‘Marvel’s Cloak And Dagger’ Coming To ABC’s Freeform As Live-Action Adaptation

Cloak and Dagger are the newest superheroes to join the Marvel Cinematic Universe, according to Deadline. Freeform, the new name of ABC Family, has given this project, titled Marvel’s Cloak and Dagger, the straight-to-series order, meaning that it won’t just start as a television pilot.

Cloak and Dagger are joining the Marvel Television side of their Cinematic Universe, along with Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and the Netflix shows Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Iron Fist, and The Defenders. There is also an untitled television project American Crime creator John Ridley is working on with Marvel. It seems as if this show has been in the works for several years, with Marvel Television head Jeph Loeb making the announcement in 2011. At the time, Marvel Studios was on track to try and produce a Hulk live-action television series, a show featuring Adrianne Palicki’s character Bobbi Morse (Mockingbird) from S.H.I.E.L.D., whom will now be getting her own spinoff series with Nick Blood (Hunter), Marvel’s Most Wanted. In addition, Marvel was going to produce A.K.A. Jessica Jones for ABC as well as Cloak and Dagger.

Cloak and Dagger first appeared in Peter Parker, the Spectacular Spider-Man #64, which was published in March 1982. Cloak (Tyrone “Ty” Johnson) and Dagger (Tandy Bowen), created by writer Bill Mantlo and artist Ed Hannigan, were both former drug addicts in the comics. Tyrone was a 17-year-old from Boston who ran away to New York City after seeing his best friend shot by the police. Tandy was a 16-year-old girl with privilege, born in Shaker Heights, Ohio, who ran away due to her neglectful, multi-millionaire supermodel mother. The two troubled teens met one another when Tyrone prevented a mugger from stealing her purse after he had considered stealing it himself. Ty and Tandy became friends, started falling in love, and were given superpowers after a criminal chemist injected them with a new kind of synthetic heroin.

Ty found that he had the ability to engulf others in darkness, along with the ability of teleportation and intangibility. Tandy was glowing with light, had the ability to form “daggers” of light, purge addictions from others, and heal them with her light daggers. They dubbed themselves “Cloak and Dagger,” declaring a war on drug-related crime and drug dealers while vowing to help runaway children.

Cloak and Dagger’s co-creator and artist Ed Hannigan discussed how he and Mantlo jointly came up with the visual designs for both characters.

“Bill had a short page or two synopsis of the story that he showed me, and we discussed what the characters would look like. He gave me a lot of leeway, but it was fairly obvious that Cloak would be black and have a big ‘animated’ black cloak and Dagger would be white with a skintight leotard-type thing. I am not sure, but I think I might have come up with her ballet angle. I put the same kind of amulet/clasp on both costumes and came up with the dagger-shaped cutout on her costume, which was quite daring at the time. The hardest part was determining what her ‘light daggers’ would look like.”

Mantlo described how the characters came to be.

“They came in the night, when all was silent and my mind was blank,” Mantlo said. “They came completely conceived as to their powers and attributes, their origin and motivation. They embodied between them all that fear and misery, hunger and longing that had haunted me on Ellis Island.”

Marvel’s Cloak and Dagger does not currently have a showrunner or writers, and the cast has not yet been assembled, but we should be hearing casting news and a showrunner announcement in the next few months. The source material is pretty dark and sobering, and with the show being greenlit for Freeform, it’s unsure what the tone of the series will be. But it sounds as if the demographic for Freeform is the 14-34 age range, which means Marvel’s Cloak and Dagger may be a bit lighter than some fans would like.

[Image via Disney/Marvel Entertainment]