NAME + ALIASES:
Cassandra Cain, Kasumi
David Cain (adoptive father)
Young Justice, Justice League Elite
As Cassandra: Legends of the Dark Knight #120. As Batgirl: Batman #567
The current and third Batgirl is Cassandra Cain, the adopted daughter of one of Batman's deadliest foes, David Cain. Cain raised the orphan girl to become his apprentice — a master assassin, swordmaster and martial artist. She excelled, and early made her first kill. But she was scarred by the deed and fled from Cain.
During this time, it appeared that Cassandra was mute. In truth, she simply chose not to speak. Ultimately, her prowess came to the attention of Gotham City's information broker known as Oracle. She helped Oracle after an earthquake plunged Gotham into anarchy. Her talents were soon noted by the Batman who entrusted her with the role of Batgirl, after the Huntress had failed him. (Batman #556-559)
She lives with her other mentor, Barbara Gordon (Oracle), who was the first Batgirl.
It seems that during Cassandra's early days, she sometimes went by the name Kasumi. (Later, Major Disaster would allude to having heard of her in years past.) Kasumi means "mist," which refers to the hazy appearance of the soft iron part of the blade in contrast to the glossy appearance of the carbon steel cutting edge.
Her reputation as Kasumi was also known among world espionage circles. So when the undercover expert, Vera Lynn Black. formed a sort of "black ops" JLA team (the Justice League Elite), Batman was able to plant Batgirl among them as his own secret spy. (JL Elite #1)
In their first mission, they infiltrated The Blood Brothers, an organization of assassins. This ended when a foreign diplomat was murdered by an unrevealed traitor in the Elite's midst. (JL Elite #1-3) The JLA were incensed and attempted to shut the Elite down, but Vera bought them more time.
Their next case was equally tragic. They followed Coldcast's brother in pursuit of a villain called Aftermath. (#4) Several members, including Kasumi, assumed undercover disguises. Cassandra used the Shadow Theif's belt, which enabled her to make interdimensional jumps. Their mission brought them into conflict with the Justice Society. (#5) During the brawl, Major Disaster (who had begun drinking heavily) used his powers to send Coldcast out of control. This caused Kasumi to accidentally impale Hawkgirl with her blades.
Cassandra was devastated and Batman ordered her to end her affiliation. But she was determined to atone for her actions and rejoined the team to finish their mission against Aftermath. (#6) The Elite lost this battle, and Vera was taken over by the evil spirit of her dead brother. Kasumi and Coldcast surived by escaping into the into the "World of Shadows." She formed a close bond with him there and she ultimately mustered the strength to teleport them back to the Factory. Unfortunately, the JLA were waiting there to arrest Coldcast for Bhat's murder (for which he'd been framed by Menagerie).
Cassandra was ready to abandon the Elite, but the spirit of Manitou Raven convinced the team to regroup. Once again she defied Batman's orders; she freed Coldcast from prison and followed them into battle. Once Manchester Black's chaos was halted, even Batman admitted to her that the Elite had succeeded against the darkness where the JLA could not. (#12)
Cassandra continues her work as Batgirl, but it remains to be seen whether she continues to work undercover with Vera.
Batgirl, current (200-)
Justice League Elite, 12-issue limited series (2004-05)
» SEE ALSO: