Batman Just Brought the Arrowverse’s Batwoman Back Into the DC Universe
In Batman: Urban Legends, the Batgirls cross paths with the Arrowverse’s Batwoman, Ryan Wilder, who has a new mission in the comic book DC Universe.
WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for “Wildcard,” a story from Batman: Urban Legends #5 by Marguerite Bennett, Sweeney Boo, Marissa Louise and Becca Carey, on sale now.
Once the first season of The CW’s Batwoman series came to a close in May 2020, it was announced that star Ruby Rose, who played the title character on the Arrowverse series, would be leaving the show. As a result, Batwoman was retooled for its second season, and it introduced a new character: Ryan Wilder, who became Gotham City’s new Scarlet Knight. But prior to Wilder’s television debut in 2021, the character was introduced in the DC Universe in 2020’s Batgirl #50.
That issue debuted Ryan Wilder in the comics as an anti-establishment young woman who lived out of a van and had prior history with Barbara Gordon. While there was no love lost between the two, Ryan’s introduction presented the question of whether DC was setting her up to become Batwoman or someone completely new. The answer to this question has finally arrived in Batman: Urban Legends #5, which brings Ryan Wilder back to the fold.
In the “Wildcard” story from Batman: Urban Legends #5, Cassandra Cain and Stephanie Brown, who have both recently assumed the mantle of Batgirls, are enjoying some time off, crashing at Wayne Manor, playing video games. However, their night of recreation is interrupted by Oracle, who calls them into action. She just found a lead on one of her old cold cases that involves a mysterious red card that immediately combusts to the touch. The Batgirls have already followed up on this case three times without successful results and now, Barbara has found another clue.
Cass and Stephanie head to an abandoned convention center. Once they get there, they stumble onto a hooded Ryan Wilder, who appears to be the person behind the red cards. But while they initially believed her to be the murderer, they instead discover that she has bagged sufficient evidence for them to find the killers of a software engineer, a case that she explains the police won’t touch.
From her clocktower, Barbara comes to realize that the red cards were left at crime scenes not because whoever left them was the perpetrator, but because they were helping. She instructs the Batgirls to let the woman go, not yet realizing that it’s someone she already knows.
After Ryan leaves, Barbara, Stephanie and Cassandra wonder who this mysterious woman is. Barbara identifies her as a “Wildcard,” explaining the story’s title. Given that Ryan Wilder is running around Gotham City leaving red cards that burst into flames, it’s even possible that “Wildcard” may be her alter ego in the DC Universe. That would make sense after all, considering that Kate Kane is still Batwoman in the comics, and that the moniker plays on Ryan’s surname.
In Batgirl #50, it was revealed that Barbara knew Ryan back when she was working at the Gotham City Library. Now, with her return in Batman: Urban Legends #5, DC continues to tie the two characters together. Right now, given their differences and the slight animosity between them, Barbara and Ryan would appear to be positioned as unknowing frenemies — they are on the same side, but their methods and beliefs are very different, and neither knows about the other’s superhero life.
However, that may eventually change. Now, Barbara and her Batgirls are on the trail of Wildcard and, when they find her, she could end up becoming the latest recruit in Oracle’s group of young crime-fighters. Batwoman may be off the table, but Ryan Wilder, aka Wildcard, may yet become a force for good in Gotham.
KEEP READING: Batman: Urban Legends #4 Features A Story From Batwoman’s Camrus Johnson
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