The CW officially announced on Tuesday that Luke’s journey to becoming Batwing will be the core of the character’s arc for the remaining episodes of the show’s sophomore run. Luke’s Batwing will ultimately serve as Batwoman’s (Javicia Leslie) on-field crime-fighting partner in the season finale as they work to clean up a mess that arises in the episode. Luke, however, must first overcome his own personal demons before he can fully embrace his superhero identity as Batwing.
The network announced Luke’s Batwing role with the first official look at the character in his badass superhero suit, which was designed by Arrowverse costume designer Maya Mani, with assistance from Diana Patterson and illustrator Andy Poon. The suit was created by Ocean Drive Leather, with a helmet sculpted by James Fairley at Amazing Ape.
“I wanted the Batwing suit to represent the bond between father and son, to show the love and respect that Lucius Fox (Domonique Adam) had for his son, Luke,” Mani said in a statement. “It was conceived within the realm of a child’s imagination; the suit is a bit fantastical and based on the whimsy of a young boy’s dream – complete with rocket boosters and hidden bits that pop out! The Batwing suit represents the combined talents of a solid team who all came together and met the many challenges of encompassing lights, moving parts and the need for mobility head on, bringing this character to life.”
Showrunner Caroline Dries revealed that Luke becoming Batwing has always been a part of the plan since they started developing Batwoman. “I’ve been looking forward to seeing Batwing since we decided to make Luke Fox a fundamental part of our Bat Team way back in the pilot development stages,” said Dries. “I can speak for Cam when I say, So has he! But this character couldn’t come out of nowhere. We built this character from a deeply personal and complicated Luke story that we began setting up in season 1, and I look forward to unfolding it over the course of season 3.”
For his part, Johnson said that “it’s hard to explain how much it means” to him to wear the Batwing suit and officially play his first-ever superhero role. But the actor revealed that the “main reason” he wanted to be in Batwoman was for this opportunity ― “to give kids like me another black hero to look up to and relate to.”
“It’s hard not to smile when I catch myself in the mirror with the bat symbol on my chest,” Johnson admitted. “And I’ll keep smiling through every fight scene, every awesome stunt, and every Gotham night where Batwing is finally in the field!”
In a post on his social media accounts, Johnson wrote that suiting up as Batwing is “a dream come true, truly an honor, and a message to every little black boy out there that you can be a hero too.” He also thanked the fans, writing, “I love each and every one of you. You’re the reason that this is possible, so from the bottom of my heart… you are literal perfection.”
Interestingly, the Batwing announcement coincided with the release of Batman: Urban Legends #4, which features a Batwing story written by Johnson himself.
Originally created by Grant Morrison and Chris Burnham, the Batwing mantle was first held in the comics by David Zavimbe, aka the Batman of Africa who operated in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Following David’s retirement due to personal reasons, Luke took on the mantle and operated as Batwing both in Africa and Gotham City.
Batwoman season 2 airs every Sunday at 9 p.m. ET on The CW. The season finale is slated to air on June 27th.