There’s a new Caped Crusader on the beat protecting Gotham City from a dangerously growing corruption, but who’s going to stand with her? Everyone is gunning for Batwoman but with Kane Kane no longer under the cowl is Ryan Wilder up to the challenge?
It’s not just a suit. When the new season of Batwoman begins audiences will be introduced to Javicia Leslie, as Ryan Wilder makes an astonishing discovery that will change her life forever! The first season of the hit series turned the spotlight on Kate Kane, a first cousin of billionaire Bruce Wayne’s that haphazardly stumbles upon his darkest and most dangerous secret and inherits his cape and cowl to help restore law and order as their home, Gotham City falls deeper into decadence and a corruption reinserts itself into every crevasse of a city determined to return to greatness.
When Kate stepped into the Bat-suit her purpose was revealed and Rudy Rose was an overnight sensation. Having been brought into the DC primetime universe the year before during the annual crossover event, Rose was a natural fit and proved herself a formidable presence. Stephen Amell’s series Arrow which ignited the expanded DC television universe was coming to an end, wrapping up its historic eight seasons, and leaving an opening to be filled to which Batwoman would be launched. Under the
The actress shocked her fan base when she decided to step away from the headlining role at the conclusion of the first season, which was cut short when the COVID-19 pandemic put a pause on production and had truly started to take its stride. Though critics had given the show how marks out the gate, as the season, progressed many cited that it had quickly derailed itself, on its path back to redemption in its climactic act. Kate Kane’s arch-nemesis Alice, played by the scene-stealing Rachel Skarsten, had set about her most diabolical plan and inserted a major player into her scheme to bring down Batwoman.
In the Season Two opener “What Happened to Kate Kane?” the Bat-suit literally falls from the sky and into the lap of Ryan Wilder (Javicia Leslie). Series showrunner Caroline Dries who also penned the episode had said that Wilder would be unlike any other individual who has ever found themselves living up to the legacy of Batman. The stark contrast to the privileged life of Kate Kane isn’t the only difference. Ryan Wilder is living on the streets, she hasn’t always found herself on the right side of the law and has fought to stay alive against all odds — she’s a survivalist for sure, but most of all, she has hope and her optimism is helpful.
For Leslie donning that suit was a transportive experience, and as the first African-American woman to bear the symbol of the Bat-legacy, the importance of carving her own successful path isn’t lost on her. Rather than recast Kate Kane, developing a new character is expected to reinvigorate the series, certainly giving its loyal audiences an entirely new heroine to root for. Wilder is described as a “spunky” and inventive streetwise adventurer, who is entirely rough around the edges, and not above taking a few hits in the defense of the innocent.
When Caroline Dries was tasked with inserting Kate Kane into the “Arrowverse” the challenge of setting in motion this landmark DC Comics heroine in life-action was ambitious indeed. Kate Kane, the Batwoman (first introduced into comics canon in 2006’s 52 #11) became an instinct sensation as one of the few openly gay characters in comics, and immediately resonated with readers. With Ruby Rose, herself an actor that publicly identified with the LGBTQ+ community, it made for a very authentic journey and established for many the importance of having a costumed heroine that many felt inclusively represented them.
Keeping in step, Ryan Wilder also identifies as LGBTQ+ and although her agenda is at the point of her introduction lacking in the romantic entanglements that Kate Kane found herself in, Sophie Moore (played by Meagan Tandy) will likely find herself curious about who this “new” Dark Knight is, especially after learning the truth about Kate’s dual identity. And while Alice (Skarsten) may feel that her best days are ahead with Kate missing in action, she will soon find that Wilder’s Batwoman is also on the hunt to bring her to justice, but with Gotham’s underworld starting to feel emboldened, will Ryan be able to work up the nerve to take on the worst of what’s coming?
One of the best scenes in the Season 2 opener, is Ryan’s first outing in the Bat-suit. Tracking down a pair of Gotham City underlings in a dark alley, the ingenue hero decides to test the suit’s abilities and to her elation discovers that she’s bulletproof! Over the course of this new season, we’ll soon see if Leslie will herself prove as equally resilient.
Batwoman is off to a very interesting start and is perfectly suiting up as a lead primetime contender with Leslie in the pilot’s seat. Ryan Wilder’s journey will be an engaging one to take especially given the importance of telling stories that are more in line with our diversifying times. It’s been unfortunately reported that a series of planned crossovers with Supergirl and its spin-off Superman & Lois will have to be put on hold given the constraints of shooting in the climate of COVID, and with Black Lightning entering into its final season as well, it is unlikely that we’ll see Batwoman team-up with that series’ star ensemble.
Batwoman | Season 2 | starring Javicia Leslie, Rachel Skarsten, Meagan Tandy, Nicole Kang, Camrus Johnson, and Dougray Scott
S02 E01 | “What Happened to Kate Kane?” is written by Caroline Dries and directed by Holly Dale | premieres Sunday, January 17 on The CW.