A brand new character will be donning the cape and cowl for season 2 of Batwoman. Following the surprise departure of Ruby Rose from the CW superhero show, the network announced that it will be recasting the lead role. But Batwoman has opted to not recast a new actor in the role of Rose’s Kate Kane, instead creating a new character altogether.
The Hollywood Reporter confirmed a casting notice that has been circulating for a new character named “Ryan Wilder” who will be taking over the mantle as the new lead in Batwoman after Rose suddenly departed the series after wrapping its first season. Word of the since-deleted casting notice first came through a Batwoman Reddit forum, which Decider first reported. The new character is described as a woman in her mid-20s who “is about to become Batwoman.” The notice reads, per Decider:
“She’s likable, messy, a little goofy and untamed. She’s also nothing like 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. 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.”
This puts to bed speculation that Batwoman was going to recast a new actress in the role of Rose’s Kate Kane, the cousin of Bruce Wayne and a fan-favorite character in the comics, after reports that the network was looking for another “member of the LGBTQ community” to take the lead. Kate Kane was one of the first major LGBTQ superhero characters in DC Comics, and the CW series was hailed for being the first major network show to have a lesbian superhero as its lead. But it seems that Batwoman will just be creating a new LGBTQ character to maintain its Pride-friendly approach.
The new lead character seems to have no roots in the comics either, unless “Ryan Wilder” is an alias to hide the identity of a known comic book character. But few other characters who have taken on the Batwoman mantle have the same following as Kate Kane, and certainly no others have the LGBTQ history. The first character to take on the Batwoman name was the Silver Age comics character Kathy Kane, whose existence has been erased from main DC continuity (and whose name was obviously tweaked to become the modern Kate Kane), while other well-known DC characters like Selina Kyle (aka Catwoman) and Helena Wayne (aka Huntress) have become Batwoman in one-off or alternate universe appearances. The only other significant character to make the Batwoman mantle her own was Bette Kane, the former Silver Age “Bat-Girl” who would later assume the role of Flamebird.
Based on the casting notice description, this new character seems just that — an entirely new character. Whether the series can pull off a smooth transition from Rose’s Kate Kane to a brand new Batwoman is another story, but this seems like the best route for the series without raising any eyebrows.
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