More than perhaps any other show in the Marvel universe, Cloak and Dagger is great at consistently and organically dropping lines that casually solidify its connection to the rest of this rich, fictional world.
One of the best examples came in the penultimate episode of Cloak and DaggerSeason 2. In “Blue Note,” we see Tyrone (aka Cloak) and Solomon, a kid who works for one of the local gangs, discuss Luke Cage. Here’s an excerpt of the much longer scene, which is really worth tracking down to watch in its entirety…
In the scene, Ty and Solomon refer to an article called “Luke Cage In The Harlem Rumble,” written by Daredevil‘s Karen Page (who also appeared as a main cast member on The Punisher). Showrunner Joe Pokaski said the idea for the scene and reference came out of a writers’ room discussion.
“We were talking about how we’re very lucky to be telling stories in this era of superhero fiction,” said Pokaski during a phone interview with Den of Geek. “We talked about [how], even in the last couple years, we’ve got Black Panther, we’ve got Luke Cage, we’ve got a lot more representation on screen, and we wanted to celebrate that.”
Luke Cage was canceled by Netflix and Marvel after two seasons, alongside the cancellations of Iron Fist, Daredevil, Jessica Jones, and The Punisher — seemingly as either a response to or part of Disney‘s preparations to launch its own streaming service: Disney+.
“It was nice to pay homage to that show and to [Luke Cage showrunner Cheo Hodari Coker],” said Pokaski, “and to make sure we kind of understood that we’re in an era where boys can look on the newspaper and see some heroes. They can look on the movie screen and see some heroes, and decide to act like them if they are so inclined.”
How does getting permission to make a larger, in-universe reference work, logistically?
“[Marvel TV Executive VP] Jeph Loeb is always fantastic about seeing what he can do to help cross-pollinate the stories where it’s appropriate,” said Pokaski. “We asked him if it were okay to reference Luke. And, he was more than happy to. It was right around the time that the show was not going to be returning.”
We already knew Cloak and Dagger was set pre-Thanos’ Snap, but does this Luke Cage reference officially set Cloak and Dagger Season 2 around the same time as the Luke Cage Season 1 finale, which sees Luke Cage fight antagonist Diamondback in broad, Harlem daylight.
“It was more of a vague ‘Luke Cage is also around,'” said Pokaski of the reference. “The beautiful thing about comic books is you never know who is going to show up when, and all these stories happen concurrently, and cross each other here and there. I have to say thank you to the people of Netflix for allowing us to make that reference, and make that wink.”
Cloak and Dagger Season 2’s finale airs tonight on Freeform at 8pm ET. Stay up-to-date with all things Cloak and Dagger Season 2 with our episode guide and news hub.