with teenage drama than superheroes and spandex. The series is another shift in Marvel’s live action offerings and fills a space that feels empty in many ways. Based on this first episode, it’s a welcome one as the debut has me wanting to come back for more and feels like the perfect entry for late spring/early summer television standing out while all the other comic shows are winding down.
Overall Rating: 8.5
With a television show debuting this week on Freeform, it shouldn’t be a surprise that Marvel is bringing back Cloak and Dagger in a new comic series. Today saw the release of a teaser with “Shadows and Light” with the “t” being the unmistakable dagger of Dagger.
The characters have appeared more frequently in recent comics but haven’t starred in their own series for some time. They first appeared in Peter Parker, the Spectacular Spider-Man #64 in 1976 and went on to star in their own limited series and then ongoing. Their last starring comic was Spider-Island: Cloak & Dagger #1 in 2011.
Standing up for the way the world should be. Marvel’s Cloak & Dagger premieres Thursday, June 7 on Freeform.
Taking back what is theirs. Marvel’s Cloak & Dagger premieres Thursday, June 7 on Freeform.
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. The series is based on the beloved comic characters and is co-produced by Marvel Television and ABC Signature Studios.
Marvel’s Cloak & Dagger stars Olivia Holt, Aubrey Joseph, Andrea Roth, Gloria Reuben, Miles Mussenden, Carl Lundstedt, Emma Lahana, Jaime Zevallos, and J.D. Evermore.
Marvel’s Cloak & Dagger premieres on THURSDAY, JUNE 7 (8:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. EDT), with a two-hour event on Freeform.