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Last week in Batwing: Future’s End #1 there appeared to be an appearance of what looked like the long missing from comics Cassandra Cain.
Several blogs picked up on this and I had numerous people asking about it to the point and surprised I hadn’t written about it.
And there’s a reason for that.
It seems you just can’t the character down. When Stephanie Brown was murdered in 2005, fans took to the internet and conferences to
request that she, as a former Robin, have her costume put in a trophy case like the other dead Robin.
The back and forth between DC Editors and Creators went on for four years even showing up in the comics themselves as in this editors not from 2007.
Whether it was fan pressure or DC simply waiting for the “right time,” Stephanie Brown returned to comics in July of 2008.
DC made Stephanie Brown the Batgirl replacing Cass Cain a year later when the plan to return Barbara Gordon to the tights were shelved.
The Batgirl book starring Stephanie Brown was one of the best reviewed books of the next two years. But her run would be only 24 issues as DC once again moved forward to return Barbara Gordon to the role as part of the new 52 in September of 2011. Stephanie Brown made one last appearance in December of that year in Batman, Inc.
She then joined Cassandra Cain, the adopted daughter of Bruce Wayne, in going on to the “bench” - characters that would not be showing up in the new 52 for awhile.
The benching of the character was not for lack of trying for a number o creators. During the last two years, several writers attempted to include the character in the books or in pitches including Gail Simone and Grant Morrison. But the character was considered “pitch poison” within DC and any appearance was nixed. When fans celebrated the return of the character in the out of continuity Smallville written by Bryan Q. Miller, the writer of her standalone series. However, in July of 2012, their excitement quickly dissolved when the character was removed from already in production book and turned in Barbara Gordon.
At every comic convention a fan (both male and female) would ask about the return of Stephanie Brown and Cass Cain. The answers would range from polite to downright dismissive. At one point DC joked that there would not be taking questions about the two.
But not this week at NYCC. This week DC planted a question about Stephanie. And the woman who asked it? Kyrax, the Batgirl of SDCC who challenged the publisher on its treatment of female characters. Here’s what really went down.
Helena Bertinelli won her match over Starling yesterday. Not a surprise but it was nice to see that a new female character in comics was able to make it to the second round of the tournament.
Now on today’s match And it is two Gothamites (or former for one) who both like the color black.
In this corner, a woman who has a thing for cats! And diamonds!
Selina Kyle, Catwoman!
And in the other corner, a woman who superheroes for redemption and justice!
Cassandra Cain aka Batgirl aka BlackBat!
You can vote in today’s match here
Heroclix who gets why Oracle is so great also gets that there is more than one Batgirl. Today they introduced their newest Heroclix:
Remember her? Daughter of Batman? Had her own comic for 5 years?
Yep, Cass Cain the second Batgirl and last known as the Batman of Hong Kong, Black Bat may be missing from the new 52 but she’ll soon be seen on gaming tables.
Here’s a look at the card and you can read more at the Wizkid’s site.
Not sure of the availability, but my guess is late November or early December.
I just picked up the trade for the first volume of Batman Inc., Vol. 1 and noticed in the back that they had some small images of Chris Burnham’s design work for Cass Cain including some detail work. Chris was nice enough to send me some higher res images of his initial designs and I though you might like to see them.
Cass Cain’s original costume, featuring a full mask with no eye holes or mouth holes was introduced in No Man’s Land. In story the costume and mask were designed by Helena Bertinelli who chose to give the Gotham a “Batman” after Bruce hightailed it out of town following the government closing the city. At first the mask did have open eye and mouth holes but Helena closed them after taking some paint in the face.
A version of the costume on the right go handed over to Cass when she and Bruce parted ways and he and Oracle made her the new Batgirl.
Cass wore that costume until handing it over to Stephanie Brown in the first issue of Batgirl #1, volume 2.
The character was then put in limbo until she showed up in Red Robin wearing another costume which looked like Rob Liefeld redesigning the Secret Six’s Scandal Savage.
Cass Cain was then put in a bit of limbo again (Limbo should be the character’s middle name) until she was selected by Grant Morrison to be a member of Batman, Inc.
Cass made her debut in Batman, Inc. #6 as Black Bat and at that time Chris Burnham chatted a bit about the costume the character was now wearing.
I redesigned her based on Grant’s description. If memory serves, he was pretty specific about the cape but left me to figure out the rest of it. The challenge was to make people say “Hey… is that Cassandra Cain?”
One thing he spent some time on was figuring out what Cass would wear on her face. There are 8 different versions:
I thought you might all enjoy reading the story of how Cass Cain came to comics by the editor who helped create her.
Here’s a guest post by former DC editor Scott Peterson. Hope you enjoy it!
There’s a campaign today where people are being encourage to buy Batgirl #1 with Cass Cain to try and get DC’s attention.
So go drop some money if you’d like to send DC a message. You can also Tweet and use the hashtag #casscaincampaign.
I just bought mine. Now I have a digital copy, a floppy and the trade.
You could also send snail mail letters to DC or leave messages on Facebook.
And here’s a lovely sketch of Cass by Jen Zee
We are down to just four women and three matches. To help people make their choices I’ve brought in some guest posters to plead the case for each of the Final Four to be named “The most Kick-Ass Woman in DC Comics.”
The case for Cass Cain is by Andrea Shea. Her thoughts follow.
At C2E2 today DC announced Cassandra Cain will be featured in the mini-series Gates of Gotham, appearing in the first issue. This is apparently the project that prevented her from appearing in the Birds of Prey.
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