From its series debut, The CW's Batwoman has been a groundbreaking series as it centered around an openly gay female superhero. Even following Ruby Rose's departure after Season 1, the series continued to break barriers with the shifted focus to Javicia Leslie as the first-ever black Batwoman in Season 2. Now, with the show in its third season, the representation continues with the series introducing the first Asian-American Poison Ivy with Nicole Kang's Mary Hamilton and for Leslie, that representation and barrier-breaking is a huge honor to be a part of.
"My cast and I—we all look at ourselves and each other [on set], and we're just so honored to be a diverse cast, where we know that so many people can see us and feel so represented," Leslie told Movieweb.
"I love our way of playing with the world that already exists in the Batwoman comics, [and then] bringing it into the modern day and the issues we deal with. Last season, we had the Black Lives Matter episode—and how important that was for our community to be able to deal with that onscreen the best way that we could."
She also spoke about how the series is redefining the superhero narrative by expanding who can play beloved characters, specifically speaking about Kang's Poison Ivy turn.
"We really cheer each other on for our specific roles," Leslie said. "When Nicole became Poison Ivy, I knew how important that was, and how excited I was for her to be our first Asian-American Poison Ivy on the show. That's a barrier that's now broken. You can't say Poison Ivy can only work one way. With our show, we're showing that there's no race on a superhero suit. It can be any race and be these beautiful characters that we watched and loved our entire lives."
That also includes the show's take on the Joker. Season 3 has seen the transformation of Marquis Jet, played by Nick Creegan, into the show's version of The Joker, marking the first time a Black actor has portrayed the iconic villain.
"It's crazy. It's wild, actually," Creegan revealed in a recent interview. "Yeah, I've done a lot of processing the past few weeks, months, you know? It's still surreal to me. It's been a wild ride for me. You know, the reception of the new Joker, being the first person of color to play this role – the messages and the love I've been getting has just been overwhelming. It's been a fun ride."
"It's funny because I dressed up, on Halloween, I dressed up as Jared Leto's Joker back in like 2016 or 2015," Creegan explained. "And the thing that I really liked about his Joker was how different it was than every other rendition, right? He was wearing chains and he had gold teeth. And he was just like this new, edgy, different version of the Joker. And for Marquis, being that he's so new and he's very much into fashion, he's very much into being himself. Like, there's a lot of vibes that come through that people probably relate to, especially being from New York and, you know, a little street, a little edgy, funny. So ... I tried to take little elements of Jared Leto's Joker, but also making sure that I weave in the maniacal laughter and just craze in the eyes that I saw in Heath Ledger or Joaquin Phoenix's Joker. So, there's bits and pieces that I've taken from a lot of them, but [I'm] still making it very much [as] original as possible."
New episodes of Batwoman debut Wednesdays at 9/8c on The CW.