CW’s ‘Batwoman’ gives us the hero we’ve been waiting for

A new hero rises on CW’s “Batwoman” (returning Sunday at 8 p.m.).

Javicia Leslie (“God Friended Me”) takes on the cowl of Gotham’s protector on the sophomore season of the series inspired by the DC Comics character.

Warning! Minor spoilers follow!

In the premiere Sunday, Kate Kane is missing, leaving Gotham City in turmoil.

Ryan Wilder (Leslie) is a homeless ex-con living in her van who chances upon the Batwoman costume.

She suffered her own loss at the hands of violent criminals, one not so unlike the tragedy that molded Bruce Wayne, and vows to use the guise of Batwoman to track down those who wronged her …

… if she can only figure out how to use the suit.

Across the city, Kate’s many loved ones are desperate to find her.

Perhaps the most bereft, in her own twisted way, is Kate’s sister Alice (Rachel Skarsten), who was so looking forward to killing Kate herself.

What’s a psychotic serial killer supposed to do now that her No. 1 nemesis is gone? Oh, she’ll find ways to keep busy.

Alice and father Jake (Dougray Scott) have an overdue reckoning that sends Jake spiraling.

Luke (Camrus Johnson) is distracted by the sudden return of Gotham’s prodigal son, Bruce Wayne (Warren Christie) – not realizing that he’s actually dealing with Tommy Elliot/Hush, one of Batman’s greatest foes.

While searching for that Kryptonite bullet, the only thing that can penetrate the Batsuit, Tommy discovers another vital piece of equipment in the Bat-arsenal, one that will have fans squeeing with joy.

Judging from the first two episodes CW made available for review, it appears the mystery of Kate’s disappearance will play out for several episodes, with ramifications for everyone on the canvas.

In next week’s episode, a flashback reveals how Ryan and Kate crossed paths at a critical moment that changed both their lives.

As the new Batwoman, Leslie is charming, empathetic, driven, and a magnet who will draw viewers into the show. She energizes the hour in a way unexpected.

“Trust me, I know I’m not a symbol, or a name, or a legacy,” she tells Luke.

Maybe not yet.

Sunday’s “Batwoman” feels like the start of a hero’s journey. Get in.

Javicia Leslie as Batwoman. (Photo: CW).
Javicia Leslie as Batwoman. (Photo: CW).
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