Thursday 23 August 2018

TV Series Review: MARVEL'S CLOAK & DAGGER (Season 1)

Cloak & Dagger poster

Cloak & Dagger were always strange superheroes, and they certainly weren't mainstream ones. I think that the unbelievable success of the Marvel Universe movies is great because the powers that be are taking risks on lesser known characters such as this pair, and the show has a decent budget along with a fantastic team to bring Cloak & Dagger to life on our television screens.

The characters have been updated from the 80's comic books to make them work in 2018. I like how Tyrone (Cloak) is a black guy from a middle-class family and Tandy (Dagger), the pretty white girl, is the thief with a junkie mother, as opposed to the stereotypes that Hollywood so frequently delivers. The writers have had the luxury of working without the ties of famous stories from graphic novels or essential super-villains linked to the duo, because, let's be honest about this, there aren't any of either. The characters have always been cool but far from Marvel 'big-guns', and I would have thought that the majority of viewers won't be familiar with the comics.

I enjoyed this first season a lot. It had a good mix of teen-drama and dark superhero grittiness, and there was plenty of character development throughout. The main issue I had with it though, was that it could be a little confusing in places, especially for people who are unfamiliar with the characters before watching the TV show. 


Firstly, Cloak & Dagger have powers that are quite confusing in their own right. Cloak can see people's fears and teleport and Dagger can see people's hopes when she touches them. Oh, and she can also generate razor sharp luminous daggers from her hands and throw them. Towards the end of the season, we learn that she also has the power to take people's hopes away, and Cloak has some 'Darkforce' that he can use to make people disappear. Their powers don't seem to be well defined, and continue to evolve throughout the series.

The story starts with both characters as kids leading separate lives that change dramatically on the same day. As a gulf platform, run by the company Roxxon, explodes off the coast of New Orleans, Tyrone witnesses a police officer shoot his brother and Tandy is with her Dad (who works for Roxxon) as their car crashes into the ocean. The explosion caused an energy force to be released which affects the young duo. The show then fast forwards to the present day when they're teenagers. When they physically touch for the first time, the encounter activates their superpowers, which up to that point had been dormant. I decided to stop thinking about this too much at this point, and just go with it!

So, the story is about two kids who suffer tragedy and become linked by some superpowers in a kind of yin-yang way. Cloak wants to bring the cop who killed his brother to justice, and Dagger wants to find out more about her father's death and investigate the company Roxxon.

What I found particularly odd was that the last episode was full of flashbacks to various duos (AKA divine pairings) who saved New Orleans in times of tragedy, and in every case one of the two had to die. This point was forced down our throats and led us to believe that either Cloak or Dagger would have to sacrifice themselves to save the city, as they are the next in a very long line of 'divine pairings'. However, all of that build up went out of the window when they conveniently found out that they could combine powers and save the city by getting rid of the leaking evil energy by firing it into the sky. Talk about an anti-climax, not to mention some questionable writing. 

What was really cool was that, at the end, Cloak & Dagger's ally, Detective Brigid O'Reilly is seen climbing out of a swamp with her eyes glowing, after we had believed that she had been killed. If you are familiar with the comics, you'll know that Brigid O'Reilly dies to become the super-powered vigilante Mayhem. I'm looking forward to seeing what they do with her character in the next season.

To conclude, Cloak & Dagger is an entertaining show. It took a while to get going, but it came into its own soon enough. It's not in the same league as Daredevil or Jessica Jones, but then again, few superhero TV shows are. I do think that it would benefit from some tighter writing and better pacing, and I hope that the next season unleashes the potential that this series clearly has.


No comments

Post a Comment

Blog Layout Designed by pipdig