Cloak & Dagger Boss Explains How Freeform's Newest Heroes Connect to the Marvel Cinematic Universe

Cloak & Dagger

Tyrone Johnson and Tandy Bowen may be new to Freeform, but the Marvel duo — better known as Cloak & Dagger — has more than three decades of kicking butt and taking names under its collective belt.

First introduced in 1982 to readers of Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man, Cloak & Dagger are the physical embodiment of darkness and light, though executive producer Joe Pokaski explains that a few minor tweaks have been made to bring the duo into the 21st century.

“In the comics, Tandy represented hope and Tyrone represented fear; for me, it was a little oversimplified and not entirely appropriate,” Pokaski tells TVLine, explaining that Freeform’s Tandy (played by Olivia Holt) is more cynical than she’s previously appeared. “When she touches people at certain times, she has access to their hope. There’s something exciting about having a cynical character like Tandy who steals things and doesn’t believe in the good of man, yet sees the best in them when she touches them.”

As for Tyrone (played by Aubrey Joseph), “He’s been living in a world of fear [ever since his brother was killed], so when he touches people, he witnesses their fears,” Pokaski explains. “There was something interesting in helping him to understand that everyone is afraid. It’s a trick we go back to a few times across the season to spell out where these characters are emotionally.”

But don’t let all this talk of emotion — not to mention the show’s home on Freeform — fool you. Pokaski has no intention of rushing the characters’ romantic connection, insisting that Cloak & Dagger‘s first season is “more about finding your best friend. If Buffy was about ‘Nobody understands me,’ this show is about ‘There’s exactly one person who understands me.'” He admits that “it’s hard to look at these and not want them together,” but he also hopes the show lasts long enough to allow for “an interesting path to their relationship.”

OK, now for what you all came here for: How exactly do Freeform’s Tandy and Tyrone fit into the Marvel Cinematic Universe? Though he’s “not allowed to talk about the timing in terms of Infinity War,” Pokaski assures TVLine that we’re seeing the official Cloak & Dagger of the MCU. And while the show’s first season is more about understanding these heroes as individual characters, Pokaski admits, “We’ve had some exciting conversations about how we could artfully cross Tandy and Tyrone over [to other Marvel properties]. The beauty of these two is that they can show up anywhere [and it makes sense].”

“There are at least a dozen Easter eggs in the first season that Marvel approved, and a few more that I snuck in there,” he teases, particularly pointing out Roxxon Corp., already seen in Iron Man 2, as well as on ABC’s Agent Carter, and Netflix’s Daredevil and Iron Fist. “We’re excited to have Roxxon Gulf, our Louisiana version of Roxxon, represented.”

(Speaking of Easter eggs, “there’s a fantastic painting of Stan Lee that’s hidden in one of our scenes” this season, Pokaski says. So keep your eyes peeled!)

Will you be checking out tonight’s series premiere of Cloak & Dagger (Freeform, 8/7c)? And with which Marvel properties (*cough* Runaways *cough*) would you like to see the duo cross over? Drop a comment with all of your thoughts below.