Renew Batwoman Trends As Fans Rally Demanding The CW Continue The Series
Over the weekend, fans of Batwoman rallied on Twitter and social media, hoping to convince the CW to renew the series starring Javica Leslie. Recently, a number of the CW DC superhero shows have been granted renewals, including The Flash and Superman and Lois. Yet, as the third season of Batwoman hits HBO Max, folks who enjoy this TV version of Gotham City hope to see the CW renew the show for season 4. Now, in the interest of full disclosure, your humble correspondent here is totally in the tank for this show. Not only do I enjoy it a great deal, I think it is an important series for kids and adults because of the quality of storytelling and the representation on the screen. In fact, I tweeted as much yesterday, with a signal boost from Batwoman herself.
MY FAVORITE! https://t.co/VVOhKaWh5l
— Javicia Leslie (@JaviciaLeslie) April 2, 2022
So, let’s talk about why the CW should renew Batwoman, which feels strange to even write as anything but a certainty. With The Batman currently the biggest movie of 2022, and even more Bat-family related projects in the works – from video games like Gotham Knights to the CW series Gotham Knights. In the comic books, Kate Kane is the cousin of Bruce Wayne and Batwoman, thus a literal part of the Bat-family. However, Ryan Wilder, as played by Javicia Leslie, also is part of the Bat-family, even though she’s never technically met Bruce Wayne.
In all the adaptations, Bruce Wayne suits up as Batman to create a symbol larger than any one person. This Batwoman – along with Camrus Johnson as Luke Fox A.K.A. Batwing – is proof that Bruce’s mission was a success. Regardless of where Earth-Prime’s Bruce Wayne is, Ryan Wilder carries on his Bat-legacy as Gotham City’s protector. And she does it with style. This series allows Warner Bros. to keep Batman on the big screen, while having Bat-related adventures on TV as well.
Why the CW Should Renew Batwoman and How HBO Max May Help (or Hurt)
Image via the CW
When it comes to these sorts of genre stories featuring iconic character archetypes there are two things to consider. The first is how “good” (subjective as that may be) is the adaptation. The second is what “good” does the adaptation do for pop culture. While Batwoman may have gotten off to a bit of a rocky start, that was always about social media politics and never about the quality of the show. Once original Kate Kane, Ruby Rose, left the show, that should have been it for the series. Yet, in an ambitious move (and one I didn’t initially agree with), they cast Javicia Leslie as Ryan Wilder, a new character to don the cape and cowl. Instead of signaling the end of a show before it started, it gave Batwoman a new beginning.
This #batfam should be so proud. There's still plenty of time in this day, & we've already done an amazing job with keeping #RenewBatwoman trending. Let them hear us! Keep it up!
Stream season 3 of #Batwoman on @hbomax all day long!@BatwomanWriters @JaviciaLeslie pic.twitter.com/iDNQDP7czn
— Katrina Fowler (@KatrinaMFowler) April 2, 2022
A huge part of every Batman story is how the trauma in billionaire Bruce Wayne’s life motivated him to become the Dark Knight. While Ryan’s life has been no walk in the Gotham Central Park, she is nonetheless a hero. She became what Matt Reeves’ Dark Knight did at the end of The Batman: not a symbol of vengeance but a symbol of hope. As fun as the tortured Dark Knight story is, we’ve seen that again and again. A Bat-hero who is motivated less by revenge and more by a sense of duty to care for the city is a fresh take on the archetype. Again, these shows are ultimately melodramatic morality plays for kids with no small amount of bait for shippers. Yet, the result is a story that fans of all ages and backgrounds can enjoy. Yet, for fans of some backgrounds, this might be the most important Bat-story out there.
As Javicia Leslie said to the AP in 2021:
“…I know this will empower someone to see a Black female superhero. You don’t get to see it often. It’s so epic. I grew up on Batman and Catwoman and the Joker and Penguin. Now, to see blackness in that, I think it’s very inclusive…. It’s important to have representation in general. Fans of DC represent everyone, whether it’s about race, whether it’s LGBTQ. I think what I love so much about my show is that every character is really a great representation of everything.”
This series is led by LGBT+ characters of color, which while more common today is still something of a rarity. For folks of a certain age, we can recognize this and celebrate it. What’s even more amazing and powerful is that kids today may not recognize this. They will enter the world believing that “superheroes” look like everyone around them. Men, women, LGBT or straight, and from every ethnic background can be the hero. What Black Panther did for the movies in 2018, Batwoman (and Naomi and Legends of Tomorrow) does each week on TV, for the low price of FREE.
(Yes, I received this today amid uncertainty whether about 10 of these people will still have jobs with WB in a year.) pic.twitter.com/YubGXmsWBA
— Russ Burlingame, the #JosieBook guy (@russburlingame) March 30, 2022
The CW should renew Batwoman simply because it is a fun superhero adaptation that tells entertaining stories with a fully-realized world. However, they should also do it because it makes the world of superheroes more accurately reflect the world today. For all the problems that remain, we are an integrated society where our neighbors and friends come from all walks of life. Because of the unconscious way bias and prejudice manifests in society, it sometimes takes work for people to overcome that. When kids grow up with epic mythical tales about heroes from various backgrounds and perspectives, that work gets so easy a place of tolerance and acceptance becomes the default.
The Business of TV and Movies Affects the Bat-Family
Image via the CW
As Warner Bros. continues its merger with Discovery Media, the CW network is also up for sale. Throughout the history of the CW, the network has not turned a profit. Yet, joint owners WarnerMedia and ViacomCBS use this network as place to air new series aimed at pre-teens through young adults. The real money comes from licensing these shows out for either syndication or, in today’s streaming world, places like Netflix or Warner Bros.’ own HBO Max. These DC on the CW series create morality plays for young people and help build the next generation of superhero obsessives. Yet, for the parent companies, it’s all about the bottom line.
— Batwoman Writers Room (@BatwomanWriters) April 2, 2022
Part of the reason, I believe, that Superman and Lois exists is because Warner Bros. is taking a break from Kal-El on the big screen. Sure, Henry Cavill may come back as Superman in small doses, but it does seem like Sasha Calle’s Supergirl is the go-to Kryptonian for the DCEU. And that’s okay, because Kara Zor-El deserves her time on the big-screen, especially since the great Supergirl TV series ended. When we do get a new Superman in the movies, he will look different and have different experiences than the more traditional Kal-El as played by Tyler Hoechlin.
Yet, with Batman on the big-screen and not coming to TV anytime soon, Batwoman is even more important. We get to see street-level Dark Knight stories that don’t involve the utter destruction of Gotham City. We can have our Batman in the movies, and still see the stories we love about that character via Batwoman, who is an equally valid and exciting superhero. Even if Batman and Batwoman never meet up on screen, kids who identify with one character or the other will imagine adventures on adventures with the two figures in their play. Not only is that a good thing because kids need superhero stories, it’s a smart business decision for WB because it will create the next generation of superhero obsessives.
If you want to help convince the CW to renew Batwoman, stream season 3 on HBO Max.
What do you think? Why do you think the CW should renew Batwoman and what is your favorite part of this show? Share your thoughts, reactions, and hopes for the future in the comments below.
Featured image via the CW.
Joshua M. Patton is a father, veteran, and writer living in Pittsburgh, PA. The first books he read on his own were comics, and he's loved the medium ever since. He is the greatest star-pilot in the galaxy, a cunning warrior, and a good friend. His book of superhero short stories, Tales of Adventure & Fantasy: Book One is available as an ebook or paperback from Amazon.