A big superhero hubbub broke overnight, team, with the news that Australian multi-hyphenate (model, DJ, recording artist, actress, television presenter, and former MTV VJ) Ruby Rose will take on the role of Batwoman for super-producer Greg Berlanti’s Arrowverse on the CW. Or, as Rose put it on her Instagram:
The Bat is out of the bag and I am beyond thrilled and honored. I’m also an emotional wreck.. because this is a childhood dream. This is something I would have died to have seen on TV when I was a young member of the LGBT community who never felt represented on tv and felt alone and different. Thank you everyone. Thank you god.
Rose will debut as the character in the annual crossover event this December, which sees characters from Arrow, The Flash, Supergirl, and Legends of Tomorrow mixing it up, before going on to headline her own series, presumably hitting the air in 2019.
In an official statement, the CW said, “In the CW’s Batwoman, written by Caroline Dries based on the DC characters, armed with a passion for social justice and a flair for speaking her mind, Kate Kane (Rose) 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 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.”
The Kate Kane iteration of Batwoman (she’s the second character to use that particular superhero moniker) first appeared in 2006 in the too-complicated-to-go-into-details DC comics crossover event, 52, before going on to star in an acclaimed run in Detective Comics by writer Greg Rucka and artist J.H. Williams, and then getting her own self-titled series by Williams, who co-wrote with W. Haden Blackman, in 2011. While not the first publicly queer superhero from a mainstream publisher, she is certainly one of the most high profile, with only Marvel’s Deadpool really vying for the top slot (and they’re certainly downplaying that aspect of his character these days).
That makes Rose, who is openly gay and genderfluid to boot, a resounding victory for representation, although the jury is still out on whether she has the chops to carry the series – recent turns in Pitch Perfect 3, XXX: The Return of Xander Cage and John Wick: Chapter 2 didn’t exactly set the world on fire, although perhaps her appearance in The Meg, out on August 16, might lift her batting average a bit. We will see and, of course, we remain hopeful.
Interesting bit of trivia to go out on: Rose is not the first Australian to portray Batwoman. Yvonne Strahovski, currently cropping up in The Handmaid’s Tale, voiced her in the 2016 animated movie, Batman: Bad Blood. She’s also not the first Australian to join Berlanti’s Bat-family – over on the nascent DC Universe VOD service, Brenton Thwaites (Gods of Egypt), is playing erstwhile sidekick Robin in Titans, opposite fellow Antipodean Teagan Croft (Science Fiction Volume One: The Osiris Child), as Raven. Aussie Aussie Aussie, oi oi oi.