British-born actor David Ajala will be joining on the CW series Supergirl in a recurring role in season four. The BEFFTA Award nominated actor will be playing a version of Manchester Black.
The Manchester Black character is a frequent Superman antagonist and was created by Joe Kelly and Doug Mahnke in 2001. Introduced in the Action Comics #775 story “What’s so Funny ‘Bout Truth, Justice and the American Way”, Black is a powerful psychic and telekinetic who has often gotten the better of Superman.
Manchester Black leads a team known as The Elite, a ruthless super-powered group with arguably noble ideals and unquestionably brutal methods. Black often masks his extreme ruthlessness with cheery humor and a disarming charm that hides a very dark past.
Traditionally Manchester Black has been portrayed as a white British male in comics and animation. That his first live-action portrayal will be by a black, British actor is bound to further the conversation around race-swapping characters as they transition from comic-book to screen.
Born in England to Nigerian parents who are themselves actors, Ajala was encouraged to take up acting by his math teacher who felt it would be a good path for the mischievous and energetic 15year old. After the acting bug bit, Ajala focused on building a successful acting career and brings some genre pedigree to the show having had roles in Doctor Who, The Dark Knight and Jupiter Ascending.
Ajala starred in the recently cancelled series Falling Water, a supernatural thriller on the USA network and will also be seen in SyFy’s Nightflyers a sci-fi horror based on a novella by George R.R. Martin.
Supergirl stars Melissa Benoist as Kara Danvers, Mehcad Brooks as James Olsen, Chyler Leigh as Alex Danvers, Jeremy Jordan as Winn Schott, David Harewood as J’onn J’onzz / Martian Manhunter, Katie McGrath as Lena Luthor, Odette Annable as Samantha Arias / Reign, and newcomer Sam Witwer ( / Agent Liberty.
Based on the DC characters created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, Supergirl is executive produced by Greg Berlanti, Sarah Schechter, Robert Rovner and Jessica Queller.
Supergirl is produced by Berlanti Productions in association with Warner Bros. Television. Supergirl returns Sunday, Oct. 14 at 8 p.m. ET on The CW.