The CW has just announced that they’ve found their new Batwoman. Javicia Leslie (who was previously seen in the CBS show God Friended Me) will be taking over the role previously left by Ruby Rose.
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, ” Javicia Leslie states in regards to her excitement for the role.
Ruby Rose’s sudden departure still leaves many questions left to be answered–both in the show, and in real life. In the wake of Rose’s departure, Caroline Dries (Batwoman’s showrunner) made two things clear: Kate would not be killed off, and the role wouldn’t be recast. Instead, a new character will be introduced to take on the mantle.
This is where just case Javicia Leslie comes in. She will be playing the new lead in Ryan Wilder. Ryan Wilder is not a name or character from DC Comics, and instead is an original creation.
“I’m inventing a whole new character who in her past was inspired by Batwoman, so she will take on the mantle and is completely maybe not the right person at the time to be doing it, so that’s what makes it fun,” Caroline Dries recently said about the character.
The CW also gave us an official description , which can be found here:
“Ryan Wilder is about to become Batwoman. She’s likable, messy, a little goofy and untamed. She’s also nothing Kate Kane, the woman who wore the Batsuit before her. 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. Today Ryan lives in her van with her plant. A girl who would steal milk for an alley cat and could also ill 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.”
The real question however, is can the show still succeed after Ruby Rose’s departure? It’s sure going to try. Personally, I think it’s a terrible idea to create an entirely new character to fill in the mantle–one with not a shred of DC history (let alone a connection to Batman/The Bat Family) in them. The show already had face changing plot lines in it, so it wouldn’t have been hard to simply recast Kate.
Even all of that aside, the show’s going to return with everything in an awkward position–both the plot and characters alike. Everything that the first season built-up and established will have been all but meaningless. They’re fighting a losing battle, but who knows. Stranger things have happened. It is 2020 after all.