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Review/Recap: Batwoman S2E1 “What Happened to Kate Kane”

What Happened to Kate Kane

The first season of Batwoman ended on an unintentional cliffhanger after the season was cut short due to COVID-19 but, considering Ruby Rose’s departure from the show the shortened season might have given the writers and creative team some time to formulate a well thought out, equally compelling changing of the guard for the Batwoman lore. There’s a lot of pressure on Batwoman S2E1 “What Happened to Kate Kane” from the behind the scenes drama that ended the last season.

When things ended Alice had murdered her partner in crime Mouse and given Batman’s rival, Tommy, his face so that he could steal the kryptonite from Kate. Kate was still reeling, and healing mentally and physically, from a double-cross from her father who didn’t know she was in the suit. The betrayal still stung just as bad.

Things were getting really good towards the end of the first season. Between the familial and romantic drama, the action, and the LGBTQ+ representation all signs pointed to a killer season two with loads of goodies and unresolved drama to keep the show going. With the cast change and the familial bonds no longer a part of the story, most of us viewers wondered if those loose ends from the first season would get sorted out, what was going to be the bond that held everyone together or ripped them apart and what would Alice do now that she’s killed her soulmate Mouse all for a shot at revenge only to have the object of her revenge ripped away before she could kill her herself.

Goodbye, Kate: If the opening minutes of “What Happened to Kate Kane” is any indication, Kate is, in fact, dead even with the hint that she could return. Her plane from National City went down in flames and her suit has found a new owner. While there’s hope that Kate is still alive there’s a greater chance that she’s gone for good.

There’s Something About Mary: Mary is not handling losing yet another family member and is understandably starting to crumble under the weight of the pain, guilt and trauma. After her initial run in with Ryan and the subsequent voluntary return of the suit, Mary seems to be okay letting Ryan rock the suit so that some version of Kate is still around but, I’m a little concerned about the emotional fall out that’s likely to happen to her after feelings settle. Mary doing her due diligence to track down the suit realizes that she wants it to go after Alice and do the one thing that Kate couldn’t and in the process give her the vengeance that she wants as well since Alice killed her mom too.

The New Batwoman: Ryan Wilder finds Kate’s bat costume in the wreckage after failing to save a homeless man caught in the path of the crash. We get some insight into who Ryan is and the struggles that she’s going through, like losing her home and living in her car, or not being able to get a job because she can’t get a house because she is a convict, even if she was innocent. When Ryan decides to put on the suit to get a little revenge on the people who brutally beat her and got her sent to prison she realizes that putting on the cape with no understanding of the weaponry might not have been the best idea even if it was fun. Luckily, Ryan gets a second chance to do good and a place to live when she returns the bat suit. She’s just as badass as Kate was and she’s just different enough that she can fill the hole in the show while starting her own mythology.

Bad Bruce: When season one ended Alice had given Tommy her cousin Bruce’s face, since he had been missing for four years, no one questions his return when Kate’s plane goes down. I find it a little odd that Fox didn’t catch on earlier when he had to let Bruce into the batcave or when he knew things that he didn’t know. I’m still not getting why Alice and Bruce are still need the kryptonite ( and each other) or why that continued to be part of their plan after Kate was dead and they didn’t know someone new had the suit.

The Fantastic Mr. Fox: Fox has a lot going on, so much so that he missed that Bruce wasn’t Bruce. Fox is struggling with not being able to protect Kate and the guilt is wearing on him harder than it is on Mary. I’m glad they show him crying because I think that more men should cry on screen. I also love that he and Mary save Ryan from Tommy in the Bruce face when they realize that he’s after the suit now that he has the only thing, kryptonite, that can make him unstoppable.

Overall: It was a simple well-done way to introduce Ryan to the universe. I feel like she has what it takes to carry the show and move it forward even without the familial bonds that made season one so compelling. Since this episode focused mostly on set up and outlining the new threats and building bonds and trust amongst the team, I think it fulfilled its purpose. Taking away the moral ambiguity but, taking the safety off of Papa Kane’s gun by removing the will he or won’t he kill his own daughter tension should make for an interesting season. Although I love that Alice told her dad the truth about who her sister was although, with Ryan in the mix even with the evidence of Mary showing up to parlay for Batwoman, he might not even believe it. There’s a lot more that happens in this episode that made it well worth the wait but, I think it is well worth watching and enjoying so I left out a lot of the spoilers. Batwoman‘s second season starts off as a great reboot to the series and “What Happened to Kate Kane” is totally worth watching.

Overall Rating: 8.7

Look at Javicia Leslie in the New Batwoman Suit

Warner Bros. and The CW have released not just one but two first looks at the new re-designed Batwoman suit for Ryan Wilder (new series star Javicia Leslie). While Ryan Wilder initially dons Kate Kane’s suit at the beginning of the upcoming season two of Batwoman, as Ryan grows into her newfound role as Batwoman, she redesigns the suit. In the third episode, Ryan reveals the new Batsuit, sending a message to Gotham that a New Hero has arrived.

The redesigned Batsuit was conceptualized by Batwoman costume designer Maya Mani and created by Ocean Drive Leather. The wig was created by Janice Workman and makeup styled by Cory Roberts.

There’s some notable changes in the design. The new new cowl features natural, curly hair and red streaks, red gauntlets over the forearms, and shorter boots. The suit also features new materials, featuring laser etching to create more visual depth and a stronger silhouette.

In the press announcement regarding new character Ryan Wilder and Batwoman’s new look, executive producer Caroline Dries said:

Ryan’s journey starts from a place of ‘What can this Batsuit do for me?’ But it’s not long before she realizes the power of its symbol and what it can do for everyone else in Gotham City. As Ryan embraces everything that makes her special, she adjusts the suit to fit her physically and figuratively. This meant creating a new body design and new cowl that was undeniably a statement that screamed ‘powerful.’ Maya Mani sent me her drawings and I loved it. The wig was something we never perfected in season one, and Janice Workman crushed it with this new take. Javicia and I saw various prototypes of styles and red ombres, and at one point we were trading our own iPad-doodled versions. Janice translated that into what we are looking at now. When I see it, I smile. It makes me feel inspired.

Javicia Leslie is the first Black actress to portray Batwoman in a live-action television or film production. Of the design and her collaboration with Caroline Dries and Maya Mani, she said in the announcement:

I love the fact that Ryan is becoming her own Batwoman — it’s her style, her swag, and her moment! It was an honor to be able to collaborate with Caroline and Maya. I felt it was important that viewers could tell by the silhouette that Batwoman was a Black girl. With the form-fitting suit and beautiful Afro, we definitely nailed it!

Costume Designer Maya Mani, who has created many of the suits for the “Arrowverse,” says of the redesign:

I was asked by Caroline Dries to design a Batsuit that was unique to the character of Ryan Wilder; as she is a highly skilled fighter, encapsulating her raw, athletic, and passionate nature was imperative. As Batwoman, Javicia Leslie not only brings a fresh perspective, but physical strength to the role. It was important for the new suit to define Javicia’s commanding presence while showcasing her athleticism and allowing her the freedom to express the physical nature of Batwoman, all while looking ultra-cool in the process!

And for those that want to learn more about Ryan Wilder:

Ryan Wilder is about to become Batwoman. She’s relatable, messy, loyal, a little goofy, and apart from being a lesbian, she couldn’t be more different than the woman who wore the Batsuit before her, billionaire Kate Kane. Ryan, who we meet living in her van with only her plant for company, has been made to feel trapped and powerless by the system her whole life, and believes the Batsuit is the key to breaking out of it. But what she’ll come to discover is that it’s not the suit that makes Ryan Wilder powerful, it’s the woman inside of it who finds her destiny in changing Gotham City for good.

Television writer for Batwoman, Maya Houston, is coming to AfroComicCon

Maya Houston

AfroComicCon welcomes writer Maya Houston as one of its Special Guests for the virtual convention!

As a Black queer female baby millennial raised by a single mother in the South, Maya Houston often feels like God spun a wheel of oppression just to make her life more difficult. But she contributes her unique identity to why she writes what she does; she understands all too well what it feels like to be an outsider in today’s society.

Maya Houston graduated from the University of Southern California in 2016 with a B.F.A. in Writing for Screen and Television and a minor in Occupational Science. Shortly after graduating, she caught the attention of Issa Rae after winning the Project Greenlight New Normal contest and worked under the leadership of Rae to create a digital series called Minimum Wage

Houston worked as the writers’ production assistant on seasons 7 and 8 of The CW’s Arrow, where she received her first television writing credit for Episode 806, “Reset”. She participated as a fellow of the NBC Writers On The Verge Class of 2019 – 2020. Currently, Houston is a staff writer on Batwoman. She is represented by Zero Gravity Management and APA.


AfroComicCon​‘s 1st virtual convention will be held on October 24, 2020. Due to COVID-19 concerns, the annual event started in 2017 by the ​Oakland Technology & Education Center (OTEC), ​will be held virtually and free through a portal on the organization’s website. Sponsored by the NNPA, the ​Oakland A’s, and Pixar Entertainment, AfroComicCon promises to be a day full of exciting panels, screenings, entertainment, gaming, cosplay and special guests. The 12-hour event is currently slated to be live-streamed across multiple platforms including YouTube, Twitch, and Facebook. You can register now.

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X of Swords: Creation #1

It’s a new week and we have reviews, interviews, previews, and so much more coming your way! While you wait for all of that to get rolling, here’s some news from around the web as well as some reviews.

DC Comics – First Look: Javicia Leslie Suits Up as the New Batwoman – Very nice!

DC Comics – Breaking News: Aldis Hodge Set to Soar as Black Adam’s Hawkman – Can’t wait for this film!

ComicBook – Marvel’s Avengers Art Hints at Playable Inhumans – Intriguing…

Reviews

Moms – Kusama
Talking Comics – X of Swords: Creation #1

Javicia Leslie Is the New Batwoman

Javicia Leslie

Warner Bros. and The CW have announced that Javicia Leslie has been cast as the new Batwoman. She’ll debut in the role when the second season of the show debuts in January 2021. It’ll air Sundays from 8-9pm ET.

Javicia is the first Black actress to play the iconic character.

Ryan Wilder is about to become Batwoman. She’s likable, messy, a little goofy, and untamed. She’s also nothing like Kate Kane, the woman who wore the Batsuit before her. With no one in her life to keep her on track, Ryan spent years as a drug-runner, dodging the GCPD and masking her pain with bad habits. Today Ryan lives in her van with her plant. A girl who would steal milk for an alley cat and could also kill you with her bare hands, Ryan is the most dangerous type of fighter: highly skilled and wildly undisciplined. An out lesbian. Athletic. Raw. Passionate. Fallible. And very much not your stereotypical all-American hero.

Ryan Wilder seems to be a brand-new character and doesn’t seem to have any connection to comics.

The actress has primarily starred in television series and movies as well as shorts. She appeared as Mo on the Hello Cupid Reboot, as Mo/Monisha on Chef Julian, as Paris Duncan on The Family Business, as Jesse Colton on MacGyver, and as Ali Finer on God Friended Me among many other roles. This is her first comic related role.

Leslie takes over for Ruby Rose who played the title character, but as Kate Kane, for one season plus appearances on other CW DC superhero shows in crossover episodes.

Preview: World’s Finest: Batwoman and Supergirl #2

World’s Finest: Batwoman and Supergirl #2

Purchase

Faceless” by Sanya Anwar, Chad Hardin, Chris Sotomayor, and Rob Leigh

Batwoman must go undercover in a highly secretive beauty company in order to track down a missing journalist. But what Kate discovers is far more insidious than she ever imagined!

Exit Interview” by Andrea Shea, Mike Norton, Marissa Louise, and Comicraft

Since arriving on Earth, Supergirl has always followed in her cousin’s footsteps. But when she’s fired from her internship at CatCo, Kara will have to forge her own path…

World's Finest: Batwoman and Supergirl #2

Ruby Rose Exits Batwoman

Batwoman

In unexpected news, Ruby Rose has announced she is leaving the role of Batwoman on The CW show. Her exit comes after one season and guest appearances on other DC CW shows. The first season finale aired this previous Sunday. The series has been picked up for a second season. It will continue recasting the role.

The character debuted in December 2018 as part of the Arrowverse crossover event, eventually spinning into her own show. The series aired 20 of its 22 episodes, the season was cut short due to COVID-19. It’s unknown when Rose’s decision was made and when she told producers.

In the statement, Rose said:

I have made the very difficult decision to not return to Batwoman next season. This was not a decision I made lightly as I have the utmost respect for the cast, crew and everyone involved with the show in both Vancouver and in Los Angeles.

I am beyond appreciative to Greg Berlanti, Sarah Schechter and Caroline Dries for not only giving me this incredible opportunity, but for welcoming me into the DC universe they have so beautifully created. Thank you Peter Roth and Mark Pedowitz and the teams at Warner Bros. and The CW who put so much into the show and always believed in me. Thank you to everyone who made season one a success – I am truly grateful.

The reason for the departure is unknown but it’s reported that it’s not related to a stunt injury she sustained while filming the first season that lead to emergency surgery and her facing paralysis.

Berlanti Productsion and WBTV also released a statement:

Warner Bros. Television, The CW and Berlanti Productions thank Ruby for her contributions to the success of our first season and wish her all the best. The studio and network are firmly committed to Batwoman’s second season and long-term future, and we — along with the show’s talented creative team — look forward to sharing its new direction, including the casting of a new lead actress and member of the LGBTQ community, in the coming months.

Batwoman is an important show as it’s the first gay lead, male or female, in any live-action superhero series.

Review: Batwoman S1E19 “A Secret Kept From All the Rest”

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Secret opens with Kate confronting Reagan about the stolen journal and discovering that she’s Magpie’s sister and accomplice. While Tommy, Mouse and Alice are torturing a Professor Carr for help deciphering the journal at Arkham they decide their best bet might be to kidnap Luke. Mouse tries to talk sense into Alice, who’s hellbent on revenge with a side of reckoning but, she’s more than her usual level of irrational. Kate talks with Julia about her attacking Reagan on the book hunt but, they’re forced to stick a pin in the conversation because Julia’s new love interest and Kate’s ex Sophie shows up.

The Big Bad: Gotham is under attack from a new villain, Hush (aka Tommy) kidnapping cryptographers to help decipher the journal. When their plan to get Professor Carr to help fails they “enlist” the services of NSA data analyst Tony Kim and Alice doesn’t want to stop even with all of the codebreakers in Gotham on lockdown so Hush takes the one that they don’t know about, they take former “nemesis” turn friend/mentee Parker from school.

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The Bat Gang: Mary tries to get Kate & Luke to reconcile because the team needs him, and personally so do they. Mary might not be a Luke level tech genius, she does come up with the idea of tracking Carr’s pace maker to the location where it went dark to find out where he was taken. Since Parker was facetiming with her girlfriend when Hush took her and her girlfriend had the sense to call Batwoman, she was rescued before Alice was able to get her hands on her which means the Bat Gangs resident techie Luke is back on her radar as prime target number one.

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Confrontations All Around: After going toe to toe with Kate over needing to trust Julia, Luke does some research of his own and discovers that Julia is in fact rogue but, after he talks to Julia about it and tries to get her to come clean to Kate, the duo is captured by Hush, right in front of Crows HQ and they plan on using Julia as incentive to get Luke to crack his dad’s code.

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What I Liked: Watching Parker and Mary watch Sophie & Kate make awkward small talk , like only two people who are still in love and neither wanting to yield can, like it was a soap opera.

Julia trying to talk Luke through his mental block to save both their lives was one of the most beautiful moments because it was in sync with the whole theme of reconnecting and emotional history.

Parker being a computer whiz doing her best to track Carr’s last living location and Mary coming through with an unintentional assist by trying to keep herself busy and accidentally uncovering special glasses that were made to read the journal.

Luke and Julia deciding to die rather that tell Alice what the journal says even though Luke, being the genius that he is deciphers it on his own.

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It’s Almost the Finale and… : Batwoman has broken into Arkham which leaves the already angry Papa Kane with even more of a reason to go after his , unbeknownst to him, super suited daughter.  Alice has the glasses and the book after Batwoman makes  a heroic and selfless trade but, that’s not good enough for her and she lets loose all the crazies in the asylum to fight off Kate while she drags a reluctant Mouse through the tunnels on their escape. Papa Kane shows up with an army of Crows with one mission, to capture the Bat, not knowing what he’s really setting in play and Alice is now loose in Gotham with everything she needs to know, to kill her sister. It’s all one hell of a set up for what I’m sure will be a killer season finale and no matter how the chips fall in episode 20, it’ll pave the way for a fan worthy season 2.

Overall: The episode is exceptional and kept with the dark nature of the show. It’s well written, exceptionally acted, brilliantly directed, and completely plausible. The creative team behind Batwoman seems to be amazing at having just the right mix of action, drama, and credibility which sets it apart from the rest of the CW’s DC Universe shows. “Secret” is a believable and strong episode from the first frame through the final scene and it showcases the excellence that we expect from the show.

Rating: 9.8

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The Lost Carnival

The weekend is almost here! We’re gearing up for the debut of Snowpiercer and then Stargirl the day after so super excited for the geeky things to come. What will you all be doing that’s fun?

While you wait for the weekday to end and the weekend to begin, here’s some comic news and reviews from around the web in our morning roundup.

Deadline – Valiant Entertainment’s Dan Mintz Talks Disrupting The Comic Book Cinematic Universe With Diverse, Scorsese-Friendly Characters – Interesting. Will Valiant succeed?

The Beat – Superman & Batwoman will team up in next year’s CW DC crossover – It’ll be very interesting to see how these shows ar handled due to current issues.

Review

Geek Dad – The Lost Carnival: A Dick Grayson Graphic Novel

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