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TV REVIEWS: FTN Reviews The Batwoman Series Premiere!

October 7th, 2019 by Todd Black Comments

The topic of Batman is a very interesting one these days. Gotham has ended after a 5-year run. Ben Affleck is out, Robert Pattinson is in, The Batman film is coming in 2021, and Titans Season 2 has Bruce Wayne on it. That’s a lot of Batmen walking around in some fashion. And now, the CW has launched the official debut of Batwoman, starring Ruby Rose as Kate Kane. There were a lot of questions about how this would feel overall, and…it’s about what you would expect from it for a pilot. But that’s not exactly a bad thing.

After Arrow, Flash, Supergirl, Legends of Tomorrow and Black Lightning, you kind of know what to expect from Batwoman to start. Kate Kane is a woman with a dark and troubled past, and an incident brings her back to Gotham to try and reconcile with family and save a loved one. In the process, she becomes a hero and starts to fight for the city she loves.

Yeah, that’s honestly the pilot in a nutshell, but there are a few things to help Kate stand out from the pack. Despite her broody nature and dark past, she honestly doesn’t play like Oliver, Barry or even Kara. She’s her own women with her own set of skills. And she didn’t train to be a hero, she trained to be a solider, which actually makes her a bit more than the others in some ways.

Then, there’s the situation in Gotham City. Batman is gone (and so is Bruce Wayne), and the city is in a state of division over his absence. Kate’s father has a private military group of sorts trying to keep the peace alongside GCPD. Which is enough of a difference from Gotham (the series) to help make things different. And just like the comics, Kate and her father don’t exactly get along that well.

And my personal thoughts on her suiting up as Batwoman is that it was played well. Plus, since this is before Elseworlds where she debuted last year, we get to see her come into her own before fulling becoming Batwoman. Versus what we saw in Arrow, Flash and Supergirl where they were basically their comic forms in episode one.

As for villains, we got Alice and the Wonderland Gang. Who was only lightly touched upon in Gotham via Mad Hatter and Tweedle-Dee Dee and Dum. Alice plays off the cast well enough, and she has the potential to be a good villain. Even though a big twist is kind of spoiled.

The only real down points is that Kate’s supporting cast doesn’t always shine. Including her half-sister who is half-chatterbox half-saint…which doesn’t play well. And Luke Fox (son of Lucius and Batwing in the comics) who looks and sounds like Curtis Holt (Mr. Terrific) from Arrow. But again, it’s only the pilot.

Oh, and the relationship drama is pretty much what you would figure from a CW show, though the focus on Kate’s lesbian orientation is thankfully shown in full, which is good. As that’s a key part of her character. And the showrunner and writers have confirmed it’ll be a focus of sorts going forward. Let’s just hope she doesn’t go the Oliver route and become a swinger…I’m just saying.

You could argue that Batwoman is going to be under more scrutiny than any other DC Comics/CW collaboration before it. And partially for good reason. But if the pilot is any indication, the series is in good hands.

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Todd Black is reader of comics, a watch of TV (a LOT of TV), and a writer of many different mediums. He's written teleplays, fan-fictions, and currently writes a comic book called Guardians (guardians-comic.com). He dreams of working at Nintendo, writing a SHAZAM! TV series, and working on Guardians for a very long time!