Who is DC Comics’ Naomi McDuffie?
You’ve heard the origin story of Batman and Superman countless times and in countless different ways. There are dozens upon dozens of Bruce Waynes and Kal-Els across time, space, and the multiverse. But there’s only one Naomi McDuffie, and she very well may be one of the most powerful heroes in DC‘s Prime Universe.
What’s her story? And where does her power come from? Let’s find out about one of DC’s newest breakout stars.
What She Knew
Naomi knew that on March 14th, 17 years earlier, her whole life changed. She was adopted on that day, and since then, she’d been living a wonderful life with supportive and loving parents. The McDuffie family seemed no different than any other family in her small town of Port Oswego, Oregon.
In fact, as far as she knew, Port Oswego was one of the most boring places anyone could be. Not that she was unhappy about it!- it was just that Naomi was curious, and always wanted to be in the middle of the next big thing. But a whole town of people couldn’t tell her who her real parents were, and you can’t blame her for wanting to know.
Port Oswego had no special history. As far as she knew, nothing ever happened there, until Superman came through town. A villain of unknown power and proportion was wreaking havoc, and Superman pummeled him — not just in Port Oswego, but across the nation. When Superman throws a punch, you never know how far the bad guys will land. So while Superman and this villain were only in town for a few moments, it left craters in the street and holes in buildings.
It was the first time anything had ever happened in Port Oswego. At least… the first thing anyone would talk about. That is, until Naomi met the mechanic Dee, whose suspicious glance and eerie silence told her there was something more to the story. And being as curious as she was, she was determined to figure it out.
What She Discovered
Dee wasn’t Dee at all. He was a Thanagarian, like Hawkman and Hawkgirl. Dee, at one point, was an elite soldier in a special ops force for the Thanagarians in a war against the Rannians, an equally advanced alien race with strength and power unlike any humans. But why would a Thanagarian be on Earth? To escape. He didn’t want war. He didn’t want strife. He wanted to live a peaceful life, but the Rannians didn’t intend on giving him that.
They sent a Rann soldier, one of the best of his team, to track, spy, and neutralize the Thanagarian threat. But when that Rannian soldier saw that Dee was retired, and no threat to the Rannians or humans, he took deep breath and looked at the world around him. In barely in a single breath, he fell in love with this peaceful planet. He made an agreement with Dee to never speak of their war, and move on living their lives. And so that Rannian soldier lived on Earth disguised as a human named Greg McDuffie, who went on to marry a woman named Jen.
Did your jaw just hit the floor? Because Naomi’s did when she found out her adoptive father was an alien from another planet. But honestly? That was only the beginning. Naomi knew she wasn’t Rannian herself, and that still didn’t explain where she came from and who her parents were.
Dee and Greg McDuffie had a truce, and a peace together on earth, but when they both received distress calls from their old alien tech, they didn’t know what to expect. It was March 14th. They arrived at the local high school waiting around for something to happen — just before it did. A portal opened and a woman breached the portal, trailed by multiple assassins. She wasn’t able to escape her fate, but she was able to leave behind two things: a mysterious black box with odd runes, and a baby.
The baby was Naomi. And in the pilot’s seat of Greg McDuffie’s space ship, Naomi was finally reunited with little black box. It merged with her, finally unlocking her dormant powers and a message telling her everything about where she came from:
There is an alternate Earth somewhere in the multiverse where humans destroyed the ozone layer. Not just the ozone layer, but all sorts of protective barriers the Earth naturally has. With all the barriers gone, radiation leaked in. It didn’t seem like anything had changed, but overnight, exactly 29 random people across the globe received godlike powers.
Some of those people tried to take over the world, most notably, Zumbado, who seemed to be the most powerful of them all. Some of those people tried to keep the peace. After a short but terrible war, fourteen of the twenty-nine were dead. Seven of the original twenty-nine left the planet in disgust. In the end, only eight of the survivors were left. Zumbado then used his overwhelming power to conquer half of the globe.
Two of the empowered survivors fell in love, and even though the others had certainly tried, this couple was the first and only to ever have children — with the other gods or humans. Their child would be the first and only child of this unique power. In Zumbado’s already twisted mind, the creation of new power was the detriment to his, and he would not allow this child to exist. But Naomi’s parents hid her on a similar Earth and specifically found people who could raise her and teach her to use her powers. With the experience of a Rannian and Thanagarian, they hoped it would be enough.
When it comes down to it though, no one knows how truly powerful Naomi is. Dr. Ray Palmer couldn’t even find which part of the multiverse she was from, let alone the extent of her powers. But some of her feats speak for themselves. She was able to force Zumbado, the most powerful person on her entire Earth, back into his own dimension with a single punch. And this wasn’t after training or honing her skills, this was mere minutes after discovering her powers.
She can fly, and she can project energy at unknown levels. Ultimately, Naomi’s story is still new. It’s young like her, and that means her future has limitless potential.
Her New Show
NAOMI was created by Brian Michael Bendis, David Walker and artist Jamal Campbell in 2019. Her last name McDuffie is a tribute to late comic writer Dwayne McDuffie. Now, she’s on her way to a pilot for @TheCW from yours truly and Jill Blankenship. Her journey continues. Let’s go! pic.twitter.com/UBakvVT4HL
— Ava DuVernay (@ava) February 9, 2021
The CW confirmed that they are beginning work on a brand new series for Naomi. Ava DuVernay is teaming with Jill Blankenship (writer and co-exec producer on Arrow) to write and produce the project.
The original comic story was co-written in 2019 by Brian Michael Bendis and David F. Walker. The comics were illustrated by breakout artist Jamal Campbell. While it’s unclear if they’ll be involved in The CW’s series, their work is the foundation for the story and the character. As mentioned by DuVernay, the character’s last name is also a loving tribute to the late, great Dwayne McDuffie, whose impact in comics is still felt to this day- from co-founding Milestone Media to writing and producing Static Shock and Justice League Unlimited.
While the character of Naomi McDuffie is relatively new in the comics world, she has already made an impact and honors a number of other heroic legacies. We can’t wait to see her shine on the screen!
Have you read Naomi’s first comic series from DC Comics yet? Let us know in the comments, and don’t forget to Let Your Geek Sideshow!