Entering Marvel’s Cloak & Dagger episode 1, it was difficult to necessarily define what expectations should be. We are talking here about an ambitious comic-book adaptation on a network like Freeform that doesn’t have a reputation for delivering on superhero shows. They’ve only started to get into a little bit of darker programming since shedding the ABC Family skin that they had for many years.
Yet, Cloak & Dagger is right up there with Siren as a fine example of something that Freeform is doing very right in 2018. They’re coming up with interesting stories to cater to their young audience that are different than things they’ve seen before. We have a feeling that the majority of viewers for this show aren’t going to be familiar with the source material here but after watching the show, that’s okay. This actually didn’t even feel like a comic-book show for most of the premiere.
Instead, we’d really describe the series as the story of two teenagers in Tandy and Tyrone who have each went through a shared dramatic experience many years before, and that said experience left them with powers that they cannot completely explain. They didn’t even know they had them until one fateful night when everything comes to light (in some ways, intentionally so). These two lived very different lives before that meeting, with Tyrone a good student and member of the basketball team while Tandy had a life as a street-thief constantly seeking out more money.
In the aftermath of their reunion, they soon realized after this that their lives will never be the same. Tandy’s actions defending herself (powers included) had a deadly consequence at the end of the episode, one that is likely going to lead to her life spinning out of control. These characters are both people who have experienced drastic turning points in their lives and they are on the cusp of another one.
What we really appreciated about Cloak & Dagger episode 1, more so than anything else, was the patience it offered up. This show really took its time giving us a good sense of who Tandy and Tyrone are as people, and that is going to be so much more important than any powers they inhabit or where they go from here. It’s an immersive story with a good cast and solid writing — it’s one of the most pleasant surprises that Marvel has come up with to date. It feels realistic while still immersed in comic-book lore.
Do we want to see more of the powers from here, and eventually more of Tandy and Tyrone together? Absolutely, but for now we consider the premiere a nice start with a number of good Cloak & Dagger comic allusions thrown in there for good measure.
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