Friday, November 18, 2005

Up and Coming Females #1: Batgirl

Batgirl 25
Originally uploaded by Heidi Meeley.
From the first moment the Bat books brought Cassandra Cain into the fold, I have been a believer. Born to a father that raised her to be a killer, Cassandra has overcome her extensive training and taken up a life of fighting crime. As Batgirl, Cassandra can walk the walk while refraining from doing the very thing she was meant for- killing.

In current issues of Batgirl, Cassandra is on a search to learn the identity of her mother. Lady Shiva and Nyssa Al Ghul are two suspects, and as we get closer to finding out that identity, Cassandra is going through a journey of sorts. She is methodically working through issues in her life, and has found the den of the League of Assasins. Because of her extraordinary fighting skills, she can hold her own in any situation. In that respect, she rivals Batman and the other great fighters of the DCU.

As part of the Bat family, Cassandra's role is that of a surrogate sister. She and Tim Drake, the current Robin, don't agree on much, but there is a mutual respect. Cassandra is one of the few to have Batman's full consent and approval in what she does, and their relationship is at times like that of a father and daughter. I really enjoy her relationship with Barbara Gordon, the first Batgirl. They have a bond that not many people achieve because of a mutual quest for justice, and a "been there" attitude. Though Barbara and Cassandra have had their differences, they will always like each other.

If you have avoided Batgirl out of respect to Barbara Gordon, don't worry about it anymore. Cassandra has her full approval, and she brings a great new energy to the Bat titles. I have really enjoyed her series, and am looking forward to growing with her as a character. Of course, if Crisis screws things up, I spoke too soon, but I am hoping for a relatively pain free ride there.

For her fighting spirit and her incredible skills, Batgirl is number one on my list of up and coming females.


Britt Schramm said...

Heidi, great list as always but it looks like Batgirl's run is over as of January's issue. It's too bad as I think that there was still more character development for her.

Melchior del DariƩn said...

Though the title will end, it doesn't necessarily mean that DC will kill off Batgirl. (I say this even though the info for issue #73 at the DC site does in fact show Cassandra's tombstone.) There's speculation afoot that Cassandra will be the new Batwoman ...