During its panel at the San Diego Comic-Con this afternoon, Supergirl announced the addition of three new series regulars. But only one of them marks a milestone for transgender representation on TV: Nicole Maines, a transgender actress and activist who’s also the subject of the book Becoming Nicole, joins The CW series this fall as Nia Nal, a new character who seems to be loosely based on the character of Nura Nal, a.k.a. Dream Girl, from the DC comics universe. Described in a press release as “a soulful young transgender woman with a fierce drive to protect others,” Nia will begin Supergirl season four as a member of the CatCo reporting team, but “Nia’s journey this season means fulfilling her destiny as the superhero Dreamer.” She’ll mark the first transgender superhero in TV history (DC introduced its first transgender comic-book character in 2013, in a Gail Simone-penned issue of Batgirl).
Also new to the series are The Last Ship’s April Parker Jones, who’s often cast as authority figures, as another of those, Colonel Haley, a “hardline career military woman” who “lives and dies by the orders of her commanding officers;” and Jupiter Ascending’s David Ajala as Manchester Black, a character imported from the DC comics universe best known for his think English accent and flexible moral code. In the comics, Manchester Black has been both an anti-hero and a supervillain; on the show, it sounds like they’re leaning into the former, describing him as “the type of guy who brings a knife to a gunfight and still walks away the winner.”
Supergirl returns to The CW on October 14; it’s now airing on Sundays, at 8 p.m. ET/7 p.m. CT.