That's right, Kate Kane/Batwoman is coming to the network's shared universe of DC Comics-inspired shows. Batwoman will be making her appearance during this year's crossover event in which Arrow, The Flash, Legends of Tomorrow, and Supergirl get together to deal with a threat far larger than any one of the heroes could handle alone. We don't yet know what role she will play in the crossover or who will play her, but Batwoman's arrival is a big deal. Not only does that mean Gotham City is coming to the Arrowverse, but The CW's version is a major first for the character.
"This is the first time ever that she will make a live action appearance on any screen," The CW president Mark Pedowitz said at the presentation this morning.
Initially introduced in Detective Comics #233 in 1956 and created by Edmond Hamilton and Sheldon Moldoff, Batwoman/Kate Kane was wiped form existence during 1985's "Crisis on Infinite Earths", and then returned as an all-new character in 2006. Since then she's been a fan-favorite character and fans were vocal about their excitement on social media.
However, there are those who aren't as familiar with Kate Kane and for those folks, there's no need to worry. We've got you covered with our quick primer of everything you need to know about Batwoman.
That's right: Batwoman is canonically gay. While the Silver Age version (we'll call her Batwoman I to keep things easy to understand) was portrayed as straight in the 1950s, when the character made her return after being wiped from continuity, Katherine "Kate" Kane was introduced as being openly and proudly gay -- she even had a relationship with Gotham Police Detective Renee Montoya.
Kate's sexuality isn't just for shock value, either. It's part of her backstory. When Bruce Wayne died in comics, Kate took over Detective Comics. The series gave readers a deeper look at her background which included a story about how she is accused of having a lesbian relationship with her roomate at the United States Military Academy and, when she refuses to deny it, is forced to leave. It's a crucial and defining moment for the character and it shapes who she is to this day.
Religion isn't known for being a big part of Batman's corner of the DC Comics universe, but when it comes to Batwoman, her faith is as important to who she is as her sexuality. We even see this part of her life portrayed in comics. In DC Infinity Holiday Special from 2006, readers see Kate celebrating Hanukkah with Renee Montoya on Christmas Eve before the pair share a kiss.
If The CW keeps Kate Jewish in the Arrowverse, she will be the third Jewish character in the shared universe, behind the late Martin Stein/Firestorm from Legends of Tomorrow and Felicity Smoak from Arrow.
Batman's origin story is a familiar one. The billionaire playboy lost both of his parents to violence as a child and, as an adult uses his status and wealth as a cover for his vigilante activities.
Kate's story is similar. On her twelfth birthday, Kate's mother took the future Batwoman and her twin sister, Beth, out to an expensive restaurant for a birthday feast of chocolates and waffles. Unfortunately, they were kidnapped on the way. Kate's mother was murdered and her sister got caught in the crossfire and was believed dead as well. Kate's father then eventually married billionaire weapons heiress Catherine Hamilton leading to Kate growing up with status. She uses that status as wealthy socialte as a perfect alter ego to cover for her real work.
We've already mentioned that she was kicked out of the United States Military Academy for being gay, but Kate has a deeper military connection. At the beginning of her crimefighting she used stolen military equipment and armor in her efforts before her father -- who worked in military intelligence -- found out and sent her off for two intense years of training.
It's also worth noting that, in the Flashpoint timeline, Kate was an actual soldier. She's killed along with her team attempting to attack a Jihadist training camp in Flashpoint: Lois Lane and the Resistance #2.
Remember Beth? Turns out Elizabeth "Beth" Kane didn't die during the birthday massacre. She survived, but unfortuantely went insane and ended up joining Religion of Crime with the personal Alice -- as in Alice in Wonderland.
Beth rose to power in the criminal organizaton and kidnapped her father Colonel Kane in an attempt to acquire a toxic gas. The story results in a conflict between "Alice" and Batwoman and "Alice" falls from a plane. She doens't die. Alice/Beth is later taken to a treatment facility by her father in the hope of reversing her insanity.
After the events of Infinite Crisis, it's revealed that Bette Kane, aka Flamebird, is Kate Kane's cousin. Bette moves to Gotham City for school and tries to strike up a friendship with Kate.
Bette ends up kidnapped by a serial killer known as the Cutter who plans to remove Bette's ears as part of his evil plan to create a "perfect" woman by stealing body parts. Batwoman rescues her and inadvertently reveals her identity to Bette in the process. Bette later insists upon being Batwoman's new partner. Kate agrees to train her, then ends that to keep Bette safe. Because this is the world of Batman, that doesn't go well and Bette ends up gravely wounded.
Don't feel bad for Bette, though. She recovers, gets herself some pyrotechnic tech and becomes Hawkfire.
In what might be one of the more tense story arcs in Batwoman's history, in the miniseries 52, Bruno Mannheim, leader of the Intergang, has become a devoted worshiper of crime. He has Intergang follow "The Crime BIble" -- a text that deals with the exploits of Cain and his evil in the world.
After Intergang discovers a prophecy in the Crime Bible, they decide that they need to kidnap and sacrifice Batwoman as it will allow them to burn Gotham down. Bruno manages to stab Batwoman through the heart, but Montoya stops the ritual. Batwoman pulls the knife out of her own chest and then stabs Bruno in the back with the same knife, killing him.
Kate is very openly gay, but that takes Nightwing a little while to figure out.
Portrayed as being very beautiful, everyone, even villains are intersted in Batwoman (the Penguin even notes that Kate's hot) but it's Nightwing that falls hard. He tries to win over Kate, complete with the gift of a batarang on Christmas Eve, but Kate is just not that into him. She chooses to spend her evening with Montoya. Nightwing eventually gets the hint.
Are you excited to see Batwoman join the Arrowverse? Let us know in the comments!