It's only been a month since Batwoman's first season came to a conclusion, albeit an unexpected one thanks to the coronavirus pandemic, but in those four short weeks, there's been a lot of upheaval when it comes to Gotham's Scarlet Knight. Just days after the Season One finale it was announced that Ruby Rose would not return for the Arrowverse series' second season, and that they would recast her Kate Kane/Batwoman character. Then, in early June it was announced that the series had decided not to recast Kate Kane, but will replace the character entirely, a move met by a great deal of outcry from fans who questioned the decision, seeing it as a bad move given the trajectory of the series thus far. However, it's not just the trajectory of Batwoman's second season that is now a question mark with Kate Kane no longer a part of Batwoman, as there's a question about what this dramatic shift means for next season's Arrowverse crossover as well.
In mid-May, during The CW's virtual upfronts, network president Mark Pedowitz revealed that there will still be an Arrowverse crossover next season, though coming after the mega "Crisis on Infinite Earths" crossover event last season, the next crossover would be a much smaller event. Pedowitz explained that the event would be a two-hour crossover and would feature Batwoman and the upcoming new series Superman & Lois with other characters also appearing.
"We're still working on it, but it'll be a much smaller event," Pedowitz said. "We're talking about a two-hour event, with Superman and Batwoman, with characters coming in from our other shows."
At the time, some fans were a little disappointed as they'd hoped the next crossover would be a "World's Finest," seeing the fan-demanded team-up of Batwoman and Supergirl, but the idea of Batwoman and Superman & Lois crossing over did make sense. Batwoman/Kate Kane had met Superman/Clark Kent and Lois both during "Crisis," so there's an established connection while Supergirl/Kara Danvers' friendship with Kate helps make it a lot more believable that Metropolis' hero and Gotham's guardian would team up to take on a threat.
But now with Kate Kane out as Batwoman and a newcomer taking on the cape and cowl -- and a newcomer who doesn't sound like they have much heroic experience to begin with, based on the casting call that surfaced earlier this month -- it almost doesn't make sense for Batwoman and Superman & Lois to be the Arrowverse crossover for next season. While the "brand-new hero" of it all isn't necessarily a problem -- we did meet Batwoman for the first time in "Elseworlds" and she was pretty new to her role then -- without the connections Kate made in "Crisis," there's almost no reason for Superman or any other hero in the Arrowverse to call on this "Ryan Wilder".
This is especially true if, as Dries suggested when she spoke out about the replacement of Kate Kane, Batwoman just has Kate vanish much the same way Bruce Wayne/Batman disappeared and left Gotham high and dry before Kate suited up. Not only will the other Arrowverse heroes likely be a little reluctant to perhaps work with someone they flat-out do not know, but an untested hero also seems fairly unlikely. In fact, depending on the exact story mechanics of things, the crossover would likely have to spend a good chunk of time establishing the new Batwoman as part of the larger Arrowverse team somehow.
It's not something that feels like an especially good option. With that in mind, it's possible that the replacement of Kate Kane as the hero on Batwoman could also result in a major shift when it comes to the next Arrowverse crossover. The network may have to abandon plans to put Batwoman and Superman & Lois together for the event entirely and, instead, look for another option for a crossover. With Supergirl and DC's Legends of Tomorrow not returning until after the other Arrowverse series, it may be a matter of bringing Superman together with The Flash, and that's an option that could work very well for the network as the two series are set to air back to back on Tuesdays when new programming returns in January 2021. If The CW shifts to a The Flash/Superman & Lois crossover, it could function like a two-hour movie, which would make for a truly epic evening for viewers. There's also always the option of changing the focus of the crossover entirely to be a Black Lightning/The Flash event, something that could be a lot of fun given the brief, but well-received interaction fans got between Jefferson Pierce/Black Lightning and Barry Allen/The Flash in "Crisis". Also, by making Black Lightning an "anchor" for the crossover, it would help the Arrowverse truly establish Freeland's hero as part of the larger heroic landscape.
You could even add Superman in, just so Black Lightning could fanboy a little bit. It'd be a treat to watch.
Whatever The CW ends up doing in regard to the next Arrowverse crossover, considering that it's going to be some time before we get new episodes of the network's DC TV series, there's a bit of time for things to be sorted out not only in regard to what's happening with Batwoman, but with how to proceed with a crossover despite all of the turmoil and change that has been a hallmark of 2020 thus far.
What do you think? Will The CW need to look into a different concept for its next Arrowverse crossover? What heroes would you like to see team up? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.