It’s official: Hawkgirl to join Atom, others in new CW series

Young actress/songstress Ciara Renée joining Brandon Routh’s Atom, others, to star in new "Arrow," "Flash" spinoff CW series based on popular DC comics characters.

Looks like Hawkgirl is next up in the CW's growing list of DC Comics superhero shows. (Image via DC-Wiki, copyright DC Comics)

LOS ANGELES, April 3, 2015 – What hath Oliver Queen wrought? After the heretofore so-so CW channel scored pay dirt with “Arrow,” its first series, based on DC Comics’ not-quite-super superhero Green Arrow, it decided to take a chance with the more super Scarlet Speedster, aka “The Flash.”

Bingo! The CW’s new spinoff series, complete with many of Flash’s super-nasty super villains, scored yet another hit, with both series inspiring even more guest appearances of DC characters, including Black Canary, the Atom and Heat Wave.

Likely figuring three’s the charm, the CW will now spin off a third superhero series, one that’s currently slated to show up some time in the second half of the 2015-2016 TV season. We don’t have the title yet, but this third series will likely focus on the continuing story of former “Superman” film star Brandon Routh’s Ray Palmer/the Atom and a new arrival, none other than Hawkgirl.

Ciara Renée as Esmeralda.
Ciara Renée, the CW’s future Hawkgirl, currently sings the role of Esmeralda in a developing version of a new Disney musical based on “The Hunchback of Notre Dame.” (Screen shot of YouTube video)

To be portrayed by young newcomer Ciara Renée—a recent graduate of Cleveland’s Baldwin Wallace University—this Hawkgirl apparently comes from a more recent DC Comics re-incarnation of the character, known this time around as Kendra Munoz-Saunders or Kendra Saunders, a professional treasure hunter by trade.

Renée has already begun to make a name for herself as a singing actress, having sung Leading Player in a recent Broadway revival of “Pippin” and currently portraying the gypsy Esmeralda in a tryout version of a developing Disney musical based on “The Hunchback of Notre Dame.” Portraying Saunders/Hawkgirl in the upcoming CW series will burnish her credentials—and casting flexibility—further.

(A video from the La Jolla production of the show appears below.)

In the new series, according to “Deadline,” Renée’s character “Saunders is a young woman who is just beginning to learn that she has been repeatedly reincarnated over the centuries. When provoked, her ancient warrior persona manifests itself, along with wings that grow out of her back, earning her the moniker Hawkgirl.” Sounds a little bit like Marvel’s “Hulk,” except that Hawkgirl is considerably better looking.

As confirmed by Deadline, on the new spinoff series, “Renée joins Brandon Routh (Arrow‘s Ray Palmer/The Atom), Wentworth Miller (The Flash‘s Leonard Smart/Captain Cold), Dominic Purcell (The Flash‘s Mick Rory/Heat Wave), Victor Garber (Dr. Martin Stein) and Caity Lotz, whose role is still TBD as her Arrow character Sara Lance was killed off, with her sister Laurel Lance (Katie Cassidy) taking over as the Black Canary.”

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Terry Ponick
Biographical Note: Dateline Award-winning music and theater critic for The Connection Newspapers and the Reston-Fairfax Times, Terry was the music critic for the Washington Times print edition (1994-2010) and online Communities (2010-2014). Since 2014, he has been the Business and Entertainment Editor for Communities Digital News (CDN). A former stockbroker and a writer and editor with many interests, he served as editor under contract from the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) and continues to write on science and business topics. He is a graduate of Georgetown University (BA, MA) and the University of South Carolina where he was awarded a Ph.D. in English and American Literature and co-founded one of the earliest Writing Labs in the country. Twitter: @terryp17