CLOAK AND DAGGER emerged to become another strong entry for the Marvel franchise. Focusing on strong characters, drama, religion (Catholic, to be exact) and a slow build; the show is becoming a hit with fans. Part of this is because C&D holds a unique trait in that it takes place in a new area for the MCU — New Orleans.

At first, this could seem like just a random choice, or simply an attempt to move away from Marvel’s usual home base of New York. New Orleans isn’t a random choice, however. The city is new territory, but there is one factor that influences why it’s such a good choice for C&D — the history with the Catholic faith. C&D might not be a Christian show, but it’s setting allows it to deal with very Catholic ideas.

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Survivor’s Guilt

Before we go further, I want to stress that I grew up Catholic, so I do know the faith. And New Orleans was founded as a Catholic city, so the religion has played a strong part in its history. So it’s no surprise that C&D would be influenced by it. There are many elements that play into the show, but I’ll begin with perhaps the most common trait associated with Catholicism: guilt. Having grown up Catholic, I can attest that guilt is certainly a part of the faith.

Though we aren’t quite as bad as people think.

C&D doesn’t delve into full-on Catholic-based guilt, but the two leads do suffer from survivor’s guilt. They have each watched a loved one die and been unable to do anything to save them. Both characters show this guilt in different ways. Tandy runs from attachment and difficult situations, arguably from fear of failing and being hurt again. Tyrone deals with his guilt by having a need to control what’s around him but also having a short temper when he is treated unfairly.

Catholic Guilt

Normally, these would just be character traits, bereft of any religious overtones. However, the show utilizes Catholicism in a way that highlights a spirituality behind their guilt. Tandy is direct in her attempts; she crashes in an abandoned church and asks her boyfriend if he believes in God. Tyrone is no less direct. He attends Catholic school, speaks with his priest daily, and lights candles for his dead brother. The most prominent moment is when he performs in his choir, singing “Make Me A Channel Of Your Peace.”

Both characters give a sense of longing for spiritual peace from their guilt. Tyrone is more obvious, especially with the hymn he sings. It literally asks for the peace of God, and Tyrone prays for it later in the series. He wants to be free of his guilt but doesn’t know how, so he looks for a spiritual path. Tandy is a more cynical character, but her actions suggest she hasn’t completely lost hope of spiritual answers.

It makes sense for these characters, as they grew up in a major Catholic city in the otherwise Protestant South. It gives their search for answers about themselves and their powers a new meaning. Is this their redemption? Are these gifts from God or curses? What is the best way to use them? These are very human, but also very Catholic questions. Blending the two factors together gives them a powerful weight.

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Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment

The guilt both characters feel leads to two other desires that are prominent in Catholic faith. The first is forgiveness. Catholics believe that almost all sins can be forgiven through confession to God. Tandy and Tyrone don’t mention wanting forgiveness, but it’s not hard to read it from their actions. Their survivor’s guilt makes them want peace, but it’s drawn from the idea that they feel guilty over being alive. They can’t forgive themselves for that, and their search for peace is also a search for forgiveness from a higher power.

The idea of higher forgiveness is strong in Catholicism. Catholics go to confession and speak to a priest (God’s conduit), for forgiveness. Tyrone has likely done this, given how close he seems to be to his own priest. Tandy may have, but it isn’t clear. Regardless, both characters are searching for peace through for forgiveness, a sense that their survival is ok to a higher power. Like Catholics, they are looking for an action to help their souls as well. Catholics usually say prayers to God, but Tandy and Tyrone appear to move towards another path, which leads to the second quality…


Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment

The sacrifice of Jesus Christ is a major factor in Catholic faith. Catholics (and other Christian faiths) see his sacrifice as the door to mankind being forgiven of sin. As such, Catholics believe strongly in redemption, which is something else Tandy and Tyrone strive for. Their approaches are strikingly different though. Tyrone strives for redemption by pushing himself towards perfection. He feels tremendous pressure as a result. He clearly sees it as what is required of him following his brother’s death.

Tandy’s approach is carrying her guilt. She admits in one episode she wishes she had died instead of her father. Tyrone violently states she shouldn’t even consider it. This makes sense since suicide is a mortal (unforgivable) sin to Catholics. Tandy doesn’t appear to subscribe to that anymore, as she attempts to drown herself in the same episode. Her survival takes on a different meaning then. Obviously, it’s the mental rejection of suicide as an option. At the same time, it also stands as a Catholic message as well, and a sign that her redemption is now going in a different direction.

CLOAK AND DAGGER for Catholics

CLOAK AND DAGGER is never going to stand as a ‘Christian’ TV show. However, it does embody ideas and concepts that should speak strongly to Catholics. Tandy and Tyrone’s dilemmas echo various struggles of Catholic dogma while managing to keep them human and relatable.

The show achieves the difficult balance of showing Catholic ideas while managing to make them universal enough for non-Catholics. Hopefully, the show will continue this thread, and become a unique part of the MCU.


  1. Sanctus Fuego

    June 24, 2018 at 8:48 pm

    I’ve always felt like Marvel Comics is very much a Catholic company and there isn’t anything wrong with that. It’s very inspirational and motivational when we see the entertainment taking faith and liturgy seriously, instead of demonizing it or making fun of spirituality. But faith is something that runs deep in the Marvel Comics Universe. Nightcrawler of X-Men is a Catholic character. Catholicism is the driving force in the Daredevil saga and a few years back Marvel Comics had a big comic book story arc event called “Original Sin.” Although, I’m a Protestant Christian, I think that faith is universal, no matter what denomination or community of faith an individual belongs to. DC Comics’ also has a lot of theological and faith-based tonalities to their properties as well. Superman is very much a Christ-character along with a bit of the Biblical prophet Moses too.


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