Marvel Studios is not slowing down when it comes to creating output. Cloak & Dagger, a relatively unknown team of heroes, is getting a TV show on ABC’s Freeform cable channel. There are enough fans out there to give the show a decent audience and, in turn, generate revenue. Unless the program is an exceptional one, do not look for the series to be a massive hit. At this point, one really has to question whether or not Marvel is spreading its creative talents thin.
Cloak & Dagger debuted in a very well-received story arc in Peter Parker, the Spectacular Spider-Man back in the 1980’s. The team has appeared on and off in Marvel Comics over the years, but never set sales on fire. Cloak & Dagger simply are “C level” characters with limited appeal. Why ABC and Marvel Studios would choose to build a series around this duo is mysterious. Likely, since Freeform is a smaller cable channel, Marvel and ABC do not want to risk committing a big name hero or team to it.
In a way, the superhero television programs are mimicking Marvel’s approach to publishing comic books in the 1970’s and 1980’s. The hope was “die hard” fans would buy the books during the early issues and, hopefully, they would stick with the books for a few years. A number of comic books survived for five years or so with marginal sales. Once the titles were canceled, new second and third-tier characters would get a book. Sometimes, the book would end up a hit.
Such an assessment may come off as a bit cynical. So be it. Marvel and ABC — both Disney properties — are business endeavors. The goal of any business is to make money. All the personnel associated with producing Marvel properties have the same goal in mind, which is why superheroes are reaching a saturation point right now.