CW’s Batwoman pilot will take place before the events of the ArrowverseElseworlds crossover, which introduced the character. Anticipation for the annual DC heroes group outing spiked last fall with the announcement that Green Arrow, The Flash, and Supergirl would encounter Kate Kane, aka Batwoman, in the hunt for an insane doctor at Arkham Asylum. Ruby Rose arrived in the December episodes as Gotham City’s masked protector, and in January, the CW announced that the character’s solo series was officially receiving a pilot order.
Details about Kane in Elseworlds aligned closely with the comic book character’s modern day backstory. Visibly harboring Batman’s dispassionate but principled attitude toward heroism, she’s characterized as tough, humorless, reserved, and openly lesbian. Since her cousin Bruce Wayne disappeared from Gotham City years ago, she’s stepped up to run Wayne Enterprises, and act as the city’s designated bat-costumed crime-fighter. Since the pilot was announced, several of Kane’s friends and allies have been cast, and Rachel Skarsten, who starred in the WB’s short-lived Bird of Prey series, was announced to be playing Red Alice.
New reports state that the events of the Batwoman pilot will take place well before Kane met the rest of the Arrowverse crew. Executive producer Greg Berlanti (The Flash) described the pilot as an: “origin story that we set up [that] predates the crossover; it’s a story prior to the crossover.” (via Deadline). In the comic books, Kane followed in her father Jacob’s (Dougray Scott) footsteps by joining the military. However, the caped crusader who appeared in Elseworlds was highly proficient with batcave standard-issue equipment, making it uncertain how long after Batman’s disappearance Batwoman will show Kane donning the cape and cowl. There’s been no confirmation if Alfred Pennyworth or any other central Batman-based characters are set to appear.
Doing the show as an origin story raises questions about how it will fit in with the continuity of the other Arrowverse programs. If Batwoman does get picked up and starts airing in September, the pilot would predate not only Elseworlds,but also the next crossover, Crisis on Infinite Earths by a much larger margin. Kane is presumably taking part in Crisis on Infinity Earths, since Elseworlds ended with her warning Oliver Queen of the arrival of Psycho Pirate, who signals the coming calamity. On the other hand, the Arrowvervse has never been squeamish about breaking time and dimensional barriers, and any numbers of ways to catch Kane up with the present day action are possible.
For many, one of the most consistently enjoyable things about superhero stories is empathizing with a protagonist by witnessing their struggles, uncertainties and personal victories. It’s fitting that Batwoman would get the same chance to impress as Green Arrow, Supergirl, and The Flash.