The official Batwoman trailer also lets us take a good look at the show’s primary villain, a criminal mastermind who’s somewhat a mix of The Joker and the Mad Hatter (sharing with the latter at least a fixation on Lewis Carrol‘s novels): Alice, portrayed by Rachel Skarsten. In the show, she’s the leader of the Wonderland Gang, a terrorist group aiming at destroying Gotham City‘s newfound sense of security, wishing to bring it back to its anarchist and bloody roots. If the show follows the pattern of the comics, we’ll soon find out that there are closer bonds between Alice and Batwoman… so read further only if you don’t mind much about potential spoilers.
Elizabeth “Beth” Kane was born in Gotham City, the daughter of Colonel Jacob Kane and of Captain Gabi Kane, two career officers. Since her family moved a lot due to her parents’ job, Beth spent most of her time with her twin sister, Kate, and they only had each other in the world: wherever they went, they knew that at least their best friend would have come as well. Also this little security changed abruptly when Jacob was hired by NATO, and the entire family moved to Brussels, Belgium. The girls were out with their mother to have a cake for their twelfth birthday when they were kidnapped by a terrorist group, who took them hostage and killed their chaperon, Sergeant Carol. Jacob personally led the rescue mission, but it all went as bad as it could have: Gabi was executed by the group, and in the following crossfire a young girl got killed right in front of Beth’s eyes. As the terrorists made their escape, they took Beth along: upon seeing the girl’s dead body under a blanket, Kate believed her sister to be dead, and her father never told her otherwise, knowing that there were little chances that the criminals let a kid live. Those terrorists, however, were part of the Religion of Crime, and they were no ordinary criminals: they were an ancient sect that worshipped evil and followed the teachings of the Bible of Crime, and honored the biblical Cain as their founder and patron saint. The already shocked girl had her mind bent and broken by the Dark Faith, and she was brainwashed into becoming a devote follower of the group. Her only lasting memory of her childhood was the reading of Alice in Wonderland: her personality broken, she adopted the name and identity of Alice, and she started speaking only in quotes from the novel. Deranged as she was, she made quite a career in the Religion of Crime.
After the death of Bruno Mannheim, the leader of the Religion of Crime, Alice became more and more powerful and influential, gaining a number of followers who wanted her to become the High Madame, the new leader. First, though, Alice aimed to the title of High Priestess of Gotham City, and she had quite a plan to make her name known and feared even in a city crowded with the world’s most dangerous psychos, thus earning the position she craved. With her own loyal men following her, Alice came back to her home city and kidnapped her father, Colonel Kane, who immediately recognized in her the daughter he had lost. Using her father’s codes and credentials, Alice managed to access Fort Richards, where she stole a deadly chemical that she wanted to spread all over the city from an aircraft, effectively killing all the inhabitants of Gotham. On the aircraft, though, she was reached by the latest addition to the Bat Family, Batwoman… and during their fight, she recognized her as her twin sister Kate. About to fall from the aircraft, Alice remarked to the heroine on how she had their father’s eyes, and then let herself fall into the Gotham Bay to her death. Kate discovered her true identity examining the blood stains on her suit, and her relationship with her father, who had hidden from her the possibility of Beth being still alive, was ruined. Beth was dead indeed, but the Religion of Crime didn’t let such an efficient operative go to waste: they recovered her body from Gotham Harbor, then reanimated her with a mystic sarcophagus and kept her in suspended animation. The sarcophagus were later retrieved by Agent Chase of the D.E.O., but not much time would have passed before Alice finally came back to her feet, ready to resume her sacred mission…
Beth Kane is a broken and frail girl, turned into a raging psychopath by a murderous sect. As Alice, she’s a cruel leader and an expert tactician, with mastership over a variety of fire arms, poisons and chemicals; after her incident in Gotham Bay, she’s also effectively immune to all known toxic chemicals. Just as dangerous as she is deranged, Alice is a man-made monster, a young woman who had her life stolen from her and turned into a pawn for an ancient evil: she flourished in her new role, and she’s now a perfectly efficient priestess of the Religion of Crime, with her madness now focused on murder, violence and genocide. For the Dark Faith’s standards, she’s practically a saint.