‘Naomi,’ Ava DuVernay’s New Superheroine

It’s gotten to the point where the CW network couldn’t think of launching a new series that isn’t a superhero show. Hence the new series “Naomi” (CW, 9 p.m.), ostensibly about a smart high school girl who is also a big Superman fan.

Produced in part from Ava DuVernay, the girl-empowerment series is an origin story in slow motion as its appealing star Kaci Walfall eventually learns that she might have been, like Superman, an alien who crashed to earth with some powers.

An outsized number of people in her small town in the Pacific Northwest (though shot in Atlanta) seems to have something to do with superherodom, as potential good or bad guys.

And while it may be a few episodes down the road before we see people flying around solving crime, DuVernay, who is admired for work from “Selma” and “13th” to “When They See Us,” is reaching one of her stated goals quickly: “I want there to be a show about a Black girl learning that she’s actually a superhero,” she says.

Adapting a DC Comic of the same name, “it’s different than most fully-formed superheroes where we just dive into [it],” she told reporters on a TV Critics Association press tour call last week. “This was really the step to becoming yourself, the steps to realizing your destiny, the steps that it takes to become who you’re meant to be. And that’s something that was very interesting to me.”

Talking to reporters who she remembered from the days when she was just a publicist (“Remember when I used to pitch you?” she said to some), she said she’s been enjoying working with Jill Blankenship (of “Arrow”) in creating it. 

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