Earlier this year, Arrowverse fans were shocked to learn that actress Ruby Rose was departing the lead role of Batwoman after only one season. Although we are still iffy on the removal of Kate Kane as a character altogether, the announcement that Javicia Leslie will play Ryan Wilder, an entirely new hero taking on the mantle of the bat, definitely has us intrigued. And now The CW has released the first photos of Leslie sporting the cape and cowl.
Ryan Wilder initially dons Kate Kane’s suit at the beginning of the upcoming season two of Batwoman. As Ryan grows into her newfound role as Batwoman, she redesigns the suit. In the third episode, Ryan reveals the new Batsuit, sending a message to Gotham that a New Hero has arrived.
Javicia Leslie is making a splash. She’s the first African-American actress to portray a member of the Bat-family in live-action television or film. Unless, of course, you count Halle Berry’s big screen turn as Catwoman. That version of Catwoman is separate from the Batman mythology, so we say Leslie still counts.
Leslie said in an earlier statement, “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.”
Regarding new character Ryan Wilder and Batwoman’s new look, executive producer Caroline Dries said: “Ryan’s journey starts from a place of ‘What can this Batsuit do for me?’ But it’s not long before she realizes the power of its symbol and what it can do for everyone else in Gotham City. As Ryan embraces everything that makes her special, she adjusts the suit to fit her physically and figuratively. This meant creating a new body design and new cowl that was undeniably a statement that screamed ‘powerful.’ Maya Mani sent me her drawings and I loved it. The wig was something we never perfected in season one, and Janice Workman crushed it with this new take. Javicia and I saw various prototypes of styles and red ombres, and at one point we were trading our own iPad-doodled versions. Janice translated that into what we are looking at now. When I see it, I smile. It makes me feel inspired.”
Ryan Wilder is an all-new character, not based on anyone from the comics mythology—at least that we know of. The CW describes her as “likable, messy, a little goofy and untamed. She’s also nothing like Kate Kane, the woman who wore the Batsuit before her.” Like Kate however, the character is an out lesbian. Which means the tradition of Batwoman being an LGBTQ character will remain in place. Due to the pandemic, filming has only recently resumed on Batwoman. The series will make its second season debut on The CW in January of 2021.
Featured Image: DC Comics/Jim Lee
Originally published on September 29, 2020.