Who Are Marvel’s
Cloak and Dagger?
By Matthew Arcilla
Outside of underwhelming disappointments like Netflix’s The Defenders and outright duds like ABC’s The Inhumans, pretty much everything Marvel is enjoying tremendous success on the big screen and small. While the Marvel movies are the obvious winners here, even lesser talked about productions like Freeform’s Runaways and ABC’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. have loyal and devoted fanbases.
That’s the kind of success that Freeform is hoping for with Cloak and Dagger, a new teenage drama that brings over a pair of heroes with a unique standing in Marvel Comics. Starring Aubrey Joseph and Olivia Holt, Cloak and Dagger commits to some of the most intriguing aspects of the characters such as their deep superhuman bond and pains inflicted by drug abuse.
Here are 8 things you might want to know about Cloak and Dagger, how they were introduced to the Marvel Universe, their unique origins and some of the most noteworthy conflicts and struggles they’ve wrestled with throughout their history.
8. Comic Book History
The characters first appeared in a 1982 issue of the Spectacular Spider-Man, credited to writer Bill Mantlo and artist Ed Hannigan. After a few additional appearances, they received their own four-issue limited series, followed by an ongoing series in 1985. They rarely fought flashy, costumed supervillains and instead clashed with organized drug dealers and their tendency to prey on youths like themselves.
Bill Mantlo, a highly prolific writer at Marvel who could quickly write up fill-in stories when other writers fell behind, said the inspiration for the characters came to him when visiting Ellis Island. Mantlo said, “They came in the night, when all was silent and my mind was blank. They embodied between them all that fear and misery, hunger and longing that had haunted me on Ellis Island.”
6. Ty Johnson
In the comics, Cloak was born Tyrone Johnson. Known as “Ty,” he had a stuttering affliction that kept him from speaking up to prevent a personal tragedy. Filled with grief and guilt, he ran away from home and found himself in Manhattan, where he was ready to turn to stealing to survive. There he ran into…
5. Tandy Bowen
…a fellow runaway. Bowen had a privileged upbringing as the daughter of multimillionaires, but her parents had little time for her. She ran away from home to try to make it big in New York. A thief tried to snatch her purse, but Ty helped her and the two became friends.