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An Ode to CLOAK & DAGGER’s Undeniable Brilliance
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Cloak & Dagger heroes Tyrone and Tandy’s big crossover to Runaways will be their final stand on TV. Deadline announced that the Freeform Marvel series was cancelled after only two seasons. The article suggests that ratings were behind the decision to axe the teenage heroes epic journey but that doesn’t make devoted viewers any less heartbroken. Cloak & Dagger stood out from the Marvel TV crowd with a story that not only made marked improvements on its source material, but also explored heavy hitting issues that affect millions of people in America.

This story stepped outside of the typical New York City superhero scene and immersed viewers in New Orleans’ rich culture. Cloak & Dagger utilized the city’s ongoing legacy of spy boys, Mardi Gras, and voudon by inserting them into Tyrone’s arc. The character himself was a rarity in superhero stories: portrayed by Aubrey Joseph, Tyrone was a Black teenage boy dealing with PTSD and deeply rooted anger.

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Cloak & Dagger explored police brutality, harassment, spirituality, love, respectability politics, and heartbreaking loss through Tyrone as he weaved through his pain and joy while trying to hone his powers. His story was important, brilliant, and a special gem that showcased the complexities and richness of Black culture through an ordinary boy with extraordinary abilities. Ty’s growth as a person and with his powers was a cause for celebration as he moved forward like a shadow into his new normal. It was a great decision to allow his TV counterpart to remain human unlike his shadowy comic counterpart and give him the more affluent backstory to tackle issues faced by middle-class Black families in predominately White spaces.

Ty’s story played well into Tandy’s (Olivia Holt) with them uniting on the worst night of their young lives. Tandy’s journey of uncovering the truth about her father’s legacy, searching for love and affection, and fighting to trust others was a powerful joy to watch. Her relationship with Ty forced her to come to terms with her own privileges as a White girl and to re-examine her relationship with her mother. She was angry, wayward, bold, brilliant, vulnerable, fallible, and cunning with a healthy amount of agency. It was nothing short of amazing to see her take down detractors with daggers of light and run straight towards imminent danger.

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Tandy balanced Tyrone’s fears with words of encouragement and action. In return, he brought a sobering wisdom and rationale to quell her impulsiveness and penchant for dangerous situations. They argued and pushed back against each other but their friendship and bond built through brokenness always superseded their own egos. Cloak and Dagger were the definition of a great team who liberated New Orleans, saved sex trafficking victims, and helped each other gain the justice they deserved. The pair had finally started to expand their powers and settle into their status as heroes, so it’s unfortunate that the network has pulled the plug on their incredible story.

The show’s supporting characters were equally as complex and well-developed as its heroes. The juxtaposition of O’Reilly and Mayhem as two sides of the same coin, D’Spayre’s shocking origin story, and the all too real power plays made by Detective Connors made them all interesting and worthy adversaries. The teens parents were able to have their own space in the narrative as they dealt with their respective losses and tried to delicately navigate their relationships with their kids. And, Tyrone’s girlfriend Evita showed a young Black woman tapping into her own magic as a voudon practitioner.

There’s the slim hope that Cloak & Dagger will be revived on Disney + or perhaps the characters will find their way into the next stage of Marvel movies. Showrunner Joe Pokaski himself took to Twitter and hinted that the duo’s story may not be completely done.

This could mean appearances in other properties or new comic adventures. But, there’s nothing like really getting to dive into Cloak and Dagger’s story in their own live-action series. But, the only thing that is certain for now is the show’s cancellation. RIP Cloak & Dagger. You are truly something special and already missed by your biggest fans.

Featured Image: Alfonso Bresciani/Freeform