The CW has ordered a full series of comic book show Batwoman. The series will be the latest addition to the network’s Arrowverse of linked superhero shows, and follows the recent announcement that the truncated eighth season of Arrow will be its last.
Two characters have held the mantle of Batwoman in DC comics. The first, Kathy Kane, was introduced in 1956 as a distaff counterpart to Batman, and also a love interest to offset claims that he and Robin were lovers. She’s somewhat dated to modern readers (her detective skills were “feminine intuition” and her high-tech gadgetry was themed around cosmetics and jewellery) and was written out in 1964 to be replaced with Barbara Gordon’s Batgirl. The modern version, Kate Kane, was introduced in 2006 after Infinite Crisis, and was an aspiring soldier whose potential was cut short after being forced to leave the military academy when she refused to lie about a lesbian relationship with another student. After fighting off a mugger and being inspired by Batman, she uses her military training, along with weapons and equipment stolen from her Colonel father’s army base, to wage a personal war against crime on the streets of Gotham.
As stated by TVLine, the CW has ordered a full series of comic book adaptation Batwoman. The series will star Orange is the New Black’s Ruby Rose as the latter Kate Kane incarnation of the character, who was introduced in last year’s run of annual Arrowverse crossover episodes, Elseworlds. When Kate picks up the mantle of Gotham’s nocturnal defender after the departure of Bruce Wayne (also her cousin), the events of the series will follow her as she deals with her own demons as she works her way towards becoming a true hero.
The series is also set to feature Dougray Scott (Mission: Impossible II; Hemlock Grove) as Kate’s father Jacob, a former career soldier who now runs a private security firm trying to keep Gotham’s streets safe in the wake of Batman’s departure; Rachel Skarsten (Lost Girl; Reign); as Alice, the charming and psychotic leader of the Lewis Carroll-themed Wonderland Gang, and the Joker to Kate’s Batman; Camrus Johnson (Luke Cage) as Luke Fox, the hero Batwing and son of tech genius Lucius; Meagan Tandy (Teen Wolf; Charmed) as Sophie Moore, a high-level private security agent; and Nicole Kang (You) as Mary Hamilton, Kate’s step sister and staunch advocate for the rights of Gotham’s underprivileged communities.
Although Kate only appeared significantly in one episode of Elseworlds, she made enough of an impact that audiences wanted to see more of her, and after Arrow comes to a final conclusion later this year Kate will be in a perfect position to replace Oliver Queen as the saga’s resident dark and brooding hero. The CW has never shied away from promoting diversity in its casts, and even though the its superhero shows have featured a number of LGBT characters in varying prominence, it’s worth nothing that this will be the first time a show’s main lead has been anything other than heterosexual. Having an out lesbian as the show’s primary focus and her personal journey doubtless being addressed, it will give something to relate to for any girls watching who are still unsure of themselves.