New ‘Batwoman’ Series Features First Out Lesbian Superhero
“I don’t feel like this is like anything I’ve done before, because it is emotional. There is romance and this family dynamic, this drama, and this action.”
The new CW series “Batwoman” premiered on Sunday and featured the first out lesbian superhero lead on a live-action TV series.
Openly gay actress Ruby Rose (Pitch Perfect 3, “Orange is the New Black”) plays the title character, also known as Kate Kane, who is the famed Batman’s cousin. She shares her masked relative’s duty for fighting crime in the cover of cloak and nightfall. Gotham City’s version of a Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy has booted Kate from military academy, causing a split with her ex-girlfriend. Her father, Jacob, (Dougray Scott) is a former military colonel who now manages a private security firm.
DC Comics, which owns the rights to the longtime comic book featuring Batwoman, had reintroduced the character in 2006 as a lesbian.
Produced by Greg Berlanti and Caroline Dries (“The Vampire Diaries”), the new “Batwoman” TV series promises to showcase the revolutionary new heroine fully.
“I don’t feel like this is like anything I’ve done before, because it is emotional. There is romance and this family dynamic, this drama, and this action,” Rose said, adding that typical superhero action is only a small part of her character’s story.
In the ongoing debate that historically marginalized groups should be given preference to play characters like themselves on screen, some controversy emerged last year over Rose’s casting since she had identified as gender-fluid rather than lesbian. This backlash even prompted Rose to leave Twitter and deactivate public commenting on her Instagram account. She now states that she does identify as gay and a woman, pointing to the fact that she came out as gay at age 12.
Openly gay MSNBC host Rachel Maddow will also appear on the new series in a multi-episode arc as Vesper Fairchild, a character from the Batman comics. Fittingly, Fairchild is also a television and radio personality—who had a romantic relationship with Bruce Wayne (Batman).
This isn’t the first LGBTQ superhero character to appear on the CW. Last year, the first transgender superhero character appeared on an existing series, “Supergirl”, which is now in its fifth season.
“Batwoman” airs on the CW on Sunday nights at 8 p.m. ET/PT.