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Batwoman TV Series - What We Know So Far

If you've reached your limit of superhero saturation, we've got some bad news for you — the caped crusade shows no signs of slowing down. Both Marvel and DC still have more vehicles to come for characters both beloved and obscure, and there's one in particular that has piqued our interest: Batwoman. Luckily, it looks like a good one.

Batwoman will soon be joining the slate of The CW's DC shows. If you want to learn more about what to expect from Batwoman, you've come to the right place. DC and The CW have released quite a few teaser trailers and kept a vague but steady pipeline of information about what we can expect when Batwoman hits the network and starts hitting the supervillains of Gotham City.

Whether you're a longtime fan of Batwoman or relatively new to the character, you've come to the right place. Here's what we know about The CW's upcoming superhero show: who is in it, what it's about, and why you should give a damn about Batwoman.

What's the release date for Batwoman on The CW?

We said the Batwoman show is coming soon, and we weren't kidding; the series premieres October 6th, 2019 at 8 pm EST, followed by the fifth season premiere of Supergirl at 9:00. That means that every Sunday night, the CW will be serving up a double dose of DC's badass women.

Interestingly, the character of 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. We aren't sure how tied into these shows Batwoman will be, but it does indicate that it's at least part of the same general universe.

Arrow evolved into a surprisingly interesting show when it was all said and done, but its eighth season will officially be its last. Maybe Batwoman can fill the void left by Arrow's impending absence — we'll start getting an idea on October 6th.

The CW's Batwoman trailers

The CW has released a ton of footage for Batwoman via their YouTube channel, introducing a variety of characters and a sense of the style the show is aiming for. However, many of them are only 20 or 30 seconds long, offering just a tease what we can expect to see. Our best look yet comes from the three-minute "First Look" trailer released in May.

Right away, we're introduced to "The Crows." This is Gotham's private mercenary police force, established in the wake of Batman's departure. It appears they aren't quite as effective as the Dark Knight, however, as they are quickly picked off by Batwoman's central antagonist: Alice (Rachel Skarsten), a ruthless criminal and Lewis Carroll aficionado. Skarsten looks like she's really enjoying the role of the unhinged Alice — she should be fun to watch. There is also plenty of footage of Kate Kane (Ruby Rose) out of her costume before she appears in full getup at the end.

Who is Batwoman?

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. She first appeared in 2006, picking up the protection of Gotham City after the events of the massive Infinite Crisis crossover. The character was then revamped a bit with 2016's DC Rebirth.

According to the comics, Kate Kane is the cousin of Bruce Wayne. At the age of 12, she was kidnapped by a cult alongside her mother, Gabrielle, and sister, Beth. The cult murdered Gabrielle and Beth (or so Kate has believed all her life), giving her a similar trauma to her famous bat-relative.

Kate's origins were explored in comics by writer Greg Rucka and artist J.H. Williams III. Their run was hailed not just as a damn good story, but as a double-whammy for representation in comics — Kate is Jewish and a lesbian. She went through West Point, but was kicked out under "Don't Ask Don't Tell." She was inspired to continue to fight for justice by Batman himself. She lives under a similar code of using fear to intimidate criminals, and constantly struggles not to cross the line to become as bad as them.

Batwoman operates mostly on her own, and it seems likely that will continue in her CW iteration.

Who plays Batwoman?

Oh hell yeah, it's Ruby Rose. The Australian actress has played plenty of badass characters before, appearing in plenty of movies and television over the last decade or so. She's probably best known for Orange is the New Black, but she's also shown up in plenty of other big time action franchises. xXx, John Wick, Resident Evil, The Meg — Rose is no stranger to big action roles. She also appeared in Pitch Perfect 3. Maybe Batwoman will take on the Music Meister at some point?

Rose is interesting casting in a lot of ways, but one particularly noteworthy piece is that Rose, who identifies as gender fluid and a lesbian, is playing the first openly gay superhero lead to come to film or television. She has even come under fire, reportedly, for "not being lesbian enough," since she identifies as genderfluid rather than as a gay woman.

It also sounds as if Rose doesn't really care about what her critics think of her — an attitude that should be easy to channel into playing Batwoman.

Who else is in the Batwoman cast?

Other than Ruby Rose, Batwoman features a cast that follows a pretty common formula for The CW: plenty of actors you probably recognize, not many you can probably name. There are a few standouts, however.

The big one is Batwoman's central antagonist, Alice. Alice is played by Rachel Skarsten, whose biggest role to date was probably Andrea in 50 Shades of Grey. She's actually appeared in a DC property before, having played Dinah Lance on the short-lived Birds of Prey television show. Probably the most recognizable actor appearing in Batwoman is Dougray Scott. He has been in tons of stuff over the years, including Mission Impossible II, My Week with Marilyn, Hitman, and Desperate Housewives. You've probably seen something with him in it.

There are several other actors appearing that you may recognize as well. Meagan Tandy (Unstoppable, Teen Wolf), Sam Littlefield (The Leftovers, The Messengers), and Chris Shields (Elysium, Chappie) all are slated to appear in multiple episodes.

Who is Batwoman's villain?

As Batwoman is such a relatively new character, some of her villains are as well. She has tangled with many of Gotham's recognizable baddies, but she's also compiled her own, unique rogues' gallery. That's where Alice (Rachel Skarsten) comes in.

It could be easy to dismiss Alice as "Batwoman's Joker," because... well, that's basically what she is. She is a Gotham crime boss who is more than a bit unhinged, and she commands a massive underworld web of criminals and is a skilled fighter to boot. 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.

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 will be showing up in at least one episode, and season one will also introduce Tommy Elliot, who later becomes Hush. If we had to bet on it, Magpie sounds like she may be a "villain of the week" type, while Hush is probably being set up for a later season.

The story of Batwoman

We may know quite a bit about who we can expect to see in the cast of Batwoman, but plot is one area The CW has been tight-lipped about. Obviously, we've seen a lot of footage and a lot of teasers, but there haven't been a ton of concrete details on what Batwoman's story will actually be. Still, we do know a few things.

Obviously, we're going to see Kate Kane's transformation into Gotham's protector. Judging from the trailer, it seems like she's going to first try to take on Alice without her alter ego, and pay the price for it. She then discovers Bruce Wayne's secret (Batman has not been in Gotham for three years when Batwoman picks up), and does her best to follow in his footsteps.

We can expect plenty of ties between Batwoman and the established 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. That's just as well — the Arrowverse has always been its own sort of thing.

Is Batwoman part of the DCEU?

The television arms of both Marvel and DC occupy a strange place. The CW's Arrowverse has done a pretty good job of staying a separate entity from the Justice League-focused DC Extended Universe, and Batwoman looks to be no exception. However, the show is tied into those other superhero shows on The CW, as the "Elseworlds" crossover event showed.

We know that Kate Kane/Batwoman hails from Earth-1, and she encountered Barry (Flash), Oliver (Green Arrow), and Kara (Supergirl) during the Elseworlds event. She first bailed them out of jail as Kane, then later saved them inside Arkham Asylum as her alter ego. Her existing on Earth-1 will allow for easier crossovers between some of the other Arrowverse shows.

Don't rule out the possibility of some of the other big name DC Comics heroes showing up, however. We know that the Arrowverse's biggest crossover event yet, Crisis on Infinite Earths, is coming this fall, not long after the debut of Batwoman. Maybe Jason Momoa can still show up?

An empowering hero

A huge part of Batwoman's origin story is her dismissal from West Point after being outed as a lesbian. Rather than avoid this aspect of the character, The CW is fully embracing it, putting Kate Kane's sexuality front and center. Even more importantly, the actor playing the character also identifies as a lesbian, giving the show even more clout as giving an empowering voice to the LGBTQ community.

Ruby Rose herself told Adweek how much playing the character means to her. "If I'd had this show as a 15-year-old, my life would have been so different," she said. "It would've been so much less depressing, and it would've felt like I had so much more support."

Rose has spoken extensively about her struggles with identity growing up — she came out at the age of twelve — and how she hopes she can be a positive influence through her success.

How about that Batwoman costume?

Movies and television shows based on comics have a tricky tightrope to walk with their costuming. On the page, these characters are larger than life, packed with huge, bulging muscles, completely uninhibited by the tight leather, clunky metal, or ridiculously long capes they are wearing. Batwoman's look is a bit more practical on the show than in the comics but, all in all, it's a pretty darn close representation of the character's comic look.

The amount of red appears to have been toned down a bit — maintaining stealth with a bright red cape and pair of boots just doesn't fly in the real world — and the cape has been shortened up a bit. Otherwise, Batwoman's costume in the Arrowverse is a pretty accurate rendition of the way she's appeared in the comics since her debut.

The costumes across the Arrowverse have been a bit of a mixed bag (see the Flash's costume through the first three seasons) but, as the shows have gained more credibility and budget, have largely been hits. Hopefully the Batwoman show is as good as her costume looks.