Cassandra Cain as Batgirl Vol.1 (Review)

BATGIRL (CASSANDRA CAIN) VOL.1: SILENT KNIGHT

Writers: Scott Peterson & Kelley Puckett w/Chuck Dixon

Pencillers: Damion Scott w/ Coy Turnbull, Dale Eaglesham, Mike Deodato & Pablo Raimondi

Inkers: Robert Campanela w/ Dan Davis, Andrew Hennessy, John Stanisci & Walden Wong

Colorists: Jason Wright w/ Rick Taylor & Gloris Vasquez

Letterers: Johnn Costanza w/Albert T. Guzman

Publisher: DC Comics

Rating: 8/10

So since some of you may not be familiar with Cassandra Cain, so let me give you a brief rundown on the character. She was raised by her father, David Cain, to be the ultimate human weapon. From a young age she was trained in all manner of fighting skills and was one of the most gifted fighters the world had ever seen So her incredible skills came at a cost; she was unable to speak or write. Instead she had the uncanny ability to read body language, as naturally as breathing which also made her one of the deadliest fighters on the planet.

After witnessing Cassandra save Commissioner Gordon during the events of No Man's Land, he saw a worth successor to the mantle of Batgirl. Taking her under his wing and under the tutelage of former Batgirl, Barbara Gordon, Cassandra finds a new purpose/mission vastly different than the one her father had planned for her.

side note: this series takes place before both New52 and the Rebirth eras

When this book originally came out I had no idea who she was and by the end of the first issue I fell in love with character. I collected this series in single issues for almost the entire run. Over the last10 years or so, she hasn't been in the spotlight much, with the exception of the past couple years in DETECTIVE COMICS or BATMAN AN THE OUTSIDERS. Now with her appearance in the new "Harley Quinn and the Birds of Prey" film, the whole world will meet her. So I figured now was the perfect time to talk about the original version of this fan favorite character.

This series takes place after the popular "No Man's Land" storyline. Cassandra is now living with Barbara Gordon and training with her. But her ability to read bodies but unable to speak makes it hard for Barbara to develop a bond with her. That soon takes a turn when a chance encounter, while saving a stranger, her brain gets "unlocked". See the guy she saves happens to be a meta, so when he reads her mind he notices something wrong with it and fixes it. The only pronblem is that it takes away her abillity to read peoples bodies.

So for the course of this volume she has to retrain with Batman. While she still has the skills, she relied so heavily on her ability to "read" her opponent that it was somewhat of a crutch. We really get to dive into what makes Cassandra such an interesting character. Even learning of an event that happened as a young child that makes Batman question whether or not she should be a hero. But through it all she proves why she's worth to represent the Bat.

Eventually an impromptu meeting with the deadly Lady Shiva, Cass makes a deal with her to get her "ability" back. While we don't learn the true implications of that deal, we know that any deal with Shiva has the potential to backfire. These plot points will be dealt with in later issues, so I highly reccomend you pick up the rest if you like this one.

This book has the highly kinetic and bombastic art style of Damion Scott. His art is one of the major draws for me. His art truly made this book something special and a book that will always hold a special spot in my memory.

This is a series that is often overlooked but one that shouldn't be slept on. If you've ever been curious about this book, now is the time to check it out.

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