Cassandra Cain is a female comic superhero that features in DC Comics.
Cassandra Cain was the black haired daughter of noted assassins David Cain and Lady Shiva. Her birth was the product of a breeding program that started as a theory by the assassin David Cain. At the time, Ra's al Ghul was not satisfied with the fickle loyalty of most mercenaries and wanted a new generation of assassins for his League of Assassins. With the Demon Head's blessing, Cain sought the training of a large number of young children but this was a catastrophe as most died in infancy and the one survivor was insane forcing an Ubu to be dispatched to put the child down. As a result, Cain re-thought the theory and sought a single child that was to be trained by the entire League. A few of the early ones died in this manner with David deciding that genetics was the key. (Batgirl v1 #67) To that end, he sought a mate and found one in Sandra Woosan where he killed her sister to motivate her rage to find him. He then defeated her when she reached the League of Assassin's stronghold and gave her an offer to be the greatest fighter with the two sleeping together in order to produce a child. The child born was Cassandra Cain and an hour after she was born Woosan took the mantle of Lady Shiva as she left her daughter in the care of David Cain. (Batgirl v1 #73) Among the young girls instructors was the fierce warrior Bronze Tiger. (Batgirl v1 #67)
Batman later asked her to infiltrate the newly formed Justice League Elite in order to watch over its members. For that role, she adopted the guise of a masked assassin named Kasumi with her using disguise to hide her true appearance behind fake scar tissue. (Justice League Elite v1 #9)
She was later invited by Batman to join the latest incarnation of the Outsiders that served under him. (Batman and the Outsiders v2 #2)
When Batman disappeared, the Outsiders were looking for clues to his whereabouts and received a message from him that included an encrypted code to his location. Green Arrow had a gut instinct that this message was not from Batman but Cassandra believed that they could safely analyse the code for clues on her mentor's whereabouts. After being downloaded into ReMAC, the machine ran amok where he attacked the Outsiders before detonating with the incident leading to the death Salah Miandad and seemingly of Metamorpho with Anissa Pierce being left in a coma. This caused the Outsiders to disband with Grace Choi blaming Batgirl for the damage. In the aftermath, Cain came to learn that the Black Glove was responsible for the attack on the Outsiders with Batgirl vowing to create a new team to stop the criminal organization. (Batman and the Outsiders v2 #12) This saw her recruiting people to be part of her Network with these including the Vigilante and Riddler. This brought a disagreement between her and Nightwing until their fight was stopped by Alfred whereupon the two decided to reconcile with Grayson heading this new team. (Batman and the Outsiders v2 #14)
During the rise of Batman Incorporated, Black Bat conducted a mission against Triad Neo-Heroin operations at Hong Kong. (Batman Incorporated v1 #6) She discovered a person selling large quantities of Semtex in Hong Kong but failed to stop the sale with the explosives being shipped to Gotham. They were used to destroy one of the Gates of Gotham with Cassandra arriving in the city at that point to assist the Batfamily in stopping the criminal responsible for the act. (Batman: Gates of Gotham v1 #1)
Following the Flashpoint, a new version of reality was created with a different history of events. Cassandra Cain was the daughter of the highly skilled assassin named David Cain who served the mysterious woman known as Mother. David operated as her chief enforcer and was given the name Orphan as he aided Mother in her operations. A secret experiment he conducted himself was bringing about the birth of Cassandra and he began a period of training his daughter. At the time, Mother had been seeking to mold children through the use of psychedelics such as the Fear Toxin in order to create perfect soldiers. However, David believed in the older methods and kept his daughter hidden from Mother. During that time, he kept her at the Nursery where he did not teach her to speak and instead forced her to rely on discerning body movements as he taught Cassandra that words were used as lies by her enemies. He then made her witness to numerous deaths he had conducted before forcing her to engage in combat with other fighters. The ultimate goal of David Cain was to showcase Cassandra to Mother as being proof that the older ways were superior. When he presented her to Mother, she was displeased that David had disobeyed him and though she allowed him to keep his daughter he commanded that she never be brought to her again. David Cain, however, believed that if only needed an opportunity to show that Cassandra Cain was superior to the other child warriors that Mother had created. (Batman and Robin Eternal v1 #11)
With Mother returning, Cassandra went to Gotham City and approached Dick Grayson in order to give him a thumb drive containing files from Batman about this hidden enemy from his past. (Batman and Robin Eternal v1 #1)
Personality and attributes
Upon operating as a vigilante, she came to take the mantle of Batgirl. (Legends of the Dark Knight v1 #120) Whilst operating undercover as an assassin, she once took the name Kasumi where she hid her face from others to mask her true identity. (Justice League Elite v1 #9) After leaving the name Batgirl behind, she began to operate under the name of the Black Bat. (Batman, Inc. v1 #6) She came to take the name Orphan in honour of her father after his death. (Batman & Robin Eternal v1 #26)
Despite being hurt by her father a lot, Cassandra was said to still care for David Cain. (Batman v #607)
Powers and abilities
The more she fought the easier the fights became as she could see hundreds of ways to kill her enemies by using her eyes to trace the pressure points. However, such was her fighting skill was that she had to exert a high level of control over her actions as slightest mistake could lead to even more harm caused by her. As such, she had to focus on choosing the strikes that would not kill her foes. (Detective Comics v1 #950)
- Cassandra Cain was created by Kelley Puckett and Damion Scott where she made her first appearance in Batman v1 #567 (July, 1999).
- The character was introduced as Cassandra in Batman v1 #567 (July 1999) but debuted as Batgirl in Legends of the Dark Knight v1 #120 (August 1999) and as Black Bat in Batman, Inc. v1 #6 (May 2011).
- Cain was re-introduced into the post-Flaspoint universe in Batman and Robin Eternal v1 (2015) though a character resembling her did feature in the Batgirl tie-in to Future's End v1 (2014).
In other media
- In Young Justice, Orphan appeared in a non-voiced role in the animated television series. This version was shown as having operate in her superhero identity where she was part of the Batman Inc. faction within the Justice League.
- In Birds of Prey, Cassandra Cain appeared in the 2020 live-action film setting where she was portrayed by actor Ella Jay Basco. This version had a vast different backstory and role where she was shown as being a young orphan who was in foster care. She was shown as being a pickpocket and a thief who was skilled in sleight of hand.
- In Batman: Dark Tomorrow, Cassandra Cain was the Batgirl in the videogame storyline. She and Robin rendezvoused with Batman after he defeated both Black Mask and the Ventriloquist who were in the midst of a gang war. During this time, the inmates at Arkham had taken over the asylum and Commissioner Gordon had been kidnapped. Batman dispatched Cassandra to patrol the warehouse district as they sought to rescue Gordon.
- In DC Universe Online, Cassandra Cain appeared as Batgirl in the MMORPG where she was voiced by actress by Mindy Raymond. She was shown as one of the vendors for better equipment on the Watchtower.
- Batgirl v1:
- Justice League Elite v1:
- Batman and the Outsiders v2:
- Batman Incorporated v1:
- Batman: Gates of Gotham:
- Red Robin v1:
- Batman and Robin Eternal v1:
- Detective Comics v1:
- Batman and the Outsiders: