The gloves come off in the Final Season of The CW series BATWOMAN and DC’S LEGENDS OF TOMORROW now available to purchase on Blu-ray and Digital Combo Pack but is this truly the end?
We are witness to the end of an era! It’s time to face the facts! The CW series starring Javicia Leslie as BATWOMAN The Third and Final Season and the team series headed by Caity Lotz DC’s Legends of Tomorrow The Seventh and Final Season have come home to roost, and it says it right there on the cover. This will be the “final” season of each series that kept the network’s primetime line-up super-powered for nearly a decade, each series spinning out of the premiere series that opened up the television multiverse: Arrow starring Stephen Amell.
It hardly seemed possible that when Arrow hit the airwaves on The CW a decade ago, the television series based on DC’s Emerald Archer and produced by Greg Berlanti would usher in a new Modern Age of superhero dramas in primetime. Along with his creative partners, Marc Guggenheim and Andrew Kreisberg, the urban street fighting on Arrow would give way to the super-powered meta-humans inhabiting its first spin-off The Flash (starring Grant Gustin), which would eventually give rise to the team show DC’s Legends of Tomorrow and leaping tall buildings with Supergirl (starring Melissa Benoist).
It was a dream come true for DC fans who suddenly found themselves with a superhero series to follow nearly every night of the week, and the event crossovers that would turn into team-ups that captured the spirit of the comic books that all fans had grown to love. With the addition of Black Lightning and soon-to-follow DC’s Stargirl nearly all generations and demographic of caped defenders were being represented, and when the inevitable “Crisis on Infinite Earths” occurred, suddenly many of our favorite super friends found themselves inhabiting a multiverse of adventures!
The possibilities appeared endless! Unfortunately all good things…
Gotham’s Newest Knight
Among the series that showed the greatest promise, there was the introduction of Batwoman which premiered with relative newcomer Ruby Rose in the role of Gotham City’s newest caped crusader, who in her alter ego and Kate Kane (a role that would eventually go to Wallis Day in Season 2) is a first cousin to Bruce Wayne, the Dark Knight Detective himself, and whose crusading adventures would be handed up to another all-new character for the subsequent run of the series.
When the heroine first appeared in the scheme of the “Arrowverse” landscape, Rose embodied many of the characteristics that immediately canonized Batwoman into the DC Comics Universe as one of its greatest archetypes. Based on a figure that played prominently in the Silver Age of the original hero’s story arcs, but would eventually be written out of the mainstream mythology, before getting a proper redux for the contemporary age of heroes. Kate Kane would be reimagined for a new age in 2006, inevitably moving into her own spotlight as a formidable new ally in the fight.
The primetime Batwoman first appeared in 2018s fifth annual crossover event that featured The Flash, Arrow, and Supergirl. Proving a backdoor pilot for Ruby Rose’s headlining role as Gotham’s newest defender, it also laid the groundwork for the following season’s even more ambitious adaptation of the landmark Crisis on Infinite Earths crossover event that would be dependent on reshaping the television universe (not really) and it synched Batwoman’s place among the leading figures in the “Arrowverse”. Unfortunately, Rose would turn in her cape and cowl and decline to return for Batwoman Season 2.
It Gets Wilder!
In its First Season, Batwoman was hailed by critics and Ruby Rose was emerging as a lead star to be reckoned with, not to mention a role model as one of the LGBTQ community’s most visible talents headlining a series. Rose would exit Batwoman at the end of Season One and leave the showrunners with an upended decision of which next steps to take. Rather than recast the role immediately, Caroline Reis decided to try something completely different and introduced a multi-layered mystery and a new heroine to step into the mantle of Gotham City’s Crimson Crusader.
Ryan Wilder, an unassuming young woman working steadily to make the most of unfortunate circumstances in her life, makes an astonishing discovery! Living out of her van, Ryan witnesses the crashing of a private jet. Among its wreckage, she discovers a suitcase, the contents of which will forever change her fate. If anyone else but Javicia Leslie had been cast as Ryan Wilder, would fans have responded so immediately to the new face joining the cast in its second season?
The charismatic Leslie portrayed a Ryan Wilder with a sincerity that read immediately, an apparent vulnerability, and a resolute that would inevitably empower her to assume the cape and cowl of Gotham’s defender. It wouldn’t be long before whenever Wilder suited up, she was Batwoman! Ryan Wilder’s narrative steadily evolved through Season Two and into Season Three, but with the series managing to navigate production through the global pandemic, it prevented Batwoman from interacting with the rest of the “Arrowverse”.
The isolation did not serve to showcase the series very well, and inevitably it left Batwoman looking and feeling like an outlier. The storyline didn’t penetrate general audiences and the show would end up in limbo by its finale. With its ratings languishing, Batwoman ended up on The CW’s chopping block and would be unceremoniously canceled, but it would not be alone. Caught in the wake of a series of transitions DC’s Legends of Tomorrow would also find itself facing uncertainty by the conclusion of its Seventh Season, and then inevitably it too would be canceled!
During its run, DC’s Legends of Tomorrow immediately emerged as a fan favorite and was getting the best reviews of any of The CW shows in the line-up, if not the best numbers in the ratings. In its initial debut, Legends emerged as a platform to feature in starring roles some of Arrow and The Flash’s own supporting cast members including Caity Lotz’s assassin White Canary, Brandon Routh as The Atom, and Victor Garber as one-half of Firestorm, the Nuclear Man, as agents gathered together by Rip Hunter (Arthur Darvill) to protect the timeline from subsequent threats.
The roster would flex its muscles over the series evolution, as team members moved in and out, and eventually, the team show found its footing and more so, its own personality aside from the larger more dramatic series that it spun out of. Legends discovered that they didn’t have to take themselves all that seriously and super heroics could have a sense of humor about them. The biggest inside joke of them all was the group’s disdain for the annual crossover event, which could prove problematic given the number of cast members already centrifugal to the Legends storyline.
Caity Lotz, the “Arrowverse” veteran remained a constant for certain and a standout cast member. By its Seventh Season, the show had jumped the shark more times than anyone could count, and it was starting to feel that the storyline had gotten a bit stale. The crew’s original mission to protect the timeline had often been derailed (usually due to their own shortsightedness) and at the climax, the Legends found themselves prisoners of the Time Police, double-crossed and handed over by none other than one Booster Gold (guest star Donald Faison), and that was that!
The series’ final episode cliffhangers and remains, at least for now, unresolved. As does Batwoman which appeared to set up a Season Four arc, if not introduce a potentially disturbing new Big Bad for the crew in the Bat Cave to take on, but shortly after the final episodes of both series aired, they were canceled by The CW, leaving The Flash and Superman and Lois the only two “Arrowverse” series to carry the torch (DC’s Stargirl although tied to the multiverse, presently sits outside of the other shows’ continuity) at least for now.
With Batwoman and DC’s Legends of Tomorrow reaching the end of their televised adventures, the possibility of “new episodes” may be out of reach, but not entirely improbable. Perhaps the existing shows might address the dangling storylines. Both Brandon Routh, as Ray Palmer, and Javicia Leslie as Batwoman appeared as part of The Flash “Armageddon” story arc that launched Season Eight. That story also featured Black Lightning with Cress Williams reprising his role. In any event, the unceremonious conclusion of these shows will hopefully be addressed.
If the shows can not be resuscitated on a competing network, perhaps they can be revisited in limited series or one-shots to appear on HBO Max. The format has proven extremely advantageous to the Marvel shows that have aired on Disney+ and run congruent to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Fans can only hope that DC and Warner Bros. find the value in perpetuating these characters’ adventures if only to button up and give them a proper send-off. In the meantime, both shows are now available for home viewing in their complete final season Blu-ray packs!
DC’s BATWOMAN | The Third and Final Season on Blu-ray | starring Javicia Leslie, Rachel Skarsten, Meagan Tandy, Nicole Kang, and Camrus Johnson is available now on Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital for $24.99.
DC’s LEGENDS OF TOMORROW | The Seventh and Final Season on Blu-ray | starring Caity Lotz, Nick Zano, Dominic Purcell, Tala Ashe, with Matt Ryan is available now on Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital for $24.99.