This past week the annual Arrowverse crossover event featuring characters from the CW’s Arrow, The Flash, and Supergirl took place. Basically, an evil guy got a hold of a book that changed the future, and he swapped Barry (Grant Gustin) and Oliver (Stephen Amell), then made himself into a dark-suited Superman. All I kept thinking the entire time was, “You know, if you would all just call Lena, she’d fix this problem in about 14 seconds, and then you could all hang out at Big Belly Burger and just enjoy hanging out without a crisis hanging over your heads.”
But it’s not like nothing important happened during this three-night event.
On Monday, we finally got to meet Batwoman.
Be still my heart.
I know what you’re saying. “Monica,” you say, “it’s Friday. Why the delay? We needed to know how you felt about this? How dare you leave us wondering?!!” Well, friends, I’ll tell you, it’s taken me that long to gather my thoughts and put them down, because Kate Kane affected me THAT MUCH.
I don’t watch all of the Arrowverse shows — just Supergirl and Legends of Tomorrow, so I wasn’t heavily invested in “Elseworlds” since it was so Arrow and Flash heavy. But one glimpse of Batwoman (Ruby Rose) surveying her city of Gotham at the end of night one, and I was hooked, at least on that part of the storyline; even more so when we actually got to meet her.
And she was, in my opinion, perfect — confident, smart, and sexy — all qualities I love in my superheroes. And while she may not look like me, the swagger when she walks through the abandoned…Batcave, maybe, to find her suit? That feels familiar. That’s how I look in my head sometimes, anyway. Let me have this delusion.
I can’t help but remember the reaction from some people when Rose’s casting was announced — mostly concerns over her acting abilities and also some delusional feeling that she’s not “queer enough” to play someone who represents our community…some insisting that the first openly gay superhero on TV needs to be different somehow.
There’s a lot there to unpack.
First of all, Kate Kane/Batwoman is not the first queer superhero to grace our television screens. That honor is belongs to Anissa Pierce/Thunder in Black Lightning. (Are you a fan of that show? Just want to catch up so you can dive right in? Check out my coworker Nic’s recaps here.)
Now let’s talk about acting. Guys, a superhero show on the CW isn’t exactly Shakespeare. I’m unsure what unreachable bar some people are holding this not-even-official-yet show to, but I think it’s higher than the fine folks at One Tree Hill or Gossip Girl were ever held to. Also, people can grow and improve, both as actors and as people. Not everyone can be Melanie Scrofano — every single word fully formed and perfectly acted from day one. And in this humble writer’s opinion? Ruby Rose fully embodied both Batwoman and Kate Kane. I’m not saying there’s no room for improvement, especially when she’s in the Batsuit, but I liked what I saw.
Kate Kane is not in the mood for your sass.
And I’m just going to say this about Ruby Rose (or anyone, really) not being “the right kind of queer” or “queer enough.” Sexuality is a spectrum, and representation doesn’t always look like what you see in the mirror. Don’t you hate being judged for who you are attracted to? Then why are you doing the same thing?
Anyway, all of that social justice warrioring aside, I’m super into Ruby Rose as Batwoman. From the suit to the tech to the attitude to that sweet spin-kick move on Oliver and Barry, I can’t wait to get to know Kate a little better. Her and Kara’s flirtation through the entire episode was charming, sexy, and gave us a hint of what SuperCorp could have been if they had explored that smoking-hot chemistry, and it gave us a peek at what these two could be if they were on the same world. What it did is it made me wish for an Earth where these two could be friends — where Kara could have a confidant other than Alex and Jimmy and J’onn, and where Kate could have Supergirl’s strong shoulders help lift some of her heavy burdens.
I can just hear it now. “Oh, Kate Kane? Veronica and I went to boarding school with her. There was a bit of a torrid love triangle between us. Kara, are you okay? Are you choking on a potsticker?”
I’m disappointed in you, “Elseworlds”, because you gave me no Lena Luthor, but I’ll admit that this was a reasonable substitute. Here’s to more Batwoman in 2019! I hope we get to know her better.
What did you think of Ruby Rose as Batwoman in the crossover? Let us know in the comments below!
Monica is a queer fangirl who lives in Pittsburgh with her wife and cat. She cohosts a Wynonna Earp podcast called There’s Something in the Heir, her favorite Buffy episode is “Doppelgangland,” and one of her favorite TV couples is Ben and Leslie. You can find her shouting about strong female characters and queer representation @lesbiyinzer on Twitter.