Making Batwoman a Black woman meant more than just putting kinky curls on the Bat cowl; it meant redefining who the hero is for the people of Gotham. And in crafting narratives for Ryan that would authentically reflect the experience of being a Black queer woman, Batwoman writers tapped into a well of storytelling that they likely wouldn’t be able to if Kate Kane was still the Bat.
This is the world we’re entering into in season 3, a world Javicia Leslie and Robin Givens are excited to explore.
“It’s still pretty iconic that we have a Black Batwoman. I just love that it’s this particular woman, this particular actress playing this role.” says Robin Givens, about co-star Javicia Leslie. “I love Ryan. I think Ryan in and of herself is such a strong woman and so good that then it makes sense to me that she’s Batwoman.”
Givens steps into the role of Jada Jet, who we formally meet in the latest episode. Last week, Ryan visited Alice to get her insight on a Mad Hatter copycat and Alice fanboy. And after Alice doubled down on her revelation that Ryan’s birth mother is still alive, Sophie investigated—leaving an apparent trail for Jada to follow back to Wayne Corp. Sophie discovered the truth, which Ryan chose not to learn, but when Jada makes a surprise appearance at Wayne Tower to discuss a data breach at her corp, Jeturian Industries, Sophie is compelled to let Ryan know.
Jada is a wealthy mogul while Ryan grew up with nothing, which is an interesting character dynamic that will be explored throughout the season.
“I think it can be very complicated, when you’ve struggled your entire life, and then come to find out your mother is one of the wealthiest people in Gotham,” Javicia Leslie says about the dichotomy between Ryan and Jada. “In any version of Gotham—there has to exist the upper-class and the lower-class. That’s what makes Gotham Gotham, because there is really no middle class. There is just this vast difference between the haves and the have-nots. I think that for Ryan’s entire life to exist as a, quote unquote have-not, but to know that her mother is now leading the haves, to know Jada Jet is one of them and that’s her bloodline. It has to be heartbreaking, infuriating, frustrating, all of that.”
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