Batwoman was a welcomed newbie to the Arrowverse in 2019. The new series brought a new sense of much needed girl power to The CW. And then the coronavirus shortened season one and the star of the show left the series. The Berlanti team found a way to save the show by not recasting Kate Kane, but instead introducing a new heroine for season two.
Things already drastically changed for the Arrowverse after the Crisis on Infinite Earths crossover, giving our heroes little time to adjust. Arrow ended and attempted to start a new chapter with Green Arrow and the Canaries. Unfortunately, the spin-off was scrapped last week. The Kents get their own show, Superman & Lois as Supergirl and Black Lightning head into their final seasons. The Flash speeds into its seventh season as DC’s Legends of Tomorrow travel into season six. Batwoman heads into season two with a new woman wearing the cowl. The show returns this weekend and here’s what you need to know before the new season starts.
NEW YEAR, NEW HERO
The biggest change on Batwoman is the new lead actress. Ruby Rose left the series after one season and now Javicia Leslie is taking over the helm becoming the first Black woman to portray Batwoman. So what happened to Kate? The first episode of season 2, Whatever Happened to Kate Kane?, will address that question. We know that Kate disappears from Gotham City, causing some problems for her friends and leaving Alice (Rachel Skarsten) dissatisfied.
Leslie will play Ryan Wilder, described as very different from Kate, having spent years as drug-runner and currently living in a van with her plant. Like Kate, she is gay and a highly skilled warrior, although their fighting styles is very different. With her sketchy past, Ryan will have a lot to prove before Team Batwoman will completely trust her. Luke Fox (Camrus Johnson) and Mary Hamilton (Nicole Kang) will no doubt be Ryan’s closest allies after she proves she is worthy. But how soon will that happen? It’s one thing when the hero is family, but Ryan is a complete stranger.
As for Alice, Kate’s twin sister, she had such high hopes to be the one to kill Batwoman. And now that’s gone. I can’t even begin to imagine how Alice will react. And how will she handle a new Batwoman in town? Alice’s connection to Kate gave her an advantage when trying to appeal to her sister and also gave her a heart. I often thought Kate would eventually turn Alice from the dark side. The new Batwoman is a mystery to Alice. I’m sure she will continue her vendetta against the caped crusader, but Ryan is not Kate. Ryan has no idea what she’s getting herself into with Alice.
Batwoman also stars Dougray Scott as Jacob Kane and Meagan Tandy as Sophie Moore. From what we’ve seen in the trailers, their reaction to Kate’s disappearance hits these two the hardest. Kate is essentially Jacob’s only daughter. Yeah, Alice is still alive, but she’s far from the person she used to be. And Sophie had a very complicated relationship with Kate. She started a new relationship with Julia Pennyworth (Christina Wolfe) last season, but Kate was always her true love.
New cast includes Shivaani Ghai will play Safiyah, the villainous ruler of a small community on the island of Coryana. Alice spoke of her several times in Season 1. Leah Gibson will portray Tatiana, a skilled assassin known as The Whisper who is loyal to Safiyah. Nathan Owens will star as Ocean, a zen gardener and loyal soldier who comes to Gotham looking for a fresh start. And Alex Morf will play Victor Zsasz, “a charismatic, skilled hitman with high, unpredictable energy. He proudly carves tally marks onto his skin for every victim he kills.” Does this mean that the Black Mask is coming to Gotham City as well?
According to ew.com, yes, Roman Sionis, The Black Mask is coming to Batwoman. Showrunner Caroline Dries told EW, “We have a couple big bads this season. One, [who] we teed up midway through last season, is this woman Safiyah, and she’s sort of Alice’s Achilles’ Heel. And ultimately yes with the False Face Society, we will see the leader of this gang as Black Mask later on in the season.” No word on who will portray the eccentric crime boss.
Before season one ended, Alice devised a plan to infiltrate Bat-central and steal a piece of kryptonite. It’s the only thing that can penetrate the batsuit and kill Batwoman. She used Mouse’s (Sam Littlefield) face changing technology to change Tommy Elliot’s (Gabriel Mann) face to look like Bruce Wayne. And it looks like she succeeded. The CW released photos of Warren Christie as Bruce Wayne, but is it Tommy or the real Bruce? With Kate disappearing, it’s quite possible that Bruce returns to search for his cousin.
Jacob was also looking for something to take down the Bat. But now that Kate’s gone, that means the OG Batwoman disappears too. So does Jacob put two and two together? Or will the emergence of Ryan Wilder’s Batwoman put Jacob back on the path to destruction?
Like I said, Ryan will have a lot to prove before she’s considered a true hero. Considering that she’s not a Kane, it make take some time and be quite frustrating. She will have her hands full with a slew of new villains headed her way. This is going to be a rocky transition, but I have no doubt that Ryan Wilder will find her footing and become an amazing hero!
Batwoman returns to The CW on Sunday, January 18.
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