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What You Need to Know About ‘Batwoman’ Before it Premieres

Whether you’re a longtime fan of Kate Kane or relatively new to the character, you’ve come to the right place. Here’s what we know about The CW’s upcoming Arrowverse superhero show Batwoman : who’s in it, what it’s about, and why you should start getting excited. Batwoman is set to premiere on October 6th, 2019, followed by the fifth season premiere of Supergirl, serving up a double dose of DC’s most badass women. If you’re looking to catch up before she sets off on her own adventures, Batwoman has already appeared on a few of the CW’s other superhero shows. She appeared in the Elseworlds crossover event, which played out across episodes of Arrow, The Flash, and Supergirl in December of 2018, and served to introduce Ruby Rose’s take on the character to the TV audience.

We aren’t sure how tied into these shows Batwoman will be since that crossover involved dipping into alternate universes, but being set on parallel worlds hasn’t stopped the Flash and Supergirl from hanging out, so it might be worth checking in. One of the big reveals there was that while Batman does exist in the version of Gotham City that we’re seeing in Batwoman, the Dark Knight has been mysteriously absent for quite some time, leaving a vigilante void and a city full of super-criminals. Right from the start, the odds are stacked against Batwoman, but clearly, she’s up for the task. The CW has released a ton of footage for Batwoman online, but in May, we got a “First Look” trailer that might just give us the best idea of what we can expect. Right away, we’re introduced to “The Crows,” Gotham City’s private mercenary police force, established in the wake of Batman’s departure. It appears they aren’t quite as effective as the Batman, however, as they are quickly picked off by Batwoman’s central antagonist: Alice, a ruthless criminal and Lewis Carroll fan. Rachel Skarsten looks like she’s really enjoying the role of the unhinged Alice, which should make her a fun villain to watch.

There’s a long history of DC characters who have gone by the name “Batwoman,” but the one we know today, Kate Kane, has only existed for a little over a decade, having first appeared in 2006. In the comics, Kate Kane is Bruce Wayne’s cousin, but her childhood was arguably even worse than his. At the age of 12, she was kidnapped by a cult alongside her mother, Gabrielle, and twin sister, Beth. The cult murdered Gabrielle and seemingly Beth as well, with Kate as a witness to the tragedy, giving her a similar trauma to her famous bat-relative. As an adult, Kate went through West Point, hoping to join the Army, but was kicked out under “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” as a lesbian. She was inspired to continue to fight for justice by Batman himself, using fear to intimidate criminals, but operating mostly on her own using her military training and technology. It could be easy to dismiss Alice as “Batwoman’s Joker,” because… well, that’s basically what she is.

She is a Gotham city crime boss commanding a massive web of criminals, and she’s more than a bit unhinged. She’s also a skilled fighter. She’s obsessed with Alice in Wonderland, though her comics iteration is not tied to the Mad Hatter or his gang. The comics have a few interesting twists about the connection between Alice and Batwoman no spoilers for the uninitiated, but we’ll see if the show picks those up. While we know a few of the characters we can expect to see, the CW is keeping a pretty tight lid on the plot of Batwoman’s first season. Obviously, we’re going to see Kate Kane’s transformation into Gotham’s protector, and judging from the trailer, it seems like Alice is going to be the villain who forces her into becoming Gotham City’s new bat-themed hero. Along with Alice, the CW has confirmed that two other comic villains are coming to the first season of Batwoman, but we don’t know how big a role they’ll play.

Magpie, who was also used as a minor villain in the final season of Gotham, will be showing up in at least one episode. Season one will also introduce Tommy Elliot, who later becomes Hush. We can also expect a few ties between Batwoman and the larger Batman universe. For example, Kate Kane’s tech guru is the son of Lucius Fox. That said, it seems unlikely that the Dark Knight will ever appear in Batwoman… at least for a while. Ruby Rose has played plenty of badass characters before stepping into the role of Batwoman. The Australian actress is probably best known for Orange is the New Black, but she’s also shown up in plenty of other big time action franchises like xXx and John Wick. Rose is interesting casting in a lot of ways, but one particularly noteworthy piece is that Rose, who identifies as genderfluid and a lesbian, is playing the first openly gay superhero lead to come to film or television. A huge part of Batwoman’s origin story is her dismissal from West Point after being outed. Rather than avoid this aspect of the character, The CW is fully embracing it, putting Kate Kane’s sexuality front and center. Ruby Rose has spoken extensively about her struggles with identity growing up, and how she hopes she can be a positive influence through her success. She’s said in interviews that she wants Batwoman to be the kind of show that would’ve made her life better if she’d had it when she was a teenager, showing a hero who can make some changes in the real world, too.

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