Naomi begins to lose steam as the mystery of the new hero’s origin drags on without much pizzazz.
As a fan of all things superhero and/or comic book, I always intended to watch more of the Arrowverse. But, putting all cards on the table, these shows weren’t a big priority to me before this year. I had seen some Arrow, Flash, Legends Of Tomorrow, and the odd episode of Supergirl, but none of those shows piqued my interest. I watched what I watched for the sake of staying informed, and to see what they had to offer.
In 2022, my perspective on the Arrowverse began to change as the new year slate reeled me in. Superman & Lois promised Doomsday, Batwoman featured an original lead character and not one but two Poison Ivys, and Naomi hooked me with a fresh mystery set outside of the larger Arrowverse continuity. My first couple weeks with these three shows were shockingly enjoyable, challenging my bias towards the CW’s DCTV offerings.
“Zero To Sixty” Continues To Flesh Out Port Oswego
Unfortunately, the third week left me feeling more frustrated than excited. In the case of Superman & Lois, Doomsday turned out to be Bizarro. Maybe this twist is ultimately best for the show, and I’m sure Bizarro fans are excited. But as a Doomsday fan and someone who started watching the show because the showrunner effectively promised that Doomsday was coming, I was more than irritated.
Naomi follows Kaci Walfall as Naomi McDuffie, an adopted, popular, teenage Superman super-fan living in Port Oswego. Her life is turned upside down when Superman seemingly appears in her hometown, fighting an unidentified assailant. The same day, she begins to develop powers, though the exact abilities she possesses are pretty unclear, even three episodes into the show.
Kaci Walfall’s Performance Is Immersive & Honest
She meets two superpowered beings in Port Oswego, Dee (Alexander Wraith) and Zumbado (Cranston Johnson). Dee is a Thanagarian, a winged humanoid from outer space. He is of the same species as Hawkman, and he seeks to teach Naomi how to control her powers and use them for good. Zumbado’s motivation and ultimate goal is unclear, though “Zero To Sixty” implies it may be something along the lines of world domination. He has stood opposite Naomi as a foe, taunting her and nefariously keeping her true identity and history secret.
These two characters are the highlight of the show, breathing new life into the series every time they appear on screen. Dee’s meditative wisdom and humble temperament compliments Naomi’s headstrong, somewhat reckless personality nicely. Their chemistry is only matched by Naomi and Zumbado’s. Every time Cranston Johnson’s character walks into a room, the tension becomes palpable.
Naomi Could Benefit From Picking Up The Pace
The problem that I’m facing with Naomi is the lack of serious development on her origin story. Maybe I’m just impatient, but the truth is that this new DCTV series didn’t hook me with its stellar dialogue, high-budget, or Emmy-worthy character drama. It hooked me with a mystery that, while initially captivating, is beginning to grow stale.
Now, in the defense of Naomi and “Zero To Sixty”, the cliffhanger ending certainly seems to indicate answers are coming in episode four. I’m still looking forward to “Enigma”, but I’m a lot more cautiously optimistic than purely excited, like I was in prior weeks. After all, I expected this episode to provide a bit more clarity on Naomi and this new universe.
Naomi returns to the CW on February 1, 2022 at 9PM EST, with “Enigma“. The DCTV series stars Kaci Walfall as Naomi McDuffie, Alexander Wraith as Dee, Cranston Johnson as Zumbado, Mary-Charles Jones as Annabelle, Will Meyers as Anthony, Daniel Puig as Nathan, Camila Moreno as Lourdes, and Aidan Gemme as Jacob. Naomi was created by Ava Duvernay and Jill Blankenship.
What was your favorite part of Naomi? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below or on our social media!