According to the official character description, Maines' character will be Nia Nal, a superhero known as Dreamer. The newest addition to the CatCo reporting team, Nal is a soulful young transgender woman with a fierce drive to protect others. Her journey this season means fulfilling her destiny as the hero Dreamer much in the same way Kara came into her own as Supergirl.
While there were reports a couple of months ago that Supergirl was casting a transgender character, yesterday's announcement made those reports a reality and helped the show break even more ground by casting Maines, who is herself a trans actress, in the role. The casting and the character is important, especially to Maines who told the audience at the SDCC panel that it was "fitting" that trans kids finally have their own superhero to look up to.
"It seems only fitting that we have a trans superhero for trans kids to look up to," Maines said. "She's the superhero we need right now."
In comics, Nura Nal is a member of the Legion of Super-Heroes known as Dreamer. An alien with precognitive abilities, the character was created by Edmond Hamilton and John Forte in 1964 though the Dreamer identity itself debuted in a 1996 story by Tom Peyer, Tom McGraw, and Lee Moder. It's not entirely clear how Dreamer will fit into the heroic world of Supergirl, though we do know that the character will be a significant part of the CatCo newsroom, especially as Kara/Supergirl (Melissa Benoist) gets back ot her own journalism roots.
The announcement of not just Dreamer but of Maines in the role was met with an outpouring of support and excitement on Twitter with fans excited to see what the new addition will bring not only to the show, but to representation of LGBTQ youth in media.
Read on for fans reactions to television's first transgender superhero on Supergirl.
Supergirl returns in the fall, airing on Sunday nights at 8 p.m. ET/PT before episodes of the Charmed relaunch on The CW.
This is wonderful news! I already love #supergirl because of Alex(andra) who is a lesbian & relating to Kara being different. This is so important for transgender people to break another glass ceiling. You will be my hero @NicoleAMaines ?#transisbeautiful #lgbtq https://t.co/U8zIaQ6jNL— Alexandra Larsson (@macgirlsweden) July 22, 2018
y'all know i'm about to become the biggest #supergirl fan overnight now that they cast an actual trans actor to play an actual trans superhero— casey! (@snugpunk) July 22, 2018