Freeform’s Cloak and Dagger has a tall order to accomplish. Updating Cloak and Dagger for TV might sound easy, you’ve got two superpowered people fighting crime. Easy! However, even though the characters are loved by a small but passionate fan base there’s some… problematic elements to them.
On the surface there’s Dagger’s outfit which features a comically large boob window which extends down to her stomach. Showrunner Joe Pokaski of Freeform’s Cloak and Dagger doesn’t hold back in saying that the outfit was “sexist.” He also calls some of the dialogue in the comic “racist” and wanted to leave those elements out of the TV series.
He also felt conflicted about the use of superhero costumes in general for the series, calling the entire first season his “inner monologue of how I feel about costumes.” He hints that fans will see moments that look like the characters will be donning their old outfits but then “we’ll pull the rug from under you and change it up.”
Instead, Pokaski wants to focus on the characters as human beings first and foremost.
“This is a true Yin and Yang partnership,” Pokaski says. “It’s not Batman and Robin where there’s a sidekick, it’s these two that not only kind of keep each other in check, but they need each other. The relationship was the most important.”
Instead of being 100% faithful to the comics, Pokakski instead wanted to focus on the themes the original comics addressed while leaving behind the more dated elements.
“In the old comic Tyrone is fear and Tandy is hope,” he says. “We mix that up and made it about Tandy living on a spectrum between cynicism and hope and trying to push herself towards hope. Tyrone lives on a spectrum between fear and bravery and tries to push himself to be brave.”
Cloak and Dagger premieres June 7th on Freeform.
Shamus Kelley is a pop culture/television writer and official Power Rangers expert. Follow him on Twitter!