On the plus side, the aforementioned Naomi, as played by Kaci Walfall, is a likable character, and her coming-of-age challenge mirrors that of other heroes in training informed that they are “not like everyone else,” a rich tradition if there ever was one.
Still, the idea of teasing out revelations about who she is and her destiny at such an arduous pace proves problematic, at least for those who aren’t drawn in by more down-to-Earth concerns about which of the many classmates interesting in her she might wind up dating.
Naomi also meets two mysterious adults, Dee (Alexander Wraith) and Zumbado (Cranston Johnson), who harbor knowledge about what’s really happening and her broader place in this world. But through the first two episodes, they’re content to spoon out details and speak mostly in riddles, while making references to other quadrants of the DC universe that feel like small compensation in exchange for sitting through them.
Building “Naomi” around a Black teenager does strike a welcome blow for inclusion. But the show needs to pick up the pace, and strike more blows of the superhero variety, if it wants to hang around long enough to see her get much older.
“Naomi” premieres Jan. 11 at 9 p.m. ET on the CW. DC and Warner Bros. are divisions of WarnerMedia, as is CNN.