I love superheros and loved them before it was cool. Before there were billions of dollars into this thing, I waited each afternoon to watch Spider-man, Batman: The Animated Series, and X-man. I got pumped about a weird silver surfer cartoon that got cancelled and when Iron Man came out and started what we now know as the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), I actually knew who Iron Man was and had spent my childhood anticipating his appearance on special episodes of the aforementioned Spider-man.
All that is to say this, as much as I love that we are living in the era that weird comic stories can actually be shown on big screens and binged on small ones, the fact that even I find myself saying “Wow, there’s a lot of superhero stuff out right now” says something. At the point it's hard for a show about superheros to really wow me. I’ve read the comics. I’m familiar with most every major player. I’m enjoying the MCU, but most of the shows just aren’t creating as much anticipation within me they once did.
Which was why when I saddled up to watch Marvel’s Cloak and Dagger, I was pleasantly surprised to find myself hooked. It’s admittedly has the kind of thing I’ve been a sucker for outside of the superhero genre. It’s a teen drama with leads that will surely fall in love and moody, cool music choices that telegraph the scenes maybe a little too much on occasion. But it also attempts to show these soon to be heroes difficult life in a way that might surprise the casual MCU viewer. There’s no sugar coating what the soon to be Cloak and Dagger face and there’s no hiding their flaws either. There’s theft, anger issues, and drug use just in the first episode.
But there’s also honest grappling with what it means to have faith in a world where very difficult things happen. One character, Tyron, wonders when he is supposed to let God deal with wrongdoers and if God is gifting him the ability to handle things on his own. Another, Tandy, sleeps in a church because in spite of her difficult circumstances she can’t forget about a seemingly miraculous incident from her past. Every scene is full of some kind of symbolism or intimate touch, and if you look away, you’ll miss it.
Cloak and Dagger resonates because it has something worth saying about good and evil, light and dark, and hope and doubt. It’s the kind of thing that has kept me coming back to superheros, even now that I am no longer a nine year old eating my afternoon snack, humming along to the ridiculous theme songs. I predict Tyrone and Tandy will keep me coming back for the rest of summer to see where their faith, doubt, and anger lead them. Plus, I really do want to see them fall in love.