cloak and dagger early buzz

Marvel has a new show hitting Freeform this week – Cloak and Dagger and the reviews are flooding in. The early consensus seems to be almost overwhelmingly positive, with one or two exceptions. Does Marvel have another hit on their hands? Check out the Cloak and Dagger early buzz below.

While Netflix has had dibs on the bulk of Marvel’s TV shows, other networks have gotten in on this superhero action as well. Freeform is the latest channel to board the Marvel train, with their series Cloak and Dagger. In the series, “Tandy Bowen and Tyrone Johnson, two teenagers from different backgrounds, acquire superpowers while forming a romantic relationship. They soon realize that their powers work better when they are together, “but their feelings for each other make their already complicated world even more challenging.”

Meredith Borders reviewed the Cloak and Dagger pilot for /Film at SXSW, and came away impressed:

It’s a really thrilling first entry, and a pretty huge bummer that we have to wait until June to see more. And it’s certainly worth noting that the pilot is directed by a woman of color, a still new and badly-needed perspective to the increasingly overcrowded superhero genre. Cloak & Dagger feels new in every particular. It feels exciting and significant. We’re lucky to have it.

Now that more people have seen more episodes, we’re getting an ever clearer picture of how the show turned out. The verdict: mostly very good, although a few critics seem unimpressed.

Reviewing the show for The Verge, Samantha Nelson says Cloak and Dagger is “is a standout among superhero shows”, and adds:

Many superhero shows have started out promising, then dragged during their run, brought low by unnecessary padding or terrible plot twists. It’s possible that Cloak & Dagger might fall into the same traps. But the initial episodes are remarkably well-crafted, making a collapse feel less likely. It’s surprisingly mature for a show targeted at young adults, bravely tackling real-world issues while leisurely building the relationship between its characters.

Kelly Lawler, at USA Today, says Cloak and Dagger “is exactly what a superhero TV show should be”, and goes on to say:

Cloak and Dagger isn’t a joyful series — it’s an often somber coming-of-age story of two kids deeply traumatized but trying to heal — but it’s joyful to watch it unfold. And isn’t that how a superhero should make you feel?

Den of Geek‘s Kayti Burt thinks Cloak and Dagger might be one of the year’s best shows, saying:

In a a sea of superhero stories that prioritize the individual, we need more stories like Cloak and Dagger, which refuses to put its characters in a vacuum when it comes to either their privileges and powers or their oppressions and struggles. As this year’s other great superhero TV debut, Black Lightning, also cleverly reflects: just because you have superpowers doesn’t mean you can opt out of systemic oppression. The only “superpower” that can get someone out of that is the genetic and social lottery that grants rich, white, cishet male identity.

IGN‘s Joi Childs’ says “Cloak & Dagger works because it embraces the constant turmoil of growing up”, adding:

Tackling a variety of relatable subjects while embracing the thrill of discovering new powers, Cloak & Dagger delivers an emotionally honest and surprisingly resonant premiere. The pacing can feel a bit slower than one might expect or want from a superhero TV show, but thanks to the the drama, effects, mystery and chemistry between the main protagonists, the premiere builds a solid foundation for Marvel’s newest series.

LA Times critic Lorraine Ali calls the series “refreshingly unpredictable and smart take on the usual caped-crusader fare”, and in her review writes:

This beautifully shot and executed series is more artful and sophisticated than its genre of origin suggests. You will not find the silly dinosaur sidekicks of “Marvel’s Runaways,” or the action-over-story approach of other caped-crusader series such as “The Arrow.”

Boston Herald‘s Mark Perigard isn’t as impressed with the show, calling the show a “chore”, and adds:

In its opening credits, “Marvel’s Cloak & Dagger” acknowledges the characters’ talented creators, writer Bill Mantlo and artist Ed Hannigan. That means Mantlo, who has been disabled for decades after being hit by a car, will get paid.

Some light will come out of the darkness. That’s one thing this show gets right.

In the New York Times, Mike Hale writes that the show takes a little too long to get going, saying:

The four (of 10) episodes provided in advance are almost entirely devoted to working through the duo’s origin story. Apparently viewers will have to wait until halfway through the season, at least, to see what Cloak and Dagger look like in action.

Variety‘s Caroline Framke says “Cloak & Dagger takes its stories and itself seriously, and is hoping you do the same,” and adds:

“Cloak & Dagger” can be as blunt as a punch to the face when it hammers home the differences between Tandy and Tyrone’s lives. A few scenes — especially in the pilot — are so paint-by-numbers that you can see where they’re going the second they start. Still, “blunt” is exactly in line with what superhero origin stories tend to be, and “Cloak & Dagger” nonetheless does a few things to set itself apart from the dozens we’ve seen before.

Collider’s Allison Keene wasn’t overly impressed with the series, writing:

The series also struggles with how it wants to split its time between the co-leads, especially since they spend so little time together in these early episodes. For the most part it leads to jarring edits, half-baked plots, and quickly-forgotten side characters. The series could also do a lot more with its New Orleans setting, which is a refreshing change from Marvel’s Netflix series which all take place in New York. And though there are some shoe-horned scenes about voodoo and Mardi Gras Indian culture (with Big Chiefs and Spy Boys, etc), it feels more contractually obligated than a natural part of the story.

At CNN, Brian Lowry doesn’t think the series is “sharp enough to draw blood”, writing:

As is, though, “Cloak & Dagger” merely demonstrates again that when it comes to churning out mediocre programs, even the Marvel name doesn’t provide a cloak of invincibility.

Newsweek‘s Autumn Noel Kelly thinks the series is “well crafted”, going on to say:

How exactly Tandy and Tyrone’s powers manifest and interact is after the premiere, largely unclear. It’s a blessing or a curse, depending on why you’re watching. Though, the jarring imagery of light and dark above and below surface level should be enough to float most through the midpoint at ease. Whether you’re a Marvel fan or not, it’s undeniably a must-watch if you want something different.

Cloak and Dagger premieres on Freeform on June 7, 2018.

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