Next year, The CW is getting a new Batwoman in the form of Ryan Wilder, a new hero who will step into the cape and cowl and attempt to fill the boots left by the missing Kate Kane. Over the summer we learned that Javicia Leslie will play the character, an out lesbian described as "a little goofy and untamed," replacing the departing Ruby Rose, who left Batwoman after one season earlier this year. Though we've seen glimpses of Leslie as Ryan, we'll have to wait until January to see her in action. Thankfully, the wait to see Ryan Wilder in Gotham City is now just a few days, thanks to DC Comics.
The publisher revealed Thursday that Wilder is making her comic book debut in next week's Batgirl #50, the extra-sized final issue of the series that launched as part of the Rebirth line back in 2016. Written by Cecil Castellucci with art by Emanuela Lupacchino, Marguerite Sauvage, and Aneke, the issue will wrap up Barbara Gordon's current storyline after the struggles of Joker War and a showdown that saw the death of her troubled brother, James Gordon Jr. It will also, as the preview pages below reveal, give us our first look at Ryan Wilder on the streets of Gotham.
Ryan's not Batwoman yet in these pages -- or if she is, she's not telling anyone -- but you can already see that she has her own ideas about right and wrong. This issue presents her as a smart, witty young woman living in her van, full of knowledge but, as Barbara sees it, not living up to her full potential. It remains to be seen how far Ryan's adventures in DC Comics will go ahead of her TV debut, or how she'll interact with the Kate Kane of the comics world, but dropping the character into the DC Universe now is certainly a way to get readers and viewers alike excited about what'll happen when she hits live-action.
Batgirl #50 is in stores Tuesday. Batwoman returns to The CW in January.