QUEER VOICES
08/07/2018 03:07 pm ET Updated 5 days ago

Ruby Rose Will Play Batwoman And Make History As Lesbian Superhero

The OITNB star will appear as the iconic character in a crossover event and, hopefully, a full TV series.

A new Batwoman has been found. 

Ruby Rose has been tapped to star as the DC Comics superhero, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The iconic character will appear first in a crossover event in December and ― if all goes according to plan ― in an original stand-alone TV series.

The “Batwoman” series is being produced by Greg Berlanti, who has previously worked on “The Flash,” “Green Lantern” and “Legends of Tomorrow.” “Smallville” and “Melrose Place” writer Caroline Dries will script the series. 

Dries confirmed the news on Twitter Tuesday. 

If “Batwoman” moves forward as a series, it will join a number of DC Comics shows on The CW network, including “Arrow” and “Supergirl.” While shows like “Black Lightning” and “The Flash” have featured queer characters, “Batwoman” will be the first live-action series to feature an openly gay superhero, male or female, in a title role.

The decision to cast Rose, best known for “Orange Is the New Black,” in the role of Kate Kane, aka Batwoman, follows reports that the studio was seeking an openly queer actress for the part. Rose, 32, has identified as gender fluid.   

And “Batwoman” won’t be the only show helping to make The CW more inclusive. Last month, it was reported the transgender actress Nicole Maines would join the fourth season of “Supergirl” as Nia Nal ― likely a version of the DC Comics character Nura Nal, a humanoid alien who can see into the future. In doing so, Maines will become television’s first openly trans superhero

A number of queer characters in comics have emerged in recent years. Often, writers have taken existing characters ― like “X-Men” superhero Iceman ― and given them an LGBTQ-inclusive origin story. 

Batwoman first appeared in the DC Comics universe in 1956 as Kathy Kane. A revised version of the character was reintroduced into the series in 2006 as Kate Kane, at which point she was established as openly lesbian. 

“Yes, she’s a lesbian,” writer Greg Rucka said in a 2009 interview with the Comic Book Resources website. “It is an element of her character. It is not her character. If people are going to have problems with it, that’s their issue. That’s certainly not mine.”

Clarification: This story has been updated to include more details about the history of the Batwoman character, as well as live-action superhero shows featuring openly LGBTQ characters in title roles. 

CONVERSATIONS