Batwoman may be over, but it looks like Javicia Leslie is here to stay. Recent set photos from filming of The Flash’s ninth and final season have seemingly confirmed the actress will return to The CW as the multiversal villain Red Death. Leslie previously portrayed an original character named Ryan Wilder, better known as the second Batwoman, in the latter two seasons of Batwoman’s run. She took over the title role from Ruby Rose, who departed the series following behind-the-scenes issues, and quickly became a fan-favorite member of the Arrowverse. Since Batwoman’s cancellation, which occurred in April of this year, viewers have wondered whether Leslie would ever get another chance to put on the cape and cowl. Apparently, the answer is a resounding “sort of.”
In the lore of DC comics, Red Death is actually an alternate-universe version of Bruce Wayne. In his timeline, Red Death became traumatized by the deaths of his various sidekicks and sought to harness the Speed Force as a means of upgrading his crimefighting ability. He eventually succeeded in doing so by defeating the Flash of his universe and fusing with him, resulting in a single super-powered being. Red Death possesses Bruce Wayne’s body, with Barry Allen’s consciousness trapped inside, and a corrupt connection to the Speed Force. After using his newfound abilities to slaughter his rogues gallery, Red Death joined The Batman Who Laugh’s multiversal supergroup ‘The Dark Knights’, and embraced his role as a violent ‘protector’.
It would appear that The Flash’s upcoming season will at least partially adapt this story, but with Leslie’s Wilder taking the mantle of Red Death as opposed to Bruce Wayne. While not confirmed, it’s likely that – much like the comics – this is a variant of Wilder and not the same character fans followed on Batwoman. Either way, however, it will be fun for longtime Arrowverse viewers to see Leslie back in action with a Bat symbol on her chest.