Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Batgirl: Queen of the Assassins

"Batgirl: Queen of the Assassins" from Batgirl vol.1 #68 (DC, 2005) by Andersen Gabrych, Pop Mhan and Jesse Delperdang

You know, it's strange and sad to me that the first Batgirl to get her own ongoing series wasn't Barbara Gordon. Prior to 2000, the original Batgirl had headlined two measly Specials (one of them from the animated universe). The Batgirl blessed with a 73-issue run is instead Cassandra Cain, whom Wikipedia describes as "the daughter of assassins David Cain and Lady Shiva, she is trained from early childhood to read human body language instead of developing verbal and written communication skills as part of her father's conditioning to mold her into the world's deadliest assassin. However, after committing her first murder, she vows to never again use her martial arts prowess to kill." Like Azrael, she is a member of a visible minority (in her case, Asian), so they make her wear a full-face mask. Seriously, WHAT IS UP WITH THAT?!

Anyway, I never read this Batgirl. Part of it is timing (I was concentrating on repaying my student loans at the time), part of it is a character that seemed dark and violent and I'd had enough of that. Reading about her now, the mute/dyslexic element looks intriguing, though like another Batgirl I know, she's lost her disability. She can now be seen occasionally in Batman Inc. as Blackbat.


  1. I really like Cassandra Cain, her story and her struggles. I think they boosted her up a little to much, but overall shes solid.

    And I think we've already went over the mask thing. Abuse. The physical, sexual, emotional and or mental neglect and deprivation of a person or people. These are some of the things that were done to Cassandra by David Cain in the name of making the ultimate assassin. Child abuse.

    I covered a little ground on the League of Shadows over at thebronzetiger.blogspot.com this is my second invite to you. Good bad or indifferent, come over and tell me what you think.

  2. Yes, I'm sure they justified the full mask, but there are a LOT of fully masked non-white heroes, a phenomenon I find disturbing no matter how much it's rooted in story.

    As for your blog, I went when there wasn't much content yet. I need to put in another visit!

    1. Agreed, it is disturbing being a guy rooted in this genre. Heres hoping for better representation to come in the future. And see you at the Tiger Cage.