Tyrone Johnson is a young African American who was born into a dysfunctional family that had lost a child through drugs in one of the poorest neighbourhoods of Boston. He also suffers from a chronic stammer that he is trying to overcome with the help of his friend Billy. However, in a tragic turn of events, and in an incident that evidently tries to reflect the racial situation in the United States in the last 50 years, his friend is shot down by the police.
After witnessing a robbery in a shop, Tyrone and Billy flee as fast as they can and the police try to detain Billy, but Tyrone’s persistent stammer prevents him from declaring his friend’s innocence to the police, who then shoot the young man. Broken by pain, blame and rage, Tyrone, aged 17, escapes from home and heads to the city of New York.
There he meets Tandy Bowen, who has also run away from home for different reasons, and they become friends to try to survive in the big city. But of course it couldn’t be any other way: they escape out of the frying pan and into the fire, and are kidnapped by the chemist Dr. Simon Marshall, who is a drugs tester for the Maggia criminal organisation. The doctor tries a new type of heroine called D-Lite on the youths, who somehow survive. Not only that, but, whether because it activated mutant genes they already had, or because of some kind of physiological reaction, or through magic – the explanation of the origin of their powers changes a lot over time – the two youths gain powers: Tyrone that of darkness and Tandy that of light, and these powers work symbiotically.
Tyrone’s powers join him to a dark dimension dominated by a being known as Predator, who urges him to eat humans to satisfy his hunger. Only Tandy’s light is capable of calming Tyrone’s thirst, and so, under the pseudonyms Cloak and Dagger, they work together to become superheroes that go after everything that takes advantage of young people like themselves.
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Before acquiring his powers, Tyrone is shy and fearful and marked by his stammer. He prefers to flee from his problems rather than face them because he feels inferior. Once he turns into Cloak, everything changes. He becomes a sombre person and his words take on an almost prophetic tone. In addition, he is an imposing figure, especially with the shadows that surround him, which he uses to intimidate anything that gets in his way. He doesn’t show much mercy for criminals, but he is aware of the “demons” he carries within and how that hunger can possess him and make him do things he may regret.
Friends and Enemies
Evidently Tyrone’s most important relationship is with Tandy. Although they are very close, they are not lovers – Tyrone’s feelings are not reciprocated – and their dynamic is more like that of brother and sister. The first superhero they encounter is Spiderman, who tries to mentor them a bit, given that Cloak especially starts his career as a watcher a bit aggressively, even revengefully.
Cloak has played a crucial role in events such as House of M, which has brought him together with mutants such as Professor X and the Scarlet Witch, and his acting in Civil War is especially memorable. An ally of Captain America and the Secret Avengers, he hides under his cape almost a hundred superheroes that he sends into battle when the time is right. This for sure is a surprise.
His main enemies are the mafias that operate in the streets of New York and across the world. For example, Kingpin and the Maggia, but on other occasions he has been seen involved in battles where the destiny of humanity was at play, for example with Carnage or Thanos. In fact, he is the closest superhero to defeating Thanos when he has the Infinity Gauntlet because he manages to capture him in the Dark Dimension… but he doesn’t keep him there for too long.
Marvel Cinematic Universe
Cloak & Dagger will see daylight at some point to be announced in 2018. Based on the material that is being adapted, the network that it will be shown on (Freeform, previously ABC Family) and the images from the first trailer that was recently unveiled, the series will seek to attract a teenage audience (young adult) to the Marvel Universe.
Tyrone will be played by Aubrey Joseph and Tandy by Olivia Holt. From just the trailer we can already see that some aspects of their stories will be changed, as they haven’t run away and nor do they live in New York, because the series takes place in New Orleans – a welcome change given that it seems that almost everything happens in the Big Apple. Although what we have seen is very little, what we did manage to see was well-handled photography and some more than acceptable special effects for television, and what we’ve seen of Cloak’s powers – above all his cape – is rather impressive.
Without a doubt, this is a bid for a variety of genre that, in other spheres, has been quite successful. As long as the teenage drama genre isn’t abused, the series may occupy a privileged place in the Marvel Universe, telling the profound and tragic story of two very original characters and it may even, along with New Warriors, form a niche on Freedom like Netflix has done with Defenders.
Yes, Tyrone is strong, much more so than the average person, but his powers are not based on the strength of his arms and legs. Under his cape he can capture and absorb the life force of his enemies (as Predator demands of him) in a parallel dimension known as the Darkforce Dimension.
On the other hand, Tyrone can teleport through this dimension, alone or accompanied, because a few steps there can be kilometres in the real world. In addition, he can let out his dark force and create a cloak of darkness that not only hides him and his allies, but also generates visions and drives his enemies crazy.
And in case this wasn’t enough (although he may not seem it and despite his humble origins, he is a very powerful character in the Marvel universe), Cloak is untouchable: he cannot be physically hurt, and he only takes on bodily form when he wants to.
Cloak of Shadows
It is not an exaggeration to say that Cloak is the incarnation of shadows. In fact, if it were not for the fact that the Marvel Universe has its own vampires (Blade is a Marvel character, which sometimes gets forgotten), he would be very similar to these dwellers of the darkness. As if they were a Yin Yang symbol, his perfect rapport with Dagger not only helps him to control the beast he is connected to, but also her light gives him back some humanity.
Among the most original of Marvel’s offerings, Cloak may become famous among young people who can see themselves reflected in his quest to calm this darkness, which in one way or another stalks us all.