What Cloak & Dagger Needs (To Do) To Succeed

Marvel Television, unlike their stablemates at Marvel Studios are very hit and miss as far as translating their characters goes.

So far–when they’ve dealt with ‘street-level’ characters like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Daredevil, Jessica Jones and Luke Cage, they’ve been relatively successful.

The problems arise when they try to tackle characters that exist is a more fantastical context than the streets of Hell’s Kitchen  (it’s worth mentioning that, budget-wise, Marvel’s Agents  of S.H.I.E.L.D. is likeliest the most expensive Marvel Television production thus far) where all roads lead to Inhumans, quite possibly their worst received production yet (including Iron Fist) which seemingly required more in the way of a budget than Marvel Television was willing to spend.

Which leads to Freeform’s upcoming series based on Cloak & Dagger.  They’re also street-level characters (the story is essentially Romeo and Juliet with superpowers) so they’re not far from what Marvel Television typically tackles.

The (potential) problems do with the depiction of their powers–with Cloak being much more problematic–in that on top of an ability to transport himself and Dagger he’s literally a walking doorway to another dimension.

And if that potentially weren’t enough of a hurdle, there’s a creature within that dimension that feeds of the ‘light’–which should be equated to ‘life’–of other living beings.

Now there’s no way of knowing if the series will stick closely to canon, but for it to not do so would be a wasted opportunity–the creature within Cloak could be treated as the physical manifestation of his own addiction, making his efforts to deny it the sustenance it needs all more poignant.

But that’s also not the cheapest way to approach the subject matter, which is where the concern comes in.

The greatest single expense of Cloak & Dagger is likely the depiction of his powers, and if Marvel Television tries to do it on the cheap the series will suffer for it.

 

Cloak & Dagger premieres on Freeform June 7.

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Marvel Television’s Problem (And How to Fix It)

imageWhile Marvel Studios’ Black Panther literally tears through box office records Marvel Television–the arm of Marvel Entertainment that handles television projects–is doing…okay.

They’ve got four shows on Netflix (Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Iron Fist and Luke Cage and the The Defenders), one on Hulu (Runaways), one coming up on Freeform (Cloak and Dagger) and another on ABC (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., which is rumored to be ending) though it’s worth mentioning that the parent company of both Marvel and ABC is Disney, so that there’s a bit of synergy there shouldn’t surprise anyone.

Though there’s a problem, namely if Marvel Television wants to expand beyond ABC they’re going to have to move beyond the ‘grounded’ superheroes they have become comfortable depicting and start walking on the more fantastical side of the Marvel Universe.

And there have been attempts have been made to do so (Inhumans) though it didn’t fare so well for one important reason, namely Marvel Television isn’t willing to spend the money for what a sprawling epic like Inhumans should have been (which is odd if only because Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is likely one of the best looking–and highest budgeted–comic-based television shows on television).

Though Marvel Television can’t afford another misstep, which is in a way ironic because the only way that history is not going to repeat itself is if they go bold and loosen up the purse strings along the way.

The Falcon Quandary

That title sounds like a Robert Ludlum novel.  “The Falcon Quandary.”

Marvel Studios, I think, has run into a minor speed bump.  Since they have no right to use characters that are referred to as mutants–because of a licensing deal with Twentieth Century Fox, made when the company was flirting with bankruptcy–there are no super-powered individuals in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) that that have inborn abilities (at least not yet).

So far, all the characters have got their powers either due to some sort of technological enhancement (Captain America, the Hulk, Abomination, Iron Man, War Machine, Winter Soldier), are alien (Asgardians, such as Thor and Loki add well as the Chitari) or are just very good at what they do (Black Widow, Hawkeye).

And I forgot to include the Mandarin, who’s abilities came about through a scientific process (technological enhancement) called Extremis.

Other than that, nada.

That being said, there is a wrinkle:  In the comics, Marvel seems to be working with the expansion of the Terrigen Mists–which created the Inhumans.  If they are able to transfer this idea to the MCU they can have all the super powered people that they want, whom would be known as ‘Inhumans,’ not ‘Mutants.’

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