Years after its 2006 debut, The CW has grown to be one of the premier American television networks, beloved for hit young adult television shows such Supernatural, The Vampire Diaries (and all of its spinoffs), and Jane the Virgin. Original series within the superhero genre, in particular, have flourished on The CW. The network's Arrowverse, a television universe made up of numerous superheroes within the DC Universe, puts notable comic book characters like the Flash, Arrow, and Supergirl under the same sky. And as the latest addition to The CW, Batwoman stretches the universe even further to include the dark city of Gotham.
Batwoman explores the landscape of Gotham years after Batman's mysterious disappearance. Gotham, a city that has always been plagued by unfettered crime and lawlessness, has descended into deeper chaos in Batman's absence, and his cousin Kate Kane literally takes up his mantle to protect her home turf.
Curiosity piqued? Thought so. Here's everything we know about Batwoman so far.
Though Batman is one of the most famous superheroes in the DC Universe, The CW kept its distance from the Dark Knight. Caroline Dries, a writer who's worked with The CW and has written for the underrated superhero series Smallville, talked about the enigma that is Batman at a recent press event. "[DC Comics] doesn’t let you say Batman or have anything about Gotham —like it’s just off-limits,” she explained. "...all of a sudden, we can do stuff. And for a bunch of geeks like us, you’re in Heaven. It’s [then just a matter of] trying to figure out what you want to use.”
This new access to Batman's story is no doubt due in part to the FOX show Gotham, which spent its five-year run fleshing out the repercussions of the tragic violent murder that forced Bruce Wayne to become a masked vigilante. Aside from a few casual references to the Caped Crusader, there was never any real exploration of Gotham in the Arrowverse...until now, that is.
The latest superhero offering from The CW is set to star Australian model and actress Ruby Rose. This is Rose's first lead television role, but she's no stranger to this industry; she's appeared in the Netflix prison dramedy Orange is the New Black as well as the second and third films in the John Wick trilogy.
Before she started seriously acting, Rose worked as a model, a DJ, and an MTV television host—she's even collaborated with fashion designers to create clothes and shoes that have been featured in Vogue Australia, InStyle, and Maxim. However, Rose's true professional goal is to make it as an actor. "Part of the reason I didn't want to be a host or especially didn't want to do something on reality TV is I was sick of always being Ruby Rose and being on as this character of yourself when I wanted to be different people,” the actress told SELF Magazine in 2015. “You become a brand. I didn't want to become a brand. I wanted to become an actor.”
In Batwoman, Kate Kane is tough-as-nails street fighter and community activist, but it turns out that she does have one soft spot, and it's for her lover, Sophie Moore. Played by Meagan Tandy (Showtime's Survivor's Remorse), Sophie is a private security agent who works for Kate's father Jacob, and in the trailer for the show, we see her get kidnapped by the Wonderland Gang. Desperate to save Sophie and her city, Kate commandeers Bruce Wayne's suit to become Batman.
Batwoman will be one of the first television shows to depict a lesbian relationship on network television, and the showrunners understand how important it is to the LGBTQ community that this representation is authentic. It's actually why they cast Rose, an out lesbian, in the first place. "There’s so much in it that I think friends, or me when I was younger, or fans, or anyone can watch and feel part of their story is being told,” Rose said in an interview with Adweek. "And that I love, because as much as I love representation in any way, shape or form, I don’t think I’ve seen it normalized as much as this."
Even before Batwoman was officially green-lit, The CW made sure to weave Kate Kane's story into the existing Arrowverse by introducing her to the rest of the gang in the second part of the Elseworlds crossover. We even got a look at Kate as Batwoman, flaming red wig and all.
There's a sixth Arrowverse crossover event scheduled for late 2019/early 2020, and once Batwoman premieres later this fall, all signs point to the new Caped Crusader joining her fellow superheroes in the mega crossover.
Look out, Gotham. There's a new vigilante in town.
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