On Tuesday night’s episode of Supergirl, “Blind Spots”, Kelly Olsen officially became the superhero Guardian, picking up the mantle left behind by her brother, James Olsen (Mehcad Brooks) after he left National City. The episode, co-written by Azie Tesfai who plays Kelly on Supergirl, saw the newly-minted hero step up for the people most in need of one: the underserved and largely minority community left devastated when Nyxly (Peta Sergeant) caused the collapse of the Ormfell building. Now, to mark the hero’s debut, The CW has released a new poster of Kelly in her Guardian suit.
In the new poster, Kelly isn’t wearing the new Guardian helmet, but she is wearing her black and gold themed super suit and for a character whose super identity and civilian identity both share the power of compassion, it’s a perfect way to celebrate and represent the newest official member of the Super Friends.
While Tesfai’s involvement in crafting the episode has been known for some time – and Tesfai herself even previously shared on social media one of the more personal elements she added to the episode – she recently revealed to TVLine that she also had a lot of input on Kelly’s Guardian look (which can be seen in a previously released poster here).
“I’m Eritrean, my mom grew up in Ethiopia, and gold is such a big part of our culture,” Tesfai said. “Not only did I want to try to get as comic book accurate because that’s the coolest part and we’d never seen Guardian with gold, but I wanted to have personal cultural touches, so the beats in my hair a nod to my personal culture.”
She added, “Once the [half helmet] got approved, I was like, ‘Well, now she has visibility as a Black woman…and I want braids down to my butt.”
Tesfai previously spoke with ComicBook.com about the importance of Kelly’s arc as well as the empowerment not only of Kelly stepping into her power but of her as a person doing so by co-writing “Blind Spots” as well.
“You know, me personally feeling empowered to have such a hand on the story arc, and the episode that I got to co-write particularly, and my character stepping in her power as a woman, as a gay woman, as a Black woman, it wasn’t lost on me,” she said. “I think that we, Kelly and I both, were finding our footing and finding our voice, and using it at the same time, which was emotional and powerful and changed me forever, and how I see who I am. And so, I think, when the fans do see this arc, it isn’t just watching Kelly step into her power. It’s watching me, Azie as a person, stepping into my own power as a Black woman. And so it does mean a lot to me.”
Supergirl airs Tuesday nights at 9 p.m. ET/PT, following episodes of DC’s Stargirl, on The CW.