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.


Marvel’s Inhumans – Official Trailer 1

I have to admit that I liked the first trailer for Marvel Television’s upcoming Inhumans a lot more than I thought I would.

That being said, that doesn’t mean that there weren’t a few problems. such as…

  1. Way too many guns.


The whole point of the Inhumans is that they have abilities that set them apart from regular humans (something another Marvel Television show Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.  understands quite well)

Here? Not so much.

      2. (Too) Obvious Fan Service

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The woman pictured is Crystal, and as you can see from the image below, she looks a lot like the version of her character from the comics.  The problem is that that hair is too faithful to the comics, and doesn’t translate to an actual person very well almost pulling me out of the drama, instead of immersing me (as it should).

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       3. Lockjaw is Glorious!

Though all is not lost because Lockjaw (which should have been the most difficult idea to get across) looks absolutely glorious!  Though admittedly he’s not seen for long (and the transporting effect isn’t that great) when he does turn up, so did my smile.

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Iron Fist Official Trailer

Marvel Studios was the first studio to create a interlinked series of movies– known as the Marvel Cinematic Universe or MCU–based upon preexisting properties (like Iron Man, Thor, Captain America and the Hulk) that culminated in event movies (such as The Avengers and Avengers: Age of Ultron) that featured all (or the bulk of) the characters introduced prior.  

Marvel Television?   A bit of a late bloomer.  Their first shows were Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Agent Carter, the latter of which lasted only one season.  

This is while DC Comics has made significant inroads into the television space with shows like Arrow, The Flash, Supergirl, Legends Of Tomorrow, with more on the way.  

Though a curious thing happened.  Marvel Television began developing Daredevil as a television series on Netflix and it did well enough to warrant a second season.  

Then came Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and most recently, Iron Fist

And since all the Marvel Television series were on Netflix, as opposed to regular television, there was less of a need to appeal to everyone so they possess a grittiness, an edge the Marvel movies can’t touch. 

Oddly enough, Marvel’s television arm seems to be employing a strategy that didn’t work too successfully for DC Entertainment on the big screen–which is building a more noir-ish world –but appears to be paying dividends on the small one. 

Iron Fist revolves around Danny Rand (Finn Jones) who reappeared after having vanished for over ten years to claim the company started by his parents, Rand Enterprises.

Though the people running Rand Enterprises have somehow become involved with the deadly Madame Gao, and she thinks Danny Rand needs to vanish again… 

Marvel Television & Netflix: Sound & Vision In Harmony

While Marvel Studios is doing some amazing things in the movie space, we sometimes forget that Marvel Television is making waves of their own on the small screen.

And while they have been doing solid work with Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Agent Carter arguably their strongest work so far has been the series that have have done with Netflix, Daredevil, Jessica Jones and Luke Cage.

Along with a distinctive visual palate, each series is aurally unique was well, each evocative of different places and/or eras.   

Daredevil opening sequence

Jessica Jones opening sequence

Luke Cage opening sequence

Daredevil’s theme was composed by John Paesano, Jessica Jones’ by Sean Callery and Luke Cage’s by Ali Shaeed Muhammad and Adrian Younge.

At this point I can’t wait to see and hear what Iron Fist and The Punisher bring!

Ghost Rider Unleashed on the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

As you can tell from the trailer above, one of Marvel Comics’ Ghost Rider’s (there have been at least three or four variations on the character) is making an appearance on Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and honestly I am not sure what feel about that.

Reason being, unlike over at DC Films and DC Television (I assume that that’s what their television arm is called), Marvel Studios and Marvel Television have been acting in somewhat of a coordinated fashion, so the groundwork for something like a flaming demon and his hellfire-spewing car doesn’t quite have a precedent (and I get the whole ‘magic is just scionce that’s slightly beyond our understanding’ sort of stuff, though this is a whole ‘nother matter) just yet or until Doctor Strange premieres this November.

Hopefully the series will make things a bit clearer.

Lucifer- Trailer

Overall I think the movement of superheroes from the comic shop to the television has been a good one, though that doesn’t necessarily mean that everything that’s made the transition is necessarily that good.

I have noticed a variance in quality, which I think happens for three reasons.  The first is that the line that separates a series about superheroes from a soap opera that happens to have superheroes is a thin line; a rubicon that I believe the CW’s Arrow crossed long ago.

While on the other end of the spectrum, Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. stumbled a bit during its first season, mainly because it wasn’t quite sure what it wanted to be, but as the producers embraced more of the Marvel Universe–cinematic and comics–it found its footing (though the ratings haven’t consistently reflected the change in direction, creatively) in the second.

Another comic-based series was NBC’s Constantine which was recently cancelled, though another Vertigo property, Lucifer, is coming soon to Fox.

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Daredevil (2015) Ep. 2: Cut Man

Battlin' Jack Murdock 2An important difference between the portrayal of Daredevil and most other superheroes is that he’s human–a well-trained, durable human with a radar sense and enhanced hearing–but all too human nonetheless.

Which is why ‘Cut Man’ begins with him in a dumpster, after a fight with opponents we never actually see.

The story goes into Matt’s relationship with his father, and draws parallels between it and what drives him to do what he does as Daredevil.

A “cut man,” the title of the episode, is someone who patches up boxers during a fight, a role that Matt often played for his father, who would come from his fights bloodied.  His father, “Battlin'” Jack Murdock, was in a sense a professional punching bag in that he was paid to throw more matches than to win.  He’s fighting Carl “Crusher” Creel, who will be later known as the Absorbing Man (He’s already made an appearance on Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.)

This episode also serves to introduce Claire Temple (Rosario Dawson), who’s in a sense is a “cut man” as well in that she’s based on the Marvel character known as Night Nurse, who’s takes care of physical injury-related problems for superpowered-types.

This episode is less Daredevil-centric than Into The Cut, and spends a bit of time exploring the lives of Karen Page (Deborah Ann Wohl) and Foggy Nelson (Elden Henson).

What’s also interesting is that, despite being accustomed to Daredevil’s red costume, the makeshift black one really works.  It makes sense and I find that I am not even missing the red one (which is good since it hasn’t shown a sign of appearing)–though I am curious as to how he comes by it.

The physicality of Charlie Cox’s interpretation of the character is particularly fascinating in that he really gets across the idea that what makes Daredevil so dangerous is less than his physical ability–though he’s an impressive fighter–than that fact that virtually no matter what you do to him, he won’t stop.

And in an impressive fight scene, vaguely reminiscent of Chan wook-Park’s Oldboy, you really see what I mean (when he hits someone in the head with a microwave is a particularly high point).