Super HeroiHOT #25: Cassandra Cain

17 Nov

So, last week I covered Miss Cassandra Cain’s mother Lady Shiva.  Well, that got me so energized as to do Cassandra Cain because, sure, you know, I do a lot of Batman related characters.  Nevertheless, she’s quite the worthy character to pit it out against everyone else.

APPEARANCE:

Cassandra’s Batgirl costume has become nearly as iconic as a Batman costume (there are dozens, of course).  It is so slick and simple yet incredibly effective.  When the only things that are not black on the costume is a silhouetted bat symbol and a utility belt (which she hardly ever uses), then you’ve got something very intimidating.

The most noticeable thing on the costume is the face mask.  This has literally been sewn on by Cassandra to cover up her nose and mouth.  Plus, there are special lenses over the eyes to make the face seem completely shrouded.  This fits the entire get up of Cassandra.  She is a deadly fighter that is all about stealth and efficiency.  There are no items on her outfit that are unplanned for or unusable.

Out of costume, Cassandra is the daughter of the Asian Lady Shiva and the Caucasian David Cain.  So, she is mixed race but comes off looking more Asian than anything else.  Most Asian characters are often shown as back up characters, but not too frequently in leading roles.

However, Cassie is no longer Batgirl.  And, as of this month, she was finally shown post-Batgirl in the pages of Red Robin #17.  And, as I said in the interview, I’m really digging this new look.  The majority of it seems completely practical.  The only thing that stands out to me as possibly a problem is the scarf, but that sort of makes up for her no longer having a cape.  Nevertheless, this new look really works and works damn well.  So, I really hope that they keep this good thing going on her few appearances that will probably make the rounds over the next year or so.

Plus, I have to give it to artists: in most cases, Cassie’s body was never really exploited.  Sure, there were some questionable scenes when she was out of costume, but, compared to most other superheroines, there was not a plentiful abundance of dehumanizing images.  With a track record of killer costumes and the refusal to exploit her body, I’ll make the unprecedented move of:

Appearance: 11/10

 

PERSONALITY:

Cassandra is a very determined being.  As shown from above, she keeps fighting even after she’s down or harmed or whatever.  It’s really quite impressive.  Her determination defines her.

So determined she goes after cars… while being dragged behind them with a tension line… and being shot at.

Now, to some, she may be very short answered and curt, but, to those people, I reply with: She was raised for 8 years without a single word ever being uttered to her.  That’s right, to those who do not know, David Cain raised his daughter to understand the language of the body rather than any verbal language.  So, even after a couple of years as being Batgirl, she has yet to learn how to read or write.  She can, however, communicate fairly well talking.

As seen above with Spoiler, Cassandra can be very forward.  Sure, she is trying to protect Stephanie, but she does it by applying a pressure point disabling method.

She can also have a good laugh about the finer points in life.

Nevertheless, you have to give her the benefit of the doubt with all of her occasional problems with communicating.

Personality: 9/10

 

SUPERPOWERS:

Just in case you’re unsure, Cassie’s in black and Lady Shiva’s in orange.

So, all of that being raised by David Cain until she was 8 with absolutely no communication verbally did something quite spectacular for her.  She learned the language of body movement.  Although, she did psychically lose it and had to be retrained by Lady Shiva.  Nevertheless, Cassandra shows the extraordinary ability to know what someone’s about to do whether that’s dodging bullets at close range or disabling someone.  Cassandra always seems to have the upperhand and it is rare to see someone overpower her for long.  Hell, SHE BEAT LADY SHIVA everyone… oh, and this didn’t happen just once, it happened twice – possibly a third depending on who’s counting.

Do you know what this means?  She can go toe to toe with Batman – Bruce Wayne is arguably the most skilled fighter in the DC Universe – and nearly win!  That’s crazy!

On top of this, she’s been trained as an assassin… which, as a child, you know, she actually killed someone.  Ignoring that, she can, as the above picture shows, move without being seen or heard even in broad daylight.  She is essentially a shadow with no owner.

That’s just plain badass.

Superpowers: 10/10

 

SECRET IDENTITY:

There was, at one point, a time when Cassandra actually attempted to have a Secret Identity.  This was when she was living in Bludhaven… then, you know, a big Crisis of the Infinite variety came around and BLUDHAVEN WAS BOMBED… the whole city wiped out.  Way to go Chemo, way to go.

That was basically the only time in which Cassie had a secret identity.  But, we can’t really blame her, she was trained as a deadly assassin from birth and fighting really was the only thing she knew.  So, she never really had much of an opportunity to develop a secret identity.  And, in some cases, she was more devoted to Batman’s cause than he was… at least time wise.

Secret Identity: 9/10

 

Additional Items:

Sometimes, Cassie’s violence and fighting just seemed a little too excessive.  Such as, you know, cracking your mom’s neck to disable her and then hanging her on a hook above a Lazarus pit…  Or, perhaps taking a sword and slicing a main artery in Ravager’s neck that would only give her ten minutes to live.  She’s a hero but she has no real worries about casualties.  If she’s not the one killing or those immediately around her, then it’s okay.  Such would be the case when those really fucking annoying gun-toting twins (totally forget their names) were shooting at her and Robin, and she got them to shoot and kill each other.  That’s a little much.

-2

There was that whole thing with her being drugged, taking over the League of Assassins, being Deathstroke’s plaything, trying to kill the Titans thing… yeah, you know, the one that got fans shitting in their pants with upsetness.  It was a terrible move on DC’s part and did not fit with the character, but that does not mean it didn’t happen.  And, for that:

-2

I don’t have an exact image for it, but I can still tell you how awesome it was: Cassie survived a LAZARUS PIT WITHOUT GOING CRAZY.  Let’s just give the little ol’ example of Jason Todd.  Hey, the guy’s kind of brain dead, let’s revive him in the pit: CRAZY.  Oh, Ra’s Al Ghul seems like a nice gentlemen, oh, he wants eternal life, well here’s a Lazarus Pit: CRAZY.  Yet, Cassandra is revived by Shiva in the Lazarus Pit and Cassie, by her own will, meditates the crazy off and survives not crazy.  No one has never been revived by the Pit without going at least a little bit crazy except for Cassie…. yeah, that’s badass.

+3

TOTAL SCORE:

38/40 or 95%

Cassie lines them up and knocks them down.  Pure badass.

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One Response to “Super HeroiHOT #25: Cassandra Cain”

  1. Ray November 17, 2010 at 10:23 PM #

    what a great write up on one of the best members of the bat-family. I LUV Cassandra. She is sooo bad ass that Bruce would be an idiot not to adopt her and utilize her in his war on crime. she kicks ass on Stephanie as Bat girl, but we’ll see whatv happens. you really did her justice in this article. kudos!

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