New 'Batwoman' series to make superhero history with first gay lead character

Ben Arnold
·Contributor
Ruby Rose as Batwoman (Credit: The CW)
Ruby Rose as Batwoman (Credit: The CW)

The new Batwoman series has just been announced by US network The CW.

And it's set to make history for being the first series with an openly gay superhero as the lead character.

Batwoman, aka Kate Kane, is being played by Ruby Rose, the Australian star of Orange Is The New Black, John Wick: Chapter 2 and Pitch Perfect 3.

Read more: Russo bros say a current Marvel character is secretly gay

Her character, as with that in the DC Comic series, is an out lesbian, and a highly-trained street-fighting vigilante, protecting the streets of Gotham City.

33-year-old Rose herself came out as gay at the age of 12, and indentifies as gender fluid.

According to The Wrap, the series, part of the Arrowverse strand which includes The Flash, Green Arrow and Supergirl, will see Batwoman fighting crime in Gotham some three years after the disappearance of Batman (Kane is the cousin of Bruce Wayne).

A clip released by The CW is short but sweet (and pretty dark), with Kane suited up – there are perhaps some echoes of Joel Schumacher's Batman iteration in the outfit – and overlooking Gotham, her cape blowing in the wind.

Rose has discussed the rigorous fitness regime she's had to endure for the role, telling Australian Vogue: “I love being active and working out. However, the training on BW is harder and more intense than any role I’ve played.

“It’s diverse and it’s long, but it’s worth it. I think the cast would agree I eat about three times what anyone else does... it’s a bit of a joke.

“But, I am burning so much fuel emotionally and physically in the role, so when we are between scenes, or notoriously even just swinging a lens, I’ll be eating.”

Read more: Endgame crosses $2 billion

She also discussed the 'outcast' nature of superheroes, something that she can connect with.

“The thing I always identified [with] and loved about superheroes growing up was that they too have struggles they face and it’s what they choose to do with that,” she added.

“Often they are outcasts or feel like they don’t fit in because they are different, they have to learn to embrace that and find their purpose to become the best version of themselves. Owning and accepting all the things that make them unique is how they become powerful.”

The CW has now ordered the show for a full series, with Dougray Scott and Meagan Tandy also starring, though there's no word yet on when we might see it.