Cloak and Dagger are two of the most-beloved C-List Marvel superheroes, and there's been a concerted effort to bring them to television in one form or another for the last few years. While casting and production is still in the rumors stages, we know that the runaway superheroes (lower-case "r") are gearing up for their own show on ABC's Freeform channel. If you don't know your Cloak from your Dagger, we've put together a Crash Course to get you up to speed.

Cloak and Dagger are Tyrone Johnson and Tandy Bowen, two runaway teens who met in New York City. Tyrone was a shy black kid with a speech impediment; Tandy was a privileged white girl from the suburbs, and together they were manipulated into the clutches of an organized crime operation to test a new synthetic heroin on homeless children.

Instead of killing the two teens, or getting them high, the drug gave them super powers. Tyrone became Cloak, capable of accessing the Dark Dimension through a portal contained within his own body; and Tandy became Dagger, able to throw sharp projectiles made of pure light.


Rick Leonardi / Marvel Comics
Rick Leonardi / Marvel Comics


The characters were created by Bill Mantlo and Ed Hannigan as a platform to highlight New York's growing teenage runaway and drug trade problem. After debuting in the pages of Amazing Spider-Man, Cloak and Dagger were spun off into their own miniseries where they established their driving motivation to protect vulnerable homeless children in positions similar to their own.

Since their creation, Cloak and Dagger have seen various explanations for how they got their powers, with some writers insisting that the drugs awoke latent mutant genes within them. The current standing, as of 2010's Cloak and Dagger one-shot, is that they are certainly not mutants, thus freeing them up from any potential rights disputes with X-Men franchise stewards Fox.

A modern day Cloak and Dagger reinvention could provide a great base for tackling a number of important social issues in a young adult television show, if Freeform is willing to explore that, though the "will they/won't they" nature of the two leads' relationship may provide a more television-friendly hook.


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