Cassandra Cain

Cassandra Cain is an eighteen-year-old crimefighter in Gotham City. The daughter of master assassin David Cain and martial arts master Lady Shiva, she was raised from birth to be the perfect assassin. She escaped her father after performing her first kill at the age of eight. After wandering the world for almost ten years, she arrived in Gotham City during the No Man's Land catastrophe and was quickly enlisted by Oracle due to her considerable martial arts skills. She proved herself to be worthy of the mantle of Batgirl and assumed the role with Barbara's approval.

Key Canon Facts

  • Cassandra is fluent in body language, often allowing her to anticipate an opponent's next moves as well as tell when someone is lying or feeling a certain way by simply looking at them.
  • Thanks to her training, she is skilled in the use of nearly every combat weapon.
  • She has beaten Lady Shiva twice, making her quite possibly the best martial artist in the DCU.
  • She cannot read.
  • She is haunted by the memory of her first kill, as well as the deaths of Stephanie Brown and her friends in Bludhaven.

Differences from DC Canon

After the events of the final arc of the Batgirl monthly series, Cassandra diverges from canon. Here is a list of the differences in Cassandra's world from the mainstream DCU:

  • Cassandra does not meet Deathstroke during WWIII. Therefore, she is never manipulated by him into becoming a villain.
  • Cassandra was at Nanda Parbat at roughly the same time as the Question and Renee Montoya in 52.
  • Nyssa Al Ghul is killed by disgruntled members of the League of Assassins who feel like she caused the disaster that happened at the end of Batgirl instead of being killed by Cassandra's ninja lackeys.
  • Cassandra takes over the League of Assassins, but with the intent of reforming it into a crimefighting force. Her new league will probably be called the League of Shadows, which is shamelessly stolen from Batman Begins.
  • Catwoman does not kill Black Mask. He is still in Gotham, but lying low at the moment.
  • Batwoman is still present in Gotham, though not as omnipresent as she was in canon due to Cassandra's intervention.
  • Cassandra has reprised her role as Batgirl. And not as an evil, creepy Batgirl. As a good, wholesome Batgirl. Shut up about the mask.
  • Rose Wilson is killed by an another, more vicious version of Rose Wilson from the nexus.

Cassandra is currently placed at about the halfway mark in 52. Anything that happens after 52 that affects the Bat Family probably won't happen the same way in her Gotham.

Cassandra and the Nexus

Thanks to the wonderful magic of the nexus, Cassandra has met several alternate reality versions of people she knows, most notably Batman, Robin, Nightwing, Superboy, and Spoiler. She's always eager to offer help to them because some of them come from worlds where key events in her life, like the death of Stephanie Brown and the destruction of Bludhaven, have not yet occurred. She hopes, perhaps misguidedly, that she can change these events for the better.

Cassandra likes meeting new people, but is not quick to allow them into her personal life. Part of this is because she feels somewhat ashamed of her upbringing as well as her inability to do some things that come easily to most everyone else. She also wonders if allowing people that she's not sure can take care of themselves into her life is the wise thing to do, since nearly all of her close friends have met untimely ends. It doesn't matter their deaths were not directly tied to her; she still blames herself for them.

See Also:

Cassandra's wikipedia entry
Cassandra at the DC Database
I Against Comics - A blog that doesn't have anything directly to do with Cassandra, but the author is a big fan and occasionally posts his thoughts on the character and what he'd do with her. They've been pretty influential in how I play the character.

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