Batwoman Adds Rachel Maddow As Gotham Radio Host
Source: The Hollywood Reporter
It was a surprising bit of casting news about CW’s new addition to the Arrowverse, just days before the show debuts. MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow will join the cast in a voice-only role as Gotham talk radio host Vesper Fairchild. Maddow, a comic book fan (source), had previously written the introduction to Greg Rucka’s Batwoman collection Elegy.
I know more conservative comic book fans might balk at the liberal cornerstone of MSNBC’s evening lineup getting thrown into a TV adaptation. In the Hollywood Reporter announcement of the casting, Batwoman showrunner Caroline Dries stated, “We consider Vesper Fairchild to be the sardonic Voice of Gotham. In addition to Rachel’s interest in Batwoman, we thought she’d be the perfect casting choice because her own hard-hitting journalism wildly contrasts Vesper’s penchant for snark, gossip and criticism of female superheroes.” The Hollywood Reporter article also pointed out that in the Arrowverse, Vesper Fairchild had already been mentioned as a previous love interest of Oliver Queen.
So who is Vesper Faichild?
Introduced in Batman #540, Vesper Fairchild was introduced as a radio talk show host that interviews Bruce Wayne. The two of them hit it off and quickly started a relationship. Fairchild’s wit appealed to Bruce Wayne and Vesper quickly found herself in love with the alter ego of Batman. His reticence to reciprocate left her agitated. She assumed that the nights he wasn’t at home, he was seeing other girls. Unable to share the truth with her, he still managed to profess his love for her.
The massive earthquake that isolated Gotham City saw Vesper use her radio show to pass along vital information but try to inspire hope in Gotham’s residents. It seemed futile in contrast to the vast death toll that continued as people fled Gotham City. Eventually, Vesper also fled the city.
Eventually, Fairchild returned to Gotham and resumed her relationship with Bruce Wayne. Batman’s new bodyguard, Sasha Bordeaux did not approve. David Cain, an assassin who had trained a young Bruce Wayne murdered Vesper in a way that implicated Bruce Wayne. Batman eventually cleared his name and brought Cain to justice.
Up To Speed?
Chances are none of this comic book history will play into the Batwoman series. It is possible that Maddow’s Fairchild will reveal a past with Bruce Wayne. However, with Maddow not making any on-screen appearances, chances are slim for her to be murdered. Given how her murder was just a case of “fridging” with her murder being more important than her relationship, and used solely to motivate Batman.