Josie Adams breaks down everything you need to know about Batwoman, the latest caped crusader to take on the batty burden of protecting Gotham.
The DC televisual universe that began with the bang of Arrow continues to expand this month, welcoming Batwoman into its gradually unfurling arms. Australian actor Ruby Rose (Orange is the New Black, John Wick 2) will be playing our titular batty woman, as she has done before in last year’s Arrowverse crossover event. She’s back just in time to deal with this year’s long-awaited crossover, the Crisis on Infinite Earths. Earth? Crisis? Sounds fake.
Look, I know, there are a lot of superhero shows. Why watch Batwoman take on crime when you could see the higher-paid Batman at work instead? Well, joke’s on you, there is no Batman TV show, just Gotham. Batwoman promises to be a valuable addition to the DC TV universe. It’s got all the best parts of Batman (sick costumes, wacky villains, and underground lairs) with all the mod-cons of 2019 superheroism (cool haircuts, criticisms of the police force, and gays).
Still not sure if Batwoman is the right show for you? Here are some FAQs about it for your educational pleasure.
Wait, is Batwoman the same as Batgirl?
No! Batgirl is Detective Jim Gordon’s daughter, and eventually she becomes the superhero genius Oracle. Batwoman is Kathy/Kate Kane (depending on your comic), a socialite, occasional relative of Bruce Wayne, and supergay.
In this version, Batwoman is the daughter of Jacob Kane, the head of Gotham’s privately-owned militia. She’s also Bruce Wayne’s cousin, although she doesn’t know he’s Batman (at first!). She’s looking for justice in a city of criminals, and love in a hopeless place. Aren’t we all?
Where have I seen Batwoman before?
She’s been in comics and cartoons since the 1950s, but most recently you’ve probably seen her in the 2018 Arrowverse crossover event. She was played by Ruby Rose in this, too, so we can be sure this is the exact same character. Did you like her then? Good! She’s back. However, we don’t know if that wig is back.
Do I need to be familiar with the Arrowverse to enjoy this show?
The Arrowverse currently consists of Arrow, The Flash, Legends of Tomorrow, and Supergirl. These are all set in the world of DC comics. It started with Arrow (now eight seasons deep) and has added to its ranks every couple of years. With the spearhead show wrapping up after this season, it’s rumoured that Batwoman will actually take the Green Arrow’s place as the universe’s billionaire and superpowerless vigilante.
Also, Batwoman will start prior to Kate Kane’s career as a masked crimefighter, so there’s no need to read up on any backstory or understand the broader universe. The crossovers might be a bit much for a novice, but they only happen once or twice a year.
Does Batwoman have superpowers?
Nah. Like everyone in the bat family, she’s just really good at martial arts and has a bulletproof costume. She’s not as rich as Batman, but she has access to his tech and lair, and she’s much more seductive.
Who are the villains?
The first villain you’ll meet is Alice, who speaks mostly in Lewis Carroll quotes. Alice denies any connection with the Wonderland gang (some of Batman’s weirder foes), but she is still very creepy. There’s also a mystery dark secret connecting her with our hero. Does she also like bats a lot? We have to ask the classic Batperson question: will they end up as siblings or lovers?
The next villain in the line up is Hush, who’s usually Batman’s nemesis. In the Batty Boy’s absence, Kate Kane will have to fight the real estate mogul/master of disguise and secrets on her own. Another potential villain is her own father, Jacob Kane. As the head of a private militia, it’s unlikely he’ll be painted favourably. His entire industry goes against the Batfamily’s credo: crime can only be fought by individuals and batarangs.
Will we see Batman?
At the beginning of Batwoman, Bruce Wayne AKA Batman has been missing for three years. Why? Where? The people of Gotham believe he has returned when they see Kate wearing his outfits and wailing on crims. But is he really back? So far it looks like… no.
So will she wear the wig or not?
I honestly can’t tell you. She wore that giant red wig in last year’s Arrowverse crossover, but there’s not a single glimpse of it in the Batwoman trailer. I hope she does. I hope she puts on the wig before she king hits Hush. I hope that when she finds out a dark secret she breathes, “oh, wig!’. I hope the wig gets its own show, frankly.
What is the crisis on infinite earths?
Crisis on Infinite Earths is the crossover storyline the Arrowverse has been teasing since The Flash premiered in 2014. It’s probably going to happen this year, with Batwoman in a starring role across the shows’ episodes. In addition to the Arrowverse shows, this year’s crossover will include characters from Black Lightning and Smallville (remember that?!).
Basically, the multiverse theory is true and supervillains are jumping from Earth to Earth destroying reality. Our superheroes live on Earth-One, but it’s likely the Earth-Two heroes will jump in and lend a hand. Prepare to see two Flashes and maybe even a Batman. A final note: The Crisis on Infinite Earths plot is infamous for having a death toll comparable to Game of Thrones season eight, so if you’re starting on this all now; try not to get too attached.
Will it be gay?
Yes. Absolutely yes.
This content was created in paid partnership with TVNZ. Learn more about our partnerships here.
The Spinoff Weekly compiles the best stories of the week – an essential guide to modern life in New Zealand, emailed out on Monday evenings.