According to executive producer Ava Duvernay, The CW’s Naomi is set separately from the rest of the network’s DC Arrowverse line-up, taking place in what she refers to as “the ‘Naomi-verse.”
DuVernay revealed Naomi’s independence from the greater Arrowverse continuity during a recent interview given to Variety in promotion of the show’s premiere.
Though the series’ first episode revealed the existence of other DC heroes in Naomi’s world – particularly Superman – the executive producer assured the trade news outlet, “I want this to be an autonomous story about Naomi.”
“One of the things I really wanted was for her to live in her own universe,” she explained. “We call it the ‘Naomi-verse.’ And she’s not tethered to and she does not have to speak to the other stories that are going on now. It would just be too complicated, taking on too much legacy of the other shows, and doesn’t give the character the freedom to live her own life.”
DuVernay later noted to Variety that one of the things that she was most excited about in regards to the character was what she ‘represented’ as “a teenage Black girl who loves comic books”.
“The more evolved way to think about representation is that she is treated like any other hero and that her powers are not specific to the way that anyone treats her,” she said. “one of the reasons why I liked this is she literally has powers that will eventually [be] almost identical to Superman.”
She continued, “The fact that DC has this Black, teenage girl superhero who eventually will have powers that are on par with Superman — who is the quintessential cis, white male superhero — is a thrilling proposition. And in order to really do that, you’ve got to throw away any kind of social construct and just dive into the fact that she’s a badass.”
The absence of The CW’s other heroes from the series was also confirmed by star Kaci Walfall during a January 5th interview with CBS’ Good Day Sacramento.
Asked by anchor Cody Stark if the version of Superman seen in the series was “the Superman in [Superman & Lois] or a different version of Superman,” Walfall replied, “I think that Naomi exists in her own universe.”
Though he does not directly appear on camera, Superman makes a brief CGI appearance in the series’ first episode, captured on various cell phone and security cameras fighting an unknown blue metahuman.
However, thanks to some less-than-subtle cinematography, Big Blue’s face remains obscured throughout the entire battle and its aftermath.
Naomi’s separation from the Arrowverse mirrors the strategy taken by fellow The CW DC series Black Lightning, which The CW president Mark Pedowitz declared in 2017 was “not part of the Arrowverse. It is a separate situation.”
Yet, after two seasons in its own unique continuity, Black Lightning was eventually brought into the fold of the newly formed (and slightly retconned) Earth-Prime following the Crisis on Infinite Earths crossover event.
As of writing, it’s unknown which actor will suit up for a full appearance as the Man of Steel.
The only indication to his eventual casting is that, as seen in the aforementioned cameo appearance, his actor will be a white male with black hair.
What do you make of Naomi existing apart from the Arrowverse? Let us know your thoughts on social media or in the comments down below!