Cloak & Dagger: First Light


Oh say can you see, by my hand’s weird white light…

Marvel continues its takeover of every available network, as Cloak and Dagger come to Freeform. The pair of heroes first appeared in 1982 in Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man 64. They were originally very anti-drug focused. Their powers have changed a good bit in this version, as has their origin. In the comics they’ve been the typical “gained powers in an accident” kind of powered beings, and then for a while were written as mutants. Now, well… we’ll see.

“First Light” begins with scenes of Tandy (Dagger) and Tyrone (Cloak) as kids. Tandy is at ballet class (which is right from the comics) and Tyrone is on the streets with his brother in less good circumstances. As Tyrone and Billy get into worse and worse trouble, Tandy goes through something horrible for a kid and we get an idea about her home life. What finally happens is a nasty accident that changes Tyrone and Tandy’s lives forever, brought to you by Roxxon, a questionable/evil company in many Marvel movies and shows. Things get very weird and forge a bond between our two young heroes.

Years later, Tyrone and Tandy are high school age, and we once again cut back and forth between their lives. Tandy has definitely not gotten a better life for herself, but she’s good at what she does, I’ll give her that. Tyrone is a basketball player with a lot of pressure on him from his coach and some inexplicably biased referees. Tyrone finally snaps, with predictably bad results. There’s definitely a big contrast in their lives. There’s also more flashbacks to earlier in their lives, and villainy from Roxxon. Tandy’s hideout is a nice nod to the comics.

Tandy and her partner, Liam, try and follow up on their earlier activities, but don’t get the result Tandy was hoping for. Tyrone is having a more typical high school experience, and gets invited to a big party out in the woods (which sounds like a horror set up to me, but it’s not that kind of story). After we see a bit more of Tandy’s current home life, and why she’s not there more, she and Tyrone end up at the same party, although their meeting isn’t exactly what you’d expect. They have a confrontation and their powers suddenly emerge, stunning both of them.

Tandy and Liam enjoy each other’s company in his truck, and then she sits there wondering about her powers, angels, and God. Liam makes a comment that shows he’s been paying attention to her at least. Tyrone goes home and falls into bed, then gets a surprise later when his powers kick in. You thought sleepwalking was bad? He turns up somewhere very interesting.

In flashback again, we see young Tyrone and his family dealing with the aftermath of what happened with Billy, and it’s not good for them. The police are hiding something, but then again, they do have legitimate footage that doesn’t help Tyrone’s case any. In the present, Tyrone finds out something about the lies he was told as a kid, and gets some detail as well.

Tandy has a tense conversation with her mother that ends up triggering her powers, or at least this show’s version of her powers. It’s an interesting take on the character that I haven’t seen before, and I’m curious to see how this develops. Tyrone finally gets home and has his own tense conversation with his mother after he does some research. I ended up feeling bad for both of them.

Tandy kept a few things for herself from her earlier escapades, and finally ends up using some of it. She does something kind of unique that most stagehands would probably approve of, but has a bad reunion afterwards. She did something wrong, certainly, but the response is really nasty. This triggers a different facet of Tandy’s powers, living up to her codename, and something else she can’t do in the comics.

Tyrone has an accidental confrontation with someone from his past. We see that he’s a very clever kid, whether or not he has powers, or any degree of control over them. After a chase scene, his powers kick in again, confusing him and his pursuer both. It’s a scene that hints strongly at his comic book look. The show ends by revealing that both of our main characters have souvenirs from their initial meeting.

What I liked: I thought it was a nice touch they tie into the rest of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (Roxxon) but leave it subtle for now. The reversal of expectations for Tandy and Tyrone’s living situation was a nice touch. Tandy’s powers are very different from her comic version, but it’s some interesting choices I want to see play out.

What I didn’t: She’s been through a lot, but I’m having a little trouble liking Tandy at this point. I would like to see a show where the police aren’t a force for evil.

All in all, I thought this was pretty good. I’ll give it a high 3.5 out of 5. I’m looking forward to seeing how the story unfolds.