The CW is replacing Kate Kane’s Batwoman in the Arrowverse – and here are the comic book characters who could take her place. The Arrowverse is currently facing its greatest casting challenge since its inception. Just two days after the Batwoman season 1 finale, Ruby Rose announced she was leaving the Arrowverse. Naturally, the internet blazed with speculation over who could take over the role of Kate Kane.
The shocks have kept coming; the latest reports suggest Kate Kane won’t be recast at all, but instead will be replaced. A leaked casting profile identifies Batwoman 2.0 as “Ryan Wilder,” probably just a placeholder name, and describes a very different incarnation of the hero.
“She’s 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. A girl who would steal milk for an alley cat 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.”
While DC TV is unlikely to have created an entirely original character just for the Arrowverse, this description doesn’t correspond with anybody from the comics. There are few out-and-out lesbians in DC Comics, something of a bone of contention for many readers, and there certainly aren’t many vigilantes who are former drug-runners. In truth, there are only two comic book characters who could conceivably be modified for this Batwoman 2.0, and still be recognizable to fans.
The number one possibility is Harper Rowe, a vigilante who – in the comics – goes by the identity of “Bluebird.” Harper is one of DC Comics’ few LGBTQ+ heroes, an out bisexual who actually has a strong crush on Batwoman and who became fascinated with Batman after he saved Harper and her brother from a hate crime. Harper is whip-crack smart, and she discovered Batman’s secret adjustments to the Gotham grid, which allow him to move in secret. She soon suited up, initially taking the codename ‘Taser Girl,’ and partnered with Red Robin after she hacked into his systems. Although Bluebird is no longer an active superhero, she’s still considered a friend of the wider Bat-family, and often spends downtime with Tim Drake.
It’s not hard to imagine how Harper Rowe could be adapted into Batwoman 2.0. Although Harper never fell this far into the Gotham underworld in the comics, the character profile for “Ryan Wilder” carefully omits any hint of what caused her to abandon her career in crime and become a hero. It could be that, as in the comics, it was an encounter with Batman or preferably even Batwoman; she could be struck by Batwoman’s disappearance, and trace the Batcave through the modifications to the city grid. This is quite a natural arc, so it would work well.
The other main possibility is Holly Robinson, a runaway who grew up on the streets of Gotham and turned to prostitution. Holly became a close friend of Selina Kyle, aka Catwoman, and Selina used the proceeds from her crimes to purchase an apartment for the two women. The two parted ways for some time, but reunited in the Catwoman: Anodyne miniseries, moving in together again; Holly became an informant for Catwoman, keeping her abreast of events in Gotham’s underworld. Unfortunately this led her to come to the attention of Black Mask, and Selina decided she needed to train Holly in order to ensure she could protect herself. At Selina’s request, Holly briefly took over as the new Catwoman.
Several details in the character profile correspond with Holly, notably her experience on the streets and her time working as a drug-runner; Holly is a junkie who will always know the temptation to return to her old ways. While Holly isn’t associated with Batwoman, she is still a “Legacy Hero” of a kind, albeit the second Catwoman rather than Batwoman 2.0. She’s also another of DC’s out LGBTQ+ characters, which fits well.
More: Every Arrowverse Character That Has Been Recast (Besides Batwoman)