The New “Batwoman” TV Show Could Be the Best Comic Book Series Ever

Matthew Loffhagen
DC Comics
(Photo: DC Comics)

Have you ever thought that’s it’s weird that we haven’t had a “Batman” TV show in the modern era?

Sure, we’ve had “Gotham”, but that’s not really about Batman so much as it is about building up his universe. Not since the Adam West era have we had a small screen live-action show that brings the Caped Crusader to life.

This is weird. Unlike, say, Superman, a show about Batman would require relatively few special effects. The character doesn’t need to fly, or shoot lasers, or face big, bad, giant monsters. He operates at a street level, making him perfect for television.

The closest we’ve had recently is the first season of “Daredevil”. If this can be pulled off with a Netflix budget, then why can’t we have a live-action Batman on network television?

Unless, of course, Warner Bros is trying for some ridiculous reason to keep Batman on the big screen. We have both a TV and a movie version of The Flash, and two versions of Superman, but Batman, arguably the most popular DC superhero, is stuck at the movies.

A Better Batman

But, then, perhaps there’s not a cultural need for a new Batman TV show. The character is inherently fairly toxic – a rich, straight, white man who could use his fortune to better the lives of the poor in Gotham, but who instead punches his way through various villains.

Maybe it’s for the best that we don’t have a “Batman” TV show. Especially when the mythos can be tweaked ever so slightly to make the character more progressive.

Enter the new “Batwoman” show that will potentially air on The CW. Instead of hanging a show on the original Dark Knight, this new series will focus on Kate Kane, a character from the comics who does basically everything Bruce Wayne does, but without the position of privilege.

Kate Kane
Source: Warner Bros

In the comics, Kane is an out lesbian, and from the sounds of it, the show will not shy away from this element of her character. It’s weird that, in 2018, this would be something worth noting or celebrating. In spite of cultural progress in this regard, comic book media remains frustratingly coy about offering up portrayals of superheroes that are openly queer.

The Importance of Diversity

This series has already been winning plenty of attention online, despite being a long way from even getting a pilot. There’s every possibility that this should could fail to bear fruit, but that hasn’t stopped people from rallying behind it.

I suspect this means that the planned “Batgirl” movie has been put on hold, as DC doesn’t typically like to make TV shows that steal thunder from the more financially lucrative movies. Considering that “Batgirl” always appeared to the be brainchild of (alleged) serial adulterer Joss Whedon, it might be no bad thing if his intended version of the character quietly disappears.

In the meantime, we have a brand new superhero to look forward to. One that takes all the best things about Batman, removes some of his more problematic elements, and provides an opportunity for a marginalized audience to see themselves reflected in a live-action protagonist.

Here’s hoping the “Batwoman” show goes off without a hitch. If all goes according to plan, I have a feeling this could be a very big deal.