Yet another Marvel TV series fell victim to that most powerful of quasi-supernatural forces—Disney indifference—today, as Freeform reported that it was canceling second-season superhero show Cloak & Dagger. Per Deadline, the decision was at least a few weeks coming; the series aired its second-season finale five months ago, and the cast options on stars Aubrey Joseph and Olivia Holt expired this week.
Unlike the Netflix Marvel shows—victims of corporate infighting as much as our collective Iron Fist agnosia—there’s no obvious business reason for Cloak & Dagger to get the axe. (Although you can read into it what you will that this news comes down the same week that Jeph Loeb announced he was stepping down as head of Marvel TV, and the company continues its pivot toward Disney+ shows tied more intimately to the MCU.) Rather, it seems as simple as the fact that ratings were way down in the show’s second season, and seemed to be staying there, no matter how many haunted arcade gamesminor Spider-Man villains (like a TV-friendly version of Fear Lord D’spayre) it threw into the mix.
Like Hulu’s Runaways—still holding on, alongside the soon-to-end Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D., among this older wave of Marvel TV—Cloak & Dagger focused on teen superheroes. Bound together by mysterious but complementary powers, the duo sought to understand how they got their abilities, while also figuring out what kind of heroes they actually wanted to be, and addressing more real-world problems like gangs and human trafficking. Creator Joe Pokaski served as showrunner on the show.