In the tradition of today’s superhero, each new season brings new stories and of course new characters. New characters help to expand the lore of our superhero, and in the case of Supergirl, I thought what if these new characters happened to be women of color? After all, Supergirl managed to reach out with a message of equality and feminism. Now, let’s go a step further and showcase intersectionality. Feminism is for everyone and not just for our Caucasian female lead.
Now, don’t misunderstand me. I loved everything that Supergirl tried to do in its freshman year, but with a sophomore year approaching on a new network, there’s never been a better time than now to showcase the plethora of superhero ladies from the DC Comics Universe. Not only will I present the characters, but I will also cast actresses for them too.
The actresses selected are relatively known to practically unknown, and are also being chosen based on the idea that they could be available to film with the regular Supergirl cast this summer. I do want to make one thing absolutely clear: the characters/actresses do not have to be made series regulars on the show. They could be recurring, or special guest stars — either way, it’d be really nice to have them on live television.
So, without further ado here is my list of recommendations to Greg Berlanti and Ali Adler and the Executive Producers of Supergirl, who I’m sure are totally reading this right now.
DENYCE LAWTON AS M’GANN M’ORRZ
Miss Martian — She should be an easy fit into the Supergirl family, given her comic book relation to the Martian Manhunter himself. M’Gann M’Orrz or Megan Morse as she’s known by on Earth is, in fact, a White Martian. Her origin story and perky, bubbly optimism would be a great fit opposite Supergirl. Megan possesses similar — if not the same — abilities to her Uncle John. Giving the team more flexibility when it comes to their divide and conquer strategies.
Denyce Lawton — You may recognize her from Tyler Perry’s House of Payne but she is still a relative newcomer to the television scene. Which is great news for a show like Supergirl. New actors and actresses are, well, they’re not going to demand a higher pay and will more than likely have the time available to commit to a show like Supergirl. In addition, The CW will be casting a biracial woman of color. Black Koreans do exist and Denyce is one of them.
NICOLE BEHARIE AS NATASHA IRONS
Steel/Vaperlock — So this is a no-brainer. Natasha. Irons. In case you’re wondering, Natasha is the niece of John Henry Irons. Yes, you heard right John Henry and namesake aside. Here’s the really important thing you need to know, it’s that Mr. Irons became a superhero after he was saved by Superman. Now before you, all start jumping down on the multiple soap box-wagons. Mr. Irons forged his own suit made of… Steel, and became the superhero known as… Steel. Grabbing Natasha Irons to be part of Supergirl not only strengthens the relationship with Metropolis but does more to incorporate the already existing mythology. Nat follows her uncle when he goes to open his Steelworks and eventually becomes Steel herself, and ultimately Vaporlock.
Nicole Beharie — She is one badass lady. I’m just saying Nicole is definitely someone who I can see in the role of Natasha Irons. Most notably Nicole was Abbie Mills on FOX’s Sleepy Hollow. She also starred in the Jackie Robinson biopic 42 alongside Black Panther himself, Chadwick Boseman. Nicole would be bringing her own fan base with her if she were to join the cast of Supergirl. She’s a powerhouse actress in her own right, and I can’t wait to see what other projects she tackles next, but — but, the chance to see her become one of DC Comics’ most underrated superheroes and bring everything she has into that role? Worth it. I want this, and I want it now.
MONICA RAYMUND AS ANDREA ROJAS
Acrata — Does her name sound familiar? It should. Acrata was featured in Smallville but she’s no stranger to the House of El. Anthropologist and adventurer Andrea Rojas does not have a lot to her character sheet, giving the writers room of Supergirl full reign on how to integrate her into their story. First and foremost an anthropologist who specializes in Mesoamerica, and just maybe aliens artifacts? I would love to see a Latina anthropologist because once upon a time that was my dream, too. Acrata does have one other special ability and that’s taking down organized crime. Now, I’m not saying Acrata and Alex need to team up or anything, but I am saying this is too good of an opportunity to pass up. (Gal Pals, y’all, gal pals).
Monica Raymund — You may recognize her as Chicago Fire’s Gabriela Dawson. It’s unusual for actors to have multiple projects and I definitely want to see more of Monica. Given the character’s specialized role, this could most definitely work for her. Outside of the three, four… five? Well, outside of the Chicago “insert public service here” television shows you may also recognize her from CBS’ The Good Wife and FOX’s Lie to Me. Monica is sure to bring a new kind of fire (ha! I made a punny, go me) to the role of Andrea Rojas.
LOGAN BROWNING AS KAREN BEECHER
Bumblebee — Ever since season one of The Flash, I have been dying to see Karen on a superhero show. I truly believe that Supergirl can really flesh this out. Karen Beecher is a STEM lady who designed, created and is her own superhero as Bumblebee. Karen can shrink down much like Dr. Ray Palmer and delivers her own electrifying buzz, (get it? Buzz? I’m here all day, folks!) flight and other bee-like powers. This also brings in S.T.A.R. Labs because Karen worked for S.T.A.R. Labs (again why haven’t we seen her on Flash? Did I miss something?) when she created her suit. I mean, I am not going to argue if the show decides to give us another STEM lady of color who can kick some major booty. Bonus, DC Super Hero Girls is also promoting Karen as part of their line — so promotionally speaking, this would boost sales and provide more young folk with a great role model.
Logan Browning — The current star of VH1’s Hit the Floor drama is no stranger to superhero roles, having played Zora, on the PlayStation Network’s Powers, a superhero drama developed by Marvel’s Brian Michael Bendis. Logan’s athleticism, charisma, and ability as an actor would be an excellent addition to an already high-powered cast. Given the nature of crossovers with Greg Berlanti’s superhero shows, it could bee (get it? Bee!) just as feasible to see Logan as Karen Beecher on The Flash or even Legends of Tomorrow (paging Dr. Palmer).
NISHI MUNSHI AS KIRAN SINGH
Solstice — Created by JT Krul and Nicola Scott, Kiran is the daughter of archaeologists Vijay and Rani Singh. This Teen Titan member has only been seen in a handful of comic book issues. Once again giving the writers of Supergirl free reign on how to incorporate the character into their mythology. She could remain without powers or we could be witness to her very own origin story right within the show itself. As far as we knew Kiran lived and worked with her parents at various excavation sites, but again — this is up to the showrunner to determine what Kiran is up to and where she’s been.
Nishi Munshi — While not a newcomer to television, she is still a relative unknown but she has been in several television shows that you might know: Bones, CSI: Cyber, The Originals, Switched at Birth, and Days of Our Lives. Hey, we all gotta start somewhere so keep that brow to yourself. Nishi as Kiran is, well, picture perfect. Very few actresses or even actors look like the comic book characters they’ve been cast to play and Nishi definitely has the looks for Kiran. I’ll also bet she’ll be able to breathe Kiran into a fan favorite hero in no time.
TRACY PEREZ AS MILAGROS REYES
Blue Beetle — No, Milagros is not, nor has she ever been, the Blue Beetle. I’m 100% sure she’s still a wee child in the comics; however, that doesn’t mean she has to stay that way for the purposes of Supergirl. Milagros could very easily be an adult and who better to work for the DEO than Blue Beetle’s little sister, or even… Blue Beetle herself? There are all sorts of fun, quirky, and awesome stories that the Supergirl team can break into with Milagros.
Tracy Perez — You’ll recognize Tracy from Hulu’s original series East Los High. Outside of that Tracy is a complete unknown which as aforementioned makes her ideal to step into a big show like Supergirl. Given the blank slate that would be Milagros Reyes, Tracy gets the opportunity to set the bar for the future actress who may come to play the role.
BIANCA SANTOS AS JESSICA CRUZ
Green Lantern — Right out of the Nu52 is Green Lantern, Jessica Cruz. Cruz, if allowed to be part of Supergirl, will once more connect the show into the broader DC Comics Universe. Additionally, Jessica can double as an agent for the DEO. Who could be more qualified (and easier to have on your show, than say Carol Ferris) than one of the newest Green Lanterns? This also provides the opportunity to showcase a proper Green Lantern origin story while still paying homage to her comic book story.
Bianca Santos — AKA Lexi Rivera from Freeform’s The Fosters and Lucy Velez from MTV’s Happyland, Bianca’s resume speaks for its self. Her experience with both dramatic and action roles (having been in her fair share of horror flicks). Bianca would be a great addition to the cast and I would love to see her opposite Italia Ricci’s Silver Banshee or even Brit Morgan’s Livewire.
CATHERINE TORIBIO AS LORENA MARQUEZ
Aquagirl — The girl from Sub Diego. That’s right Aquaman’s own protege, Aquagirl. Before you all start groaning remember this, Lorena became the aquatic sidekick on her own accord. Lorena is not Atlantean and is in fact human, although how she came about developing gills was never quite explained. I’d also like to note that she’s also assisted Steel when Lex Luthor captured Natasha, and like Solstice — Lorena was once part of the Teen Titans. How Aquagirl is introduced would be up to the Supergirl writers, however; given the mystery behind her abilities, I’d say this would be a more than excellent opportunity to weave Aquagirl into Supergirl’s mythology.
Catherine Toribio — Best known as the young Xiomara from the hit CW show, Jane the Virgin. Catherine has displayed a great range of acting, as the young Xiomara and I have no doubt her talents would be put to great use as Aquagirl herself. Catherine also spent a short amount of time on the Bold and the Beautiful and has been in Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones.
LYNDIE GREENWOOD AS JENNIFER PIERCE
Lightning — Lightning strikes twice in this family, introducing Jennifer Pierce the oldest of Black Lightning, Jefferson Pierce’s daughters. Not much is known about Jennifer Pierce (note she is a member of the JSA) or how it is that she transformed into the superhero known as Lightning but her power sets do include transforming into electricity, absorbing it, and using it as a hand blast. Oh, and she can fly. Sounds like this is the sort of ally Supergirl needs to have the next time Livewire shows up. Given the near blank slate, the character has, her history and origins would be up to the Supergirl showrunners to create and implement into the story.
Lyndie Greenwood — Martial artist, actress, and all-around badass, Lyndie Greenwood is best known to fans from FOX’s Sleepy Hollow and the CW’s Nikita. From Sonya to Jenny Mills, Lyndie Greenwood is a definite fit into Jennifer Pierce. Not only are we adding more women of color to the show, we’re adding a whole new level of badass. Just imagine her opposite Chyler Leigh’s Alex Danvers or even Jenna Dewan-Tatum’s Lucy Lane, or better yet all three of them kicking some serious tail together while Supergirl is doing her thing. Not hiring, Lyndie Greenwood as Jennifer Pierce would be — a missed opportunity.
KAT GRAHAM AS ANISSA PIERCE
Thunder — Where there’s lightning, there’s thunder and that definitely holds true for little sister Anissa Pierce. Anissa is the youngest of Jefferson Pierce’s daughters, and most desperately wanted to be a superhero, just like dad. After striking a deal about college over super heroics, Anissa graduated and then become the superhero known as Thunder. Her power sets include density control, invulnerability and energy projection. Anissa is also another STEM lady by way of computer programmer and that is just one more reason why she needs to be on Supergirl.
Kat Graham — Kat’s star is definitely rising she’s best known as Bonnie Bennett from the CW’s the Vampire Diaries, and will be playing the role of Jada Pinkett (HOT DAMN!) in the upcoming All Eyez on Me film. Kat has certainly built herself up on playing a lot of complex women. The role of Anissa Pierce will certainly be a complex role, superhero, sister, girlfriend, scientist, coder and everything in between. Kat Graham would be perfect opposite Lyndie Greenwood’s Jennifer Pierce and give us another set of siblings to cheer for.
KARISHMA AHLUWALIA AS ROSHANNA CHATTERJI
Tremor — Created by Gail Simone during her Secret Six run, Roshanna was also featured in Gail Simone’s The Movement. We do know that Roshanna was born in India and came to the United States after her powers manifested (because no one likes being called a witch). Outside of both books, there is relatively little on the superhero herself. Which once more, gives way for the showrunner and writers of Supergirl to fuse the character into their lore. Tremor’s main power is geokinesis which is not only basic earth manipulation but also using the earth’s vibrational forces on people directly, as Superman might say, ‘bad vibrations.’
Karishma Ahluwalia — Known for Savages, Inversion, and most recently appearing in ABC’s Uncle Buck, Karishma’s resume also includes Grimm, Lucifer, and Hot in Cleveland. A relative unknown this makes Karishma a perfect fit to be cast as Roshanna. I’ll admit I’m biased, I saw her name running on Katrina Law’s twitter feed (aka Nyssa al
Cool Ghul). You may not think these friendships are important but they are — so — important. I looked at Karishma and the few pictures of Tremor that I could find and felt they would be a perfect match. Plus, we need more Asian superheroes! Bonus: I’m sure Katrina could give her all the tips in the world about the stunt work on CW television shows.
GAIL KIM AS GRACE CHOI
Grace Choi – She’s an Amazon, need I say more? She was also part of the Outsiders and barring any sort of franchise ruling. It’d be pretty amazing to see her on Supergirl. She’d bring a lot to the show just in terms of lore and of course connections to the outside DC Universe. Get it? Outside. Outsider, oh man I’m here all day. Anyway, Grace worked as a bouncer for metahuman clubs, because um hi, Amazon? Well let me be clear, she somehow has powers of super strength, super stamina, super… well you get the picture.
Gail Kim – Do you even WWE (TNA, she’s on TNA now)? Yes, that’s right Gail Kim from the WWE, and let me tell you she definitely looks the build of an Amazon Warrior. Oh and don’t sit here and try and to tell me that the WWE isn’t worthy of acting. I mean you do realize that that is their job is to act out all these storylines. They’re just very muscley actors and actresses, anyway Gail Kim. Grace Choi, I mean didn’t Supergirl already get former WWE Diva Eve Torres for Maxima? So… Gail Kim. Grace Choi, do it. Just. Do. It.
Let’s Be Honest
All of these characters are worthy of becoming something more than just a reoccurring character on Supergirl. Most if not all could easily be written in as other agents for the DEO. What’s not so easy is presenting them. It seems to me that in the wake of all these superheroes, women of color are continually pushed to the side. While shows like Supergirl and Jessica Jones are great for progressing women, they don’t necessarily progress women of color.
Supergirl has done well to get its foot in the door, now it’ll have to do more. In a particularly bleak television market. This superhero show has an opportunity to not only be progressive but to also attract a larger audience. To show that while it’s nice to see a supergirl on the silver screen, it’s even nicer when all those supergirls come in various shapes and sizes.
So this is my list, my work, my letter to say there is no excuse for not having more women of color as superheroes.
Edit: Updated 06/06/2016, removed Arden Cho / Grace / Ryan Choi and added Gail Kim / Grace Choi.