Supergirl: Nicole Maines to play TV’s first trans superhero


Supergirl is adding a few new characters in season four, including Nia Nal, the first trans superhero in television history.

Supergirl made history when it premiered in October 2015 as DC’s only female-led superhero TV show. Three years later, it’s making history again. The series’ upcoming fourth season will introduce Nia Nal, aka Dreamer, television’s first trans superhero. Trans activist Nicole Maines (Royal Pain, The Trans List) has been cast in the series regular role.

According to Deadline, Maines’ casting was announced at Supergirl’s San Diego Comic Con panel along with that April Parker Jones (Jericho, The Last Ship) and David Ajala (Falling Water, Doctor Who) in series regular roles.

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Nia Nal’s journey to becoming a superhero will apparently share a meaningful factor in common that of the series’ titular character, according to Deadline.

"A soulful young transgender woman with a fierce drive to protect others, Nia’s journey this season means fulfilling her destiny as the superhero Dreamer (much like Kara came into her own as Supergirl)."

Additionally, Nia will be the newest reporter at CatCo. In fact, Supergirl‘s original casting call did not disclose her superhero status. Nia was described as “a young ‘Cat Grant’ type,” who brings not only “sparkling wit and biting humor” but also a “soulful” intellect. The casting call also cited Nia as being a former political speechwriter.

At Comic Con, Maines spoke to Variety about why it’s important to her that Nia is not being solely defined by her gender identity.

"Trans characters don’t have to be “the trans character”… I think in television there is a pattern we’ve seen of, you know, the trans character comes out and then their entire storyline is about their transness… Trans people have lives outside of our gender identity and our transness, and I think it’s time to start telling those stories."

Supergirl‘s other new additions Jones and Ajala will be playing Colonel Haley and Manchester Black, respectively. According to Deadline, Haley is a dedicated soldier “who always acts in [America’s] best interest — even if it’s not her own.”

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Black is a skilled fighter as well — “the type of guy who brings a knife to a gunfight and still walks away the winner.” However, his charismatic personality “easily deflects the brutality of his mission.”

Maines, Jones, and Ajala will be joined by previously announced new series regulars Sam Witwer and Jesse Rath. Rath joined the show last season in a recurring role as the Legion of Superhero’s Brainiac-5. Witwer will play season four’s seemingly villainous new character, Agent Liberty.