Say Hello to the CW's New Batwoman

Actor Javicia Leslie attends the Vivienne Hu Fall/Winter 2020 New York Fashion Week Runway Show at Gallery II at Spring Studios.
Actor Javicia Leslie attends the Vivienne Hu Fall/Winter 2020 New York Fashion Week Runway Show at Gallery II at Spring Studios.
Photo: Theo Wargo (Getty Images)

Just as suddenly as Ruby Rose exited the CW’s Batwoman, the network has announced that it’s found a new actor to don the cowl and keep Gotham’s streets safe.

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Per the Hollywood Reporter, Javicia Leslie is set to become the CW’s next Batwoman in the series’ upcoming second season. One of the big questions following Rose’s abrupt exit from Batwoman was whether the CW would simply cast someone else to play Kate Kane or if the show might pivot in a different direction. The answer, of course, should be obvious.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, Leslie’s character Ryan Wilder is anything but a duplicate of her crimefighting predecessor. Unlike Kate, Ryan spent her life doing what it took to survive in Gotham, including pushing drugs and clashing with the city’s police officers, all the while sticking true to her own personal code of ethics that’s likely to factor largely into her character.

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“Today Ryan lives in her van with her plant,” a press release describing the character explained. “A girl who would steal milk for an alley cat and could also kill you with her bare hands, Ryan is the most dangerous type of fighter: highly skilled and wildly undisciplined. An out lesbian. Athletic. Raw. Passionate. Fallible. And very much not your stereotypical All-American hero.”

Leslie taking over as Batwoman is particularly notable given that she’ll be the first Black, openly queer woman to lead one of the CW’s Arrowverse shows that have featured predominantly white heroes—aside from Black Lightning, which only just recently started being included in the network’s annual crossover events.

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“I am extremely proud to be the first Black actress to play the iconic role of Batwoman on television, and as a bisexual woman, I am honored to join this groundbreaking show which has been such a trailblazer for the LGBTQ+ community,” the actor told THR.

Given that Leslie’s character doesn’t have a one to one counterpart in DC’s comics, it’s not clear just what sort of energy she’s going to bring to Batwoman in the show’s future seasons. But her presence is almost certain to shake up Batwoman’s status quo in some interesting ways when the series returns to TV.

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io9 Culture Critic and Staff Writer. Cyclops was right.

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DISCUSSION

ip247365
The Left Hand of the Son of Coul

Wow this is b.s.

“With no one in her life to keep her on track, Ryan spent years as a drug-runner, dodging the GCPD and masking her pain with bad habits.”

Why does the black LGTBQ female hero have to be a drug-runner? She couldn’t have had any past where she didn’t have a criminal element like Kate? They should have recast, period.