This page is for the fourth Batgirl, Cassandra Cain.
For the other Batgirls, see: Betty "Bette" Kane (I, and the original Pre-Crisis Bat-Girl), Barbara Gordon (II and current VI), Helena Bertinelli (III, temporary), Stephanie Brown (V), and Charlotte "Charlie" Gage-Radcliffe aka Misfit (temporary).
Cassie is one of the fan-favourite characters that hasn't appeared in any of the New 52 comics as of yet. Fans of Cass are eagerly waiting an appearance of the Black Bat in this new continuity.
Cassandra Cain was conceived and trained with the intention of creating the perfect bodyguard for Ra's al Ghul.. After many unsuccessful attempts to train children from birth in the language of martial arts; David Cain, then a member of Ra's League of Assassins, decided that the answer lay not in a child but perhaps in the child’s “genetics”. He planned to create this "One Who Is All". With Ra's permission Cain searched for the perfect mother for this child, and years later he would find her in the Woo-san sisters, Sandra and Carolyn. They resided in Detroit, and practiced martial arts with each other nearly every waking moment of their childhood in a type of ‘sister's language’.
Cain killed Carolyn and goaded the younger sister Sandra into fighting him, building her rage and helping her to see that without her sisters strength and age keeping her down she was the more powerful of the two. Cain then impregnated the woman and led her into the League of Assassins to become Lady Shiva. After birthing Cassie, she left the child to be part of Cain's insane scheme and went on to lead the League.
Cassandra Cain was created by Kelley Puckett and Damion Scott to originally be a rival for Tim Drake. Her first appearance was in Batman #567 - Mark of Cain Part 1.
As she grew up she was trained by not just David Cain, but Bronze Tiger, Merlyn the archer, and Alpha the Kung fu expert among others. Cain kept her body trained and focused by never teaching her speech or reading, always having her full focus on fighting and training. The parts of her brain normally used for speech were trained so she could read other people's movements and body language and predict , with uncanny accuracy, their next move. This also caused her brain to develop learning functions different from most, in a form of dyslexia that hampered her ability to read and write for years to come. Training her in a variety of secluded locations Cain recorded many of their sessions .
When Cassandra was 5, Cain began taking her along on his hits so she could be cultured to accept death and killing as normal. At age 8 he decided she had progressed far enough to test her abilities in the real world of an assassin. He took her to a hit where she would hand out the killing blow; the target Faizul, would never see it coming. At the time however despite going along with her father's wishes she had no idea what she was doing; she may have even believed it was only a game however after striking the deathblow, she "read" the target as he died and knew in intimate detail what it meant to take a life. This experience left her scarred emotionally and she ran away from her father for what he had caused her to do. Cassandra spent the next nine years homeless as a wandering, mute drifter.
Cassandra spent the next nine years homeless, beating herself up mentally over what she'd done as she traveled the world. Entering Gotham City at 17 Cassandra came to be a student of Oracle's, learning how to read and speak through the therapy Barbara provided. Over time Barbara began to see that Cassie had training and skill but had been abused in some way. Cassandra became involved with the Bat Family after seeing the handy work of her father Cain and realizing what he had planned to do. In the No Man's Land of Gotham City after saving Commissioner Gordon's life from her assassin father, she was given the Batgirl costume with the approval of both Batman and Oracle.
She became Barbara's ward and as the No Man's Land war raged on the new Batgirl was introduced to the rest of the Bat family with varying levels of acceptance. Usually going out under the Batman's watchful eye she was finally allowed to go on a solo mission when a patrol station needed guarding against a local gang. Near the end of No Man's Land Batman noticed her death wish and forced her to make a decision between suicidal actions and self preservation. She opted for self preservation.
Cassandra works as Batgirl with Oracle and they become a team to be reckoned with. On time they were trying to solve a bombing at the diamond exchange that killed several people. Two-Face caused the bombing and took credit for it but the problem was why did six of the bodies disappear. It turned out they were being reanimated and used by a man named Malcolm Greymater (The General) in his crime-syndicate known as the Trio. The machine that brought people back didn't really work on everyone's minds leaving some complete zombies while others with slight memory loss that just got worse as their brains rotted. Good looking women were taken to a strip club where they would perform. Strong men were recruited in his own gang.
Everything led them to Arcadia where she and Oracle worked with the Ghost. Two-Face also went to Arcadia on a separate issue of revenge against the General as well. Everything ends with Two-Face and the General killing most of their own men and the base for the General is destroyed as well with him getting away talking about moving to Metropolis and setting up again.
Cassie's desire for a family grows ever stronger as she continues to live with Oracle and watches the dynamics of the Bat Family. Information on her childhood continues to be gathered as she studies her father and his movements, suspicions of her mother's true identity begin to come to light and she decides against Batman's wishes to chase down Lady Shiva and confront her about her true parentage. Having faced Shiva once before the woman had hinted at her role in the child's upbringing trying to get the girl to fight her as Cassie's new training in speech and her telepathy had thrown her off balance, Cassandra barely defeated her with a cheap shot. Later, Cassandra then requested Shiva to retrain her to read people like her. Shiva accepted her offer, only on the condition that in one year, they would fight to the death.
One year later, Cassandra and Shiva fight once more, with Shiva killing her in minutes. Shiva then restarts her heart, and learns that Cassandra had a death wish. After learning this, the two have a real fight, in which Cassandra wins.
Following the trail she heads to the latest home of the League of Assassins, who were lead by Nyssa, Ra's al Ghul's daughter. While making her way into the compound, Cassie drops in upon Lady Shiva's training of the latest assassin recruits. Preparing to attack, she was stunned to see the recruits address her as: "One who is all", the one who defeated Shiva in combat. After Shiva explains why she is in league with The League of Assassins, she attacks Cassie. While Cassie tried to get Shiva to answer if she was her mother, the duel was interrupted when Mr. Freeze appeared and froze Cassie. Somehow, Cassie convinced Mr. Freeze to let her go in exchange, she would help him revive his wife, Nora. When Freeze put his wife into the Lazarus pit, not only did it make her crazy, but it gave her powers to reanimate the dead and called herself Lazara. Cassie convinces Freeze to refreeze his wife by destroying the base of the Assassins with a freeze device. As Cassie made her way out, Shiva tells the students to pick their side, half go to Shiva half to Cassie. A fight breaks out and Cassie is attacked by her brother Mad dog. Mad Dog kills Cassandra, Shiva takes Cassie's body and walked away from the training session.
Taking Cassie down to the Lazarus pit , Shiva threw her in and waited for the girl to be reborn. Shiva told Cassie the story of her birth while the women fought, finally getting the battle she wanted Shiva continued to tell the story as Cassie fought back, telling of Cain's use of her, of how he killed her sister to get a rise out of her. That finally he did Shiva a favor as she was stronger and better than ever, that Cassie could be so as well. Finally, Cassie was able to defeat her once again, stabbing her through a chained hook leaving her to die above the Lazarus pit. Cassie, realizing who she was raised to be, handed the cowl back to Batman and quit being Batgirl.
Robin goes to track down Cassandra after she disappeared from the Bat family and found her to be the new leader of the League of Assassins. Believing her to have been captured Tim had bought along the body of David Cain as ransom. Cassandra was found to have been injected with a serum by Deathstroke that clouded her mind and judgment and forced her to obey his will. Robin tried to talk Cassandra down and offered his support to take her home, handing him a gun Cassie tells Robin to join her and kill her father to prove his worthiness an ordeal to which Robin refused. Cassie then, takes the gun and kills Cain herself, while he tells Robin that there are more girls like Cassie. A fight breaks out between Robin and Cassie until an explosion breaks out and Cassie and Cain disappear.
It was later revealed that Cain and Deathstroke had set the whole thing up, hoping to work with Cassandra to create a new breed of Assassins. Using a new drug that would turn the girls into metahumans. Cassandra later turns up as a member of Titans East still under the control of Deathstroke. A strong member she works with him to try to take down the Titans, while under his control via the serum he has injected into her body. During her time there she faces Ravager Deathstroke's daughter and battles her, Robin steps in during the fight and injects Cassie with a counter serum. Her desire to kill Deathstroke and Cain begins as she sees what they have done to other girls like her and Rose.
When Cassie returned to Gotham, most of the Bat Family embraced her but not everyone. Nightwing still mistrusted her and continued to berate Batman about allowing her back into the family. Oracle and Batman worked together to try to pull Cassie out of her depressive angry state. There was nothing any of them could say or do to help her to move on, Cassie had been a victim, used and abused, and for that she needed them to pay, needed to finish her father to allow herself to move on. Finding the name of a doctor who had worked on the experiments of Cain and Wilson, Cassie broke into the Batcave and hacked her way into the bat computer, with Oracle watching and intervening. Cassandra pleaded with Oracle for support and understanding, Oracle her heart understanding the girls need for redemption helped her by removing all trace of her hunt through the computer.
Cassandra continued to hunt for her father, trailing the streets she followed the trail only to find a woman killing several girls strapped to a massive roundabout table. The woman Marque was killing the new creations of Cain and Wilson, a new breed of girls to fight where Cassie had left off. Marque explained she had been one of them, but had managed to escape and now vowed to destroy their plans. Cassie begged the woman to hear her out and trust her but to no avail, the woman disappeared and left Cassie with a blood sample to test. Taking the test back to the cave Batgirl was confronted by Nightwing who had tracked her down through the use of the bat computer and had a hunch that she was seeking vengeance against her father. With his hunch being correct all along, Nightwing confronted Cassie and the two began to fight. They were interrupted however by the arrival of Batman and Robin, and Cassie fled from the scene. Knowing, if she had not they would try to stop her, the thought made her realize she would kill them if they did.
Tracking down Marque she managed to convince the woman to team up with her and for them to work together to find Cain, but with the promise that no one would be killed other than Cain himself. During their journey they were put upon by Rose Wilson aka Ravager, the daughter of Slade Wilson (Deathstroke) the co-conspirator of the creation of the female army.
The three women eventually fought through their issues and came together to hunt the men responsible, with the promise that Slade belonged to Ravager. The women managed to track down the training compound for this new breed of women but were thwarted as Deathstroke had been tracking his daughter and found the girls. Using the new army of girls he attacked the three, a massive fight continued until Deathstroke blew up the building making sure his daughter and the girls escaped.
Cassandra is abandoned but manages to work out Cain's plan, when she overhears his phone call with Deathstroke she picks up the message that he is going to kill someone and it will shake Gotham to its core, realizing that he means Oracle she runs off to kill her father before he can manage the task. After saving Oracle the father and daughter fight atop the roof opposite the clock tower, Cain mocks Cassandra's skills and tries to use her own emotions of belonging against her, she finally managed to conquer her own demons and threw him off the building, but he managed to hold on. Watching as he slipped Cassie tangle with the demons inside her, the need for her father to die tangling with the training Batman had given her, she finally made the lunge for him to save his life, as Batman and Robin arrived at the scene. She could not grab her father's hand but he was saved by a lower roof top and sent to hospital by Batman as they helped Cassandra. Batman seeing that Cassandra had finally dealt with her demons, made the gesture of adopting her as he had the others in the family finally cementing for her the love of a father she had always craved.
Cassandra joins the outsiders at the end of Batman and the Outsiders. Only for the team to fall apart during "Batman R.I.P". When Green Arrow is offered a part of the team by Batman he is angry and is disgusted that the former leader of the League of Assassins is the new leader. While on a mission Green Arrow and Batgirl fight one another and form a bond.
Though unwilling to form bonds with her team Batgirl continues to lead them with strength and later forms tight bonds with them and gains their respect when she frees them from the Chinese Military. After her disappearance during the new Batgirl series, the Outsiders begin to fall apart with her loss.
During a mission with the JLA, Batman is killed and the Bat family are thrown into a state of disrepair. While Jason and Dick fought over the Battle for the Cowl, Cassie was faced with the pain of losing a family member yet again. Meeting Spoiler (Stephanie Brown) during a patrol of the city. The two women fought side by side, afterwards Batgirl stripped off her outfit and left it for Stephanie saying she had no use for it any more. Although Cassie did not appear in Gotham until Bruce's return, it was revealed that she was operating in Hong Kong and had remained in touch with Red Robin.
Hong Kong and Black Bat
When her adopted father Bruce Wayne returns she reveals that he had told her to give the Batgirl mantle in the event of his death to Stephanie Brown. A conversation with Alfred, reveals that Bruce Wayne always knew where his adopted daughter was, and that Tim Drake (who is now Red Robin) has secretly been in touch with her the whole time. When Red Robin visits Cassandra in Hong Kong they talked about her coming back home to Gotham; however, she refuses to become Batgirl again and but still wishes to be a member of the family. At this time she had adopted another secret identity incorporating a ninja motif with a sword.
Months later at the behest of Bruce Wayne, Cassandra joins the new super team Batman Inc. operating under the alias of Black Bat in Hong Kong. This new identity incorporates elements of her previous costumed persona's. She has also bonded with Damien Wayne (the son of Batman and the new Robin) who idolizes her.
Cassandra later becomes an operative of Batman Incorporated protecting Hong Kong, using the suit given to her by Tim and calling herself Blackbat. Bruce Wayne has her take down a neo-heroin smuggling operation.
Blackbat travelled to Paris following a homing signal to Red Robin to the final site in a tournament of assassins, saving him from being raped by Daughter of Acheron, Ra's Al-Ghul's half sister, and defeated the vigilante Promise while freeing Drake. Cassandra then proceeded to take a sword and impale Tim in the chest, triggering confirmation that she had won the tournament, being only the eight in history to do so, and activating a system that would 'immortalize' her, by killing her with a laser. Red Robin saved her from the beam, and the two revealed they had faked Red Robin's death, using a trick sword, blood packets, and a stopped heart to fool the temple's automated systems. They attempted to examine the base, but although Tim conversed with the assassin tournament's creator, a previously unknown centuries old immortal, the base self destructed before they could learn any close as to his location.
Red Robin came to Hong Kong to assist Black Bat in Cassandra's hunt for Cricket, but Red Robin and Black Bat were defeated by the superhumanly fast assassin, badly injuring Tim including having an arm and several ribs broken, and Cricket promised to fight Cassandra 'For real' next time.
Black Bat returned to Gotham to aid Dick Grayson in his hunt for The Architect. Alongside Tim Drake and Damian Wayne, she played a major role in solving the case, and in a conversation with Tim, expressed an interest in stopping by Gotham more.
Major Story Arcs
No Man's Land
One Year Later
Battle for the Cowl
Batman Gates of Gotham
Powers and Abilities
Due to the harsh training she went through as a child, Cassandra is one of the greatest martial artists in the world and is a master assassin. Some of her feats include shattering brick and stone as well as a sword. She has used nerve strikes and pressure points. She has dodged bullets at point blank range and even disarmed a gunman before the bullet could hit her. She has invented her own styles and techniques. She can lift about twice her weight and carry 230 lbs while running.
Reading Body Language
She is skilled in being able to comprehend a person's body movements as if it were language or speech, and thus knows what actions a person will use before they actually do. Her ability to comprehend body language enables her to quickly learn new martial arts style, such as learning Escrima from a single sparring session with Oracle. After gaining her speech, her ability to predict movements was lost. However, she trained with Batman intensely and is now back to how she was before. Because of this, she is able to figure out secret identities and disguises.
Cassie wears the costume originally created by Huntress, taken from her by Batman. As Blackbat, she wears her old Batgirl costume with a domino mask. Her cape is torn, and her hands are wrapped in bandages with claws on the fingertips of her gloves.
Cassandra was given some detective training from Tim Drake while they were in Blüdhaven.
Carries an assortment of Batgadgets such as Batarangs, smoke grenades, small explosives, grappling hooks and lines though she rarely uses them.
She is also a master of different kinds of melee and ranged weaponry. Her time with Barbara and the Batman only enhanced her already considerable skills.
Cassandra Cain appears in a cameo alongside Tim Drake in the videogame Batman: Dark Tomorrow.
Cassandra appears as Batgirl in DC Universe Online,where she appears in the Justice League Watchtower in the Tech Wing. In the game she acts as a vendor for the Tech Iconic Suit,the Dark Spector Batsuit.
Cassandra has also appeared in Scribblenauts Unmasked: A DC Comics Adventure.
In the season one finale of Justice League, "The Savage Time," Cassandra makes a cameo appearance in an alternate future timeline, alongside Dick Grayson, Tim Drake and Barbara Gordon.