Cast: Ruby Rose, Camrus Johnson, Rachel Skarsten
Release Date: August 18, 2020
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Disc Rating: 9/10*
Kate Kane never planned to be Gotham’s newest vigilante. But with Batman mysteriously AWOL, the police department has become weak and outgunned by criminal gangs. So Crows Security, run by Kate’s father, Jacob Kane, now protects the city with militia-style firepower. When the psychotic Alice and her Wonderland gang kidnap Sophie Moore, Kate’s ex-girlfriend who’s now a top officer at Crows, Kate has no choice but to step up. With the help of her compassionate stepsister, Mary Hamilton, and the crafty Luke Fox, Kate dons cape and cowl to continue the legacy of her missing cousin Bruce Wayne… as Batwoman. These 20 thrilling new episodes follow Gotham’s newest symbol of hope as she struggles to overcome her own demons in order to save the city and the people she loves.
Please Note: Warner Bros. Home Entertainment provided me with a free copy of the Blu-ray I reviewed in this Post. The opinions I share are my own.
The debut season of ‘Batwoman’ introduces viewers to Kate Kane who has been away from her hometown of Gotham for some time, vehemently training in order to be prepared to join Crows Security when she goes home, the well supplied and powerful security company run by her father who toke over protection of the city when the police were unable to handle things. But when her ex-girlfriend is kidnapped she heads home sooner than expected in an attempt to help save her before it’s too late. But her arrival in Gotham forces Kate to face uncertain questions and revelations that leave her struggling, especially when she realizes her father had no intention of letting her join his team. Unable to ignore the suffering city and the people she loves, Kate joins forces with the brilliant Luke Fox and takes over for the missing mysteriously Dark Knight as Batwoman.
‘Batwoman’ marks the most recent series to join the lineup of interconnected DC comics television shows on the CW (also known as the ArrowVerse) and focuses on the journey of Kate Kane (who was initially introduced in the previous season’s crossover event), the cousin of Bruce Wayne who returns home to Gotham after years away and becomes Batwoman, taking the place of her cousin who went mysteriously missing some time ago. The show has a lot going for it such as a solid character in Kate Kane, as well as a clear passion for Gotham’s bleak and stylish environment which usually looks magnificent on the series and the action sequences are also usually well played out and quite a bit of fun. The series does have its hiccups though, such as the overwhelming focus on the Kane family and their plethora of troubles, betrayals and everything else a family could possible go through. Something all well and good in many scenarios, but ‘Batwoman’ often gets lost in the mess and the whole ordeal can be a bit tiring in just how long it’s stretched out. Naturally in the debut season of a series we can’t always expect perfection and it can take time to fall in love with and get to know new characters, but sadly in this scenario the news of Ruby Rose leaving the series means we probably won’t have that luxury with ‘Batwoman’ and season two is likely to be a new introduction of sorts all its own.
Overall, the debut season of ‘Batwoman’ offers a fittingly stylish and gloomy portrayal of Gotham and its inhabitants while introducing some complex characters, some of which are easier to become attached to than others. It’s occasionally bogged down by the overwhelming focus on the Kane family troubles which detracts from other story elements within but fans of the other ArrowVerse DC shows will certainly still want to give this one a whirl when possible. Warner Bros. Home Entertainment’s 5-disc (4 discs plus the limited ‘Crisis’ Bonus Disc) Blu-ray release of ‘Batwoman: The Complete First Season’ should largely please the fans who were already contemplating a purchase. Delivering all twenty episodes from season one with generally impressive high definition video and audio presentations, along with a few nice extras including a Limited Edition Bonus Disc that features the entire Crossover event and more bonus content (see the technical specifications section of the review below for more detailed information regarding the video, audio and special features) it should altogether have very little trouble satisfying fans.
The Blu-ray release of ‘Batwoman: The Complete First Season’ features a full 1080p High Definition presentation utilizing the show’s original 2.00:1 Aspect Ratio on all of the debut season’s episodes (and a 1.78:1 Aspect Ratio on all five episodes featured on the limited edition Crisis on Infinite Earths Crossover event Bonus Disc with a few scenes that are presented in Cinemascope). The video presentations all look pretty great and offer clean, sharp and nicely detailed presentations with no notable faults or troubles to be located throughout. They hold up quite nicely even during the numerous darkly lit and fast moving sequences, never allowing anything onscreen to become negatively affected or rendered indiscernible. Overall, these are solid high definition video presentations that should please the fans.
The Blu-ray release features a 5.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on all 20 Season One episodes (plus all 5 episodes featured on the crossover event’s bonus disc). These multichannel soundtracks serve up crisp, clean and hard hitting audio presentations for each episode. They regularly take advantage of all five available channels in order to send gunshots, vehicle activity and other action effects along with plenty more zipping throughout the various speakers quite frequently and never resulting in any dialogue or other audio elements that might be occurring simultaneously becoming distorted or rendered inaudible in the process. Overall, these are wonderful 5.1 DTS-HD MA soundtracks that never disappoint and also offer some additional fun to the viewing experience.
The Blu-ray release of ‘Batwoman: The Complete First Season’ includes a couple of nice extras. Included on the release are ‘Deleted Scene(s)’ from six of the season’s episodes (running approximately 8 minutes in length altogether), in addition to ‘The Best of DCTV’s Comic-Con Panels: San Diego 2019 (running approximately 51 minutes).
The Blu-ray release will also initially include a Limited Edition ‘Crisis on Infinite Earths’ Bonus Disc which includes all five episodes from the epic crossover event, along with some related extras. In the way of bonus content, the Crisis Bonus Disc includes a handful of Behind the Scenes Featurettes exploring the process of bringing the event to life. They include: ‘Crisis on Infinite Earths: The Architects Return’ (running approximately 12 minutes in length), ‘Crisis Management’ (running approximately 13 minutes), ‘Crisis Past and Present: Kevin Conroy Bat Legend’ (approximately 3 minutes), ‘Crisis Past and Present: Superman vs. Superman’ (4 minutes), ‘Characters in Crisis: Pariah’ (4 minutes) and ‘Characters in Crisis: The Anti-Monitor’ (5 minutes).