Marvel and DC have very, very different television strategies. While DC has developed a core of superhero shows on the CW and letting other properties like Lucifer and Preacher air on other networks, Marvel has largely stuck to Netflix series and having Agents of SHIELD and Agent Carter anchor their TV lineup. But they’re about to branch out, and to something very, very different from what they’ve done before.
Marvel’s next series is going to be superhero teen drama Cloak and Dagger, airing on Freeform. And yes, it’ll be tied to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The series will follow Tyrone, who can phase through matter, teleport, and trap people in a “dark dimension,” and Tandy, who can throw “light daggers.” They also depend on each other in other senses: Tyrone’s powers give him a “hunger” for light, and Tandy will overcharge unless she regularly releases some of the light she’s gathering. They also fall in love, because this is a Freeform series.
It’s a surprising choice, especially as it’s been ordered straight to series without so much as a writing staff. Cloak and Dagger have been favorites of Marvel editorial and fans for a while, but they’ve never exactly been major players, either. On the other hand, five years ago, if you’d said two b-list superheroes were going to star in a TV show about interracial romance, you probably would have been laughed out of the room. It’ll be especially interesting to see where this goes as Marvel has tended to put its shows into “silos” of sorts: ABC is the home of shows about SHIELD and superspy v. superhero intrigue, while Netflix is home to gritty street-level crimefighting stories. If Cloak and Dagger is a hit, we might see more teen-focused shows with a dollop of romance out of the network, and Marvel has a lot of books that would fit in with that overall theme. Hey, if Supergirl is a hit for CBS, why can’t we see more of Spider-Gwen?