espanolbot: (Default)
[personal profile] espanolbot posting in [community profile] scans_daily
In comics Cass Cain is probably my all time favourite character, as her introduction in No Man's Land also happened to be the first actual non-DCAU comic series that I ever bought (I was on a post-apocalyptic bender at the time).

Since that I've come to like a lot of other female characters a bunch too (Stephanie Brown my second favourite overall DC character, Darwyn Cooke/Ed Brubaker's Catwoman is my favourite antiheroine, Matt Wagner's Dian Belmont and Madame Xanadu my favourite Vertigo characters, Revy and Major Kusanagi my favourite anime/manga characters) but I've always been attached to Cass for her overall character arc (yes, even including her fall from grace and climb back to the top), her ethics, personality and history.

Admittedly her skillset isn't exactly THAT unique (looking at you Midnighter, Finesse, Taskmaster and that one Jim Balent Catwoman series that Anne Hathaway said she liked) but I thought that it worked for the character.

As an example of her early series, here is a bit from an issue that isn't posted that often.

The context: Something stranger is happening in Gotham, stranger than usual, I mean. Within the same couple of city blocks over the course of several days, seemingly ordinary people without prior histories of mental illness have started to go on killing sprees. Cass sets out to investigate, and after incapacitating a former veteran who seemed to be a hallucinating he was in a war zone while emptying a machinegun on an open street, she notices a man in scientist gear holding an odd machine up on a nearby rooftop watching the show.

She swings up to catch him, only to be blasted by the machine herself, causing her to blackout. Some time later she comes too, finding Batman standing over her, saying that the Joker has escaped from Arkham and he needs her to track him down... only for the Joker to abruptly shoot him from a safe distance.

Date: 2013-03-10 11:33 am (UTC)
mrstatham: (Default)
From: [personal profile] mrstatham
I like stories like this, that justify how complex a character she is. I can't say she's my favourite (that would be a certain other Batgirl), but the more I see of actual, decent comics with Cass that I never got the chance to read on here, the more I like her.

Date: 2013-03-10 05:33 pm (UTC)
jaybee3: Nguyen Lil Cass (Default)
From: [personal profile] jaybee3
With over 70 issues (and cancelled with sales about 23,000 - well above DC's mendoza line for those things) I think Cassandra's series hold up very well. Some of Kelly Puckett/Damion Scott's early issues when Cass rarely talked are brilliant in their simplicity and Anderson Gabrych at the end of the run ended it on a high note. He was obviously a fan of the character and treated as every bit the hero. Even Dylan Horrock's in-between-run (with the Superboy romance) which were thought to be mediocre to average look very good now in comparison to some of what DC is putting out.

But then I am biased. Cass was my gateway to modern comics. As a kid hers was the first comic of any kind I actually had my local comic shop pull every month for me. Without Cass I probably would have grown up with Marvel instead of DC.

Date: 2013-03-10 06:24 pm (UTC)
mrstatham: (Default)
From: [personal profile] mrstatham
I came in on Gabrych's run and I'm honestly curious as to why the Hell the guy isn't writing comics nowadays, because I think he did such wonderful work in setting Cass up with Bludhaven and the like in a way that made sense and made it feel significant to her. I even appreciate the ambiguity of where Cass' series ended, too - it's just a shame DC screwed that one up so badly by having an increasingly morally ambiguous lead and just saying 'villain'.

I think I largely appreciate Steph more because of what she represents and just Miller's run with the character in general, but that doesn't mean Cass isn't pretty fantastic, in my eyes.

Date: 2013-03-10 06:30 pm (UTC)
jaybee3: Nguyen Lil Cass (Default)
From: [personal profile] jaybee3
I wondered where Gabrych went too. He seemed to disappear from the comics world. Too bad, he was a heckuva writer and he seemed to get not only Cass but the rest of the Bat-Crew right on in characterization.

Date: 2013-03-10 06:41 pm (UTC)
mrstatham: (Default)
From: [personal profile] mrstatham
Wasn't he one of the writers who protested what they were doing with War Games, from what I remember reading? With that in mind, I can maybe understand why he opted to leave DC after wrapping on Batgirl.

Date: 2013-03-10 07:48 pm (UTC)
q99: (Default)
From: [personal profile] q99
According to wikipedia, he put out a book with vertigo in '10, Fogtown, and is currently doing standup comedy.

Date: 2013-03-12 11:20 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] lego_joker
Let's not give him TOO much credit, though. If I recall correctly, he was also the guy who revived Nora Fries and then turned her into an insane, murderous supervillain.

Date: 2013-03-10 07:08 pm (UTC)
crinos: (Default)
From: [personal profile] crinos
So, why was the scientist doing this anyway? Did he have some big theory he was testing, or was he like "Eff it, got a murder machine, may as well use it."

Date: 2013-03-11 04:29 pm (UTC)
filthysize: (Default)
From: [personal profile] filthysize
That's the absurd part of this for me. The story tried to frame the experiment as a mad invention that he had use on random people, when this actually would've been a legitimate psychological study if a machine like that existed. It's not like the typical Hugo Strange "I'm gonna make a serum that makes people's brains so large they spill out of their mouths and mutate into frogs... FOR SCIENCE!" This is actually for science.

Date: 2013-03-10 08:03 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Well, if you have a murder machine, how in good conscience could you not use it on random people?

Date: 2013-03-11 01:01 am (UTC)
bj_l: (Default)
From: [personal profile] bj_l
One thing I never got was why DC frequently made sure bad artists were working on Cass. Could have been dynamite with the right artist.

Date: 2013-03-11 08:51 am (UTC)
mrstatham: (Default)
From: [personal profile] mrstatham
With Scott, I always found he put a lot of work into the expression of the character, either via her face or other means, and.. It really worked for a character like Cass; Half the time she's wearing a face-concealing mask and she's not a character who can speak, so a slightly exagerrated approach to facial expressions and the like really worked, to me. Certainly the only artists I liked better for her, looking at things, were the ones who worked with Gabrych.

Date: 2013-03-11 06:01 am (UTC)
q99: (Default)
From: [personal profile] q99
I'd say the artists in the Cass series itself were generally pretty good... they all drew a lot of emphasis on her movement, an important facet of the character.

The post-series mini, on the flip side, didn't have that, and was by an editorial (and writer) who didn't care.

Date: 2013-03-11 01:20 pm (UTC)
jaybee3: Nguyen Lil Cass (Default)
From: [personal profile] jaybee3
I think most of the art on Cass's book was exactly right for her character (even in retrospect the clumsy looking art on the Dylan Horrocks run which seemed to be a manga style) but yeah the mini-series art was dreadful (as was the art during her time as a villain in Robin and Supergirl) and you could see (as if putting Beechan on the book was not enough) that editorial didn't really expect or even want it to succeed- we know Didio was already prepping Babs's return in Oracle:The Return literally at the same time. Sometimes you can see the editors and DC just wiping their hands on a title/character. As Countdown went on for example the art just got worse and worse (and not all the artists were bad) with it not keeping consistent even in color or backgrounds from issue to issue.

Cass's Batgirl title did have the covers by James Jean though which put it miles ahead of most titles on the market in that category.

Date: 2013-03-11 06:57 pm (UTC)
q99: (Default)
From: [personal profile] q99
One thing on the Beechan mini is it was done to 'test the waters'... and did a fairly respectable 30k despite the half-assed job, a good deal more than, say, the Cyborg, Raven, Wondergirl, Vixen minis. So Didio of course took this as no interest in the character.


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