With many shows such as Fargo incorporating their own subdued reaction to the current inflammatory Trump administration, DC’s Legends of Tomorrow is debuting  the show’s first Muslim-American superhero in season 3: Future hacker Zari Adrianna Tomaz portrayed by Iranian-born actress Tala Ashe.

Zari’s addition to the Legends time-traveling crew was in an effort to “change the dynamics on the ship” said EP Phil Klemmer. “She brings a new point of view, and when you do a scene with eight different people, everyone has to have a distinct voice or you lose yourself in a scene.” Zari is from 2030, and as the Legends pass through time, she serves up a different POV in a crew of three generations — especially when it comes to fixing history’s broken parts.

“We also recognized there weren’t enough women on the Waverider (ship) and it was something we’ve been looking to address,” said EP Marc Guggenheim. Zari is an activist who speaks truth to power. For Ashe, getting the opportunity to play Zari is finally a chance to provide others such as herself with a role model, not to mention, “What I think is lovely about this show is that Legends represents the tapestry of America” said the actress.

“You might have heard there was this election,” Guggenheim said. “Not to get political, but something that we all gravitated toward in the writers room was making this character Muslim.” The EP also said he drew inspiration for the role from his Muslim sister-in-law who was having a challenging time in the present Trump-era of America.

“It’s not just the politicians, but a lot of the real life heroes are letting us down,” said Guggenheim in response to a reporter’s query on whether global politics was impacting Legends. “Audiences and creatives are gravitating toward superheroes because it’s wish-fulfillment. They’re looking to find a little bit of hope and a little bit of escapism that quite frankly doesn’t exist.”

Other teasers about season 3 were dropped at today’s panel which also included cast members Brandon Routh (Ray Palmer/Atom) and Caity Lotz (Sara Lance/White Canary) :

  • Gorilla Grodd, the telekinetic big monkey will be making his first appearance on Legends. He’s already guest-starred on The Flash a number of times.
  • The superhero team will head to the 1870s around episode 3 in a yesteryear circus set-up. Routh dropped this clue when talking about his all-wool full jacket get-up for the scene.
  • There will be some exploration of Ray’s childhood, getting underneath the psychology of his optimism. We’ll learn there’s a bit of sadness in his childhood.
  • With Arthur Darvill and Wentworth Miller now recurring characters respectively as rogue time traveler Rip Hunter and Captain Cold, the EPs were largely mum on their bandwidth in season 3. Rip, despite having a heavy storyline in season one, isn’t the same person any more, nor the 1960s film student he was in season two. Captain Cold remains bizarre.