The population of National City will continue to grow this fall when Supergirl welcomes three more new characters to its roster for Season 4. Most notably, the CW series will debut TV's first transgender superhero, Dreamer. The news was revealed during the show's panel at San Diego Comic-Con on Saturday.
Transgender activist Nicole Maines will play Nia Nal, aka Dreamer, one of two new series regulars. The other is April Parker Jones as Colonel Haley. David Ajala also takes on the recurring role of Manchester Black, a Superman villain from the DC Comics lore.
Dreamer is likely based on the Legion of Super-Heroes character Dream Girl (aka Nura Nal), who made her comic book debut in 1964 and had the power of precognitive visions. That character, however, was not transgender. Warner Bros. Television, the studio behind the show, describes Nia as "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." At CatCo she'll work alongside Kara Danvers, the civilian identity of Supergirl (series star Melissa Benoist).
Maines appeared in the HBO documentary The Trans List, and guest starred on the USA Network series Royal Pains in 2015.
Jones' character, Colonel Haley, is described by the studio as a "hardline career military woman [who] lives and dies by the orders of her commanding officers. Dedicated to her country, she always acts in its best interest — even if it’s not her own." The actress' credits include Jericho and The Last Ship.
As for Manchester Black, the profane Brit first appeared in Action Comics #775 in 2001, the leader of a brash, violent team of anti-heroes called The Elite, who battled Superman. Supergirl's version is described as "the type of guy who brings a knife to a gunfight and still walks away the winner. With a dark past, he easily deflects the brutality of his mission with his charm and sense of humor." Ajala is a prolific English actor probably best known to American audiences for a leading role in the sci-fi series Falling Water.
These announcements come just days after the news that Sam Witwer (Being Human) is also joining the cast as Agent Liberty. And Jesse Rath, who appeared this past season as Legion of Super-Heroes member Brainiac 5, had previously been upgraded to series regular status for Season 4. Longtime castmembers Jeremy Jordan (Winn) and Chris Wood (Mon-El) left the show at the end of the last season.
Supergirl returns in its new Sundays-at-8/7c timeslot on Oct. 14 on The CW.
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