Maeve Nal was born on Earth to a human father and Naltorian mother. She was raised in Parthas, a community where aliens and humans lived peacefully. Growing up, Maeve believed that she would become the next Dreamer due to a prophetic vision her mother had had while she had been pregnant with her. When Nia transitioned, Maeve supported her and continued to study dream interpretation so she would be prepared for when her powers to manifest. However, they never did, which worried Maeve that she might become blind in the future. She remained in Parthas after high school and went to a community college, secretly envying that Nia had the opportunity to enter the outside world after high school. Meanwhile, Maeve was stuck in her hometown, honing her artistic abilities and preparing for the possibility of blindness. Neither Maeve nor her mother had considered the idea that Nia would inherit the ability as she had been born physically male before transitioning.
Disillusionment and shattered dreams
Maeve was first seen at the Nal household, awaiting the return of her sister who arrived accompanied by her friend and boss, Kara Danvers. The Nals warmly welcomed Nia's superior at CatCo while Nia sauntered off to glass chalice filled with a viscous black substance. As Nia had sighted something similar in a prophetic vision had had while sleeping in the car (with Kara as the designated driver, she picked up the chalice. However, she recalled that in her dream, her mother Isabel had died horrifically after drinking its contents. Instinctively, she dropped the chalice in shock and terror. Maeve noticed the spill she had caused and, as the black substance was the ink she used in her artistry, she good-naturedly informed Nia that Isabel had been mentoring Mave with Japanese ink wash painting. Nia apologized for her behavior, and soon afterward, their family settled down at the dining table to have lunch with Kara.
During the meal, they discussed Nia's history before settling in National City, obtaining employment at CatCo, and how reading Cat Grant's book multiple times (fourteen times, if not forty, in fact) had inspired her to venture beyond Parthas to become an active journalist. This greatly contrasted from the rest of her family who preferred a quiet, rural life over the boisterous urban counterpart. Maeve emphasized to Kara that her personal abode was located on the street near that of her parents. She had stayed close as she owned the painting studio and apprenticed with Isabel.
Kara then took note of the paintings around the home, having been observing them for a while since arriving. With her interest piqued, she asked Maeve if they were her works. An amused Maeve chuckled and informed the visitor that the paintings were, in fact, Isabel's; apparently, Isabel had made the habit of expressing her precognitive dreams through artwork, a practice that Maeve intended to adopt and carry on as well, once her own powers of prophetic dreaming manifests (for some unknown reason, it has yet to manifest). Isabel reminded her eldest daughter to be patient, and the latter brought up the topic of Naltorian precognitive dreaming to Kara, who confirmed that Nia informed her of that beforehand. Maeve elaborated that the trait passes down matrilineally, and will be exhibited by only one female per generation within the family; the only exception to that is if the supposed girl or woman to inherit it was cursed with so-called "future blindness", with the entailing case being that the gift skips the entirety of that doomed female's time, only to resurface in perhaps the following or later generations.
Isabel spoke up, again reassuring Maeve by recounting the prophetic dream she had when she was still pregnant with her first-born — that her daughter shall be next in line to inherit the dreaming power from the mother; she then encouraged Maeve to wait graciously for that day to come.
But what the Nal family, sans Nia, does not know, was that the premised precognitive power had, in fact, already manifested in Nia months ago. She realized that she inherited it after receiving a futuristic vision through her dreams and was guided by it with Kara and Brainiac 5's assistance; Nia became crucial in exposing the identity of and even apprehending the Children of Liberty’s last remaining head after the Graves siblings, Agent Liberty himself.
Later, Maeve and Kara sat down together outside of a food-serving establishment somewhere in Parthas. Kara was told to distract Maeve by Nia, to spend some time with her as part of an interview that Kara was putting up for her next CatCo article concerning life in their town; that way, Nia could converse privately with her mother, to try to find out if there is a way to transfer the subconscious-based Naltorian power of precognition from one blood sibling to the next, for that was what the younger Nal had intended since she never wanted to be the Dreamer, but Maeve does. During the interview, Maeve had nothing but amiable replies to Kara’s questions about how life goes on at Parthas, which was essentially a literal small-town utopia where humans and aliens, of multiple species, are and have always mixed together in presence without much impunity. The citizens’ appreciation to their cherished coexistence being such that those originating from the said town very rarely leave its boundaries for elsewhere, making Nia a particularly noteworthy case and Maeve had apparently both admired and envied that bravery, in and of itself, which compelled her younger sister to be true not just to herself but also to the rest of the world - driving her cause for transitioning from her birth sex as well as taking on the world as a reporter.
Kara kindly told Maeve that they all have special privileges given to them from the point of birth and the latter then told the disguised Kryptonian of how her mother Isabel, the Dreamer of her generation, whom Maeve is expected to next inherit the precognitive disposition from, used hers in nurturing Parthas and its denizens, hence her status as a respected figure and dependable pillar of the community there. Maeve went on to say that the good fruit didn't fall too far from the tree, for her grandmother, Isabel's own mother who was also her own generation's Dreamer, was an acknowledged heroic figure back on Naltor - like Supergirl on Earth; Maeve then expressed her bright-eyed desire to become that kind of hero as soon as her own Dreamer powers manifest, in lieu with the Nal's present familial generation, to continue the matrilineal legacy. Of course, the CatCo journalist, who was actually Supergirl herself in her assumed civilian alter-ego (and thus far more knowledgeable to the target of Maeve's ambition than the eldest Nal daughter) being aware that the next Dreamer would in fact not be Maeve, based on her experiences with Nia, tries to "soften the blow" by illuminating to Nia's older sibling that heroism, super or otherwise, may not be as appealing as a non-heroine would believe.
Just then, Kara noticed two Children of Liberty nearby with their alien-sniffing dog barking at some passing bystanders. The Kryptonian in disguise frowned at their presence there, and Maeve proceeded to denote that unruly folks - who look down and despise tranquil unity between humanity and alienity - from nearby towns and settlements would come annually to Parthas, during its Harvest Fest, to protest at those residing there; she coolly demeaned that it is part of human nature, and out of apparent despicable jealousy, that when some people harbor something desirable, others who don't have such might seek to deny the former of that just to "get even". Kara got slightly nervous at the Children of Liberty's presence, fully aware that they are capable of and willing to throw more than shouts and insults wherever they went, but Maeve told not to fret, for those at Parthas, regardless of race or species, are able to defend themselves should things get confrontational and if they so must, coming quick and straight to the aid of their own who cannot. She stressed underlying confidence that, on their turf, the Children would not dare do anything since an outsider's blatant attempt in making an enemy of even a single member from the town's citizenship, human or alien, would earn the provoking party the enmity (and retaliation) of the entire town as a whole - and there is a reason why the quaint community of Parthas stood unblemished from even long before the resigned of former president Olivia Marsdin enacted in National City the Alien Amnesty Act; strong inclusion tolerance and zero racial discrimination allowed the town to stand strong against adversity and even difference in opinion, for the people there are all one in both heart and mind, putting themselves first as proud citizens united in their hometown and as independent individuals coming second if not last, and bringing woe to anyone foolish enough to pose challenge to that.
The two of them later returned to the Nal household to find Isabel killed by a spider's bite and Nia unconscious. The latter woke up to find her distressed sister weeping over their mother, and with Isabel's demise abruptly turning the impending Harvest Fest into a memorial for one of their distinguished members there, Maeve, not long after that, wore a pure white dress to pay her final respects to her mother. However, as Maeve said her respects towards her mother, Nia suddenly pulled Maeve off the stage just as the Children of Liberty burst in with one of them swinging at an axe at the podium where Maeve was standing. Shocked, Maeve went outside as she was confronted by Nia, causing Maeve to realize that Nia inherited the powers instead of her. Nia tried to talk to her sister, but Maeve angrily walked away.
Despite Nia being no happier of this development any more than Maeve was, Maeve repressively seethed at the younger Nal, emphasizing to Nia that the precognitive gift and title as the "Dreamer" only passes down exclusively from mother to daughter; so why would Nia be the one to inherit it from their mother and not Maeve, when Maeve's younger sister wasn't "a real woman"? She hurt Nia badly with those words, and seeing her then-revealed-to-be precognitive sister was heartbroken made Maeve realize she had gone too far. But it was too late to take back what she said; instead, she turned her back on Nia and walked away, barely noticing Kara, who was nearby and already standing by the door hearing the argument that just occurred between the Nal sisters - having just been similarly told off by Alex back when she, as Supergirl, intervened during the Children of Liberty's assault at Isabel Nal's memorial.
Nia was still in tears from what Maeve told her before they parted ways, as she and Kara drove back to National City with Kara driving.
Maeve is a supportive and loving sister to Nia, even when the latter was still her "brother." She was supportive during Nia's transitioning period from her then-assigned male gender of birth to her current gender, both in the mind and the body that she chose to become. However, this nature changed once she had learned that Nia had inherited the Naltorian powers of precognition instead of her, which should not have been possible on the grounds that the ability traditionally manifested in only one person of every generation in the Nal family. Supposedly, this ability also only expressed itself in females of the same family. While Maeve's mother, Isabel, had been pregnant with her, she had dreamed a vision which revealed that a daughter of hers would inherit her alien powers of precognition; thus, Maeve had spent a great deal of time studying and training herself in preparation for the day when she would finally experience her first Naltorian prophetic dream, as anticipated by her and the rest of the Nal household. Maeve extensively prepared the Dreamer title and the rare, desirable power that came with it, by researching multiple texts and human literature concerning the topic of dream interpretation.
However, when the ability manifested in Nia instead, Maeve determined that this development was both a breach of trust between the siblings as well as a personal insult thrown her way by Nia. Maeve showed she could become jealous, like when she discovered Nia had prophetic powers instead of her. She cruelly lashed out at her sister upon realizing that her efforts had all been for naught and that they had all misinterpreted Isabel's vision at the firstborn child's long-termed expense. In a moment of repressed rage, Maeve declared the impossibility of the entire situation on Nia becoming the Dreamer and, in spite the sister both being daughters of Isabel, maintained that she was the "true" woman out of the two, hurting Nia in ways that neither of them could have predicted—with and without literal foresight, particularly since Nia told Kara Maeve had been her greatest supporter while transitioning.
Maeve stated to Kara that she had always been jealous of Nia's willingness to dare her way through life outside of Parthas. Instead, Maeve contented herself to settle within her hometown and remain close to her family home, not only as a proud and peaceful citizen, but only as one who had been expected and groomed to be her mother's successor and alien legacy as the next Dreamer. This depicted a well-meaning but ambitious side to Maeve's demeanor, as she explicitly stated to Kara that had the intent to model herself after her grandmother, who had been revered as a heroine back on Naltor, much like Kara's own heroic alter-ego on Earth.
This expectation was not only held by Maeve, but also by everyone else in Parthas who knew of the Nal family's importance in their domain after Isabel's prophetic dream. Nia informed Kara that Maeve had trained intensely, and that Nia herself informing Kara that Maeve has trained intensely, anticipating her inheritance of the Nal family's legacy of prophetic manifesting for as long as both sisters and their parents could remember.
Powers and abilities
- Human-Naltorian hybrid physiology: Maeve is a Naltorian-human hybrid.
- Inherited Power bestowal: Despite not gaining the powers of the Dreamer like her sister Nia, Maeve still has recessive power she can pass down to a future daughter as the powers are said to be passed down from "mother to daughter."
- Artistic: Like her mother, Maeve is a talented painter and is Isabel's apprentice in this field.
- Dream interpretation: As Maeve believed she would inherit the Naltorian precognition powers, she extensively studied dream interpretation for years in preparation to carry on the Dreamer mantle. Maeve read numerous books on the subject, mastering the art of understanding the hidden meanings in dreams by adulthood. Nia even believed that had Maeve receive the precognitive powers instead, her sister's veracity could've perhaps allowed her to react accordingly to prevent their mother's passing.
- Maeve is the third human-alien hybrid to appear in the Arrowverse, after Nia Nal and Elizabeth Hawkings.
Behind the scenes
- Maeve Nal has no DC comics counterpart, but shares a lot of similarities with the character, Mysa Nal AKA White Witch. Mysa is the sister of Nura Nal, Nia's future descendant in the Arrowverse.