Marvel's first Cloak and Dagger trailer just dropped and I'm really excited. The TV side of the Marvel Cinematic Universe has been hit or miss as of late. And with the market on the verge of oversaturation by comic book adaptations, the burden will be on creators to craft unique shows that hook audiences or risk being eaten alive by a pack of angry nerds.
This time, Marvel TV looks like it's going full YA (young adult) with this series - something they have never done before.
Now before you guys go all cynical TV snob on me, hear me out: I don't think this is a bad idea at all. If done well, a YA-themed comic book drama would be able to access aspects of the Marvel Cinematic Universe we haven't seen before. The key will be in the execution and the showrunners' ability to make us fall in love with these heroes; mainly the title characters.
But who are Cloak
Cloak and Dagger have been important players in Marvel comics for almost 30 years now. I'm not going to get into their history (you have Google for that) , but the two have participated in some of Marvel comic's biggest events like the first Civil War, Dark X-Men, and Maximum Carnage storylines.
Beyond helping the Avengers save the world more than once, Cloak and Dagger are primarily street level heroes. This falls perfectly in line with the theme of Marvel TV focusing on micro-level stories rather than tackling large scale premises.
In the comics, Cloak and Dagger's powers were the result of various experiments done on them. It was later revealed that the experiments didn't really give them powers, but rather just triggered their latent mutant genes to surface.
Cloak had powers of teleportation, intangibility, and the ability to absorb individuals into what is called the "darkforce dimension".
Dagger can create psionic
"light" daggers. These daggers have the ability to drain one's life force or
heal them of injuries and/or even addictions.
One of the more interesting dynamics of Cloak and Dagger's relationship is that their powers are sort of co-dependent to each other. A side effect of Cloak's power is the he has a form of "hunger" (like that of a vampire's) that is only satiated by "consuming" the beings he absorbed into his dark dimension or by one of Dagger's light daggers. On the flipside, Dagger can get "overcharged" by her light powers, and an effective outlet to avoid getting burned out is by using her powers on Cloak.
Even with such fantastical powers, Cloak and Dagger's adventures focus on street level crimes, usually about stopping large drug syndicates and similar threats. This has also allowed them to cross paths with some of the currently active street level heroes of the MCU.
They've worked with Netflix series characters such as Daredevil and Luke Cage multiple times. They've even been involved with multiple major Spider-Man-related events. Hopefully, these connections allow them to crossover with some of Marvel's more established properties; something the MCU and TV side is sorely missing right now.
One of the things I like most about the trailer is that it feels in-tune with the other Marvel/Netflix series that we've seen. It feels dark and grounded despite its obviously YA theme. It also gives off an air of reality and relatability, even in the midst of its CW-ish backdrop. It looks like the series is leaning more on the humanity of these characters (but not in a drama-filled, teen series campy sort of way) while still being a Marvel series.
Hopefully, the creators will keep in mind that the series should focus on the darkness and vulnerabilities of the main characters rather than being another crime fighting duo with teenagers. I have no problems with drama, but I'd be put off with a campy, over-the-top, scandal-driven one.
A compelling story that focuses on the problems of the relationship would be the perfect way to integrate Cloak and Dagger into the ever growing Marvel Cinematic Universe; making it a unique, stand-alone story in itself.
P.S. Word around the rumor mill is that Hulu's Runaways and/or the New Warriors might have connections with Cloak and Dagger. If those turn out to be true then that would be awesome, as Cloak and Dagger have interacted with these characters in the comics as well.Ã