Joe Pokaski, showrunner of Marvel's Cloak & Dagger, has teased that the series will contain lots more subtle nods to the wider Marvel Cinematic Universe - including both Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Agent Carter.
"It's all connected." Those three words are at the heart of Marvel's shared universe model, and fans often complain that the MCU doesn't quite live up to that promise. The movies and TV shows, for example, rarely intersect - and even then it only ever goes one way, with the movies dictating events on the small screen. For all that's an issue, though, Marvel Television does seem to be trying to ensure their shows tie together. Eagle-eyed viewers recently spotted a subtle connection between Cloak & Dagger and Luke Cage season 2, for example.
According to Pokaski, that's only the first visible connection between his series and the rest of the Marvel TV shows. The last episode revealed that Roxxon isn't drilling for oil - they're seeking something far more powerful. The most likely candidate is that they're experimenting with an energy that the MCU has previously called "Zero Matter," but that comic book readers know as the Darkforce. While Pokaski didn't confirm this theory, he did suggest it's accurate by explaining how Cloak & Dagger will relate to both Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Agent Carter. Speaking to ComicBook, Pokaski explained:
"Yes, it's always our goal to connect instead of negate, if that makes sense. The thing I can tell you is definitely watch all of the Agents of SHIELD and all of the Agent Carter episodes that dealt with Roxxon as well. Whenever possible, we want to connect. I think there's certain things that were done in Carter and SHIELD that I don't think we're going to be necessarily duplicating, but if what you are sniffing around is the source similar, then I can say the source is of the same source originally."
It's a circumspect response, one that carefully avoids confirming that Cloak & Dagger is dealing with the Darkforce. In reality, that always seemed likely to be the case; in the comics, the Darkforce is the source of Cloak's powers, while Dagger wields the contrasting Lightforce.
What's more, over the last few years Marvel Television has carefully established a connection between Roxxon and the Darkforce. In Agent Carter season 2, a company called Isodyne Energy attempted to tap into the power of the Darkforce. Then, in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season 4, a throwaway line of dialogue established that Isodyne had actually been purchased by Roxxon years after those events. Attentive viewers thus suspected the Darkforce would be a key plot point as soon as the Cloak & Dagger trailer showed Cloak standing next to a Roxxon sign.
It's exciting to see Marvel Television weave their plot-threads together so carefully. What makes this all the more satisfying, though, is that all of these prospective connections are subtle. Viewers don't need to have watched Agent Carter in order to understand Cloak & Dagger; the stories are actually very much self-contained, but with connections there that reward people who've watched the entire range of Marvel TV shows.