Bringing Naomi into the Spotlight
Characters like Green Arrow, Flash, Supergirl, and now Superman were big enough names that it made sense giving them their own series. Even Black Lightning and Batwoman have been around long enough to draw in people knowing their history as well as those interested in their difference from the other shows’ straight, white main characters. The choice of Naomi really surprised me. The character has only been around since March 2019 when she was introduced in her own 6 issue limited series. From there, she has been part of Young Justice and now the Justice League. Despite the recent Justice League connection, Naomi is relative unknown, even to the other super-heroes. I’ve only seen her go by her actual name even though searches online call her Powerhouse. (I’ve never actually heard her called that.) So, why did DC and the CW decide to give her a series? Stargirl is a name not well known outside of people who actually read comics but seemed a good way to draw in more younger female viewers. With Black Lighting cancelled (taking Thunder and Lightning with him), maybe this was a way to fill a similar spot for a younger, black, female hero. (Yes, the new Batwoman is black, but she is a more adult character.) So far, the series seems interesting and similar enough to the comic book character’s history. Hopefully, the series will do well enough to fill the gap left by Black Lightning and Supergirl.
Kaci Walfall definitely has the look for Naomi and does a good job portraying the character. The series has her running a web site about Superman. We actually see Superman but from a distance so we don’t know if it is supposed to be the Superman currently on the Superman and Lois TV show or if this is a Superman from a different Earth. I saw one article say that it isn’t Earth 1 but you never know what may happen in the future. While the Earths from most of the other shows were combined into one during the Crisis on Infinite Earths crossover, which those characters think is the only Earth left, other Earths like Stargirl’s Earth 2 and the Earths for all the characters on HBO Max and older TV shows do still exist. (Trying to fold Stargirl and the history of the Justice Society of America into everything on the other shows would have been too big of a change for them.) We’ll have to wait and see where Naomi will fit in with the others series. I’d like to see her actually be part of Earth 1 with the Flash and the Tyler Hoechlin Superman but it sounds like there may be other plans.
One difference with Naomi in the series versus the comics is that they have Naomi being from another planet instead of another another Earth in the Multiverse. All things given after Crisis, this was probably a good choice. Multiversal jumps in the comics is a lot easier to deal with given the history that is already built up there. It’s not a can of worms that we want to re-introduce on the CW. Naomi being adopted is carried over but we have yet to see how much the parents actually know on the series. So far, they are just telling her it’s a closed adoption so they don’t have any details of her past. We’ll have to wait and see what they tell her later. (It took a few issues of the comics before they said anything after all.)
Naomi has a number of kids she hangs out with who seem normal so far. The character Dee, who owns a tattoo parlor, is revealed to be Thangarian though. They actually had Hawkman and Hawkgirl on The Flash and Legends of Tomorrow, but they were the reincarnating versions from Earth. Also, the wings that seem to appear out of his back are metal which is an odd choice. Unless it is going to be revealed as some implant, organic wings would seem to make more natural sense. He reveals that he does know Superman so it makes me wonder if we will actually see him sometime in the future. The big bad guy from the Naomi comics, Zumbado, is also present, but he seems to be playing it a lot more low key than in the comics. I have no idea where they are going with him in the show or even how powerful he will actually be. There’s got to be some stuff held back to keep the show interesting though. The last person I want to mention, although he has only been showed briefly, is Commander Steel. That is the name of a World War II super-hero associated with the Justice Society of America and the All-Star Squadron in the comics. If he is just a regular person (and not Hank Haywood, the person known as Commander Steel in the comics), that would be a pretty lame waste of a character name when they could have chosen from literally thousands of other surnames. Again, I guess we will have to see what they do with him as the series continues.
For now, it’s just a matter of seeing what they do with the show. From what I could find online, it looks like the season will only be 13 episodes matching shows like Stargirl and Black Lightning instead of the other CW DC shows. I’m looking forward to seeing where things go in the long run. I think they’ve done a good job so far.