Batwoman season 2 will feature yet another iconic villain from Batman’s rogues gallery. It’s been clear from the references in the first run that crime boss Safiyah (who’ll be played by Shivaani Ghai) will be the big bad of the next outing of the Arrowverse series, but now EP Caroline Dries has dropped the bombshell that we can expect another main antagonist to arrive later in the season – none other than Roman Sionis AKA Black Mask.
The showrunner revealed the news to EW, ahead of the premiere this weekend. As well as the Safiyah plotline, new heroine Ryan Wilder (Javicia Leslie, taking over the cape and cowl from Ruby Rose) will battle the False Face Society, too, Black Mask’s outfit from the comics, which will tighten “its grip on Gotham distributing a perilous new drug known as Snakebite.”
“We have a couple big bads this season,” Dries explained. “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.”
Dries went on to reveal why taking down Black Mask is a personal mission for Ryan, as the False Face Society is responsible for some tough times in her past.
“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,” says Dries. “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.”
Black Mask only just made his live-action debut last year with Birds of Prey, in which Ewan McGregor played the role, portraying Sionis as a flamboyant, psychotic kingpin of Gotham. That movie also saw the villain accompanied by henchman Victor Zsasz. Sure enough, Zsasz will likewise appear on Batwoman, with Alex Morf already cast in the part. We don’t currently know who’s going to be behind the black mask as Sionis this time, though.
Remember, there’s also Hush to deal with as well, with Tommy Elliot now wearing the face of Bruce Wayne (Warren Christie). The new Scarlet Knight sure has her work cut out for her, then.
Don’t miss Batwoman 2×01 “Whatever Happened to Kate Kane?” when it airs on The CW this Sunday, January 17th.