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Black Mask in DC Comics

Batwoman Season 2 will finally be with us this week, and it’s going to bring some major changes to the show and the Arrowverse as a whole. The biggest change, of course, is that Ruby Rose’s Kate Kane will no longer be the Scarlet Knight, and is being succeeded by Javicia Leslie’s Ryan Wilder. As Gotham City’s new protector, Ryan is going to inherit a number of the threats Kate dealt with, but she’ll also be dealing with her own problems. And as Batwoman’s showrunner just revealed, this will include a classic Batman villain.

Batwoman creator and showrunner Caroline Dries has confirmed that Season 2 will introduce iconic Batman Big Bad Black Mask. The character’s presence was originally alluded to in the show’s Season 2 synopsis, which mentioned the presence of his gang -- the False Face Society. Dries spoke on how the development was set up during the first season:

We have a couple big bads this season. One, [who] we teed up midway through last season, is this woman Safiyah, and she's sort of Alice's Achilles' Heel. And ultimately yes with the False Face Society, we will see the leader of this gang as Black Mask later on in the season.

Created in 1985, Black Mask (or Roman Sionis) is one of Gotham’s most powerful criminals and doesn’t take kindly to anyone crossing him. While he’ll be a threat to the entire city on Batwoman, Caroline Dries further explained to EW that Ryan will have a personal “vendetta” against him in Season 2. This stems from the crime lord’s involvement in the city's drug problem:

While Ryan never used drugs, she was in a relationship where somebody was using drugs and it's ultimately what got Ryan put away in jail. So, it's this idea that Ryan is this innocent woman and if she were white, per se, she might not have had the same punishment [that] she, as an innocent Black woman, had to go through. That's a huge piece of her backstory, so that's something we're exploring this year. Batwoman has this particular vendetta against the False Face Society because the idea of drugs permeating the city and nobody taking any responsibility for it strikes at her core.

Roman Sionis, who was notably played by Ewan McGregor in last year’s Birds of Prey, is sure to keep Batwoman busy this year. Coincidentally, Season 2 is also set to introduce VIctor Zsasz, who was Sionis’ right-hand man in Birds of Prey. Of course, Ryan will also have to contend with other major villains like the aforementioned Safiya and the complex Alice.

There’s a lot to be excited about when it comes to Batwoman Season 2, and it looks like the show will waste no time in pitting Ryan Wilder against some of Gotham’s worst. Hopefully, she’ll be up for the challenge.

Batwoman’s Season 2 premiere airs Sunday, January 17 at 8 p.m. ET on The CW.

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