|“||Weak. Without focus you're nothing. And that's what you really always wanted me to have-- nothing. But you never asked me what I wanted. I Wanted to read. I Wanted to talk. I Wanted a Father. I Wanted a Family. I Wanted to belong somewhere.||„|
|~ Cassandra Cain.|
|“||I'm not...doomed...to be bad...I am...a bat. This... is where I should be.||„|
|~ Cassandra Cain.|
Cassandra Cain is a fictional character and superheroine in the DC comics and universe, appearing as a major character and vigilante in the Batman comics.
She eventually became an agent of Batman working under the alias Black Bat and after the events of Flashpoint, Cassandra took up her own superhero identity as Orphan. Later on in the comics, she donned the mantle Batgirl. She was born to two assassins' David Cain and Lady Shiva, but was eventually adopted by Bruce Wayne and became one of his most loyal allies.
She was created by Kelley Puckett and Damion Scott, and first appeared in Batman #567 in July of 1999.
She was trained from childhood to be a great assassin and martial artist. As a result of her training, she was mute and illiterate. She can only communicate with others using sign language. Batman meets Cassandra in the No Man's Land storyline and learns of her past. Regardless, he took Cain under his wing and gave her the Batgirl costume.
Cassandra eventually turns to the dark side in One Year Later and becomes the leader of the League of Assassins. She also became a member of Deathstroke's supervillain group. It was revealed that Cassandra was drugged by Deathstroke at some point. Robin injects a counter serum to snap her out of the trance. Cassandra regains her conscience and tries to kill Deathstroke but Nightwing interfered.
David Cain wanted to create a well-trained assassin and bodyguard for Ra's al Ghul, and after many unsuccessful attempts to train children from birth in martial arts to make it like their native language, decided the right genes were necessary to create the "Who is All". Cain searched for the perfect mother for his child, and saw Sandra Wu-San sparring with her sister Carolyn, and saw that Sandra was holding back her potential on becoming the greatest fighter.
Cain decided to murder Carolyn to have her sister reach her full potential, and later lured Sandra into an ambush where she was defeated by the League of Assassins. Cain spared her life, but bargained that she bear him a child, and she agreed and Cassandra Cain was born in Tibet. After giving her child to David, Sandra became a force of nature and became Lady Shiva, and she hoped that her daughter would one day grow to be force that could stop her reign.
Cassandra was trained by Cain to be the ultimate weapon, and was not taught to speak, and he relied on actions to communicate with his daughter. In addition, she was cut off from the outside world, and was only exposed to anything or anyone other than him when necessary. As a result, parts of her brain that where used for speech and language processing were trained so she could read people's movements without speaking. Though she became accurate in processing people's language, her brain that develops learning functions were different, as she gained a form of dyslexia that hampered her ability to talk, read, or write.
When she was eight years old, Cain took his daughter to kill a target, a bookman named Faizul in Macau. Cassandra killed Faizul with a striking deathblow, but thought she was playing a game until her victim fell dead. The incident left her emotionally scarred, and she realized that murder and her father's profession were wrong, and she ran away.
She spent the next nine years homeless, and gained a death wish after having killed a man, and eventually made it to Gotham City. At the age of seventeen, Cassandra become one of Oracle's agents in the No Man's Land, and she saved Commissioner Gordon's life from her father. Batman and Oracle both approved of Cassandra, and she was granted the Batgirl costume, and became Barbara's ward in a sense and adopted into the Bat Family. She was later introduced to the other Bat Family members, with varying levels of acceptance from them.
She acted as Batman's watchful eye, and she was allowed to go on her own mission to guard a petrol station against a local gang. Near the end of No Man's Land, Batman noticed that she had a death wish, and forced her to make a decision on doing suicidal actions or self-preservation, and she opted for the former. Despite not being able to talk, read or write, Cassandra did well in her new position, and was able to use her body reading ability to deal against opponents. This made her a capable listener, and also one of Batman's most loyal and trusted followers, and she later survived the Bloodhawks.
The fact that she couldn't speak frustrated Barbara, but she proved herself useful by tracking missing corpses, and Batman allowed her to run on her own in Gotham City, but the condition was that she faced no costumed criminals. In addition, she worked with Batman in Madras and saved heroes from the mob, later defeated meta-human despite Batman's warnings, and became a reserve member of Young Justice. Despite her growing career, a rift was growing between Batman and Oracle, and Cain wanting to get his daughter back. When Batman learned of Cassandra's past when Cain sent him a tape of Faizul's death, he still accepted the new Batgirl.
However, his relationship with her strained when a psychic altered Cassandra's mind so that she could understand words, but lost her ability to read body language, thus losing the ability to fight. After nearly dying while trying to protect the psychic from assassins, Batman took away her costume and tried to retrain her. His attempt failed, mostly due to Cassandra not wanting to relearn all over again and losing her ability, and she decided to roam the streets.
During one of vigilante outings without authorization, she encountered her mother Lady Shiva, and she stopped her mother from killing a wealthy young girl. Lady Shiva knocked her out, but Cassandra immediately tracked her mother down, and asked why she was spared. Sandra explained that she came to Gotham to lure her out and fight her, and left when she realized that her daughter was no challenge. Cassandra explained that she lost her ability, and Sandra noticed that she was missing skills, and decided to retrain her daughter, but they would fight each other to the death in one year. Cassandra knew she wouldn't be able to win, but she wanted her skills back, and accepted the condition.
Cassandra trained immediately, and she went after many talented fighters to gain more skills, and freed The Joker to apprehend him so she could prove how good shew as. Batman and Oracle deduced that she her death wish was back, and they went to investigate on what caused it to return. Dur9ing one of her training sessions, Cassandra met her future friend, Stephanie Brown, also known as The Spoiler, and later learned that Gordon was killed. Cassandra continued her training, and fought powerful opponents such as Supergirl and Bizarro, and was later given a cave of her own by Batman.
Batman allowed Cassandra to continue her training, having noticed her progress, despite Oracle's protest, as they knew of her fight with Lady Shiva. When the night arrived where Cassandra and Lady Shiva fought, and Sandra killed her daughter, but decided to revive her so she could get a rematch and die a satisfying death. However, Cassandra won their next duel, but spared her mother's life, who vowed to kill Cassandra. After her victory, Cassandra worked with Nightwing and Spoiler on clearing Batman's name, and learned that David Cain was behind the incrimination. Cassandra focused on her career afterward, as her father was behind bars and didn't have to worry about her mother.
Powers and Abilities
- Peak Human Condition: After going through rigorous training from David Cain, Batman and Lady Shiva, Cassandra reached the peak of human conditioning. She possesses the skills of a great athlete, and has peak human strength, speed, agility, and reflexes.
- Body Reading Ability: During her youth, Cassandra gained the ability to read body language, allowing to read what people are thinking or what they were going to do next. She was capable of being able to read people who were faster than her, along with meta-humans and alien lifeforms. In addition, Cassandra's ability allows her to identity someone who is disguised or transformed.
- Enhanced Sense of Smell: Cassandra sense of smell is enhanced, and was further due to reaching peak human condition, being capable of detecting the scent of cyanide (which is an uncommon ability in humans).
- Investigation Skills: Being trained by one of the greatest detectives, The Batman, Cassandra became a skilled investigator in her own right, helping Ghost track missing corpses.
- Stealth Expertise: Upon being trained in the art of stealth, Cassandra became a stealth expert, being capable of sneaking in areas and around opponents.
- Master Acrobat: Cassandra has peak human agility, allowing her to be on par with an athlete.
- Master Martial Artist: Cassandra was trained by her father David Cain in all arts of fighting, and she holds a master level of knowledge on the arts known through history. She was later trained by the Batman Family, Black Canary and Lady Shiva, and has invented her own styles and techniques. She also holds the position of being one of the few individuals to defeat Lady Shiva in combat, alongside Tim Drake and Prometheus.
- Gadgetry: She was gifted gadgets from the Bat Family, wielding batarangs, smoke capsules, and a utility belt with multiple gadgets on its own.
- In Birds of Prey, she was portrayed Ella Jay Basco.
- In DC Universe Online, she was voiced by Mindy Raymond.
- In 2000, she became the first Batgirl to get own self-titled comic book series.
- She is one of the few who have defeated Lady Shiva, alongside Tim Drake and Prometheus.
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