Thursday, July 13, 2006


Snap Judgments

"Trust me. She's one strong moment away from making sense of it all. Who she was. Who she is."
Quote taken from Batman in Batgirl #1

Yes, that is the former Batgirl, Cassandra Cain, snapping the neck of her mother, the assassin Lady Shiva. She's having that "strong moment."

Yes, that is Cassandra Cain, the former Batgirl, shooting her father, the assassin Cain, through the head.

Yes, that is Cassandra Cain taking in and accepting her role as a killer born.

Yes, that is Cassandra Cain, the former Batgirl, ignoring her mother's final request for death. And yes, that is also "Cassie" Cain, hanging her mother on a meat hook.

And yes, this is also Cassie walking away with a smile on her face after killing her mother.

But this leads me to this question to Batgirl's "readers": "What comic book were you reading that I wasn't reading?"

I've read every issue of Batgirl and from the very start, this girl's training from Batman & Oracle ran counter to everything this young woman had ever been taught. Batman trained her to save but she was raised by Cain to kill. That cannot be disputed.

Batgirl was born to kill. She killed Lady Shiva before and in her final issue, she did it again. It's what she does.

So, please, I'm sick to death of people's outrage at Cassandra Cain's "turn" within the pages of Robin. It was natural progression, is what it is. It's a character's arc. Character's have them, occasionally.

Batgirl readers should maybe start reading the words and actions contained within the pages and maybe stop reading the comic books they'd "created" within their minds.

The fact that Batman was able to keep her on the side of the angels, suppressing what was inborn for so long is a testament to all characters involved.

Just my opinion.

Who the character was before she became Batgirl is irrelevant to her fans. They want the Cassandra Cain they saw there. The one appearing in Robin currently is a monster, a ruined form compared to the version that sold books. In short, a character they liked was destroyed and taken away from them, so why shouldn't they complain?

Besides, was it not established that when Cassandra Cain first killed someone, she was horrified and ran away from home, some years before she became Batgirl? This does not sound like a natural killer to me.
Yes, her first kill horrified her because it was so easy for her.

It's been well established that no one , not even Batman, knows what happened between her first kill and first contact with Batman.
I'm just shocked at her "disembodied arm" neck breaking technique.
Bollocks, on several counts.

1.) Let's read Batgirl's very first arc (#1-6), and let's read all of it, not just the kung fu scenes.

Batgirl's origin story is that she was terrified of her first kill because by "reading" her dying victim, she understood so deeply the meaning of death. The knowledge of what she had done drove her into suicidal self-hatred and made her run away from a father she deeply loved (something that Beechen tried to retcon away in Robin, BTW) - one who until that had been her whole world. She was still wracked by guilt in full "must die" mode when she reached Gotham ten years later. Does that sound like a natural born killer to you?

You're making the same mistake David Cain made in that comic - the assumption that just knowing enough dim maks makes a killer. But you also need to have the proper disrespect for life, and David didn't teach her that - in teaching the "body-reading" trick, he inadvertently did the opposite, taught her to sympathize deeply with everybody.

What does Batman say in BG #4? That the thing Batman admired in her was her moral fortitude. He didn't hire her because she could beat ass, he hired her because she instinctively did the same thing Bruce did. The idea that Batman "made her good" is a plain fallacy.

2.) Shiva is a special case in more than one way. One, she desperately wanted to be killed By Cass and was effectively blackmailing her into doing so. In effect, it would have been a mercy kill.

Two, if you just go back and look at BG #73, Cass set up Shiva to fall into the Lazarus pit. When given a way out, she couldn't even let _her_ stay dead!

3.) It is true that the beginning of BG #73 - the destruction of Bludhaven - causes Cass to review, possibly abandon her non-lethal ways. Batgirl #73 does set up a way for Cassandra to become a lethal vigilante. The Robin arc, however, ignores that completely.

Instead, in it Beechen writes that Cass starts snuffing people because she found out that her father had trained somebody else (something that she already knew - see her fight against Mad Dog, where she again chooses to rather die than kill another) and she felt that her petty sense of uniqueness was threatened.

There is NO F*ING WAY that's a "natural progression" for a character that has been for seven years noble and selfless to a fault.

Even worse, the "Cassandra" in Robin doesn't display any of her familiar characteristics - not even the superficial ones, like her skills - and has apparently developed an obsession over Robin out of nowhere. It's an entirely different character that bears no relation to the one in Batgirl.

This Robin arc COULD have been used to move the character forward, to let her become an antihero of sorts, and that would have been a good, sensible move. That's what I hoped for, when the solicits first came up - but that's not what was done here. Instead, they just unceremoniously scrapped the entire character and gave us an unlikable, entirely different Lynx clone with a borrowed name, saying "she's her, now deal with it". And that's not cool. I spit in the face of companies that are not cool.
"Cassandra Caribbean Cool?"


Since scans speak more than words, let me put up a few myself (Batgirl #25, the big "event" issue of the original run):

Cass's story was always a big "nature vs. nurture" argument, but the sides were the opposite of what some people seem to think. It was Cass's natural compassion versus David's taught killer instincts, not her natural evil versus Batman-taught good. Batman didn't have to teach her a damn thing.

If she would be a killer, she would be one that kills to save lives, not to stroke her ego.
How do we know that what we saw in the Robin arc, is all that it seems?

This isn't a Max Lord going bad type of story. There's more going on here than what was presented in the first arc.

So killers who kill to save lives are OK, Marcus?

DC doesn't need a Punisher. What it could use is a character who used to fight on the side of the angels who's finally realized her true place in the world.
"How do we know that what we saw in the Robin arc, is all that it seems?"

Well, for starters the arc is over, which implies that the story is told. In the interviews the writer said that the editorially mandated part was only four issues long and after that he'd get to focus on doing his own thing.

Also, there was very little "can this be TRUE?!?!" type stuff going on, and no hints of some kind of a bait-and-switch were offered. Robin took the incompetent, amoral and strangely behaving "Cass" with several parts of her backstory retconned into something else (and so on) at face value after one panel of token disbelief, then started spouting action movie cliches. The message I get from that is that the writer expected us to follow suit.

Then we've got the ads for this arc, in the pre-OYL issues. In those the tagline for Robin's first arc was "which one of Robin's allies has become his greatest enemy?" (big mystery there - how about the only suspect?). Doesn't leave much wiggle room.

The only thing I see here that suggests that things aren't what they seem is that if they are what they seem, then this is by far the worst Batgirl story ever told.

Well, that and Didio, but Didio says lots of things.
One important little detail here that might be relevant? LADY SHIVA ISN'T DEAD. In Birds of Prey, she very distinctly says that her daughter her 'tried to kill her' and hung her up on a meat hook. She's been the running gag in the last 4 issues and just adopted a 'new apprentice' in the last issue.

One important literary device to remember is that often the BEST villains were the ones who were good guys once. And it looks like they're looking to replace Shiva's "place" in the world with a successor (again see Birds of Prey)...first Canary, but realistically-it will be Cassandra Cain.

I agree that the turn seems a little odd, but if we don't just atttribute this to bad writing, then it seems to me that this could all be taken to be pretty consistent with the character..the old nature vs. nurture.

A disappointed sense of justice is a terrible thing, but it is a GREAT motivation for the next Shiva...
Dr. M
Hmmm. Let's see.

One day Batman snaps. And starts killing people left and right. Not just killing people, he shoots them with the very gun that killed his parents! ( thank you Geoff Johns) He becomes judge, jury, and executioner. And really it's a clear character arc. In his first appearens ( real life) he used guns and I believe in Year One or perhaps Year Two he at least flirted with the idea. So this a clear character arc. :)

But in all seriousness, it's not just that Cassandra is becoming a killer. It's because the author who presented her that way has no understanding of the character. She goes from a deeply conflicted person who can barely speak english to an elequent seductress who has a command of basic Najaho. ... My brain hurts.
"DC doesn't need a Punisher. What it could use is a character who used to fight on the side of the angels who's finally realized her true place in the world."

1.) That's an opinion, and I disagree.

2.) Punisher is a psycho who kills people to punish them, not to save anyone. He'll shoot a man in the gut and leave him to die for days. He's one of my favorite characters incidentally, but not what a proper "lethal Cassandra" would be in my opinion.

You see, Cassandra always had a heart, right from the start. Her empathy is one of the endearing aspects of her that separates her from standard "tough bitches", and if she became an antihero and started racking up a bodycount, it would be a given that she'd do so only to help people, and in the most humane way possible. An anti-Punisher if you will - a truly likable antihero.

3.) Cassandra's "true place" isn't as a cliched, unrecognizable, unlikable, incompetent five cent villain any more than Bruce Wayne's "true place" is boozing in upper class parties all day long. That's the role Bruce Wayne was born and grown into - do you want to see him "return" to it?

Come on, DC didn't even get a cool villain out of this deal. They got a lame Lynx replacement that's only useful to Robin.
Number one, Marcus. Everything you've said has been opinion stated as fact.

You have the same thing I have: the ability to read a comics, express an opinion and be wrong.

I believe yours to be wrong as you believe mine to be so. No harm, no foul.

I'm just amazed at how people believe you can't prove anything with facts. ;)
BTW, Marcus, your scans don't work.
"Number one, Marcus. Everything you've said has been opinion stated as fact."

I wonder what constitutes as "fact" in your book then, when the comics go so far as to say outright Cass is good in her core, just taught wrong.

"BTW, Marcus, your scans don't work."

They do for me. Are you sure you copy-pasted the entire line into the address bar?
I didn't mean that the way it sounded, Marcus. I meant it in the sense that what ever is said on the internet is pretty much all conjecture, IMO.

Same as I believe that all comic books are is corporate sanctioned fan-fic but that's a whole 'nother story.
One of my posts keeps getting deleted. Is there a filter of some sort at work here?
Yep, me. No cussing. Let's keep it civil.
Let's try it this way then.

"A disappointed sense of justice is a terrible thing, but it is a GREAT motivation for the next Shiva..."

Do I have to remind again that the specific motive Beechen stated for Cassandra going haywire had nothing to do with justice? Let me put that one up as a scan too:

That motive, in addition to being absurd and making her look like a spoiled little brat with a princess complex, directly contradicts the Batgirl series in at least three ways.

"Natural progression"? Yeah, right.
(Damn. Well, that anonymous was me.)

The part that aggravates me the most about this is the wasted potential. By playing things differently, they could have done much good to my favorite character with their "Cassandra takes over LoA" idea.

They could have put her in a high profile gig where she gets to show off her best features and her likable nature in comics where she doesn't usually appear, perhaps catching a new fan or thousand. Also, they could have made more creators familiar with her in the progress, perhaps causing better comics about her to be made in the future.

They could have reverted some of the "kiddying up" of her that had taken place over the years (I know some like her as the "Batman Whedon wrote", but c'mon, with a backstory like that, you're inherently one of the darkest DC characters). They could have portrayed her as more than a dumb kung fu chick, something that her own series too often forgot.

At the very least they could have made her look cool and kick ass.

Instead... the words "they ruined character X" get thrown around way too much, but I can't find any other way to accurately describe what happened here. Not only is she a complete and utter lunatic b*tch who kills people because daddy didn't buy her a pony, but she's also suddenly so incredibly incompetent that with two dozen goons she's barely a threat to Robin! How is this supposed to make anybody like her? How's this supposed to help her?

The only answer I have is that it's not supposed to help her at all, and DC is purposefully attempting to just run her down - get people to forget what was good about her so she can be killed off. And no, I don't like that.
Wow, all this makes me really interested to read Batgirl; I never gave a damn about the character before. Huh.
"Well, for starters the arc is over, which implies that the story is told. In the interviews the writer said that the editorially mandated part was only four issues long and after that he'd get to focus on doing his own thing."

The arc may be over but the series continues. Who's to say this won't be address more fully down the line?

And even if it is all as it seems, this will only STAY this way until another writer decides to retcon the whole thing.


Am I glad I don't read Robin anymore!
Wasted potential?

Killing Vibe was wasting potential.
Killing Koryak was wasting potential.
Killing Spoiler was wasting potential, although I consider that okay, because her death had great significance, flowed naturally from her character, and was a powerful next (albeit LAST) step for her.

But Cassie was a bad idea from the start, just as Jason was. Don't take young criminals in the making and try to turn them into heroes then be shocked and disappointed when they fail. Just help them become normal people, instead of placing them in high tension, life-threatening, morally and emotionally charged situations on a nightly basis.

I blame Batman's boundless optimism for what happened to them both, as well as (to a much lesser degree) Harvey Dent (who should have been rebuilding his law practice rather than risking his neck as "Gotham's protector").
Well, here's my two cents that nobody really asked for.

I never was a huge fan of Cassandra (I always thought Spoiler was a more natural fit for Batgirl, and we all know what happened to her) and thought a heel turn could be interesting.

Unfortunately, in doing so she was transformed into a raving maniac with daddy issues and burning red hatred for her one-time mentor, Batman.

I could see her turning against Batman due to the whole Stephanie debacle and the decision to become a lethal enforcer is also logical enough - given the destruction of her former turf.

I thought she would transform the League into an instrument of deadly justice, making it somewhat similar to what was seen in Batman Begins. They take drastic measures, but feel the ends justify the means.

But DC didn't choose to give us that. She instead became a one-note villain, just as a potentially interesting backstory for Kara Zor-El is nothing else but an excuse for sex-ploitation comics.

It's the careless manner in which Cassandra was changed that mostly infuriates readers.

And I don't think there's any real way to defend her turn based simply on the facts presented in the Robin arc.

DC dropped the ball, plain and simple. It happens.

Really like the new Atom, though ...
I guess I'll repeat what I started out with:

Batgirl sold.

Sure, it didn't sell great. It did, however, sell better than Catwoman, Legends of the Dark Knight, and even Wonder Woman. It lasted for ~70 issues before it was cancelled, but that was due to an editorial descision, not declining sales.

Therefore, arguing that she was 'a bad idea from the start' is just narrow minded and parochial. Her transformation in recent stories is entirely due to the writers and editors. They could have easily decided otherwise.

There are quite a number of people who liked the character of Batgirl as she was in the Batgirl title, and who are outraged at the recent transformation. They utterly diagree that becoming a lame villainess is 'a logical conclusion'.

Personally, though I cannot be sure of this, I feel that the new Cassandra Cain probably does less to sell books than the old Batgirl did in her title.

She had fans, so while I personally disliked Batgirl, I feel that screwing up her Batgirl persona was a bad move.
I can certainly sympatyzie with Cassie fans who feel their character got the shaft - what was done to her was pretty harsh. Not giving a hoot about the character or having ever read her title, I found her a decent villian in an OK Robin arc. I'm also reasonably positive that they're not done with her, and can see her taking a turn as a sort of Ras 'Al Ghul from Batman Begins kind of character, which is fine with me.

If there are so many folks out there who are lost without an interesting, ass-kicking female character with moral ambiguity, give Manhunter a whirl.
I don't object to Cassie being turned evil. I don't object to Steph being killed. What I object to is that it is done so badly that it insults the character and the reader.

I'm not convinced by evil Cassie more because she talks too much than that that the storyline was so clumsily written. I shall assume she is an evil twin until proved otherwise.

I do object to exiling Leslie Thompkins. I can't see any point to that at all other than the general defeminising of the Bativerse.

Are there now any females left on speaking terms with Batman other than Poison Ivy?
OK, I'm going to try and post a calm and intelligent response this time.

I'll admit that from the time when Batgirl ended, I didn't see Cassandra Cain coming out of One Year Later as a hero. Like marcus, I had her figured as someone who would still try to protect the innocent, but if the threat was dire enough, she wouldn't settle for simply hauling them off to jail. That might work for some young punk, who was wetting himself trying to fight her, but for the more hardcore evil types, like Batman's main foes, she would at least consider the use of lethal force. True, that would probably preclude her from being a hero, but if done properly, such as showing that taking a life isn't something she does lightly, she could be an antihero you can sympathize with. She would still recognize that she had a gift for killing that could help the world, but it needed to be used judicously, as opposed to running around killing every minor drug dealer she sees, like Frank Castle.

I honestly think the thing that angered me most about what happened to her in Robin was Beechen wasted so much potential for a better story, that could portray Cassandra in that light, so that it wouldn't be so cut-and-dry that she was Robin's enemy. And it would have tied-in to recent history nicely.

The story had some interesting parallels to the 4-part story when Batgirl and Robin moved to Bludhaven after War Games and team-up against Penguin. In there, they get captured and the villains decide to make them fight, for betting purposes. Cassandra reads Tim's plan from his body language, and makes it look like he beat her. But Penguin is suspicious, so we get an image of Tim standing over Batgirl, pointing a gun at her, being forced to shoot her. Much liek we did with Robin and David cain. And Robin does shoot her in the shoulder, and she's able to lie there and fool them into thinking she's actually out of it (whether they thought she was dead or unconscious I can't recall). I figure she learned this ability from her dad, who probably also used it to fool Robin in the recent story. This would tie-in with the fact that at the end of the issue, David Cain is nowhere to be found, but there are a whole bunch of assassins with broken necks.

Additionally in the Bludhaven story, after the heroes escape, Tim and Cass have an argument about what they should have done. Tim is concerned about the law and that they had no legal grounds to do anything. Cassandra feels that since THEY knew Penguin was running the gangs, they should have smacked him around a little. Then they start arguing about War Games. Tim feels Batman's idea to control the mobs was a bad idea, and that he should have worked more closely with the cops. Cassandra feels Batman should have more swiftly moved to assert control of the mobs and use them to his benefit.

When I was reading the story, I was sure we were going to find out that Cassandra was testing to see if Tim was still as sure of himself as she was or her convictions. Cassandra had taken control of a "mob": The League of Assassins, and was going to use it to protect people. Was Tim still certain that's a mistake?

I figured it would ultimately be two people trying to help the innocent, but having philospohical differences, not one of them is the hero, the other a loony villain. I honestly think Beechen - and DC - missed out on a more interesting story, which probably fuels a lot of my frustration with what they did do.

Also on her killing Lady Shiva, there is a scene a few pages earlier, where Cassandra asks if Shiva will ever stop killing. Shiva says "That's why I had you." Cassandra would prove to be her superior and end her life as Lady Shiva. What I figured the whole "hang her on a meat hook over a Lazarus Pit" deal was, it was Cassandra giving Shiva a chance to start over. Sort of a "I killed you Mom, like you wanted. Now you can stop being Lady Shiva and start over as someone new." In that light, it seems, I want to say noble, but that's not right. I'm not sure what the word is, but it seems like there's love in those actions. She's giving her mother a chance to live as something other than an engine of death.

Of course, that's all my personal interpretation. I guess it really just boils down to me being angry with what they did with her, because I don't feel like it matches where Gabrych left her at the end of her series. I figured she wouldn't be a white hat, but she'd at least not be a villain. Wow, sorry that ran kind of long. Hopefully it makes some sense.
What with the fact that I own every issue of Batgirl and all, I consider myself a pretty big fan of Cassandra Cain, the character.

And that said, I agree with pretty much everything Devon said, and I think that Adam Beechen's Robin is one of the best and most consistently enjoyable DC books coming out right now.

Do I really like the idea of Batgirl being the one person that Batman to whom didn't have to explain his mission? Sure. Do I like that six years later, we've got a character that's gone through a change, especially one that involves being dumped in a Lazarus Pit and coming out crazy (which, you know, happens sometimes)? Yes. It's not like characters that I love have never done anything equally bizarre, and it's not like DC's going back and sucking all the quality out of the Kelly Puckett run.

But seriously? The only reason DC doesn't need the Punisher is 'cause they've already got WILD DOG!
It lasted for ~70 issues before it was cancelled, but that was due to an editorial descision, not declining sales.

Therefore, arguing that she was 'a bad idea from the start' is just narrow minded and parochial.

I cannot follow your "reasoning".

How many copies a book sells in our world has nothing to do whether, within the context of the DCU it's a good idea for Batman to take a trained from birth assassin and try to turn her into a cape-clad hero.

Furthermore, when DC the company is banking on heightening the distinction between their heroes and villains (as opposed to certain companies whose heroes murder people all the time), having a murderer as "Batgirl" isn't a good long term strategy. DC doesn't want to try to sell parents on the action figure of the masked assassin girl who killed her mother, and I can't blame them.

Her transformation in recent stories is entirely due to the writers and editors. They could have easily decided otherwise.

Uh, yeah. That is how comic books work. People write them. But it's not like they revealed she was a Vuldarian or something. Making a trained assassin, whose the child of trained assassins and has killed repeatedly, and having her become a villain running a league of assassins isn't exactly the hugest jump.

You want to talk wildly out of character? Let's talk Leslie Thompkins or Natasha Irons.
"But it's not like they revealed she was a Vuldarian or something."

That would have been easier to accept. At least we wouldn't have 73-plus issues' worth of proof to the contrary there.

I really wonder what comic all these self-professed "Batgirl fans" who claim she was a bloodthirsty beast at heart read, 'cause that's the exact opposite of the message I got from her series, and I dare say Puckett wasn't exactly subtle when he told his story.

I look at that creature in Robin and I don't see anything familiar there, nothing that would remind me of the Cassandra Cain I used to read of. No familiar characteristics, not her motivation, not her skills or even weaknesses - for god's sake, they even retconned her past there in four or five separate places! This isn't "Cassandra turned evil" or "Cassandra, now willing to kill", because there is no part of Cassandra left here except the name.

All I see is an entirely different character, a cliched and unlikable villain that exists to make Robin, a character I couldn't care less of, look good.
Hmmm, interesting theory. I'd like to see it applied over at Marvel. Wonder Man started out as a might be an interesting turn to have him turn one full time.

Hawkeye premiered as a villain--wouldn't a bowshooting bad guy be a hoot to read?

The Scarlet Witch...

Ehhhhh, forget I said anything.
Good argument but you lost it the moment you didn't mention two things. One, the past history between Shiva and Cassie. Shiva has ALWAYS wanted Cassie to be the one to kill her.

Check Batgirl #25, Cassie realizes this and doesn't let Shiva have her day.

Now in #73, once more Shiva is asking for her death. She knows she ain't going to be walking away from this, hence why she lays out all the answers for Cassie and goats her into the final fight by hitting the buttons that'll make her fight.

And once more Cassie refuses to kill her. Why? It is because what Shiva wanted. What did Shiva say earlier? To not follow her, Batman, or David Cain's paths. Killing her would = Shiva thus this:

If she was the villain you claim then why even say it? She be smiling right then and there. But no she says sorry because that isn't what she wants thus she spares her mother's life. Thus the smile cause she's following HER OWN RULES. Not Batman. Not David Cain her father. Not even Lady Shiva her mother.

She's following her path. Cassandra Cain.

Also you lack the first half of the book, where Steph's ghost is informing Cassie of Bludhaven.

At that moment she realizes Batman's "No Kill" rule doesn't work for her against criminals.

So she IS willing to take a life, but one who deserves it with her own hands as she was built too.

Which leds me to the second thing.

My reasons for hating this turn is the fact not because she's a villain but a one dimensional joke.

You can't argue that, the writer of Robin blew it horribly.

As a villain she sucked. The writer of Robin made her follow EVERY SINGLE James Bond Villain rule there was.

She told the hero her massive plan long enough for him to do something. Went on a MASSIVE MONOLOGUE on how she's right and hero isn't. Then when she has Robin cornered what she do? She keeps TALKING and GLOATING. Enough time for Robin to PUNCH HER.

Her Cassandra Cain. A woman known for not saying much and acting much.

A gal you just showed brutally beat Shiva her own mother without any words said. That's why some fans are more peeved about. The fact that the writer at Robin BLEW this chance at making something. Instead of a memorable villain, this woman who calls herself Cassandra OYL is a joke.

Which is proven even more by the fact that:

A.) She didn't kill her father when she had a kill shot.
B.) Didn't go after Robin after the explosion.
C.) Turned Tail the first chance she could
D.) In all honesty her campaign to rid the world of evil doers? It only ammounted to a tarnished Crime Lord (Nyssa), a local street gang leader (Lynx), and a low rent killer (her sister).
Wasting the Brotherhood of Evil (come on a flunkie or two, doesn't have to be Mallah or the Brain) or Penguin would make better sense then the choices she did Robin OYL.

What DC did was flip Cassandra Cain fans the finger. Instead of promising us a good villain, anti-hero, or hero what we got was a joke.

A shell of something that wasn't even the character we were fond of. THAT'S why a lot of her fans are pissed. Can you blame them after what I said?
I agree. The fact is that maybe both parts says something true.
Cassandra is a killing machine wrapped in a girly diminutive frame. She was born to kill, lived to kill, and even when she refused to kill, she never was able to stop fighting.
But that was part of the character. yes, she ran away home after her first killing, but then turned back and killed her own mother. Almost twice. And without shedding a single tear. Without shouting, or cyring, or saying anything.
Well, Cassandra is no more a mute, but in the last panels she was a crossover between Manga Khan and a transgendered Supes Jr., the Ultimate Emo Kid. She kept talking, bragging about her new turn of life, teasing Robin... she flunked her mission. She killed Lynx, but only to have a "speed date" with Robin. She had her father at gunpoint, and, then, the same Cassandra who refused the killing mercy to her mother hanging her to a Lazarus Pit, started bragging and shouting about "Her formidable plan to kill all the other girls trained by Kane". Then, she took more punches in her head than Lady Cop only to have some pep talk with Robin. Robin escaped, Cain was never found...

It's true, they've not made from the "Heroic angelic Cassandra" a Villain, she never was an angel. They made of a mute killing machine searching her meaning to be an ambulant chatterbox wielding the awesome power of tiring her opponent with the Monologue Power.
I'm not thinking that authors must take away again her voice, but gawd, Lady Shiva never talked so much. Only Superboy Prime and Manga Khan do...
I haven't seen the issue in question yet (I get my issues in one mail shipment a month), but it's also very possible that the seeming "suddenness" of the change is a side effect of the "one year blip." There may well be key issues exposed as we go along in 52, or further OYL backstory that bring the entire storyline more into focus.

One regular problem with serial storytelling is that you typically need to wait for a time before you can make a final judgment on if an idea is good or bad.
Those scenes you posted are pretty gory. Yuck.
The Cassandra Cain we are seeing is a Cassandra Cain one year later. With the way that Batgirl ended I thought it was clear her life was taking a dark turn.That ending totally shocked me. It was disturbing the choice she made. That comic had an impact on me.

Robin probably had the same reaction that fans had on being horrified by what Cassandra Cain had become. That seems to be the natural reaction. Sometimes even the best of people make horrible choices.

It does create some potential for drama, for Batman, Oracle and Robin.

For fans that hate what she has become maybe down the road she will be redeemed. If Green Lantern can be redeemed so can she.
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