Things are moving fast for The CW’s next DC comics-based entrant into the Arrowverse. Only a few short weeks after announcing the full cast for Naomi; one that includes star Kaci Walfall (who is best known as Nala in Broadway’s stage version of The Lion King), DC is sharing a first look of Walfall in costume — and it’s a picture-perfect capture of a Naomi comic book cover.
Walfall’s teenage superhero strikes a pose taken straight from the comics series’ inaugural issue, charting a constellation’s worth of connect-the-dot pin-up notes in homage to the cover for Naomi #1. For anyone who’s followed along on her small-town adventures in creator Brian Michael Bendis’ pen-and-ink series, it’s a not-so-subtle clue that The CW show isn’t afraid to take a liberal dose of inspiration from Naomi’s roots on the printed page.
Check out the comics-to-TV crossover resemblance in the pair of images below:
Without uttering a word, both the comics cover and Walfall’s in-character shot let first-timers know that Naomi McDuffie is the resourceful DIY type, sleuthing out local mysteries (and her own bigger backstory as an adopted child) without a Bruce Wayne-style benefactor to set her on the path. That’s straight out of the comics, too: Naomi’s whole setup stems from her curious search to learn more about her powers, as well as multiverse-spanning doings far from the edges of her sleepy midwestern home, after an epic battle between Superman and Mogul puts her town on the map.
DC even teases the TV series’ close connection with the comics, hinting that Walfall’s first-look image suggests “that the TV series will stay true to the heart of the comic.” If so, it won’t be far behind the comics series. Created by Bendis for his Wonder Comics imprint, alongside artist Jamal Campbell and David F. Walker, the print version of Naomi first appeared in 2019, and only has a 6-issue head start — so far.
A Wrinkle in Time director Ava DuVernay is executive producing the new series alongside Jill Blankenship (Arrow), Sarah Bremner, and Paul Garnes, with DuVernay’s Array Filmworks producing in association with Warner Bros. Television. In addition to Walfall, the core cast also includes Alexander Wraith (Orange Is the New Black, Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.) as Dee, Cranston Johnson (Filthy Rich, P-Valley) as Zumbado, and upcoming young actor Camila Moreno as Lourdes. Rounding things out, according to a Deadline update last month, are Barry Watson (7th Heaven), Mouzam Makkar (The Fix), Mary-Charles Jones (Kevin Can Wait), Aidan Gemme (Finding Neverland), Daniel Puig (The System), and Will Meyers (Bad Education).
A premiere date for Naomi hasn’t been announced, but DuVernay revealed earlier this month that filming is already underway.