The newly-released Lazarus Planet: Assault on Krypton #1 makes it clear that the groundbreaking character of Nia Nal/Dreamer is in the DC Universe to stay — and writer Nicole Maines, who first brought the character to life on The CW’s Supergirl, couldn’t be more excited.
Ahead of the release of Assault on Krypton #1, Maines sat down for an exclusive interview with CBR alongside co-writer Leah Williams. When asked what it was like to get to write Dreamer into the larger DCU and put her on such a big stage, Maines replied, “It’s so exciting for me. It, first of all, imbues me with a lot of hope because there was a time when I was very afraid for the success of this character.”
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She elaborated, “I was very afraid for the longevity of Dreamer. I don’t think it’s any secret that there are plenty of folks who would not want this character to succeed or exist on principle alone. Having the support of DC and having the freedom to have her team up with Batman, Dr. Fate, Superman and Supergirl, and have these relationships is really affirming and really exciting for me as a trans writer, a trans fan of comic books, and a fan of Dreamer outside of all of that, just as a character.”
Maines went on to describe Dreamer as being “powerful and exciting.” “One of the things I’ve always loved about her is her approach to being a superhero,” she said. “[She] knows that she’s a superhero and is excited about it. But something really fun to find as she’s progressed is seeing how her relationship with that changes as her relationship with her powers changes and she gets to interact with these new heroes. It’s such a high-stakes situation. It’s fantastic because it makes you realize how crucial Dreamer can be to this lineup and this universe. As a fan, it makes me feel good because it tells me she’s here to stay, you know? She’s been inside Batman’s head! Now she knows this secret.”
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Dreamer’s Journey From the Screen to the Page
Maines — an actor and transgender activist — originated the role of Dreamer on The CW’s Supergirl in 2018, with the character (who is an ancestor of existing Legion of Super-Heroes member Nura Nal/Dream Girl)being created specifically for the Arrowverse series. Dreamer holds the distinction of being the very first transgender superhero on television. She was a regular fixture of the latter half of Supergirl’s run, with Maines serving as a main cast member from Season 4 through the show’s conclusion with Season 6 in 2021.
It was also in 2021 that Maines brought Dreamer to the world of comics, penning a story starring the character for that year’s DC Pride anthology. Notably, however, said story, titled “Date Night,” was still set within Arrowverse continuity. Dreamer made her proper DCU debut one year later in Superman: Son of Kal-El #13, with Maines co-writing the issue alongside regular series writer Tom Taylor. Lazarus Planet marks Dreamer’s latest adventure as a member of mainstream DC continuity. The character is also due for a return to the Arrowverse, with Maines confirmed to be reprising her role as Nia Nal in the upcoming ninth and final season of The Flash on The CW.