Monday, June 22, 2009

But... Where Is Cass?

That's something that's really bugging me. Worrying me. Troubling me. Vexing me. I am very... vexed. And yes, I have nothing more pressing to worry about. Life is pretty good right now. So tell me: where is Cassandra Cain?

She appears to have vanished completely from DC's books. I can understand this to a certain extent. There's a new Batgirl series starting in August, the whole hook to its premiere is the question of who will be in costume. Wendy? Stephanie Brown? Barbara Gordon? Cass? The initial promos feature teaser images carefully drawn by Phil Noto to hide Batgirl's face. These are very nicely rendered, by the way. Kudos to Mr. Noto. I wish he'd drawn that Batgirl: Redemption Road miniseries from last year.

And that practically anyone else had written the damned thing!

But there remains the nagging inconsistency of a character so intrinsic to the Batman family and the Outsiders team suddenly vanishing without a word being said by any character in those related books. Or have there been some mentions of her and her whereabouts and I've just missed them because I can only read snippets of the actual comics and reviews due to my living in Japan and not having regular access to monthlies? And if they truly haven't mentioned her, isn't that odd when you consider Bruce Wayne recently made her his daughter (Cassandra Wayne?) and all the massive changes currently going on in the Bat-books, what with Dick Grayson finally donning the main man's costume and some new little asshole kid masquerading as Robin?

It eerily reminds me of the whole One Year Later fiasco, when the DC universe flash-fowarded a year into the future minus Cass and Batman, Robin, Nightwing and-- even more incredibly-- Oracle, her closest mentor, said nothing at all about her absence until she re-emerged in the gruesomely stupid Robin #150 and equally bad Supergirl #14 as a horrific Dragon Lady villain, complete with "fiendish Oriental sexuality" straight out of a Terry and the Pirates strip circa 1934. Jesus, Fu Manchu couldn't have asked for a better daughter. DC had a lot of work to do fixing that mess... even though they eventually botched even Batgirl's redemption.

So by removing Cass from the narrative, they've cleared the board for the new Batgirl, whoever she may be. And perhaps Cass has outgrown that role and is ready for a new secret identity and all will be explained come August. She may still be in the cast mix for the Batgirl relaunch, and Dan Didio has said the character is still "very viable." But for now it brings up uneasy memories, associations and once again gives short shift to one of the few DC characters I actively care about. Hopefully DC won't make the same mistake twice.

But where is she now and what is she doing while her allies, her friends and even her family are going through so much drama? Couldn't they at least show her chilling at Wayne Manor or name-check her or something? Couldn't she at least pop up and say, "This new Robin is a total dick... and by the way, at one time when I was drugged out of my mind I-- like my mother before me-- was the leader of the secret organization that produced him, for which I now must apologize. I'll be in the jacuzzi until August, have a nice summer!"?

Have they done that and I'm whistling some tune that somewhat resembles "Dixie," a song I actually never whistle because I actively dislike it? Can someone clue me in, or point out to me the books or sequences I should look for?

Where is Cass?

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