TV News

TV's First Trans Superhero Is Set to Debut

The first promotional photos show trans activist, Nicole Maines, as the CW's Nia Nal (a.k.a Dreamer).

USA Today

The CW, a network known for casting twenty-something-year-olds as teens and thirty-something-year-olds as their parents, has made a refreshing step towards accurate representation.

Supergirl's fourth season will feature TV's first transgender superhero. Producers elected to introduce the character, Nia Nal (a.k.a. Dreamer), into the DC Comics TV universe as part of the upcoming season's conflict between a prejudiced leader, Agent Liberty, and all earthbound aliens, including superheroes.

The show's thinly veiled allegory to today's anti-immigration politics is enhanced by Nia's role as a journalist. Executive producer Jessica Queller says the show is "hoping to portray the press as heroic." In addition, Nia's trans identity plays a significant role in the origin story of her powers, which allow her to see the future in her dreams. The character will arrive in National City as a new hire for the media company CatCo, where Kara Danvers (a.k.a. Supergirl) will mentor her.

Filling the role is Nicole Maines, the 21-year-old transgender activist who's best known for winning the landmark case against her school district after she was denied access to the girl's restroom. Maines is new to acting, but she was the subject of the book Becoming Nicole: The Transformation of an American Family, and she was featured in the HBO documentary The Trans List. When her casting was announced at San Diego Comic-Con this past Saturday, Maines said of her character, "She has this ferocious drive to protect people and to fight against discrimination and hatred."


She added, "If I had had a trans superhero, someone who looks like me wearing a cape (while) growing up, that would have changed the game. That would have been an entire new level of validation in myself to think that I can be a superhero!" Queller lauded Maines' addition to the show, announcing, "Our show is all about inclusion and representation. It seems the perfect moment in our culture to introduce a trans-female superhero." Season 4 of Supergirl will premiere on October 14.

Meg Hanson is a Brooklyn-based writer, teacher and jaywalker. Find Meg at her website and on Twitter @megsoyung.

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A superhero indeed! Nicole Maines, actress and activist, is set to become the CW's first transgender superhero.

Nia Nal coming to your screen in October

She will play the character Nia Nal (aka Dreamer) on the fourth season of Supergirl, making history yet again. Along with acting, Maines made monumental changes for the trans community by going up against her Orono, Maine school district in a battle over bathrooms. As per Fox News, "It was the first time a state high court concluded that a transgender person should use the bathroom of the gender with which they identify."

Gaining attention on Royal Pains

A hero at home and in Hollywood, 20-year-old Maines has already been featured on television's Royal Pains and The Trans List, showing the world her pride and passion persist no matter the role. Now set to be part of the Supergirl cast, which was announced Saturday at the Supergirl panel at San Diego Comic Con, Maines is sure to garner even more attention for the popular CW show, which is already a fan favorite with actress Melissa Benoist in the lead role.

Supergirl looks forward to the new cast addition

What is Maine's character Nai Nal all about? As reported by Deadline, "Nia Nal is the newest addition to the CatCo reporting team. 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."

"The actress said that what she appreciates most about her character is that she's 'a trans character whose storyline doesn't revolve around her being trans,'" Cosmopolitan shared. Maines explained, "She (Nia Nal) is a reporter. She is hopeful. She is good. She is powerful. She is wise. She's caring. She's such a good friend. And I want Nia to be so many things before she's trans."

Powerful and passionate

As per Variety, Maines said, "We can be whoever we want, we can do whatever we want, we can be superheroes, because in many ways we are." She added, "It feels fitting to say with great power, comes great responsibility. I'm nervous because I want to do it right." From what we've seen from the star so far, there is little doubt she'll rule in this role, continuing to be a shining example for even more people to admire.

Be sure to tune in to Supergirl (season 4) which will return to the small screen on October 14th in its new Sunday 8/7c time slot on the CW. Seeing Maines take on this powerful and groundbreaking role will be a must-see. Then again, we already knew Maines was a superhero.

Melissa A. Kay is a New York-based writer, editor, and content strategist. Follow her work on Popdust as well as sites including TopDust, Chase Bank, P&G,, The Richest, GearBrain, The Journiest, Bella, TrueSelf, Better Homes & Gardens, AMC Daycare, and more.

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Batwoman is Flying in to Arrow-verse

Crossover Chatter Has Fans in a Frenzy

If you're bats for Batwoman, it's time to fly off the handle.

The CW has just made fans' collective hearts go a-flutter over their announcement that Kate Kane/Batwoman will be joining Arrow, with speculation of more crossovers into The Flash, Legends of Tomorrow, and Supergirl in a CW crossover craze. The character she'll play on these shows is TBD, but fans of the actress are thrilled, and such a sensational crossover will make the Arrow-verse even more awesome.

The big announcement!

As Mark Pedowitz, CW president declared, "This is the first time ever that she will make a live action appearance on any screen and will be fighting alongside CW's heroes." And at the CW's Upfronts presentation, when Arrow actor Stephen Amell broke the big Arrow annual crossover event news, there was a telling piece of artwork which included the characters Green Arrow, Supergirl, and The Flash in Gotham City with a foreshadowing Batsignal high in the sky. Look out for this highly-anticipated Arrow crossover to come to light sometime this December. A Merry Christmas indeed!

As per Hollywood Reporter, "Also new for The CW's annual crossover between DC Entertainment's Greg Berlanti dramas including Arrow, The Flash, Supergirl and Legends of Tomorrow: the city of Gotham will be incorporated into the Arrow-verse, a natural extension given the introduction of Batwoman. While Gotham will be brought into the Arrow-verse, The CW shows will not be crossing over with Fox's Batman prequel Gotham."

So why do fans love these crossovers so much? Legends of Tomorrow is a combo of crossovers, and the coming together of superheroes from different shows makes the excitement even more invigorating. For example, last year, a two-night, four-hour special "Invasion" crossover was created due to the success of the crossover from the prior year. It was "the most successful week in CW's history," making the concept something to carry on.

Since 2014, these crossovers have been showcasing characters meeting in the "multiverse" adding depth to plotlines and creativity to the already action-packed scenes. Check out Fandom's listing of all the crossover episodes from '14-present.

And if you are into the whole "Netflix and chill" concept, note that Netflix is ready to roll out "all of the biggest CW shows from 2017-18 as part of an exclusive arrangement." As soon as the series' wrap, Netflix will make them available a week later. Binge-watch as you wait for Batwoman!

If you're still craving more comic book creativity, look no further than the big screen for upcoming DC movies that will have you at the edge of your seat. Aquaman, Shazam!, Wonder Woman 2, Suicide Squad 2, Batgirl, and more are coming to theaters this year and next. See all the upcoming films coming up and plan your calendar.

And don't forget… Arrow's season finale airs tonight, May 17th, at 9/8c. See how the saga leaves you hanging.

Swipe through the superheroes. And cross your fingers for more crossovers.

Arrow-verse and other crossover shows

Green Arrow

Green Arrow gearing up for a visit from Batgirl. As per Newsweek, "Gotham City's introduction in the context of the Arrowverse is not as big of a surprise as Batwoman, who has never appeared in a live-action movie or show. Earlier this season, Oliver Queen name-dropped Bruce Wayne, confirming that Batman is at least in the same universe as Green Arrow."

Melissa A. Kay is a New York-based writer, editor, and content strategist. Follow her work on Popdust as well as sites including TopDust, Chase Bank, P&G,, The Richest, GearBrain, The Journiest, Bella, TrueSelf, AMC Daycare, and more.

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