Friday, August 01, 2008

Cass Batgirl - initial thoughts on her and Batman

So. I'm about 50 issues in to the Batgirl run. Nearly done as I've only got up to issue 75, I think. I'm enjoying it far more than I thought, especially considering my earlier comments about the crapness of Cass's ability and how it doesn't make sense. I still think it doesn't make much sense, but I'm not so bothered anymore.
For those of you who don't know, Cassandra Cain was brought up in isolation with no verbal communication and no language. An assassin named David Cain brought her up, never spoke a word to her and trained her to be an assassin. Her language became body movement - she could read what you were thinking, feeling and intending from your body, the way you moved and stood etc.
I still think that's a bit stupid. And no I don't think Superman, or Wonder Woman, or the Flash, or Green Lantern or Green Arrow or anyone else's abilities are stupid. That's just the way I am, my suspension of disbelief doesn't stretch so far as Cass. Or Batman either for that matter - dressing up a as a giant bat? Ridiculous.

Anyway. Despite that, I am liking the comic. Cass is very intense. For a long time she adores Batman, she worships him. He knows this and he's using her as a weapon in his war. He regards her as the perfect fighter and when he discovers she may have killed someone when she was 6 years old (she's now 17), despite the fact she didn't know what she was about to do, he is ready to dispose of her as soiled. He's a wanker. I don't believe that he cared about her as an individual, yes he cares for life and wants to preserve life at all cost, but it's an abstract to him. He doesn't want to know the individual.
Which kinda makes his preserving all life mantra hollow. Because when you've got people close to you, who you see often or work with often, if you don't open up to them and value them as individuals, if you don't engage with them and treat them with respect, then you don't really value their life do you?
Of course, this is mostly just a problem with Cass. The rest of the Bat family don't let Bruce be such a jerk - they force him to engage with them because they've got strong personalities and are confident and stand up for themselves. But Cass isn't. She's a mess. She was never touched or hugged by David Cain, she's never known physical affection, she knows violence and fighting. And without Babs' interference she could have just wilted into an automaton. And Bruce wouldn't have done anything until it was too late. Jerk.

Now I haven't read any Batman own title comics. I intend to rectify this, but meanwhile, if anyone reading this does read the Batman own title stuff, could I have your thoughts? Have I got him all wrong? I appreciate that he may have been kept distant in the Batgirl title to increase the feeling of isolation to the reader - to show us what Cass is going through. It could be a literary device to help us read more into the character.

Next Cass topic: why the fuck did Babs give her that bikini?

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