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Welcome back to The Hollywood Reporter‘s weekly DC TV Watch, a rundown of all things DC Comics on the small screen. Every Saturday, we round up the major twists, epic fights, new mysteries and anything else that goes down on The CW’s Arrow, The Flash, Legends of Tomorrow, Supergirl, Black Lightning and new series Batwoman. This week, let’s take a look at how Batwoman will connect to all the other Arrow-verse shows.
Who is it about? | If you didn’t watch this past year’s Elseworlds crossover, everything about the Batwoman series will be new. But as other Arrow-verse heroes learned when they met the titular character in her home city, Kate Kane (Ruby Rose) is not someone to underestimate just because she’s new to this group of heroes. According to The CW’s official description, “armed with a passion for social justice and a flair for speaking her mind, Kate Kane soars onto the streets of Gotham as Batwoman, an out lesbian and highly trained street fighter primed to snuff out the failing city’s criminal resurgence. But don’t call her a hero yet. In a city desperate for a savior, Kate must overcome her own demons before embracing the call to be Gotham’s symbol of hope.” As TV’s first out lesbian superhero headlining her own series, Kate is breaking barriers (as is her portrayer Rose, who is an openly gay actress herself). And based on her flirtations with Supergirl (Melissa Benoist) in the crossover, it’s clear that Batwoman isn’t going to hold anything back in the romance department.
Where is it located? | While Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell) name- dropped both Gotham and the unseen Bruce Wayne multiple times over the years on Arrow, it wasn’t a guarantee that Batwoman‘s version of Gotham would be on the same Earth as Arrow, The Flash and Legends of Tomorrow (remember that Supergirl takes place on an alternate version of Earth, Earth-38, and has to use special technology to visit the other heroes). But as the Elseworlds crossover revealed during Batwoman’s debut, Kate Kane’s Gotham is also on Earth-1. That makes the opportunity for crossovers other than the massive annual one that much more possible. All any hero has to do is take a car, train or plane and soon enough they’ll be in each other’s cities.
But when is it located? | After Kate met all the Arrow-verse heroes minus the Legends (and fought alongside the trinity as Batwoman) in the Elseworlds crossover, you’d assume the Batwoman series would pick up right where things left off as Kate continues to try to improve Gotham City in the absence of her cousin Bruce. But according to reports, the Batwoman series premiere actually takes place before all the events of the past crossover. In speaking with Deadline, executive producer Greg Berlanti revealed that Batwoman will tell the origin story of how Kate becomes the caped crusader, a story that “predates the crossover.” Maybe the first episode takes place mostly in the past to tell that story in flashbacks or perhaps most of the first season takes place in the past, but at some point the series will have to catch up to the present for Batwoman to be a part of the upcoming Crisis on Infinite Earths crossover as her appearance has already been confirmed.
Will Bruce ever be introduced? | At the time of the Elseworlds crossover, Bruce Wayne had been missing for the past three years, as well as the “unrelated” Batman vigilante (and no one had put together that both famous figures had disappeared at the same exact time). Kate took up the mantle to defend the city in his absence. But will her famous cousin ever appear on Batwoman? Probably not. While Superman (Tyler Hoechlin) did end up appearing on Supergirl after producers denied it could happen, it appears as if Batman is a property that DC is keeping on the big screen…for now, at least. The CW boss Mark Pedowitz has already confirmed that “there are no plans at this time” to actually see Batman in the Arrow-verse, but he did point out that the character does exist already thanks to all the mentions of him in past episodes. Things could change in the future (as they did for Supergirl), but don’t expect to see Bruce Wayne at least in the first season of Batwoman.
What other famous comic book characters will appear? | Batwoman’s main nemesis comes straight from the comics, as well as another early DC TV series. Rachel Skarsten (who previously played Dinah Lance/Black Canary in 2002’s Birds of Prey series that was canceled after one season) will play main villain Alice, described as “Batwoman’s version of The Joker.” The leader of her Lewis Carroll-inspired Wonderland Gang, she swings unpredictably between maniacal and charming and has made it her mission to undermine Gotham’s sense of security. In the comics, it was eventually revealed that Alice was the presumed dead twin sister of Kate, Beth Kane, although it’s unclear on whether Batwoman is going to adapt that familial connection for the small screen or keep the two women unrelated. Kate’s family life is complicated enough already with her father, Jacob Kane (Dougray Scott), a former military colonel who has contempt for vigilantes as he attempts to tackle the crime of Gotham with his private security firm, The Crows. And he has no idea that his own daughter is the thing he hates: a vigilante. The character of Jacob Kane is pretty new to the comics but the source material already provides some clues as to how Jacob’s relationship with his daughter is going to progress, as eventually he becomes an ally of both Batwoman and vigilantes in general. And Kate already has a great ally in Luke Fox (Camrus Johnson), aka the son of iconic Batman character Lucius Fox and a total “Dark Knight loyalist.” He’s been tasked with keeping watch over Wayne Tower (and the Batcave) and, as comic book fans know, is destined to become the superhero Batwing (at least in the source material; whether he’ll suit up on Batwoman remains to be seen).
Who is the team bringing Batwoman to life? | Caroline Dries (The Vampire Diaries) will serve as the writer/executive producer, along with Berlanti, Sarah Schechter, and Geoff Johns.
Next week, we’re breaking down everything we know about the upcoming Arrow-verse crossover Crisis on Infinite Earths.
Note: Supergirl, Legends of Tomorrow, Arrow, The Flash and Black Lightning will all return next season, along with new DC TV series Batwoman, all on The CW.
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