By Chancellor Agard
October 01, 2019 at 03:40 PM EDT

A hero is only as good as their nemesis — and that’s especially true for the newest Arrowverse vigilante.

Batwoman follows Kate Kane (Ruby Rose) as she returns home to Gotham City after her ex-girlfriend is kidnapped by the Wonderland Gang. To save Sophie (Meagan Tandy), Kate becomes the red-haired Batwoman, which brings her face-to-face with the gang’s capricious leader, Alice (Rachel Skarsten).

“She’s just ruthless. She’s a sociopath,” Rose says of the Joker to her Batman. “What makes Alice so terrifying is that you can’t tell if she’s 100 percent bad or evil.”

Adds Skarsten: “They’re both very, very strong, very independent, very intelligent, extremely capable, both intellectually and physically females. So you have them on opposing sides, but you don’t know who can outwit the other, who can out-punch the other. It’s a toss-up. So I think that makes them amazing, amazing foes for one another. But then of course there is also some history that will come into it that I think complicates everything, but also feeds into them being great nemeses for each other.”

Credit: Kimberley French/The CW

Skarsten relishes playing Batwoman’s riddle-loving big bad because she is such a mercurial character. “You so rarely get the opportunity to make a meal of a character,” she says. “Alice is all over the place. One minute she’s murdering someone, and the next minute she’s making a joke, and then she’s crying, and then she’s asking if you have a burger.”

But beneath Alice’s enigmatic exterior is a tragic and potentially sympathetic backstory. “Getting to motivate all the bad things that she does from that place, it really makes her this redeemable character,” Skarsten says. “I think people are actually going to surprise themselves and root for her.”

Batwoman may feel otherwise.

Batwoman premieres Sunday, Oct. 6, at 8 p.m. ET on the CW.

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