Nicole Maines (Royal Pains, The Trans List) will be joining CatCo in Supergirl Season 4 as Nia Nal, also known as Dreamer, the first transgender superhero on television. From her description, it sounds like she’ll be following a similar path to Kara on the show – she has a strong sense of right and wrong and a drive to use her abilities to protect others. What those abilities are remains to be seen, but they may very well involve precognitive abilities if her comic book inspiration is anything to go by…
If the name Nia Nal sounds familiar, it’s because she is the ancestor of Nura Nal, the comic book character you might know best as Dream Girl, a member of the Legion of Super-Heroes. Although Nura was introduced in the pages of Adventure Comics #317 in 1964 as Dream Girl, the character was also briefly known as Dreamer in the ’90s. With the Legion introduced in season 3, it’s no surprise that Supergirl is continuing to bring in more members of the team.
“[Nia Nal] is awesome,” Supergirl executive producer Jessica Queller told us at SDCC. “She’s a cub reporter who worked for Cat Grant as an intern at the White House and Kara is going to be her mentor. What we learn about her is that she is the great-great-great-great-great-grandmother of Nura Nall, who is Dream Girl from the Legion and her superpower is seeing the future. We are just over the moon that we found Nicole Maines to be our Nia.”
They took the casting of this historic character seriously. “We did a world-wide search for trans actresses and not only is she a phenomenal actress, she’s also a real-life hero,” Queller says. “She has been an activist in her community since she was 14 years old, she was honored by GLAAD, she’s just an incredible woman. We couldn’t be more excited.”
CBR also pointed out that the Legion of Super-Heroes comic also introduced a transgender character in 1992 in the form of the scientist Shvaughn Erin, Element Lad’s romantic interest, who took a drug to changer her sex from male to female. It’s great to see this same kind of inclusion reaching an already diverse series like Supergirl.
Maines was featured in the HBO documentary The Trans List and was the plaintiff in the lawsuit against the state of Maine that allowed transgender people to use the bathroom they chose. She also did a guest stint on Royal Pains.
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