Javicia Leslie as Black Batwoman revealed in stunning photos: 'Her swag and her moment'

Kevin Polowy
·Senior Correspondent, Yahoo Entertainment
·3 min read

Here’s a nice antidote to help us get over Ruby Rose’s surprising departure as Batwoman.

The CW revealed a pair of first looks (see above and below) at its new Batwoman series lead Javicia Leslie – the first-ever Black Batwoman — and they are stunning shots of the relatively unknown God Friended Me actress in a newly redesigned black and red batsuit.

Javicia Leslie as Batwoman (Nino Muñoz/The CW)
Javicia Leslie as Batwoman (Nino Muñoz/The CW)

Leslie’s new character Ryan Wilder will begin Batwoman Season 2 donning the same suit as Rose’s Kate Kane before debuting her new threads in the third episode, according to a press release issued by The CW.

The changes to Batwoman’s look include “a new cowl featuring natural, curly hair with red streaks, red gauntlets over the forearms, and shorter boots” and “a redesign with new materials, featuring laser etching to create more visual depth and a stronger silhouette.”

The redesigned suit was conceptualized by costume designer Maya Mani and created by Ocean Drive Leather, while overseen by series executive producer Caroline Dries.

Javicia Leslie as Batwoman (Nino Muñoz/The CW)
Javicia Leslie as Batwoman (Nino Muñoz/The CW)

“I love the fact that Ryan is becoming her own Batwoman — it’s her style, her swag, and her moment!” Leslie said in a statement. “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!”

Reactions to Batwoman’s new look were largely positive on social media, including one from Leslie’s co-star Camrus Johnson.

Based on the iconic DC Comics character and set in the same Arrowverse as The CW’s The Arrow, The Flash, Supergirl, Legends of Tomorrow, Black Lightning and the upcoming Superman & Lois, Batwoman premiered in Octotber 2019 with the out lesbian Rose playing the out lesbian Kane, a street fighter battling Gotham City’s criminal resurgence. The TV version of Kane was based on Batwoman’s 2006 reintroduction in the comics and made her the first gay lead character in a live-action superhero series.

After Rose announced she was leaving the show in 2020 – a mutual decision reached by Rose, the series and network that the actress later attributed to lingering effects from back surgery – the producers reaffirmed their commitment to casting another LGBTQ actress in the role.

Leslie, who identifies as bisexual, will play a character described in the press release as “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.”

Batwoman: Season 2 is scheduled to premiere on The CW in January 2021.

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