When DC was rebooted as the New 52, Batgirl’s transition into Black Bat was dropped without warning, but a great cosplay justifies its return.
The former assassin Cassandra Cain has done some awe-inspiring work as Batgirl, and has earned a dedicated following for her story of redemption, but most readers forget her graduation to the Black Bat title. Her transition from one cowl to another begins in 2009’s Batgirl #1, where Cassandra is distraught following the apparent death of Batman, prompting her to pass on her mantle to Stephanie Brown, who becomes the new Batgirl. Except, Cassandra was never entirely distraught or absent after this moment.
It later emerges that Cassandra was acting on orders from Batman himself, suggesting that in the event of his death, Cassandra needs to give her Batgirl mantle to Stephanie, who Bruce felt needed to be tested, as revealed in Bruce Wayne: The Road Home: Batgirl #1. Cassandra, meanwhile, continues her vigilantism in Hong Kong until Bruce returns and recruits Cassandra to join Batman Inc. On the team, she crafts a new costume and a new mantle for herself: the Black Bat. She maintained this mantle right up until DC rebooted its universe entirely as the New 52, with her time as Black Bat abruptly ending without an official sendoff or decision to revert to her prior mantle. Now, an awesome cosplay from universeofemily shows that Cassie Cain deserves another chance at ‘graduating’ from her Batgirl role (which is currently held by two others heroes.)
Cassie Cain’s Black Bat Was an Epic Evolution
Cassandra has yet to return to her Black Bat guise in any of DC’s preceding relaunches and as of now is back to being Batgirl alongside Stephanie and Barbara Gordon, but perhaps it’s time that DC reconsidered finally allowing Cassandra to graduate into the mantle that she created, for good this time. Seeing universeofemily’s pitch-perfect cosplay rendition of the Black Bat on Instagram is a happy reminder of both the forgotten mantle and its wicked design. Until very recently, Cassandra Cain had been treated terrible by DC’s many reboots, with her past accomplishments stripped away. The return of Black Bat would be an effective way to refute that failure, setting her up with a character who has earned her own identity.
Dawn of DC Can Bring Back Cassie’s Progress
While there is nothing necessarily wrong with Cassandra Cain being Batgirl, there is something rewarding about seeing a character grow as a sidekick or a legacy hero and eventually forming their own identity. When it first happened, watching Cassandra Cain become Black Bat after spending so many years as Batgirl was just as rewarding as seeing Dick Grayson become Nightwing for the first time or Jason Todd becoming Red Hood following his own days as Robin. Cassandra Cain’s run as the Black Bat had the same potential, but rebooting the whole universe undid years of her character development. DC’s Infinite Frontier era has promised to amalgamate past continuities, which means Cassie’s time as Black Bat could easily be brought back into play.
In fact, the new Dawn of DC (which isn’t a reboot, but a slate of new stories to be told in a new era), may be the perfect time to bring Cassandra back as Black Bat. Dawn of DC is set to put entirely new spotlights on classic characters, and there may not be a better time than now for Cassandra to star in her own solo adventures. Readers never got to see a proper continuation or at least a conclusion to Cassandra Cain‘s graduation from Batgirl to Black Bat, but now is as good a time as any to follow up on one of DC’s biggest missed opportunities.