If you’ve been reading my Couch Club columns for a while, you might remember that during last year’s Earth-X crossover, I fell in love with Russell Tovey’s Ray pretty hard. The #DCTV Universe has taken full opportunity of the fact that all the eyes of the geek community are turned their way during these epic multi-show crossover events and are using them to explore not only different ideas and bigger story concepts, but to try out characters who may not have been as fully served in a traditional guest spot. This year we got the introduction of Ruby Rose’s Batwoman!
Trickles of Gotham have been slipped into The CW’s #DCTV geography over recent years. I’m sure you remember when Oliver Queen causally threw out the name “Bruce Wayne” during the amazing Arrow episode “Spectre of the Gun” last season (you know, the one dealing with gun control). Well, rather than retreading the arguably now too familiar tale of Bruce Wayne, tonight’s Arrow crossover episode introduces us to his cousin—Kate Kane!
Fun fact: Kate Kane is not the first character to wear the Batwoman mantle. The original Batwoman, a crafty female crimefighter named Kathy Kane, was a character who was created in response to the ridiculousness which resulted from Fredric Wertham’s infamous Seduction of the Innocent. Kate Kane as we know and love her wasn’t introduced until the Contemporary Age of comic books, with her first appearance taking place in 52 #7.
She’s still around, by the way, if you happen to be a comic book reader (and I suspect you probably are). Along with recently concluding her own self-titled series, Batwoman also played a crucial role in DETECTIVE COMICS after it relaunched as a part of Rebirth. It’s a fitting place to slot her in against the larger backdrop of the DC Universe since her first outing as a solo character was penned by Greg Rucka in the pages of the same title.
Rucka’s debut story is now collected in a volume called ELEGY which I would highly recommend picking up and reading if you were as taken with Batwoman as I was.
Let’s. Write. About. The. Wig. Honestly, the bright red locks sprouting from the peak of Batwoman’s cowl were one of my favorite aspects of the character. Perhaps that strikes you as shallow, but I assure you it is not. The design team has rendered an incredibly panel-accurate costume, complete with the wig popping out the top!
If you’ve read any of them, you know that in the comics, Kate Kane has a bright red Caesar cut (sometimes it’s a little bit longer), and in order to further disguise her identity, she not only fully covers her head with a cowl, but tops it off with a long, theatrical red wig in order to further obscure the truth of who she really in. AND in a universe where Supergirl doesn’t cover her face at all, it’s a pretty advanced move! Remember when Sara Lance was the only Canary running around the Arrowverse? If you recall, she wore a blonde wig on top of her already blonde hair. The silhouette matters!
Throughout “Elseworlds, Part 2,” Batwoman remains evocative and aloof, which is pretty much what you want from a Gotham-based Bat-Family character. And the heavy implication we’re given at the end of the crossover—that we’ve not seen the last of Batwoman and Supergirl working together—is definitely what you want after seeing the potential the role has in this debut appearance.
All of which is good since it’s no big secret that The CW has interest in building a new #DCTV show around Batwoman. There’s still lots of room to play with regarding who this version of Kate Kane is going to be and what her show is going to look like. Traditionally, per the comic books, Kate has romantic relationships with both Maggie Sawyer and Renee Montoya. If I were a betting person, I’d be willing to bet Maggie is going to sit this one out, given her previous relationship with Alex Danvers over in the Supergirl universe. My hope is that Montoya makes an appearance and we maybe even get to see her superheroic origins…but on that front only time will tell.
For my money, finally getting an opportunity to see Gotham during the events of “Elseworlds,” and having it be located on Earth-1 was exceptionally cool. It’s obviously a location with some weight and baggage in the DC Universe. The moody intro it got under the watchful eye of the Monitor was compelling, and it was different enough from all the Gotham trappings we have seen before to make me want more.
"Elseworlds" continues tonight on Arrow at 8 p.m. (7 p.m. CST) on The CW.
Ashley V. Robinson writes about TV, movies and comics for DCComics.com and is a regular contributor to the Couch Club, our weekly television column. You can find her on Twitter at @AshleyVRobinson and on the Jawiin YouTube channel.