‘Supergirl’ has cast trans actor/activist Nicole Amber Maines as new hero Dreamer for the series’ fourth season. Maines was the focus of the book ‘Becoming Nicole’ which chronicled her transition, plus the documentaries ‘The Trans List’ (HBO) and ‘Not Your Skin’. Maines appeared on the show ‘Royal Pains’ and has a role in the upcoming horror movie ‘Bit’.
In an interview with Variety at San Diego Comic-Con, Maines expressed:
“I haven’t really wrapped my head around it. It feels fitting to say with great power, comes great responsibility… I’m nervous because I want to do it right.
“We can be whoever we want, we can do whatever we want, we can be superheroes, because in many ways we are. We’ve had trans representation in television for a while but it hasn’t been the right representation.”
Maines will play Dreamer, a.k.a. Nia Nal, who will be part of CatCo’s reporting team. Her ascension to her superheroic role will parallel Kara’s own re-connection with what it means to be a hero. As Maines said at the ‘Supergirl’ panel at SDCC, “She has this ferocious drive to protect people and to fight against discrimination and hatred. She’s the superhero we need right now.”
Nia Nal, is an ancestor of the Legion of Superheroes‘ Dream Girl, Nura Nal, who actually went by the name Dreamer for a period of time in the 1990s. As you may recall, the Legion was introduced in a limited capacity last season and Jesse Rath/Brainiac 5 will be sticking around as a series regular for the fourth season. It’s likely that there will be some interaction, with Brainy possibly mentioning Nia’s descendant who is an active hero from his time.
Although it’s probably unrelated, a character originally named Beautiful Dreamer, who is part of the Forever People, a subgroup of the New Gods has also been referred to simply as Dreamer in more recent appearances.
Addressing the audience at the ‘Supergirl’ panel, Maines said:
“Because it’s such an important issue right now in our society and in the world. And so it seems only fitting that we have a trans superhero for trans kids to look up to. I wish there was a trans superhero when I was little.”