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Ruby Rose Makes Her Debut as Batwoman

Ruby Rose’s lesbian superhero Batwoman finally made her debut during this week’s part 2 of “Elseworlds,” a three-part crossover event between the CW’s DC shows Arrow, Supergirl, and The Flash. Due to an event in which an unstable man was given a book that holds the power to alter the universe, Arrow’s Oliver (Stephen Amell) and The Flash’s Barry (Grant Gustin) have switched powers and identities. Upon enlisting the help of Kara “Supergirl” Danvers, played by Melissa Benoist, the trio then travels to Gotham City, where they aim to find the person responsible with the help of Vesper, an old acquaintance of Oliver’s, and where Barry hopes to meet Batman.

If the palpable change in atmosphere upon their arrival to Gotham City is any indication of what’s to come for Batwoman’s solo show, hers will be grittier and darker. The grim energy the setting emits matches Batwoman’s looming presence as, in her. initial introduction, she’s standing guard from a rooftop, watching Kara, Barry, and Oliver discuss whether or not Batman is folklore, while around her the night envelops the city.

Cutting to daytime, Kara, Barry, and Oliver are caught in an altercation with a local gang, who attempt to rob them. The police show up to arrest and take them into custody — but not for long, as a mysterious someone has posted their bail. This mysterious someone has also sent a car, along with a driver who’s prompt to flash the gun he’s got in his coat, indicating the invitation isn’t really optional.

They are taken to an old Wayne Enterprises building where they’re speculating about the possibility of Bruce Wayne being who brought them there. As it turns out, it’s Bruce Wayne’s lesbian cousin, Kate Kane, who makes her presence known from a balcony above them sporting a laid-back androgynous-chic outfit that resembles Ruby Rose’s signature look.

via GIPHY

It turns out Green Arrow’s a persona non grata in Gotham City, and that’s really the only reason she bailed them all out. Kate wants them to explain what they’re doing in Gotham City, and decides to let them work from the Wayne building, explaining that her cousin Bruce left the city three years ago, a fact that Kara finds especially peculiar as that’s how long Batman has been MIA.

During a one-on-one chat between Kara and Kate, we learn that Kate is watching over Gotham while Bruce is gone, and that she plans on turning the old Wayne building into a real estate development firm.

It’s clear from her demeanor that Kate’s been through rough times, and that seeing her city “rot to its core” has affected her as much as she says it has affected her cousin. It’s also made clear that she’s learning to manage the weight of keeping part of herself hidden while staying dedicated to her cause, whatever that true cause may be. It’s a nice moment between two women who recognize a common struggle in each other, even if they can’t be completely transparent.

This is also the moment in which Kara observes just how different Kate is from other billionaires she’s known by pointing out her many tattoos —  at which point Kate steps closer and replies, “Those are the ones that you can see.”

Kara, who quickly realizes she’s being flirted with, giggles and fumbles, and before there’s a gay escalation — a gayscalation if you will — she switches topics and asks if Kate happens to know a man named John Deegan, who they suspect is responsible for the recent reality alterations. Kate is familiar with him — he’s a doctor at Arkham Asylum.

As soon as Kara leaves to share this information with Barry and Oliver, Kate, looking broodily determined, makes her way down to the Batcave, where her suit is waiting.

Barry, Oliver, and Kate reunite with Killer Frost and the rest of team Flash at the asylum, where they find Dr. Deegan has escaped — though not before releasing all the patients, igniting chaos as they attempt to take over the hospital. Just before two of the patients escape in a van, however, Batwoman lands on top of the vehicle and stops them with a couple of swift kicks and the signature superhero knee-landing.

Elsewhere, in what appears to be the hospital basement, Killer Frost ( Danielle Panabaker) is being attacked by one of the patients. Barry and Oliver show up to help, but the patient escapes, knocking over a box of vials that release a smoky substance which then makes Barry and Oliver hallucinate and begin to fight each other. Batwoman shows up just in time to save the day once again, giving the boys a good smackdown that snaps them out of it.

The group makes it out of the asylum with the universe-shifting book, though without the doctor, and upon requesting a ride in the Batmobile, Batwoman reminds them to leave Gotham City, as Kate Kane had suggested they do. They finally take a hint, though Supergirl lags behind to inadvertently flirt with Batwoman one more time.

When Batwoman jokes that she doesn’t do tearful goodbyes, Supergirl replies that she just wanted to wish her luck, and that wherever cousin Bruce is, he must be proud. She then proceeds to comment on all of the tattoos she’s apparently counted by way of x-ray vision, as a totally heterosexual person would. With this exchange, they reveal they know each other’s secret identities, and that Kara Danvers casually used a power she has full control over to see another woman’s hidden tattoos.

There isn’t nearly enough of Batwoman in her first appearance to make a fair assessment of what the new show will look like just yet. It’s also unclear if the Aussie accent is on purpose or if it’s Ruby Rose occasionally slipping, but Kate Kane appears to be a competent, strong, no-nonsense woman who, despite not having verbalized she’s a lesbian yet, has the gayest wardrobe on the CW, and that’s plenty promising.

Batwoman begins filming in early 2019.

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