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When you pump out as many superhero shows as Marvel has in the past couple years, it's always important to bring something new to the table. The studio recognizes this and is shaking things up with ABC Studios for the Freeform series Cloak And Dagger. Featuring two heroes that virtually no one in the mainstream has heard of is a great start, but Disney SVP Mark Endemano adds some more info that doesn't sound much like anything from Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. or Daredevil:
Cloak & Dagger is about character and emotion above all. It tells of a romance between Tandy and Tyrone in a way that we haven't really seen before in a Marvel TV series. So think Romeo and Juliet, though I can tell you that they won't be dying at the end of the first episode!
If character, emotion, and love take precedence over action, they certainly picked the right characters. Cloak And Dagger are traditionally two teen runaways living in New York City who connect by chance, despite having incredibly different upbringings. Tyrone Johnson (Cloak) is a Boston-born African-American who leaves town after his extreme speech impediment prevents him from stopping his friend from being shot by the police. Tandy Bowen (Dagger) is a white Midwestern girl who runs away after becoming frustrated with her rich supermodel mother not paying attention to her. Of course, the two fall in love and share a romance that hasn't really been shown on Marvel shows other than some superhero sex sessions. Most love is fleeting in the comic-oriented shows we've seen so far, while the love between Cloak and Dagger is pretty consistent in their character history.
That's all provided the Freeform series sticks with the origins of the characters, which Marvel is typically pretty good about. That said, Mark Endemano's comments via MIPBlog have me questioning what exactly about Cloak And Dagger is Romeo and Juliet? Past reporting has indicated that the parents will have some role in the series as actors have been cast, but it's unclear if the characters will be living with their parents, or how that element will work. I think Endemano is specifically referencing the play due to the problematic young love aspect between the characters. Both heroes are in their teens, or at least on the younger side of adulthood, and with Olivia Holt and Aubrey Joseph set as the leads, I don't think they're changing that up.
Strong character development is a hallmark of most of Marvel's shows on television, but you really have a contemporary and fleshed out story with Cloak And Dagger. Surprisingly, these backstories of seemingly hyperbolic characters created from 2017 headlines are rooted within the character's origins first written in 1982. I think that's cool to note, as I'm sure many opening remarks about this show will be that it is steeped in political commentary. While that still may be up for debate, it's not as though Cloak or Dagger changed much to be tailor-made for today's era.
I'm excited to see how Cloak And Dagger shakes things up when it premieres in 2018, as we're sitting on a pretty stacked lineup of Marvel shows currently. If you can't keep track of every hero show out there, our midseason premiere guide and summer premiere schedule is a great resource. Be sure to hit that up and keep it with us for any and all updates on Marvel shows.