Ruby Rose’s Debut Proves There is More to fear in Gotham than The Dark Knight…
The Batwoman is here to stay…
The criticism surrounding Ruby Rose’s casting as The Batwoman in CW’s Arrowverse was unprecedented. Some fans loved the idea, others despised it with a passion and the actor was forced to remove herself from social media after an endless tirade of abuse was directed toward her from a small pocket of disgruntled individuals.
Thankfully, with the release of the first images of her fully attired in the awesome looking Batwoman suit, attitudes began to change and within weeks anticipation of her debut began to build in earnest.
Until now, despite being an avid enthusiast of all things “DC Universe” my knowledge of Batwoman has been restricted to her brief appearance in the Batman: The Animated Series feature-length adventure Batman: Mystery of the Batwoman. The characters’ involvement in Kevin Conroy‘s Batman adventure was intriguing and triggered my interest in the further adventures of Kate Kane but I found myself restricted by her overall lack of media appearances. Therefore, Ruby Rose‘s casting as Batwoman in CW’s Arrowverse came as a pleasant surprise for me.
With her performances in Orange is the New Black, John Wick Chapter 2, xXx: Return of Xander Cage and The Meg still fresh in the mind I was delighted with her casting and began to look forward to her debut in the traditional Arrowverse crossover event titled: “Elseworlds”
The CW network has demonstrated an uncanny knack for delivering outstanding DC entertainment with its long-running serials Arrow, The Flash, Supergirl, Legends of Tomorrow and most recently Black Lightning which is currently enjoying its second season on Netflix, so the idea of it turning its attention toward Gotham City has been something the fans have been eagerly awaiting for some time.
No sooner had Oliver Queen muttered the words “We’re going to Gotham City” in the climax of the first “Elseworlds” crossover episode, I was on the edge of my seat and more than ready to embrace what I hoped would be the definitive incarnation of The Batwoman. The episode quickly revealed Melissa Benoist’s Supergirl travelling to Gotham City alongside The Flash and The Green Arrow to retrieve the world-changing book of power.
We were introduced to a Gotham City in the chaos following Batman’s self-imposed exile in the aftermath of the traumatic events of the “Infinite Crisis” storyline. With The Dark Knight gone, we learn that Kate Kane has become the custodian of the Bat-legacy and has established herself as Gotham’s newest caped crusader.
As expected, Ruby Rose fit the role to perfection and her dark and gritty performance as Kate Kane was the highlight of what was a grim and foreboding episode littered with awesome Batman-themed “Easter Eggs” for us all to feast upon. Supergirl, Flash and Green Arrow were forced to infiltrate Arkham Asylum where the greatest DC Super-Villains are incarcerated and as the camera travelled through the hallways, we were treated to prison cells doors with nameplates featuring icons like Edward Nygma (The Riddler) and Oswald Copplepot (The Penguin). If that wasn’t enough to whet our Batman appetites, The Scarecrow‘s fear toxin was used to incapacitate both The Flash and Green Arrow while Caitlin Snow / Killer Frost was confronted by a vengeful Nora Fries who had harnessed the power of her freezing cannon.
The stage was set.
With Supergirl rounding up many of the escaping inmates and Arrow and Flash vanquished by the fear toxin, there was nothing standing between a group of inmates and freedom. They swiftly overwhelmed the asylum’s guard compliment and were busy commandeering a vehicle when their escape was halted by a figure landing on the roof and derailing their plans.
In what can only be described as total awesomeness, Batwoman plucked the driver from the vehicle and took him out of the game before unleashing her grapple gun on the second thug and retracting its cable with such force that he hurled into the remnants of the vehicle’s windscreen. With both thugs down and out, Batwoman retrieved an iconic “Batarang” from her utility belt and hurled it toward the final fugitive who swiftly toppled to the deck with a sore head as the weapon boomeranged back into her outstretched hand.
Within seconds, The Batwoman had delivered what the Arrowverse had been missing since its launch in 2012, some good old-fashioned Bat-Awesomeness. The darkness of her character was quintessential Gotham City and mirrored the persona of her more famous cousin whose absence was lessened by Ruby Rose‘s brilliant portrayal. The camera absolutely loved her, and she enhanced every single scene she was in and her absence was all the more evident when her involvement was curtailed until the latter stages. It is these elements that have the power to cement a legacy and if her involvement in “Elseworlds” is anything to go by, the proposed Batwoman standalone series has the potential to be a career-defining role.
In a time where comic book feature films dominate at the worldwide box office and the lesser superheroes of the DC Universe find a home on our television screens, it is an absolute delight to see such high standards being set by the CW network. The groundwork established by Arrow and The Flash has proven to be the perfect foundations for characters like Supergirl and Batwoman to thrive and if their exchanges in the finale of “Elseworlds” part two is anything to go by then the “World’s Finest” could be about to stake their claim on the Arrowverse.
And that is an exciting prospect.
The Dark Knight finally has some competition in Gotham City and it comes in the form of Ruby Rose.
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