While the last few weeks have seen several DC shows canceled at The CW — including Legends of Tomorrow, Batwoman, and Naomi — at least one new superhero series will hit the network next year: Gotham Knights. The new show follows the next generation of heroes to rise up in Gotham City after the death of Batman. Chief among these new vigilantes is Bruce Wayne’s adopted son, Turner Hayes (Oscar Morgan), who must take up his father’s mantle in order to keep his city safe from whoever is trying to frame him and a whole cavalcade of characters from the comics for Batman’s murder.
If the chance to see several characters from the Bat mythos in live-action for the first time isn’t exciting enough to get you excited, The CW has just dropped the show’s very first trailer, which promises lots of crime-fighting, a bit of Riverdale-style teen angst, and a ton of Batman-themed easter eggs. Check it out below:
Eagled-eyed Batman fans will likely recognize quite a few of these DC comic book characters, but those who only know the Dark Knight’s world from the movies might be a little stumped. Let’s break down who’s who here:
Turner Hayes (Oscar Morgan)
While he’s an original creation for the show, Turner is likely based on the many sons Bruce has adopted into his crime-fighting family in the comics. Dick Grayson, the first Robin, was the original. When Grayson went solo as Nightwing, Bruce next took in Jason Todd. After Jason died, Tim Drake became the third Boy Wonder. These days, it’s Bruce’s biological son with Talia al Ghul, Damian Wayne, wearing the red and green tights. And Batman has had plenty of other sidekicks in between, some of which are featured in this series.
Whether Turner takes on the role of Batman or something else remains to be seen, but the fact that we see the Bat-cowl and even a Batarang in Turner’s hand in the trailer suggests he’ll be vying for the big job eventually. One doesn’t become the Dark Knight over night, though. Turner will have to earn the title.
But he’s not the only one who could be equipped to become Gotham’s foremost protector…
Carrie Kelley (Navia Robinson)
We also get a live-action version of Carrie Kelley, played here by Navia Robinson. While it looks like she’s not officially the Robin of this CW universe, Carrie does reveal Batman used to call her “his little robin,” which is close enough!
This character was first introduced in the comics in 1986 in the pages of The Dark Knight Returns, the book by Frank Miller, Klaus Janson, and Lynn Varley that is arguably the most influential Batman story of all time. It only makes sense it would make its way into Gotham Knights somehow. In those comics, Carrie was a Batman super-fan who took it upon herself to become his new Robin for the Dark Knight’s. Carrie went on to become a vigilante named Catgirl and later Batwoman.
It’s clear in the trailer that this Carrie admired Batman and sees it as her mission to continue what he started, including protecting his son from evil-doers. We see that she’s also already mastered the art of combat, Batarangs, and explosives, which makes the most capable of the group of new heroes.
Stephanie Brown (Anna Lore)
The drama isn’t just unfolding on the streets of Gotham but in the halls of a high school, too. We see Anna Lore’s Stephanie Brown walking through the halls of what is likely Gotham Academy from the comics. (And Turner also mentions she knows Carrie “from trig.”)
Stephanie is another longtime member of the Bat family in the comics. She was created by Chuck Dixon and Tom Lyle in 1992’s Detective Comics #647. While these days she’s probably best known as the vigilante known as Spoiler, Stephanie has also stepped into the role of Batgirl and Robin at different points in her history. She’s also the daughter of the criminal Cluemaster, who’s basically a Riddler knock-off.
In the trailer, it’s Stephanie who walks down the steps of the Batcave with Turner, likely discovering Mr. Wayne’s dark secret for the first time here. But this isn’t the first time Stephanie has appeared in live action. In fact, The CW first brought her to life on Batwoman, where she was played by Morgan Kohan.
Duela, the Joker’s Daughter (Olivia Rose Keegan)
The Joker has a daughter?! Well, jury’s still out on that one, but she is clearly just as chaotic, even “shooting her legal counsel in the kneecap.” Known as “Duela Dent” in the comics (although that may not even be her real name), this rogue was introduced in 1976 in a story in Batman Family #6 by Bob Rozakis and Irv Novick.
Duela’s had several different origin stories throughout her history, depending on whether you’re reading a story from before Crisis on Infinite Earths or after. DC altered her backstory again after 2011’s New 52 reboot. In many ways, Duela’s true identity is as hard to pin down as her alleged father’s. But she’s not always played the role of straight villain. At one point she was even a member of the Teen Titans!
The trailer shows that this Duela is definitely very rough around the edges, but will she step up to become someone better?
Duela was first played by Alessandra Torresani on Batwoman.
Harper Row and Cullen Row (Fallon Smythe and Tyler DiChiara)
Siblings Harper (Fallon Smythe) and Cullen Row (Tyler DiChiara) are the newest of the DC comic book characters featured on Gotham Knights. First introduced in the New 52 run of Batman by Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo, Harper and Cullen have played supporting roles in the Batman family ever since. Harper even briefly became a vigilante called Bluebird.
In the comics, Harper must protect Cullen from an abusive father and bullies, and is a brilliant electrical engineer, helping Batman on the tech side from time to time too.
Harvey Dent (Misha Collins)
You know this guy: Supernatural‘s Misha Collins plays Gotham district attorney Harvey Dent, who in the comics and on the big screen is better known as the duplicitous villain Two-Face. But in the universe of Gotham Knights, Harvey hasn’t gone through that transformation and has even outlived the Batman. It looks like he’s now the adult left to guide all of these troubled kids through this tragedy.
Harvey Dent was created by Bob Kane and Bill Finger and first appeared in Detective Comics #66 in 1942.
A Very Dead Bruce Wayne?
This trailer isn’t kidding: the Dark Knight is dead. We see who we assume is Bruce Wayne bleeding out on the pavement after being thrown out of his office window. Whoever did this first put the Bat cowl on his head in order to out Bruce’s secret life as the Caped Crusader. Now the truth seems to have been revealed.
While being interrogated at the precinct for the murder of Bruce Wayne, Harper, Cullen, and Duela claim that they were paid to just break into the billionaire’s office. We see the trio of delinquents booking it out of the office in the trailer. Written on the shattered window behind them is the declaration: “Your Bat Is Dead.” In other words, these kids are going to need a very good lawyer to get them out of this one…
See anything we missed? Let us know in the comments!
Gotham Knights premieres in 2023 on The CW.