ByDavid Rodemerk, writer at
Watched HBO and Cinemax as a little kid before "binge-watching" was even a thing! Mom called me a TV Guide with diapers. Twitter @filmigos
David Rodemerk

The first trailer for Cloak & Dagger from Marvel and Freeform dropped this week. On top of that, Marvel revealed the lineup of the upcoming New Warriors series. Not only are these shows focusing on teenagers with various powers and abilities, but there is one other connection between these characters: Darkforce. In the comics, Darkforce is a well-known source of power, but Marvel has only scraped the surface of this force in its movies and television series.

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What Is The Darkforce?

Cloak and Dagger [Credit: Marvel Comics]
Cloak and Dagger [Credit: Marvel Comics]

It first appeared in the pages of Marvel's Champions #7 comic back in 1976 as the source for the comic book character Darkstar. The Darkforce is a dimension that is near our own, commonly called the "Darkforce Dimension." This is not to be confused with the "Dark Dimension" in where the evil Dormammu reigns. People with certain abilities or technology can tap into the Darkforce to harness its powers. This energy can have a wide variety of effects, and different people can manipulate it in various forms. The Darkforce can appear in a gas, liquid or solid state.

Some particularly gifted people even have the ability to enter the dimension temporarily, but so far, the only person known to physically inhabit this place is Wolverine's foe, Romulus. Ordinarily, when a person enters the realm, they eventually become weakened by the forces, and prolonged exposure to Darkforce in our dimension can have the same effects. It's a powerful tool, but one that comes at a terrible price.

There are three levels of the Darkforce:

  • Weak: Dark mist or shadow that can be altered to use as camouflage, a smokescreen or to threaten others
  • Medium: A liquid that covers objects
  • Strong: A solid that can be manipulated to make shapes or used to carry objects

One other ability some characters have demonstrated is the power of teleportation. Cloak is an example of one of 's characters that uses this power.

The Origins Of The Darkforce In The MCU

[Credit: Marvel Studios]
[Credit: Marvel Studios]

The Darkforce has made its appearance in the Marvel television shows: and . But it's in Agent Carter where the Darkforce's origins are explored. It is explained that the Darkforce first appeared during World War II. In May 1945, soldiers of the 5th US Infantry Division discovered a mysterious energy during combat in Europe. Later on, the Isodyne Energy company was testing the atomic bomb and created a mysterious anomaly that sucked an entire military team into a portal. After the portal vanished, Isodyne Energy collected the dark mass and named it "Zero Matter." Agent Carter explored this theme of curious scientists experimenting with the Darkforce and tapping into its sinister energies. During the second season, one of the scientists from from Isodyne (Jason Wilkes) came in contact with the matter and was left invisible and intangible. Whitney Frost, the wife of the owner of Isodyne, become obsessed with the Darkforce, eventually gaining the power to turn her victims into the Darkforce energy and then absorb them into her body.

Jump to Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D, and the show portrays two more scientists that are interested in its properties. During an experiment to harness its electricity, a lab accident caused one of the scientists (Marcus Daniels) to gain the power to absorb any form of energy. He eventually became known as Blackout (who is also a villain in the Marvel comics). With just one touch, Blackout could alter the electrical current in the human body, killing them instantly.

Agents of S.H.I.E.LD [Credit: ABC Studios]
Agents of S.H.I.E.LD [Credit: ABC Studios]

In both shows, the only way to combat the Darkforce was to use gamma radiation. In Agent Carter, Howard Stark created a gamma cannon to close a rift created by Whitney Frost. Blackout was defeated by the gamma power reserve created by Leo Fitz and Bruce Banner.

In the , the Darkforce is usually experimented on within some major corporation. Isodyne Energy is one, but the other company that appears is the various TV shows and Movies is ROXXON. It plays a major role in the upcoming TV show.

Each show introduced several characters that showcased different manifestations of the . Each person eventually became corrupted by the Darkforce, which is a side effect that is portrayed in the comics as well.

Characters That Have The Darkforce In Marvel Comics

The first person to have mastered the Darkforce was Darkstar, who was part of the Champions team. She was a mutant with the ability to psionically access the extra-dimensional energy of the Darkforce Dimension. Some of her powers included the ability to mentally create solid objects, teleportation, and flight.

Not every Darkforce character has all of these abilities. They tend to fall into 3 categories: teleportation, object creation, and technology manipulation. Although they may fall into one category, they may also exhibit some other types abilities like mind manipulation, energy blasts and intangibility. There's a gamut of abilities one can summon from the Darkforce. It just depends on their experience and how they acquired the power.


Spot [Credit: Marvel Comics]
Spot [Credit: Marvel Comics]

Those who can use the Darkforce to teleport actually conjure a portal around them or around a group of people, and then open another portal at their destination. At no point are they entering the realm of the Darkforce. Some of the characters that are known teleporters are:

  • Cloak
  • Doorman
  • Left Hand
  • Nightfall
  • Silhouette Chord
  • Spot
  • Vanisher

Object Creators

Blackout [Credit: Marvel Comics]
Blackout [Credit: Marvel Comics]

Then there are those who can use the Darkforce to manifest objects. The creations can be different shapes, sizes, and density. Most of the characters summon some form of a cloud-based energy around their bodies. This can be in a gaseous or liquid form, which some can use to impose fear or alter their victims minds. Here are a few that can master these feats:

  • Asylum
  • Black Mamba
  • Blackout
  • Nightside
  • Quagmire
  • Shroud

Technology Based

Darkhawk [Credit: Marvel Comics]
Darkhawk [Credit: Marvel Comics]

The third group are those that have developed or obtained some technology to command the power of the Darkforce.

  • Smuggler uses a suit to teleport
  • Darkhawk can use the Darkforce to shoot an energy blast from his amulet

With the upcoming Cloak and Dagger TV show, we'll once again get to see the Darkforce in action. But its only mentioned and referred too in the Marvel movies. Even though the Darkforce is being introduced into the , there's still a lot ground and material that can be used in any story.

Who is your favorite Darkforce-using character?



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