One of Cassandra’s earliest appearances after No Man’s Land was Gotham Knights 2. It’s very much a character study, focusing on her trauma, and how Batman tries to help her through it.
The conceit of early Gotham Knights was Hugo Strange doing case files on the Bats. The story is narrated by him, a private casefile overlaying a troubled mission.
Belated birthday post for Cassandra Cain!
I thought it would be appropriate to celebrate and examine Cass’s very first appearance.
florinegold asked: I'm super passionate about Batman, cause I was brought up with comics and what not. So I was wondering what took you guys to the Batman universe, what's your fav story line and what character do you love most? Sorry so long just real interested to find out!!
No need to apologise! :D
As a kid, I watched Batman: the Animated Series, so I’ve always been fond of the Batman mythos. It was fun without being shallow, dark without losing hope. It was pretty easy for Gotham to insinuate itself in my daydreams and fantasies.
I didn’t start reading comics until years later, but it influenced the first trade I did pick up - Cassandra Cain’s Batgirl. I fell in love with Cass and Barbara both, and I wanted more. I wasn’t sure how to do that, though - comics seemed so complex, so inaccessible - so I put the interest on the backburner for a while.
But I was really determined to find more of Batgirl, and Oracle, and that’s how I got to Scans Daily. It was kind of like a light a flash light in the vast, labyrinthine caverns of comics. It’s also how I discovered Steph, in a post detailing her friendship with Cass.
So I focused on them, pretty much devouring everything I could. The first big arc I read was No Man’s Land, and it remains one of my very favourites. Sure, the concept was a bit absurd, but I’m okay with that as long as I get great stories and character development. Barbara struggling with memories and morality, Helena as Batman, Cass becoming Batgirl, the GCPD becoming the Blue Boys, Renee and Harvey… It was fantastic, and sometimes I read it again just for the hell of it. (The novelisation, as well!)
My favourite character in Gotham - in all of DC, honestly - is Oracle. She’s gruff and compassionate and snarky and understanding; she’s callous one moment and tender the next; she can be prickly grump or a cheerful dork. Her morality is grey and complex. Her development, from Batgirl to Oracle, from the Suicide Squad to the Birds of Prey, is amazing. Her relationships with Dinah and Cass are some of my favourites in comics. She’s powerful and brilliant and pragmatic, and she was allowed to have all of that without being cut down for it.
Obviously, Cass and Steph come pretty close, as does Jason. I also adore Kate and David. (And, if we stretch the boundaries a bit, Renee!)
I love everyone, really - even Bruce, half the time.
ladytrenchcoat asked: Okay, so I ran across a post of yours on Cassandra Cain and I wanted to ask which specific issues I should read that have her in them. I'm really, really interested in her character and she's the only member of the batfamily that I really know nothing about. She seems awesome and I guess she's pretty close to Tim? I honestly don't know, but I would love to!!!
Oh, awesome! :D
Cassandra first appears in the No Man’s Land arc - I reccomend that in full, really, but her first issues are Batman 567 - Detective Comics 734.
She becomes Batgirl in Legends of the Dark Knight 120, and has her fist mission in Batman 569.
She also has some cute team-ups with Azrael in Azrael: Agent of the Bat - issues 56-57, 60-61 and 66.
Her next appearance is Batman: Gotham Knights 2.
Then she gets her own series! Cassandra’s Batgirl run is, overall, pretty damn fantastic.
She also becomes a part of Justice League: Elite, a short series about a darker, covert League. Her voice is a bit off, but her characterisation is great, and it’s really the only time we see her as part of a team.
She and Tim don’t interact a ton, sadly - they have a really sweet teamup Batgirl 18, and they work together later in Bludhaven. Later on, she appears several times in Red Robin. There’s a lot of potential there, but a lot of it’s behind the scenes.
The Bats she’s closest to are Oracle, who’s basically her mother figure, Batman, who becomes her father, and Stephanie, who became her first and best friend.
Unfortunately, it all goes downhill after her Batgirl series ends. For some reason, editorial decided to turn her evil, and they gave the job to someone who apparently didn’t know a damn thing about her. Eventually, they retconned the entire thing - she was on mind control drugs! Obviously.
I’d suggest just skipping evil Cass - and her mini, Batgirl: Redemption Road, since it’s by the same dude who got her so very wrong in the first place. The only thing you need to know is that Bruce adopted her.
After that, she just kind of disappears for a while. We see her handing off the cowl to Stephanie, and she doesn’t appear in that title again.
Finally, though, we see her in Red Robin 17. She’s operating in Hong Kong, for some reason, and doesn’t have a code name. Then, in Batman Incorporated 6, we see her as Blackbat.
Her next appearance is in Red Robin 25. Then she appears in the Gates of Gotham miniseries, working with her brothers - Dick, Damian and Tim.
And then the reboot happened.