Teenagers burdened by past tragic experiences and other personal issues meet again years after a life-changing event. It’s the type of young love story about teens put in very adult situations you’d see on The CW, like epic supernatural tale The Vampire Dairies and short-lived alien series Star-Crossed. Marvel has taken this love story and added superpowers and comic book heroes for its answer to The CW suite of teenage melodrama, Cloak and Dagger.
In Wednesday’s new teaser for the upcoming Freeform series Cloak and Dagger, we follow two very different teenagers, Tandy Bowen and Tyrone Johnson, who get new superpowers and begin a relationship. Their already complex family dynamics and past makes their relationship complicated, but their powers being in the mix it becomes even more so. The two will have to make it work because the pair will find out their powers work best when they are together.
The difference between the two teens is front and center in the new trailer. Tandy has the ability to emit light daggers and Tyrone can engulf other people in darkness, but that is just one way they are dissimilar. The video goes through a typical day in the lives of the pair starting with Tyrone leaving his family home while Tandy makes due on the street. While passing by police officers Tandy moves freely while Tyrone pulls back the hood of his hoodie as he passes by them. It’s a side-by-side look at two very different young people who are about to come together because of the new thing they have in common: their powers.
What Marvel has on their hands is a series that can add new layers to the stories being told in media about young people. Tyrone is a young black man living comfortably while Tandy, a young white girl, lives on the streets. The circumstances of their lives mean Cloak and Dagger can delve into important subject matters while to telling a great superhero story. Through Tandy, the show can explore what homeless youth go through in addition to the grief of losing your parents, while Tyrone’s story is a window into the relationship between the African-American community and the police can be included as part of Tyrone’s story. Marvel has successfully done this in the past with the resilient young teens at the center of Hulu series Runaways, which followed the diverse group of young people as they took charge of their lives after their parents are revealed themselves to be murderers.
While the series does feel like a CW romance on first glance, at least, Freeform is the perfect home for the series if it does to push this type of storytelling forward. Shows like The Fosters, which tackles a myriad of important subject matters like issues in the foster system and mental health, are evidence of the network’s longtime commitment to pushing passed the surface level teen melodrama of shows about young people from years past. Its current programming slate includes The Bold Type and Grownish – both shows crack the surface in terms of subject matter and representation – and shows audiences that it is continuing push storytelling forward.
Cloak and Dagger premieres on June 7, 2018 on Freeform.