Batwoman is coming to the Arrowverse, which means The CW's superhero shared universe will finally have to explain Batman.
When Arrow, Supergirl, The Flash, and DC's Legends of Tomorrow join forces for their annual crossover in December, a new corner of the Multiverse fans have longed to see opens up: Gotham City. Arrow star Stephen Amell announced at The CW's Upfront presentation that the super friends will visit Gotham to meet Batwoman. The introduction of Kate Kane, the most prominent LGBTQ female superhero in the DC Comics universe, is definitely cause for celebration by itself. But, as a legacy character, Batwoman's arrival in the Arrowverse also means we'll finally learn of Batman.
For corporate reasons, the Arrowverse has danced around Batman's existence for years. As one of Warner Bros. most bankable properties, Batman's live-action incarnations are saved for major motion pictures. Even though Gotham on FOX is about to enter its fifth and final season, and a new prequel series about Alfred Pennyworth has been ordered by Epix, Batman himself (and a few key characters like the Joker) are generally off limits to TV (the Adam West Batman show was 50 years ago, after all.)
While they haven't been able to show the Caped Crusader, the Arrowverse has dropped many Batman Easter eggs. On Supergirl, Kara Danvers has mentioned her cousin Clark's "scary friend... they're more like frenemies" and at least one family who was saved by Supergirl announced they were moving "back to Gotham". On The Flash, the issue of the Central City Citizen dated 2024 seen in STAR Labs announced a WayneTech/Queen Inc. merger. The time-traveling Rip Hunter told the Legends of Tomorrow that he has seen "men of steel die and dark knights fall." Arrow has also visited Bludhaven, which is the adopted hometown of Nightwing.
The sly references suddenly became blatant in Arrow season 6 when Oliver Queen outright spoke Bruce Wayne's name and mentioned Gotham City's existence. The name drop was Stephen Amell's idea, for which he got permission from Warner Bros. CEO Kevin Tsujihara himself. It was a prophetic move by the actor that seems to have opened the gates of Gotham.
As great of a character as Kate Kane is, it's also hard to escape the fact that her crime-fighting persona is borrowed from her billionaire cousin Bruce Wayne, so Batman will have to be addressed eventually. In recent DC comics, Batwoman has fought with and against the Batman Family, but in her original run, Batwoman was a proud loner who stayed clear of Batman, despite both operating in Gotham and him insisting she quit crime fighting. The Arrowverse's Kate Kane could also likely fight crime independently of Batman.
While there's very little info on the crossover to go on, meeting Batwoman lets the Arrowverse finally utilize the familiar iconography of the Dark Knight such as the gothic spires of Gotham and the bat logo, which is emblazoned on Batwoman's uniform. The Batsignal could even shine.
But it hasn't been made clear the next crossover will take place on Earth-1 again. It's therefore possible Green Arrow, Flash, and the Legends could travel to Earth-38 this time around to encounter Batwoman in the Gotham of Supergirl's universe. This could plant the seed for Supergirl and Batwoman as The CW's version of the World's Finest Team. Another get-around for the Caped Crusader would be to have Batman absent or disappeared. With the Legends' time ship, they might instead go to a future Gotham with Batman long retired.
Creative feints like this would buy the Arrowverse a little more time, but with Green Arrow, Flash, Supergirl, and the Legends literally setting foot in Gotham, they will have to deal with the Dark Knight sooner or later. Batwoman is a fantastic addition, but if Gotham is now in play in the Arrowverse, then they can't simply dodge revealing Batman forever.