The first episodes of Marvel's Cloak & Dagger have finally aired on Freeform, but don't expect them to give you the lowdown on just how the two teens' powers work. This is an origin story, and Tandy and Tyrone have only just discovered their mysterious abilities. That means explanations are in short supply.
Making matters even more complicated, Cloak & Dagger has clearly rewritten the heroes' origin story. Tandy and Tyrone seem to have been connected from birth, with some sort of mystical bond making them a "divine pairing." Quite what that means is currently uncertain, but it's a far cry from their comic book origin, where the two gained super-powers after unwillingly taking a dangerous drug.
The first episode may not have fully explained Cloak & Dagger's powers, but - using our knowledge of the comics - we will. Let's explore just what Cloak and Dagger can really do.
Let's start with Dagger. At its most basic, Tandy's power is the ability to generate radiant light from the palms of her hands. She soon learns to focus this energy, to shape it into so-called "light knives" that she can throw at a target. They explode on impact.
But there's always been a sort of spiritual side to Tandy's powers. Her light-knives can both cause pain and expose the sinfulness of others, making them feel remorse and guilt. Her radiant light has actually had a purifying power on occasion; in the comics, she once used her light to cure a girl of her drug addiction. It's as though Tandy's light is actually redemptive. Given the show is clearly exploring the mystical side of the two teenage heroes, it would be no surprise to see that concept reproduced on the small screen.
Cloak's powers are rather more complex. In the comics, Cloak is a living conduit for the Darkforce, a powerful extradimensional energy that feeds on the souls of others. He typically wears a long, sweeping cloak, and traps villains inside it to sate the Darkforce's hunger. When touched by the Darkforce, Cloak's victims experience their guilt and pain. Cloak can transport himself - and others - through the Darkforce Dimension, essentially teleporting at will. Again, there's a spiritual component to this power; where Dagger's abilities are redemptive, Cloak's are corrupting, and only Dagger's light can keep his searing hunger for souls at bay.
The Marvel TV version of Cloak doesn't yet seem to be quite so powerful as the comic book version. It's clear he can generate darkness, but he doesn't actually seem to be composed of it; his powers also seem to work through any cloak or even a tarpaulin. It's not easy to say whether or not Cloak is actually tied to the Darkforce in the MCU, but it would be no surprise to find that he is. The idea of the Darkforce was introduced in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season 1, in the episode 'The Only Light in the Darkness.' It then played a major role in Agent Carter season 2, where Isodyne Energy was attempting to tap into it. Crucially, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season 4 included throwaway dialogue that Isodyne had been purchased by Roxxon, a company that will play a major role in Cloak & Dagger. So it looks likely that the Darkforce will figure into this somehow.
It's important to remember that the series has only just begun, meaning Tandy and Tyrone have only just begun to learn how their powers work. As the series progresses, no doubt we'll see them experiment with their abilities and learn to control them. It's also reasonable to assume their tv origins - which appears to be rather more mystical than drug-related - will be explored in detail greater detail in later episodes.
Cloak and Dagger will continue on Freeform on Thursday June 14.