Nia Nal

Nia Nal (also known by her code name Dreamer) is a fictional character from the television series Supergirl, portrayed by Nicole Maines. The character is based on, and is depicted as an ancestor of, the DC Comics character Nura Nal / Dream Girl. She debuts in the fourth season of the series. Nia Nal is the first transgender superhero on television.[1]

Nia Nal
Arrowverse character
Nia Nal (Nicole Maines).jpg
Nicole Maines as Nia Nal / Dreamer
First appearance
Created by
Portrayed byNicole Maines
In-universe information
AliasDreamer
SpeciesNaltorian
OccupationSpeechwriter, reporter
AffiliationCatCo
Family
  • Maeve Nal (sister)
Significant otherBrainy
NationalityAmerican

StorylinesEdit

Nia Nal, who has a degree in international relations from Georgetown University,[2] was a political speechwriter in Washington, D.C. where she worked for Cat Grant, the White House Press Secretary, under the administration of President Olivia Marsdin. She is sent to National City to be taken under the wing of Catco Worldwide Media employee Kara Danvers to learn the ways of reporting.[3][4] As there is increasing anti-alien hatred in the United States, Nia, who reveals herself to be transgender, convinces Catco CEO James Olsen to write an editorial against this hatred.[5] Kara and Nia later interview a healer alien, Amadei, to counter the anti-alien rhetoric.[6] Afterwards, Kara and James discover that Nia has narcolepsy.[7] Nia wakes up suddenly from a dream involving the alien-hating Ben Lockwood. When Kara visits her, Nia reveals she is an alien from the planet Naltor, and select women of this race develop the power of precognition. Brainy, another alien, helps Nia with her dreams which lead them to Lockwood, who is ultimately arrested after being confronted.[8]

Nia has ill confidence about her family when she develops the unwanted "Dreamer" powers that occur to one female in every generation in her family. Nia's sister Maeve, who was taught dream interpretation while expecting to gain the powers, discovers Nia has the powers and renounces her. Kara reveals her identity as the superhero Supergirl to Nia to reassure her. While Nia's mother Isabel lies dying of a spider bite, Nia uses her powers to talk to her mother about them, who assures her she will be able to continue the Dreamer line.[9] Nia trains under Brainy, and after taking the alter ego "Dreamer", defeats a supervillain team called "The Elite" with Kara, J'onn J'onzz and Brainy's help.[10][11] When Supergirl is framed for multiple crimes and declared a public enemy, Nia is among the few people not fooled.[12][13] With Kara ceasing to operate as Supergirl, Nia takes her place as National City's superhero Dreamer.[14] J'onn and Nia are sent to Shelley Island, where enslaved aliens are setting up a Claymore satellite on Lex Luthor's orders to destroy Argo City. J'onn and Nia escape and overload the satellite. After Luthor's defeat, Supergirl's name cleared and the anti-alien hatred ended, Nia and Brainy enter a relationship.[15]

Concept and creationEdit

In January 2018, Supergirl creator and executive producer Greg Berlanti spoke at an event about the lack of trans representation in the broader Arrowverse. "We don’t have an active trans character across the shows[...] And so I still feel behind the times every day on that issue,” Berlanti said. In May 2018, it was reported that an open casting call was searching for a transgender actress of any ethnicity in her early 20s to join Supergirl’s fourth season as Nia Nal. The character was initially described as, "A confident, wunderkind of a fashionista. Once a political speechwriter, Nia is the newest addition to the Catco investigative reporting team. With her she brings sparkling wit and biting humor but under that banter-y, chic façade, lays a soulful young woman who has much to offer the world. A young Cat Grant type."[3]

On July 21, 2018, trans activist and actress Nicole Maines was announced in the role at the show's San Diego Comic-Con panel. It was also confirmed that Nia would become the superhero "Dreamer" and that she is an ancestor of the Legion of Super-Heroes member Nura Nal / Dream Girl. Maines described Nia Nal / Dreamer as having "this ferocious drive to protect people and to fight against discrimination and hatred. She’s the superhero we need right now." The character is the first transgender superhero on television.[16]

Powers and abilitiesEdit

Nia Nal's powers include precognition,[17] and astral projection.[18]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Keveney, Bill (October 10, 2018). "'Supergirl': Nicole Maines shows her power as TV's first transgender superhero". USA Today. Archived from the original on November 11, 2019. Retrieved December 13, 2019.
  2. ^ "American Alien". Supergirl. Season 4. Episode 1. October 14, 2018. The CW.
  3. ^ a b Hoffman, C.P. (May 23, 2018). "Supergirl's casting a transgender character for Season 4". Nerdist News. Archived from the original on July 31, 2018. Retrieved September 12, 2018.
  4. ^ Prudom, Laura (July 21, 2018). "Supergirl Season 4 will introduce trans superhero Dreamer, Agent Liberty and Manchester Black — Comic-Con 2018". IGN. Archived from the original on August 10, 2018. Retrieved July 23, 2018.
  5. ^ "Fallout". Supergirl. Season 4. Episode 2. October 21, 2018. The CW.
  6. ^ "Parasite Lost". Supergirl. Season 4. Episode 5. November 11, 2018. The CW.
  7. ^ "Call to Action". Supergirl. Season 4. Episode 6. November 18, 2018. The CW.
  8. ^ "Bunker Hill". Supergirl. Season 4. Episode 8. December 2, 2018. The CW.
  9. ^ "Blood Memory". Supergirl. Season 4. Episode 11. January 27, 2019. The CW.
  10. ^ "What's So Funny About Truth, Justice, and the American Way?". Supergirl. Season 4. Episode 13. March 3, 2019. The CW.
  11. ^ "Stand and Deliver". Supergirl. Season 4. Episode 14. March 10, 2019. The CW.
  12. ^ "All About Eve". Supergirl. Season 4. Episode 17. March 31, 2019. The CW.
  13. ^ "Crime and Punishment". Supergirl. Season 4. Episode 18. April 21, 2019. The CW.
  14. ^ "American Dreamer". Supergirl. Season 4. Episode 19. April 28, 2019. The CW.
  15. ^ "The Quest for Peace". Supergirl. Season 4. Episode 22. May 19, 2019. The CW.
  16. ^ Agard, Chancellor (July 21, 2018). "Supergirl casts Nicole Maines as TV's first transgender superhero". Entertainment Weekly. Archived from the original on July 22, 2018. Retrieved July 22, 2018.
  17. ^ Beedle, Tim (October 14, 2018). "More Than a Dream: Nicole Maines Breaks New Ground on Supergirl". DC Comics. Archived from the original on November 22, 2018. Retrieved October 14, 2018.
  18. ^ Netzley, Sara (March 3, 2019). "'Supergirl' recap: Kara tries to drain the swamp". Entertainment Weekly. Archived from the original on May 2, 2019. Retrieved May 2, 2019.