zechs80: (Cybor Superman)
[personal profile] zechs80 posting in [community profile] scans_daily
Be warned this post is going to have sixteen scans (of four issues). Oh and this is the infamous story involving Cassandra Cain written by Adam Beechen (Robin #148-149 plus Batgirl #52 & 73). You'll probably find yourself a member of the Red Lantern Corp after reading these scans if you're a fan of Cassandra Cain or Tim Drake. You've been warned.


I digress, before Gates of Gotham I reread this arc for a good laugh and I've been meaning to post it here (maybe there's a little Doctor Clayton Forrester in me to see if can drive any sane being truly mad). For you to look upon it with new eyes. Not ones tainted by rage, which ironically I was just that when this first came out (but then what fan wasn't after reading this).

Consider this a more rational look at why DC did what they did. And just how bad this story was equally bad for Tim then just Cass.

Now before this infamous issue this was the last time we saw Cassandra Cain was the final issue of her ongoing:



Just a mere three months later cue the One Year Later event:




Okay on one hand this is a loss to someone who played an important role in Tim's life. But on the other hand, this is to many plot hole number one given that in Cass's very own series (Batgirl #56 to be specific):



I don't think this has still ever been explained either by Beechen. How a dead girl ended up alive a year later and dead again. Still Beechen at least gives time to reflect on this poor soul who Tim once knew:




Okay, I can't help but imagine that if Tim a good detective can figure out the body has been dead for over three hours, I think a medical examiner could determine this fact as well. So why would Tim bother with this? The time of death would clear him of any wrong doing for the most part.

So anyway, Babs finds out via the police radio and informs the entire Bat Family of the news. One of the few things I actually appreciated was one person's reaction:




Really, the only thing I think Beechen ever got fully right with Cass was her relationship with Alfred. Maybe Gotham Knights was the only Cass book he read when doing research? Who knows.

The second thing about this page when re-reading this: who is that in the final panel? Shiva? Cass? I have to assume the former since at the time she was working for Babs due to a bet she had with Dinah (really one of the few OYL stories that actually was good).

Anyway, we then cut to a figure who was very prominent in Cass's last adventure as Batgirl:




Now okay, supposedly Cass was the one who killed Nyssa here. But unless she has the powers of the Flash she didn't commit this crime. So yeah maybe her ninja lackeys probably did. I still wonder and be damned if this could have been a better plot twist when eventually revealed. That in actuality this hit came from Slade, not Cass who did it as a favor to Talia. Considering what Nyssa did to her, you'd think the moment she snapped out of her funk she hire someone to do the deed.

Given that Talia went exactly to Slade during an arc of Batman & Robin, besides the whole Injustice League perhaps the partnership was a recurring one. Also technically, if you think about it Slade was in control of this sect of the League, not really Cass his "puppet".

Still, poor Nyssa. Really she's only mentioned one more time in this arc and that's it she's swept under the rug, never to be mentioned again period by anyone again.

Anyway back to the story. Tim decides to meet Bruce and inform him what's going on:



Tim then gives the let me prove I'm innocent and Bruce allows this. However curiously someone is watching them:



Okay that surely is Cass, but really we get no explanation from Beechen as to why she was watching him. I guess you could chalk it up to her just being curious and stalking Tim until he hit the showers (more on her infamous "obsession" with Tim in part 2).

So how does Tim decide to prove he's innocent? Why breaking into the police precinct that has Lynx's body.





Yeah it doesn't go as planned so not even two steps into the place he's fighting cops and later a special division of cops designed to handle Metahumans called the Specials. Still, he gets a piece of paper he finds in the mask Lynx wore. Meanwhile:






*sigh* Cass's second kill. Though again I have to ask about the time table of this story arc. Okay part 1 we see Cass actually stalking Tim. Yet it's only been a few hours or less since Tim's now playing hide and seek with cops. Yet, Cass seems to have acquired the powers of a speedster. Cause there's no other explanation other than super fast super sneaky ninja helicopter I'll accept.

As for Tim, he tricks the Specials with the oldest trick of the book:





I guess the Gotham Police Department really must be recruiting young to patrol the streets. So Tim goes back to his pad at Wayne Manor when he's paid a visit by Shiva. On the bright side it isn't in his bed. Still, she informs him of Nyssa being dead and won't say anything further. They then have a laced sub textual scuffle before Shiva exits.





You just gotta love that. I'm not even gonna touch the Navajo plot hole given it's been driven into the ground. But after watching an episode of Attack of the Fourth Wall, I think Linkara has it wrong. This has got to be the worst planned scheme someone has ever thought up.

I mean seriously, you kill an already dead person again. Frame Tim with the murder, yet stash a piece of paper in the mask betting that Tim would find it before the medical examiner would. Then make the dude who was framed for a previous crime commit an actual second crime (the first breaking into the police station above). And what is the entire point? Well as the caption says it'll be a "hard answers".

Part Two to be posted tomorrow.

Date: 2011-05-25 03:11 am (UTC)
fifthie: tastes the best (Default)
From: [personal profile] fifthie
You should have posted a warning that you were posting a Cassandra Cain story by Adam Beechen >:(

Date: 2011-05-25 03:13 am (UTC)
fifthie: tastes the best (Default)
From: [personal profile] fifthie
Be warned this post is going to have some of the worst, dumbest character derailment in the history of shitty comics

That's what you should have warned

Date: 2011-05-25 03:13 am (UTC)
flint_marko: (Osiris)
From: [personal profile] flint_marko
I'm still hoping that someone will reveal that Superboy-Prime punching time screwed up Cassandra and David. I mean, it happened right after Infinite Crisis.

Date: 2011-05-25 03:18 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] ebailey140
Lynx was explained during the infamous Wall of Exposition. It still didn't make any sense.

This is also why I don't get why Cass fans bash Misfit on the basis that one writer mishandling her (McKeever in Charlie's case) means the character is crap for all eternity. McKeever is to Charlie what Beechen is to Cass. So, the bad stuff McKeever had Misfit do? She was drugged and brainwashed by Deathstroke and David Cain as part of some master plan. There. Now, can we quit bashing Charlie?

Deathstroke and David Cain were also responsible for whatever the hell Tieri had Steph doing in Gotham Underground, as part of a master plan to confue the hell out of everybody. Until she shook it off, they also took away Steph's ability to talk, because they thought that would be funny since Cass was talking so much.

Date: 2011-05-25 03:22 am (UTC)
fifthie: tastes the best (Default)
From: [personal profile] fifthie
Was Misfit extensively developed by previous writers before suddenly being derailed by the one writer who mishandled her, in a way that was completely and utterly incompatible with and opposed to her previous portrayal?

(I mean that could well actually be the case, I don't know shit about Misfit)

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From: [personal profile] ebailey140 - Date: 2011-05-25 03:31 am (UTC) - Expand

Date: 2011-05-25 03:27 am (UTC)
flint_marko: (Batman #700)
From: [personal profile] flint_marko
Except Cass being so verbose was explained (during that Wall of Exposition) as her taking speech and ESL courses. It could have easily been shrugged off as being a result of her brainwashing, but Beechen had to explain it and keep it in.

Also, David Cain loved Cassandra, and their complex relationship was one of the best things about their characters. He would never have done the stuff he did in Beechen's mini.

I don't think they're unsalvageable, but the mini needs to be retconned.

Date: 2011-05-25 03:31 am (UTC)
salinea: fem!Loki is snerking (lol)
From: [personal profile] salinea
I, err, kinda liked David Cain in the Batgirl ongoing series. Can he have been drugged by Deathstroke and David Cain as part of some master plan so I can continue liking him?

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Date: 2011-05-25 12:52 pm (UTC)
mrstatham: (Default)
From: [personal profile] mrstatham
The difference between Cass and Charlie is that a lot of us just find the character annoying and the 'dark vengeance' stuff not cute in the slightest, regardless of what Simone did. She was, to me, an unlikable character beforehand who didn't make sense in the kind of operation Barbara was meant to be running - And McKeever just made her less likeable.

The stuff Misfit did under McKeever's pen wasn't unprofessional by and large, anyway - It was merely a mistake, and the kind that pops up occasionally that's unavoidable. That she attacked Black Alice and started getting childish just because Barbara was showing someone else some attention is unprofessional, and the reason I dislike her. It wasn't a character assassination - In fact, it's probably authentic writing for a teenage character who thinks her place might be usurped by a newcomer, especially after a big mistake, but it still made the character unlikable.

That Simone picked Charlie, of all people, to turn up and learn about the New Deal for Barbara, was dense, too.

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Date: 2011-05-25 03:29 am (UTC)
mommy: Arshtat; Suikoden V (The same thing we do every night.)
From: [personal profile] mommy
Cassie? Why would Wonder Girl be in Cass's uniform? Tut tut.

Reading these pages, I'm suddenly glad I never got around to touching these arcs. This is terrible stuff.

Date: 2011-05-25 04:31 am (UTC)
filthysize: (Default)
From: [personal profile] filthysize
I like how Tim is only shocked by the message after he's finished decoding it.

"We have Cassandra Cain... Right, right. Bring David Cain... or she dies. That's important, gotta write it in big letters... Tell no one... Okay. Or she dies?! MY GOD."

Date: 2011-05-25 06:16 am (UTC)
jaybee3: Nguyen Lil Cass (Default)
From: [personal profile] jaybee3
I'd like to thank you for posting this - if only because it brings understanding to people who don't understand the widespread loathing of what DC/Beechan did to Cassandra Cain and why the reaction was so vehement (and this isn't even the worst of it).

The worst part I think is that Beechan said in interviews that he and his editors (Berganza/Tomasi) had actually come up with a reasonable explanation of her behavior and that based on where the Batgirl series had left this was all a "natural" part of the progression of her character (which showed he read none of Anderson Gabrych's final Batgirl run except maybe the final issue). All that was dropped within months as DC backpedaled and made her brainwashed by Deathstroke (whose magic evil juice apparently makes former multi-faceted heroes into over the top James Bond-ish villians) and then Beechan writes a mini trying to justify all this stuff even with the magic evil juice retcon.

So we have - 1) Cass (she was rarely called "Cassie", Mr. Beechan except by Oracle, "Cassie" to Tim is Wonder Girl) is killed and we see no REAL reaction (outside of Tim) from any of the Bat-Crew especially Bruce and Babs (the 2 closest to her).

2) A multi-racial legacy female hero (who was created not in the Silver Age but in the 90s) and who had supported her own solo title for 73 issues (and was still selling 23,000+) is reduced within the space of a few months to a B-Level Villian for Robin... (that says it all).

3) Nyssa, the new Demon Head, who had been set-up in several stories as a giant Big Bad in the future of the DCU, who had killed Ra's, killed/revived and brainwashed Talia, took over the League of Assassins is easily disposed of in the space of a handful of panels.

4) Navajo. Just...Navajo. A girl who in her own series (which Beechan clearly could not be bothered to even skim through and his editors obviously cared less) spent an entire issue TRYING to read one English word ("Why") now is taught fluent Najavo (one of the hardest languages in the world) by Bruce (since when does he bother with that?) OFF-PANEL no less.

I really would like to understand from a "rational" POV why DC did what they did to her (which made the character radio-active from then to now) but I still don't get it. I'd like to know what others think. For me, the DC Editors obviously could have cared less if Beechan made her motivations or past history (Najavo!) make any sense - which showed me (as a reader) that they really didn't care about the character at all. They just had no use for her (her title was said to be cancelled to make for the Batwoman series which never happened) and decided to make her a villain (and a bad one at that). Just as they recently did with Roy Harper (only to a more sadder degree)

Sorry about the rants - this story just makes me so mad even years later.

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Date: 2011-05-25 07:12 am (UTC)
fifthie: tastes the best (Default)
From: [personal profile] fifthie
2) A multi-racial legacy female hero (who was created not in the Silver Age but in the 90s) and who had supported her own solo title for 73 issues (and was still selling 23,000+) is reduced within the space of a few months to a B-Level Villian for Robin... (that says it all).

It still gets me that they took a character who was actually a really well-executed subversion/deconstruction of a whole set of awful racial stereotypes, threw all that out, and jammed her as hamfistedly as possible into a completely different set of awful racial stereotypes.

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From: [personal profile] espanolbot - Date: 2011-05-25 07:28 am (UTC) - Expand

Date: 2011-05-25 05:09 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] ebailey140

Oh, characters have had it worse. Stephanie Brown comes to mind. And remember Linda Danvers? Her book had a longer run than Cass's.

Cass got the Hal Jordan treatment. This is the Emerald Twilight of the Bat books. Cass was a series lead for six years. Hal was a series lead for 35 years before getting that treatment. At least they realized they'd gone in the wrong direction quickly, in Cass's case, instead of taking a decade to fix things.

Also, Beechen being the one to do this may have been a blessing in disguise, since he screwed it up so royally. Imagine if Winick had been the Robin writer tasked to do this at the time. He'd have made it into something that made sense and stuck, and we'd now have Cass as a sexy badass violent anti-heroine in a leather jacket. :)

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Date: 2011-05-25 07:15 am (UTC)
espanolbot: (Default)
From: [personal profile] espanolbot
Hm I know that when I discussed this with Linkara way back when, he said that he wouldn't be covering Robin: Wanted in his show due to it being more of less solid storywise and the majority of the flaws being due to the massively botched continuity checks.

Date: 2011-05-25 08:42 am (UTC)
q99: (Default)
From: [personal profile] q99
I think he's right that there's not enough non-continuity based stuff for a good episode. There's a few in-story inconsistencies, like Bruce saying "You couldn't beat Cassandra," then Tim beating Cassandra, but this'd just be "And here the writer kills off Nyssa with no fanfare, *continuity explanation*, and here's navajo *continuity explanation*, and here's stuff about Cain and Cass's relationship *continuity explanation*".

It's still not a good story even on it's own, it's IMO bad even on that, but it's only truly horrible when you add in the continuity factors, otherwise it's just average-bad.

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Date: 2011-05-25 11:43 am (UTC)
wizardru: Hellboy (Default)
From: [personal profile] wizardru
It's funny...the writing itself here isn't bad, per se. The problem is that the characterizations are wildly wrong. I read the Bat comics pretty regularly back in the 1990s and then fell out of them long before this happened. Stuff like No Man's Land was fantastic and Cassandra Cain was a really interesting take on Batgirl. She was a unique addition to the 'bat-family', being almost a negative Robin, instead of a female version of him. She brought unique and interesting stuff to the table.

This...this just seems way off. Granted, I wasn't reading ANY comics that tightly during the Infinite Crisis and OYL eras...but this seems to just throw everything out about the character that was interesting, in the vain hopes of making her a passable villain.

Date: 2011-05-25 07:08 pm (UTC)
fifthie: tastes the best (Default)
From: [personal profile] fifthie
This...this just seems way off. Granted, I wasn't reading ANY comics that tightly during the Infinite Crisis and OYL eras...but this seems to just throw everything out about the character that was interesting, in the vain hopes of making her a passable villain.

Well

yeah

Date: 2011-05-25 12:15 pm (UTC)
icon_uk: (Default)
From: [personal profile] icon_uk
Yeah this is painful. Lynx being alive I can accept as being a result of New Earth having differences from the pre Infinite Crisis Earth, but it's a weird change to make.

What they did to Cass was pretty much unforgiveable.

Nyssa, on the other hand, had been shoehorned into a role so clumsily "Look, I'm Ra's Al Ghul's OTHER daughter, but I'm more definitely EVIL than my Sister and Daddy!" that I felt little more than relief when she was offed, though being offed like a chump is not something I would wish on any character.

Date: 2011-05-25 01:00 pm (UTC)
mrstatham: (Default)
From: [personal profile] mrstatham
See, what they did to Nyssa, to me, is worse than what they did to Cass. Cass is at least being rehabbed, just about five years on, but Nyssa doesn't even have the chance for that.

And it's a shame. I don't think they went out of the way to make her 'more evil' than Ra's or Talia, but the idea is that she was meant to be more of an extremist and willing to do things that Ra's possibly wouldn't. That she had an entirely different relationship with Batman compared to her sister and father would've been interesting to exploit, too. I don't think her being Ra's other daughter was much of an issue, either. DATM was really compelling, frankly - unlike the boatload of new Al Ghul family members we've gotten lately, who haven't really been explained at all.

So Nyssa being offed so casually pisses me off more than Cass, really. If DC hadn't been so adamant on bringing Ra's back - And in the clumsiest way possible, too - We could've seen some decent stuff from her as a villain.

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Date: 2011-05-25 12:49 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] daningram.insanejournal.com
Another thing I have to wonder about, is how did Cass set up Robin to hit Linx instead? Move her body like it was Weekend at Bernies'?

Date: 2011-05-25 02:13 pm (UTC)
baxter2814: dick says you suck, dc! (nightwing accuses)
From: [personal profile] baxter2814
BEEEEEEEEEEECCCCCCCCHHHHHHHEEEEEEEEENNNNNNNNNNN!!!!!

We need to make that a meme too.

Date: 2011-05-25 04:27 pm (UTC)
turtlefu: (Default)
From: [personal profile] turtlefu
You know what we need to wash this bad taste from our mouth? GOOD Cass stories. I would help, but I've never actually read any of her solo series (DON'T HURT ME I'M SORRY)

Date: 2011-05-26 01:06 pm (UTC)
blackruzsa: (Default)
From: [personal profile] blackruzsa
I'm still kinda sweet on the fact that they call her Cassie.
Otherwise, I am not amused.

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