Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Come the Fall, Come Cassandra Cain?

It may happen one gloomy November Wednesday, according to a news item at Comics Nexus. Cassandra Cain may emerge from the shadows as the last leaves of fall skitter across Gotham City rooftops, the cold, damp wind whipping her black hair as she glares purposefully at the urban nightmare below, the old familiar violent urges rising in her battered soul...

Good lord, could I possibly go more purple? Yes, once again some crazy, never-say-die fool has asked DC staffers about Cass Cain at a comic convention panel, and once again they've given the corporate maybe. during a Q-and-A at the 2010 San Diego Comic Con, Batman group editor Mike Marts allegedly said we might see Cass sometime in November. This is really getting to be something of a running joke. I wonder if the people at Subway ask him, "Would you like cheese on your turkey sandwich and will Cassandra Cain be coming back to continuity anytime soon?"

"Yes to your first question on the cheese, noncommital answer that isn't exactly a no but also isn't an outright lying promise yes so my personal sense of integrity remains intact and will hopefully prevent you insane Cass fans from stabbing me through the heart with a replica batarang to the second."

Comics Nexus asks, "But, where is the question. So many choices to choose from. So, where do you think Cassie’ll turn up and what will her nom de guerre be?"

I think she'll turn up in Birds of Prey and her new codename will be "Once Awesome Character Reduced to a Pathetic Shell by Editorial Fiat and Scripter Incompetence Girl." They'll bring in special Batgirl expert Adam Beechen to story-consult, and Ed Benes will draw her as a 30-year-old stripper with gigantic half-bowling balls serving as her breast implants; her skin will be colored brownish to indicate indeterminate, i.e., non-European ethnicity; her height will appear to alternate between 5'10" and 9'; every panel in which she appears will show her chest and her buttocks simultaneously; she will frequently seem to be floating, sometimes impossibly close-- unless she truly does exist in a two-dimensional reality-- to whatever oddly-designed piece of furniture or bizarre, non-functional looking high tech equipment she's near or on or over; and she'll trip and fall to her death under a runaway steamroller, forever settling the question of "What plans does DC have regarding Cassandra Cain in the future?"

All in the space of a single page. Thanking you in advance, DC.


Nathaniel said...

The book she's going to show up in (barring no further editorial muckery) is definitely Red Robin. Fabian Nicieza talked about the subject on Gail Simone's forum on CBR, indicating that he had plans to integrate her back into the Bat Family in a new capacity, but that it was still slightly up in the air as it was scripted, but not drawn or solicited yet.

Time will tell, I guess. I imagine we will see her in Birds of Prey at some point after she returns, as Simone seems to be a fan of the character. But the good news is that it's rumored that Ed Benes is getting replaced by Jamal Ingle on the book.

Joel Bryan said...

Nicieza's a brave man indeed to wade into that mess. They apparently managed to frustrate him so much he had to resort to ALL CAPS. Last I looked, the posters were arguing amongst themselves. Gad, I love being a Cass-Fan!

Thank Kirby they're putting Ingle on that book. I think his rendering is too clean and bright for Cass, and I've only seen a smattering of his sequential work but he's miles better than Benes in perspective, layout, storytelling and drafting. He'd rock on a Superman book or over at Marvel on Fantastic Four.

But to be mega-popular these days, you have to ignore all those old-fashioned fundamentals entirely and draw sloppy Jim Lee rip-offs with your foot. Or, alternately, trace pornography.

Come to think of it, I'd rather see a book by that "Cass Toons" guy than another book by Benes.

No offense, Mr. Benes.

I'd like to see what Gail Simone would do with Cass, as long as it's not that horrible "angel of the bat" proposal. That was huge mistake. My ideal Cass writer would be Kazuo Koike, but he wouldn't stoop to it these days.

Anyway, thanks for that info and the link. I wonder what the "new capacity" will be. Alfred's butlering intern?

Nathaniel said...

Haha, I posted a little in that topic, but hopefully I didn't earn Nicieza's ire, as I mostly stuck to the facts instead of the conspiracy theories.

I don't have a clue what the new capacity will be (someone mentioned the possibility of 'Batgirl International' since Nicieza's whole bend on Red Robin is him traveling the world, fighting crime). I kind of hope she remains out-of-costume, as I'm not sure I want a corny new identity made for her. And since I'm pretty sure she'll never get her own book again, who cares if she doesn't have some marketable superhero identity? It's not like the latest generation of costumed heroes like Blue Beetle have really set the world on fire, despite DC's best efforts.

Joel Bryan said...

Yeah, I completely agree! I don't care if she's never Batgirl again, really. One idea I've thought about for a while is Cass taking on worldwide sleaze just as herself, a little like the Kill Bill scenario. Or, since her name is Cain, she could just kind of "wander the earth" like her television namesake from the 70s.

If they hadn't already turned her fairly "normal," that would've been a great way for her to learn all the things she missed out on during her torturous childhood and stint as Batgirl, which would have limited her personal growth in other ways. She literally could have discovered her humanity while kicking ass and not taking names. Too bad they already blew that away!

One thing from that conversation with Nicieza: I'm not so sure about all these "multiple Batgirls" some people there seem to want. While it's really too bland to interest me, the Batgirl book with Stephanie Brown is plenty enough Batgirl. It's a kind of fannish idea: "Steph fans can have thier Batgirl, and we can have ours!"

Yeah, no thanks. Having more than one person with the same codename would just lead to confusion and water down the brand. Marvel's already doing that with Wolverine and X-23 to a certain extent. Only they make money when they do it.

Nathaniel said...

I was, and still am to an extent, behind the "multiple Batgirls" thing, but that ship has mostly sailed. I thought a team book with Babs, Cass, Steph, and Misfit all acting as a team of Batgirls would have been great. And I thought that was the direction they were going, with the teasers of the different costumes.

The brand's already watered down just by virtue of DC replacing a Batgirl with a different character when the feeling suits them. Heck, that they replaced Cass with a character who has had every Bat-costume shy of Batman himself seems to indicate that they don't really care about confusion among the layperson.

But really, I never cared about Batgirl. I cared about Cass, and now that she's not Batgirl, that book can be left to people who do enjoy that character and that identity. It's just a shame that, as some people pointed out in that thread, Cass lost her main claim to fame right when she was at her lowest point and needed the notoriety the most, and now walks a thin line above obscurity. Because heaven knows that we can't have the Batgirl of the last ten years show up in any Batman books, and certainly not Batgirl.

家唐銘 said...


凱許倫 said...

Judge not a book by its cover.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .