Batwoman: Javicia Leslie Teases Ryan Wilder's Dynamic With Other Arrowverse Heroes

Batwoman's second season is expected to establish a wild new status quo, with Javicia Leslie stepping into the series' titular role. Leslie's arrival on the series comes after Ruby Rose, who portrayed Kate Kane in the show's first season, stepped down from the role earlier this year. Instead of continuing Kate Kane's story, Leslie will be portraying the entirely new character of Ryan Wilder, and fans have been curious to see what her role will be like in the Arrowverse. During Saturday's DC FanDome virtual convention, Leslie spoke about how Ryan will interact with the other heroes of the Arrowverse -- particularly Kara Danvers/Supergirl (Melissa Benoist), who had a close friendship with Kate for the past few years.

“Already, Batwoman stands out because she doesn't have a superpower," Leslie explained. "Everything she uses is her intelligence and Luke [Fox] and her physical strength. So, I do look forward to playing that part from a Ryan perspective, this street kid's perspective. From a person that saw these superheroes growing up. Because that was also really important for Ryan to see Batwoman be an out lesbian, to have her superhero role model to look up to. So, to not only fill those shoes, but to [be] with the ones that have already been doing it, I think that that's going to be a lot for her. It's going to be a culture shock for her, but I also think it's really cool."

Leslie's Ryan Wilder is described as likable, messy, a little goofy and untamed, she’s also nothing like Kate Kane, the woman who wore the Batsuit before her. With no one in her life to keep her on track, Ryan spent years as a drug-runner, dodging the GCPD and masking her pain with bad habits. Today Ryan lives in her van with her plant. A girl who would steal milk for an alley cat and could also kill you with her bare hands, Ryan is the most dangerous type of fighter: highly skilled and wildly undisciplined. An out lesbian. Athletic. Raw. Passionate. Fallible. And very much not your stereotypical all-American hero.

“I am extremely proud to be the first Black actress to play the iconic role of Batwoman on television, and as a bisexual woman, I am honored to join this groundbreaking show, which has been such a trailblazer for the LGBTQ+ community," Leslie said in a statement when the casting was first announced.

While shifting focus towards Ryan leaves a lot of questions unanswered going into Season 2, it sounds like there some new storytelling possibilities that are coming up.

"To be honest with you, I did consider the soap opera version for a hot minute, selfishly, because we had a couple episodes already written, and transition-wise, it would be seamless [since] we already started breaking season 2," showrunner Caroline Dries said in a previous interview. "But upon further reflection, and [Arrowverse producer] Greg [Berlanti] helped me make this call and he's way smarter than me about this sort of stuff, he's like, 'You know, I think we should just reboot the character in terms of reboot Batwoman as a different character.' Just to also respect everything that Ruby [Rose] put into the Kate Kane character."

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Batwoman is scheduled to return with new episodes in January of 2021.