The CW’s Batwoman is apparently taking a direction that many of us may not have expected — and it might not go over very well with fans of the character.
Casting breakdowns leaked this morning for a character named “Ryan Wilder” — whether that’s a place-holder name or not remains to be seen — and she’s in her mid-20’s and “about to become Batwoman.”
“She’s likable, messy, a little goofy and untamed. She’s also nothing like Kate Kane, the woman who wore the batsuit before her,” the casting notice reads. “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. A girl who would steal milk for an alley cat could also kill 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.”
THR has made note of the switch, which, if it happens, might alienate a good portion of the audience that is going to watch the show. We do have confidence in the Batwoman writing team who did such a great job in Season 1, but at the same time, a good portion of what made Season 1 of Batwoman so great were the relationships — relationships that were unique to Kate. Her father. Her sister. Her half-sister. Her friend. And, soon, someone impersonating her cousin. Those writers did such a great job building those relationships — and to build from scratch could be difficult. And for sure, we don’t want to lose any more characters that we love so much.
But also, for comic book fans for the last decade and a half, Kate Kane is Batwoman. It isn’t Batgirl where at least three popular characters have held the title. Kate was the first major lesbian superhero and no matter who replaces her, if it’s a new character, that character is no longer the “first.” And what of Batwoman’s role in the proto-Justice League? Her relationship with Supergirl? So many questions would come with a new Batwoman.
There is another thought. “Hifive326” suggested on Twitter that perhaps this is a situation like the “Holly Robinson” Catwoman, where someone else took the role temporarily before the original came back. What if this is a thing that happens, while the show takes more time to find a new Kate? We can hope or wish.
Stay tuned for more announcements as they become available.