Spoiler alert: This article contains spoilers for Batwoman.
Not all heroes wear capes, and after making history as the first LGBTQ+ woman in the DC Universe to debut on network television, Ruby Rose is living proof of this fact. Last year, the actress announced that after only one season, her role as Batwoman has come to an end. But, why did Ruby Rose leave? And is Kate Kane really dead?
Why did Ruby Rose leave ‘Batwoman’?
During an interview, the 34-year-old Orange Is the New Black actress revealed the real reason she decided to resign from her role as Batwoman was largely due to an injury she sustained on-set of the show in 2019. She told EW, "Being the lead of a superhero show is tough. Being the lead in anything is tough, but I think, in that particular instance, it was a lot more difficult because I was still recovering from my surgery."
Ruby added that along with wanting to focus on her ongoing recovery, quarantine gave her an opportunity to get clear on what she really wants out of life. She continued, "It wasn't so much [the injury], especially because after we wrapped up we didn't get to finish the real finale because of COVID. You know, you have time in quarantine and sort of isolation to just think about a lot of different things and what you want to achieve in life and what you want to do.”
So, is Ruby’s character, Kate Kane, dead?
Because of the pandemic, the cast and crew were unable to film the season finale of Batwoman, a conundrum that left many viewers' questions unanswered until recently. The Season 2 premiere of Batwoman revealed that the insidious plane crash involving Kate Kane was caused by the pirate queen Safiyah (Shivaani Ghai), a former lover. While Kate Kane’s body is never recovered, her suit is left behind and found by a homeless woman named Ryan Wilder.
Because Kate's body wasn't recovered, it's hard to say if she's truly dead. However, it seems that the answer is a firm no. Back in June of 2020, showrunner Caroline Dries said that they did not intend to kill off the character. "As a lesbian who's been working as a writer for the past 15 years, I’m well aware of the 'Bury Your Gays' trope and I have no interest in participating in it," she said.
"That's why it's important to me as the showrunner to clarify any misinformation out there about Kate Kane and recasting Batwoman. Like you, I love Kate Kane — she's the reason I wanted to do the show. We'll never erase her. In fact, her disappearance will be one of the mysteries of season two," she continued. "I don't want to give away any of our surprises, but to all our devoted fans, please know that LGBTQ+ justice is at the very core of what Batwoman is and we have no intention of abandoning that."
Who is replacing Ruby Rose on Season 2 of ‘Batwoman’?
Instead of recasting Kate Kane, showrunners opted to introduce a successor — a decision that Ruby Rose supported with enthusiasm. Ryan Wilder, played by actress Javicia Leslie, is the first Black woman to play Batwoman, and Ruby has no doubt that she’s the best fit for the role.
Ruby told EW, “I think she definitely knows what she's doing and she seems fantastic. I think that honestly, I was so proud and so happy when I was told who would be replacing me. I'm just really stoked and I'm definitely going to watch the next season as well and see how it all comes together."
Javicia, a 33-year-old actress who previously appeared in the CBS series God Friended Me, said that because her character, Ryan, and Kate Kane come from completely different worlds, she is able to bring a unique energy to the character. Javicia told The New York Times, “Ryan has a bit of comedic energy because she’s very flawed. She’s not as smooth as most superheroes are. It wasn’t a situation where I had to try to make her different from Kate — she just is.”