Naomi: The Comic Book Origin Story

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Naomi: The Comic Book Origin Story

VOICE OVER: Rebecca Brayton WRITTEN BY: Cassondra Feltus
It's time for a deep dive into the history of this DC heroine. For this video, we'll be exploring the comic book origins of Naomi McDuffie (aka Powerhouse). Our video we'll include Naomi's origins, her current dilemmas, and what the future holds!
Transcript

Naomi: The Origin Story


Welcome to WatchMojo, and today we will explore the comic book origins of Naomi McDuffie (aka Powerhouse), one of the newest and most powerful superheroes in DC’s Prime Universe.

In March 2019, creators Brian Michael Bendis, David F. Walker, and Jamal Campbell debuted “Naomi” #1 for Wonder Comics. The 6-issue series introduces us to the young girl and her seemingly ordinary life in DCU.

17-year-old Naomi McDuffie lives in the small town of Port Oswego, Oregon with her adoptive parents Greg and Jen McDuffie. It’s a place where nothing exciting ever happens…until the day a superhero makes a sudden appearance. Naomi is bummed that she missed Superman’s crash into town, and it’s all anyone’s talking about. And even when he comes back to help clean up his mess, she misses the event again.

Naomi becomes obsessed and can’t shake the feeling that something is “off.” She finds out from her friends that the only other strange event in Port Oswego was 17 years ago. The adults in town dismiss it as an urban legend. But she’s not satisfied with that answer. Naomi visits Dee, the town mechanic, hoping he’ll have some insight. He tells her that this unexplained event happened on March 14th…which happens to be the day she was adopted.

After Dee abruptly ends the conversation, Naomi asks her parents about it. Their non-answers leave her suspicious. That night she breaks into Dee’s garage looking for clues, but he catches her snooping. Dee reveals that he’s a Thanagarian soldier from a different place in the multiverse. He ran away from this life consumed by war, ended up stranded on this “other” Earth, and retired. Naomi’s parents find her in his garage and whisk her off. But instead of going home, they take her to a mysterious cave. It’s where her dad shows her a spaceship…his spaceship. Turns out, he’s not from this planet either.

Greg comes from the planet Rann where he was a special ops soldier in an elite squad. He was sent undercover to find Dee, who was believed to be hiding out on Earth. But when he finds the Thanagarian in Port Oswego, he sees that “Dee” isn’t up to anything nefarious. Instead, he is leading a simple life as a mechanic. Deciding to stay on Earth as well, the Rannian assumes the human identity of Greg, and marries a human named Jennifer. The couple couldn’t biologically have kids and given Greg’s “situation” (what with being an alien and all), they couldn’t adopt.

One night, Greg’s interstellar energy sensor goes off. Separately, he and Dee track the reading to the high school football field. A portal opens up, with a woman fleeing from assassins. She’s unable to escape death but leaves behind a mysterious black box…along with a baby.

When Naomi picks up the little black box, it dissolves in the palm of her hand. She then receives a message, explaining the catastrophic event called “The Crisis.” After the ozone layer collapsed, Earth was essentially blanketed in radiation. Twenty-nine random people from all over the world were suddenly in possession of godlike powers. No one is certain why these people were chosen, or if there were more who didn’t make their powers known.

The newly enhanced battled each other, with most of them either dying, or fleeing the planet. But the remaining eight called a truce. One of those affected was Zumbado, a murderer who was about to be executed in the electric chair. His lust for power sent him on a personal mission to conquer the world. Two of the powerful beings conceived the first (and only) child born of the Crisis. Zumbado tried to kill the infant to prove he wielded superior strength, but her parents sent her to an alternative Earth.

By merging with the black box and finding her powers, Naomi alerts Zumbado to her location. He arrives and takes her back to her “birth Earth.” After “powering up,” Naomi then tries to avenge her parents, but before things get too ugly, Akira appears and sends her back home. Zumbado, now itching to claim another Earth as his, comes through the portal after her. But Naomi surprises everyone, especially herself, by launching him back through the portal with a single punch.

Though the full range of Naomi’s powers are still unknown, she does have superhuman strength and endurance, with the ability to fly and manipulate energy. She uses this energy to create extra force behind her movements (like for that epic knockout of Zumbado).

In “Action Comics” #1015, Naomi flies to Metropolis seeking Superman’s guidance. The two have similar origin stories. Both were sent to one planet in an effort to protect them from another. Both are adopted, and obviously, both are “super.” As Superman’s mentee, Naomi goes on to join Young Justice and then the Justice League, where she earns the name Powerhouse.

Naomi makes her first leap from page to screen in January 2022, in the CW’s “Naomi,” with Kaci Walfall starring as the titular hero. Make sure to tune in to see if what happens in the comics also happens in the show!
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