The CW’s Arrowverse is growing and many fans were first introduced to Batwoman, during last year’s “Elseworlds” crossover. But, if you aren’t totally familiar with any of the extended Batman family beyond Robin the Boy Wonder, this show might raise some subdivided questions to; “Who is Batwoman in the CW compared to DC Comics?”
First, let’s get things straight about Batwoman who is featured on the new show. Batwoman’s real name is Kate Kane and she’s Batman’s cousin. This version of Batwoman made her comics debut in 2006, according to DC Universe. She’s an open lesbian, embraces her Jewish culture, and has attended West Point Academy. Her father is Bruce Wayne’s uncle on his mother’s side. This version of Batwoman was inspired to fight crime after being rescued from a mugger by Batman, but there is also a storyline in the comics that deals with Batman’s disappearance, which clearly inspired this new series.
While this is the most current Batwoman and slightly modified for the new CW show, there were other iterations of Batwoman before this. The original Batwoman was named Kathy Kane, and she was introduced way back in 1956. While Kathy and Kate have similar names, they’re very different from each other. Kathy had a romantic interest in Batman, which was the basis of her involvement as a crime fighter. To learn more about Kathy Kane’s Batwoman begin with Detective Comics #233 (July 1956).
Many of us have been excited for this series since it was announced last year at SDCC that Kate Kane would be making her screen debut and proud to be gay! Rather than build from the CW’s “Elseworlds” crossover, Batwoman’s series premiere doubles back to explore Kate’s origin. This is a smart move for character building with a good pace to all supporting characters. Kate Kane, (Ruby Rose), steps in as Batwoman to protect Gotham after Batman has been missing for three years. Where is Batman? Well, that’s part of the “mystery” and there are many plausible ideas that would rationalize the disappearance of the Great Detective. This show is not about Batman, but a woman who has the drive and focus to insure a better Gotham. Kate never planned to be Gotham’s new vigilante; however the city is in great despair and is in need of a symbol that has been greatly missed.
Enter Jacob Kane (Dougray Scott) and his military-grade “Crows Private Security”, which has been assisting the Gotham PD with extensive firepower and emergency military force to combat today’s crime wave. About 15 years ago, Jacob lost his wife and a daughter, who was presumed, murdered and drowned. He sent his only surviving daughter, Kate Kane, away from Gotham for her Safety. Unfortunately, she was dishonorably discharged from the military school due “being caught in action of homosexual misconduct”.
Kate continued her training in hope to join the “Crows”. She returns home after learning about the kidnaping of her ex-girlfriend, Sophie Moore (Megan Tandy). However, as time has passed, Sophie has moved on and married a man. Is Sophie bisexual or just living a lie? Or, are we living in the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” time period and keeping our heads up our asses again? Well, we will have to wait and see next week… “Same Bat-Time, Same Bat-Channel”.
Now, this is where things get interesting. Kate finds herself in an “Alice in Wonderland” type gang and just you wait to see who Alice really is! If you read comic books, you already knew. Still holding a flame for Sophie, Kate uses everything in her power to combat the psychotic Alice (Rachel Skarsten). With the help of her compassionate stepsister, Mary (Nicole Kang), and the talented Luke Fox (Camrus Johnson, the son of Wayne Enterprises’ tech specialist Lucius Fox), Kate continues the legacy of her missing cousin, as BATWOMAN!
Batwoman’s journey has just begun and this show centers on the protagonist overcoming great obstacles and undergoes a profound change. These driving forces of conflict resolution along with profound change are what make a compelling plot where the viewers root for the protagonist. For Caroline Dries’ science fiction writing to succeed in Batwoman’s world-building, she must know specific details on each character and slowly engage in the complexity of the personalities. In the “Pilot” episode, Dries clearly begins to “introduce” the main characters. People who watched this episode may feel that some characters did not have had enough attention, like Luke, but be patient. This is only the first episode and the mystery is part of the plan. There is enough action and fighting scenes, however, Dries must be consistent in this layout as we continue into future episodes.
Dries has created the basic recipe for the hero’s adventure with reachable, yet unreachable romance. Armed with passion for social justices and a flair for speaking her mind, Kate Kane is the messenger with the problems to solve and dangers that challenges her to be what Gotham needs now. It’s the kidnaping of an ex-girlfriend that led Kate back home and saved the day, but there are more crimes for Batwoman to solve. Kate has begun to soar through the shadowed streets of Gotham as Batwoman and now she must regroup. Like it or not, she has to accept help from allies that she made on this first episode along with more to come. Keep your eyes out for the possibility of Maggie Sawyer, Batwing, the Joker’s daughter, Clay Face, Black Mask, and many more!
If you don’t normally read comic books, I recommend reading Batwoman, 2017 Vol 1 “The Many Arms of Death”, Vol 2 “Wonderland”, and Vol 3 “Fall of the House of Kane”, each written by Marguerite Bennett. Now, keep in mind the CW’s version may not be exactly like the comics…so, think of it as an “Elseworld’s” story!
Strong beginning! Ready or not, accepting or not, Batwoman is gay and here to stay!
BATWOMAN: Out & Proud
- Writing - 8.5/108.5/10
- Storyline - 8/108/10
- Acting - 9/109/10
- Music - 8/108/10
- Production - 8/108/10