A new poster has been released highlighting Rachel Skarsten as Alice, the primary villain of the upcoming Batwoman TV series. The Ruby Rose-starring series will debut on October 6 on the CW, and follow the efforts of its titular hero Kate Kane as she tries to carry on the legacy of her cousin Batman after his departure from Gotham City, and keep the crime-ridden metropolis safe from the criminals and maniacs who would threaten it.
Alice, or Red Alice, is the quotation-uttering leader of the Wonderland Gang, a Lewis Carroll-themed criminal organization, each member of which is masked as a character from the famous books. A woman as charming as she is insane, she is very much the Joker to Kate’s Batman, and a complex relationship is promised between her and Batwoman. Her machinations involve engaging in a personal vendetta against one of the show’s major characters, while carrying out her personal mission to turn Gotham into a city of chaos and mayhem. Despite her madness, she is an expert in manipulating people and despite her own madness is able to bring people around to her way of thinking, and is also enough of a physical threat to take on Batwoman in a fight.
The poster of Skarsten as Alice was posted to Batwoman’s official Twitter account. Her appearance is toned down from what we’ve so far seen of the character in promo material, as she is wearing everyday clothes and sporting a regular hairstyle. This starkly contrasts against the pale makeup, post-‘80s wavy hair and straight bangs, and pseudo-Victorian clothing she will sport as the mad villain. However, her piercing gaze is one unafraid of meeting whoever might challenge her, its dark makeup is often used to code female characters as dangerous, and one side of her mouth upturning into a half-smile suggests she knows something you don’t that you will soon find out and wish you hadn’t. Check it out below.
Skarsten is no stranger to genre TV. She has previously played an increasingly significant role as the Valkyrie Tamsin in urban fantasy series Lost Girl, a treacherous government agent in an episode of fantasy horror Wynonna Earp, and even has prior DC credentials as one of the trio of leads in short-lived 2002 female-centric series Birds of Prey, where she played Dinah Lance, a precog, telepath and psychokinetic, and the teenage daughter of Black Canary.
Villains who operate under varying degrees of insanity are often the most dangerous kind that heroes can face, due to their unpredictability and inability to be reasoned with. She will prove to be even more tenacious due to the aforementioned grudge against an important character, which for reasons her comics history lays out may well be Batwoman’s father, retired army colonel and private security manager Jacob Kane. Alice’s modern and everyday look on the poster suggests that she may operate a civilian identity outwith her criminal enterprises, although keeping them separate might prove an issue. Regardless of the guise in which Alice appears in Batwoman, she will prove a formidable foe.