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Who are Marvel’s Cloak & Dagger?

Written by Dara Berkey

With the release of the latest trailer from the MCU, Freeform’s Cloak & Dagger will be introducing two superheroes and their powers to the MCU. But for those casual fans who don’t know who Cloak and Dagger are and for those who can’t remember every single minor hero, this article is for your benefit.

Who is Cloak?

Cloak is an African-American male named Tyrone Johnson. His powers can allow him access the dark dimension. He can use the dark dimension to teleport himself and Dagger. In addition, he can trap someone in the dark dimension, making them a victim and feeding on them. But usually he feeds on the light provided by Dagger.

Who is Dagger?

Dagger is a white girl, supposedly from a rich background, named Tandy Bowen. Her powers allow her the ability to create psionic light daggers that can go wherever she wills them. She can also drain someone’s vitality. Her ability to feed Cloak’s ‘hunger’ also makes sure that she does not get too overcharged.

Comic Book History

Ty and Tandy were both runaways, first appearing the pages of Spider-Man comics Peter Parker, the Spectacular Spider-Man Issue 64, March of 1982. In their origin story, the two runaways Ty from Boston and Tandy from Ohio met and became fast friends. They were taken by Simon Marshall, who was working for Silvermane and the Maggia—they were experimented on with some synthetic drugs. In doing so, Ty and Tandy got their powers. They are considered human mutants and not mutants, which is probably a good thing since Fox owns the rights to make the movies and shows about the X-Men properties.

Their powers made them dependent on each other, which depending on the writer can be done nice or poorly. They become Cloak and Dagger. As small-time street-level vigilantes, they combated drugs on the streets. While they haven’t had a running series, they are featuring prominent throughout Earth-616, including storylines with the Avengers, X-Men, and Spider-Man. For example, during the comics “Civil War,” Cloak and Dagger were apart of Captain America’s resistance against the Superhuman Registration Act.

Controversies

Their creation and portrayal is going to cause some griping and controversy just like Iron Fist did. Cloak is the character with the powers of dark, who also happened to be the African-American character. Dagger is the character with the powers of light, who also happened to be white. Was it intentional racism? Probably not, but it’s highly questionable. Marvel was aware of it and had at once explained in a storyline that their powers were supposed to be reversed and that’s when they were going to be at their strongest, but because of Simon Marshall’s interference they got the powers they did. Then, of course, it’s a matter of so Marvel’s saying that Ty can’t handle the powers of dark to the best of his ability. Eventually, they switched powers on occasion.

Their relationship in itself is another controversy and not because they are an interracial couple, it’s because “they need each other.” Their powers quite effectively made their lives dependent on being with each other constantly. I don’t know how healthy a relationship that can be.

The Freeform Show

Cloak & Dagger will be on ABC’s Freeform channel, which is targeted at a teenage audience. In all honesty, other than the Runaways, Marvel and ABC couldn’t have picked better heroes to give a show. However, I have a very strange feeling that it’s going to be teen melodrama and less about superheroes and vigilantes. It is perfectly okay, I guess, since they are targeting a different audience than the Netflix shows and the movies. My hope is that they will portray Ty and Tandy’s relationship is a healthy, respectful manner and not a creepy, possessive, obsessive type relationships because of their ‘need’ for each other. But I’m not going to hold my breath.

Cloak & Dagger premieres sometime this year, starring Olivia Holt as Tandy Bowen/Dagger and Aubrey Joseph as Tyrone ‘Ty’ Johnson/Cloak.

What do you think about Marvel’s Cloak & Dagger? Are you going to check out the show when it comes out?  Sound off in the comments or send us your thoughts on Twitter!

About the author

Dara Berkey

Superhero nerd. History nerd. Favorite personal hero--Shazam/The Original Captain Marvel. Favorite female hero--Any of the Batgirls. Favorite male hero, other than Shazam--Any of the Robins.

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