San Diego Comic-Con has been chalk full of surprises and announcements and the weekend isn’t even over yet! Now we have confirmation that The CW’s Supergirl will be introducing a transgender superhero in its upcoming fourth season.
In a report by Variety, we learned that Nicole Maines will be playing Nia Nal a.k.a. Dreamer. Maines’s portrayal will be the first of its kind for any superhero TV show. It also won’t have the controversy surrounding Rub & Tug with Scarlett Johansson as Maines was born a male, but has identified as a female since the age of two.
Nial Nal a.k.a the Dreamer is being described as a “soulful” transgender superhero, who has a “fierce drive to protect others.”
Maines discussed the role with Kevin Smith at San Diego Comic-Con:
Actress and advocate @NicoleAMaines discusses her landmark casting on #Supergirl as transgender superhero #Dreamer. #SDCC #IMDboat pic.twitter.com/E4J0E5aE2S
— IMDb (@IMDb) July 22, 2018
Reactions on Twitter have been mixed. Some even see this as a ploy more than anything.
First, I’ll say that it’s great they’re doing that. Honestly. That said, it should be a facet of the character, not a selling point or a means of the show saying “look how progressive we are.” IMO, bragging that way cheapens the act.
— Keith Wilson (@Regrix) July 22, 2018
The CW’s Supergirl will be introducing a transgender superhero in its upcoming fourth season.
Thanks for the warning
— Harry (@CryptoMadeMan) July 22, 2018
— Max Spears (@maxspears837) July 22, 2018
Since it’s move from CBS to The CW, Supergirl has had erratic ratings. In its first season on The CW it averaged 2.356 million viewers. For comparison it averaged 7.68 million viewers on CBS in its first season. In season three the show suffered a massive drop in its audience. It lost 22% of its audience dropping to an average of 1.835 million viewers. Despite the audience loss it was still the second highest average viewed show on The CW behind The Flash for their main slate of shows in 2017-2018. However, the loss in audience from the previous season was the third highest behind Jane the Virgin and Arrow.
It’s possible the addition of the transgender superhero Nia Nal could inject life into what looks like a declining show. The idea is that including a transgender character could increase their audience among their younger viewership. It’s possible it could benefit from a more “edgier” approach to social issues.
Also joining the fourth season is April Parker-Jones who plays Colonel Haley. She will be a series regular. David Ajala will also join the show as Manchester Black.
What do you think? Is Supergirl doing the right thing and trying something new for the sake of improving the quality of its show? Or is the show’s rating issue the real culprit behind the decision? Let me know in the comments below!