Cloak & Dagger


If you’re looking for Dabney Coleman, you’re in the wrong place.

I don’t know why I’m such a fan of Cloak & Dagger.

Perhaps it’s because it was one of the first ‘gritty’ comicbooks I read as an impressionable youth.
Perhaps it’s the symbiotic nature between light and the darkness.
Perhaps the flawed nature of the runaway characters helped show me an alternative definition of ‘heroes’.
Perhaps Dagger’s outfit is mind-blowingly sexy to a pre-pubescent version of myself and that kind of imagery leaves a lasting impression.

After my first successful National Novel Writing Month in 2009, I decided to take part in Script Frenzy: the screenwriting awkward sister of NaNoWriMo. I had started to create my science-fiction TV show opus with wonderful arcing storylines and fascinating branches of humanity and all that other wonderful junk — when two days in I shelved it in frustration from not being able to find the ‘thread’ of the story. Not wanting to give up on the challenge so easily, I grabbed an old outline for a Cloak & Dagger movie that @MFLuke and I collaborated on.

I wanted to do this adaptation. It felt right. I immediately rushed to grab all the source material I could find — I found BOTH books. I exaggerate for comedic effect but there’s really only been a handful of actual CLOAK AND DAGGER stories (and trying to find one without Power Pack was challenging). Apt appearance in Runaways, Cloak mass transit system in Civil War, and the original stories from the 1980s. That was it. At least I didn’t have the trouble of too much source to try and adapt.

So presented here is a spec script to myself, to see if the kind of dark elements and urban vigilante themes of Cloak & Dagger could translate into a movie worth watching. There have been rumours of mid-budget movies, or television serials based on ‘minor’ Marvel characters, and of course Cloak & Dagger was mentioned off-hand from time to time. Warning, there is some foul language and intense scenes (I don’t know how the Disney version would leave out the heroes-via-drugs angle) so it might be considered NSFW.

Cloak and Dagger (comics)

Image via Wikipedia


Two very different runaways are introduced by fate: Tandy ‘Dagger’ Bowen fleeing the high-pressure upper-class lifestyle, and Ty ‘Cloak’ Johnson down on his luck and on the run from the other side of the tracks. When a maniacal mad scientist named Simon Marshall abducts the pair to subject them to horrible drug experiments, it changes the two hapless youths. They emerge with super powers: Cloak becomes a living portal to a dark dimension, and Dagger becomes an incandescent entity of light. Their quest for revenge may cost them their hope of redemption.

Cloak & Dagger first appeared in 1982, created by writer William “Bill” Mantlo and designed by artist Edward Hannigan . They’ve been in their own series, their own graphic novels and it seems there’s been a C&D cameo in other titles (somewhat) consistently since their inception. Cloak has the unique ability to teleport multiple people to almost any location instantly, so he’s been the Deus Ex Machina transportation of choice numerous times. Where goeth Cloak, so goeth Dagger so no doubt you’ve seen them pop up from time to time. There has recently been an attempt to put the limelight back on this unlikely pairing, most notably by the fantastic Valerie D’Orazio in one iteration, and handled by Matt Fraction as part of the Dark X-Men series.

Bottom Line: Please, Marvel, Disney or any other PTBs that may or may not be planning a Cloak & Dagger TV show/movie/elaborate-broadway-musical — PLEASE do it right.

Disclaimer and Junk: I do not own these characters, their likenesses or any of that jazz. Just a superfan writing a speculative script. If I get a cease and desist letter, it means someone in an official capacity read it and found it threatening enough to want to put a stop to it, so thanks in advance.  ;)

Creative Impulses