The most high-profile gay character in DC Comics, Kate Kane is getting her own show as early as next year.
The CW’s annual DC crossover event is a pretty stellar invention on the Arrow team’s part. The network has showcased such events in the Arrowverse as early as 2013, but this year’s is shaping up to be particularly noteworthy. For the first time ever the character Batwoman will be making a live-action appearance, set to debut on screen this December as part of a crossover between Supergirl, Arrow, and The Flash.
Relatively new on the comic book scene, Kate Kane’s new and improved Batwoman is iconic for a number of reasons. Having no relation to the pioneer Bruce Wayne, Kane is a former West Point student with military training who, inspired by an encounter with Batman, decides to take up the superhero mantle in his image. She was reintroduced in 2006 as a new rebirth of the original Batwoman character, Kathy Kane, who first appeared in 1956.
This shiny new Batwoman is inspiring not only because of her Jewish heritage but also due to the fact that she is an out lesbian. She is definitely not the first gay character to exist within the DC Comics universe by any stretch but owns the distinction of being the one with the highest profile and exposure. Kane is a result of the franchise’s efforts in terms of diversifying their lead characters and exists as a hopeful beacon for the creation of many more openly gay characters in the future.
Following the news of her crossover debut comes an even more exciting development: Kate Kane has scored her own Batwoman series on the CW. Though unclear at first if it was a done deal, the show has just been announced to be debuting as early as 2019. The initial series description, revealed by TV Line, is as follows:
Armed with a passion for social justice and a flair for speaking her mind, Kate Kane soars onto the streets of Gotham as Batwoman, an out lesbian and highly trained street fighter primed to snuff out the failing city’s criminal resurgence. But don’t call her a hero yet. In a city desperate for a savior, Kate must overcome her own demons before embracing the call to be Gotham’s symbol of hope.
That Hashtag Show also uncovered some details about how the character will be presented in the series, giving a quick character breakdown:
“Kate is fully aware of how badass she is whenever she enters a room, even though she prefers to put a smile on your face. Young Ms. Kane is physically and intellectually confident while being a woman who is proud to be openly gay. However, Kate still deals with her inner demons that go back to her history with her dad. Their relationship is quite complicated as she struggles to get praise from him. She once aspired to have a successful military career, but those dreams sadly came to an end as she was kicked out of West Point once she came out of the closet.
“But that didn’t stop her from becoming the crime-fighting vigilante known as Batwoman. Striking fear into the criminals she fights, Kate is someone who must also fight the complications of living a double life, both as a citizen and hero of Gotham. While she has her shield up when fighting criminals, she lets herself be vulnerable when dating women.”
New information further setting the new Batwoman series in stone reveals the CW is currently looking for an out lesbian actress with no set ethnicity. The lack of leading, titular female heroes in comic book shows (and films) is obviously a huge problem, but representation for women of color is just as lacking. It’s both commendable and exciting that the CW is leaving Kane’s ethnicity open so there is a possibility of having a gay woman of color lead a new show of her own.
The CW in particular already boasts a roster of LGBTQ characters within the Arrowverse, and the head honchos in charge seem keenly aware of how crucial such characters are. What’s more, giving the role of a lesbian character to an actress who is also gay highlights the need among marginalized actors to tell their own stories.
Fans of the network’s already impressive lineup of DC shows have a treat in store for them — getting to see a character with specialized combat training bust skulls in Gotham’s underbelly. Audiences will also get to see what can be gained in terms of representation when a network really makes an effort to break with the straight-white-male mold of the superhero genre.
Variety reports that openly gay writer and producer Caroline Dries (The Vampire Diaries) is set to tackle the burgeoning project, with Greg Berlanti continuing his legacy on the CW as producer. This makes Batwoman Berlanti’s seventh show on the network.