A recent casting rumor for Supergirl's upcoming fourth season suggests that The CW series will be adding a significant new character to show -- a transgender woman who might just be a superhero herself.
A casting call for a character "Nia Nal" obtained by ComicBook.com describes the character as a transgender woman in her early '20s and suggests that she has a strong journalism background in the vein of a young Cat Grant. While the idea of Supergirl bringing on a character with ties to Kara Danvers' (Melissa Benoist) non-Supergirl life as a reporter for CatCo itself is interesting, the name of this character may suggest that this "young Cat Grant" type has a heroic side as well.
In DC Comics there are two characters with the surname Nal, sisters Nura Nal/Dream Girl and Mysa Nal/White Witch. Both characters have ties to the Legion of Super-Heroes which makes this casting rumor all the more interesting. As fans of Supergirl know, the show introduced the Legion this season with Mon-El (Chris Wood) returning from the future with Imra Ardeen/Saturn Girl (Amy Jackson) and Brainiac 5 (Jesse Rath). It's not impossible that this new character could be connected.
In comics, Nura Nal/Dream Girl has the power of precognitive dreams and, after foreseeing the deaths of several Legionnaires, Nura came up with an elaborate plan to save their lives. That included Ayla Ranzz/Lightning Lass, a character who was briefly mentioned to have been killed by the Blight in the future. In comics when it was discovered that the deaths Nura saw were actually robot doubles, she left the team and became of the Legion of Substitute Heroes for a time.
Mysa Nal/White Witch was also a member of Legion of Super-Heroes in comics, but unlike her sister and most others of her Naltorian species, Mysa can't see the future. Instead, she is trained in the mystic arts and is an impressive spellcaster hence the name White Witch.
It's also possible that Supergirl could be creating an original character with the qualities of several DC Comics characters and, if that's the case, Nia Nal might even be a television take on Comet. Debuting in 1997, the post-Crisis Comet is an interesting character. Comet is a gender-shifting hero named Andrea Martinez who, when shifting into the super-powered Comet turns from female to male. It's something of a complicated backstory involving a male jockey named Andrew Jones who was trampled and then rebuilt by a shady organization before becoming merged with Andrea and turned into the Earth Angel of Love. Given all the moving parts of that backstory, Nia Nal being a take on Comet could be a bit of a stretch.
Whatever the plan for Nia Nul, if the casting rumor is true and Supergirl does bring a transgender woman to the cast in a major role, this would mark the first time a comics related series featured a transgendered character in a significant role. If she ends up being a superhero, that's a major first as well and another bold move from a network that introduced television's first black lesbian superhero last season on Black Lightning.
Supergirl returns in the fall, airing on Sunday nights at 8 p.m. ET/PT before episodes of the Charmed relaunch on The CW.