Naomi premieres on The CW on January 11th.
In the DC Comics series Naomi by Brian Michael Bendis, David F. Walker, and Jamal Campbell, the titular teen begins to investigate past superhero activity in her small Oregon town after downtown is torn apart by a fight between Superman and the super-evil alien Mongol. Seeing Superman also leads to Naomi searching for answers in The CW’s Naomi, but it’s even more surprising in the world of the show, where Superman is just a popular comic book character and superheroes aren’t real.
This face forms a compelling mystery in the show pilot, as Naomi (Kaci Walfall) begins to realize that several people in her hometown have big secrets. Given that Superman has his own show on the same network, and The CW has repeatedly put his superheroes on different versions of Earth only to meet in crossovers, it’s possible that Naomi won’t stay isolated from the rest of the Arrowverse for long. But the current plot and setting allow for a fascinating journey of self-discovery that also provides a detailed commentary on the power of superhero stories.
Best Comic Book TV Series of 2021
Naomi’s pilot starts off a bit harsh, though, trying hard to celebrate the Gen Z type of Naomi while also channeling a nostalgia for Stranger Things. There’s an unnecessary opening audio commentary where Naomi explains that this is the origin story of her superhero before the action heads off to a house party where all the other high school kids seem to think she’s the coolest. It may turn out that this entire world has been built around her as the main character, Truman Show style. If not, the repeated “Naomi” cries! She enters the scene and begins to dance after saying “That’s jam!” I feel very powerful.
So is the saccharine banter where her dad says she won’t be allowed to drive before graduation, so she’s left on her skateboard yelling “These are the only wheels I have!” Just to make sure millennials watching are feeling old, her dad, Greg (Barry Watson), states that the last time he and wife Jennifer (Mazm McCar) stayed until midnight was the 2009 Coldplay concert.
In another significant departure from the comedy, the series is set in a town with a major military base and Naomi is an army brat who repeatedly moves in with her adoptive parents. This transformation provides ammunition for the conflict between the permanent residents of the city and the scattered there, while rapidly amplifying the dangers of strange events.
Naomi has been a huge fan of Superman ever since her comedian dad bought her while she was feeling isolated when he was stationed in Japan. She feels a kinship with the last of Krypton’s children since they were adopted, and she has created one of the most popular Superman fan sites in the world. When she misses a “stunt” that Superman is involved in in a town square, she goes into full-fledged investigation mode and finds that both menacing car dealer Zumbado (Cranston Johnson) and tattoo artist Dee (Alexander Wraith) seem strangely unsurprised by what’s going on.
Naomi enlists the help of her buddies, most of whom seem to have some sort of romantic tangle with them. The CW has been something of a pioneer in LGBTQ representation and it looks like Naomi will be exploring polygamy, although currently the teen is still trying to figure out what she wants on her own. Greg insists that his daughter should choose what relationships to pursue, but instead, Naomi continues to cut things off quickly while still trying to maintain close bonds with her friends. Her gang of friends are willing to put the hurt feelings aside to help her some break and get in as they inexplicably use walkie-talkies to communicate instead of cell phones.
The comic Naomi was a kind of backdoor reboot of Superman, a new story of a powerful young hero from another world who learns his secret origins and embraces the good with the help of kind adoptive parents. The Arrowverse relied on big alien intrigues and social justice themes in super girl and family drama in Superman and Louis, but Naomi is the closest to capturing the wonders of the early Superman stories. There’s even a little Clark Kent in Naomi’s investigative blogosphere, which she feels grasped better than the press intrigues of Supergirl or Superman & Lois.
Naomi Written and Executive Produced Peaceful And Wrinkle in time Director Ava DuVernay and writer and producer Jill Blankenship Arrow, and his superhero soap opera character featured in the Arrowverse. But while many of The CW’s superhero shows have covered or fallen in popularity and quality, a new face in a new world could give the network a much-needed revival, if it improves on some of the flaws in the first show.