Batgirl Vol 1 #7
The first thing that needs to be said about this issue is that we have now reached the point at which Cass suddenly goes from having severe difficulties speaking to speaking in full sentences. As such, I will not be counting words she has spoken anymore. Personally, I think there was a lot of potential for character growth lost here, but… oh well, let’s move on, shall we?
The issue starts with Cass getting her ass handed to her by Bruce in combat training. Her offense is great, but her defense is lacking, and so Bruce hands her a disk with a lifetime worth of combat lessons with the promise that she can try again next week. To Barbara’s dismay, the disk is already formatted to her systems, meaning that Tim probably spied on her for Bruce, although I personally find the fact that she backtracks from calling Cass “Cass” to calling her “Batgirl”, as if using her name was an insult, much more disturbing.
Cass spends the entire week doing pretty much nothing
but working through the 127 styles of combat Bruce has packed on the disk
(quite fittingly ending with “Yaw[n]-Yan”, but come the next training, she
fails again. She spends the week after that mostly ignoring her training,
coming to the realization that no amount of lessons can make up for the sheer
instinctive, predictive knowledge she had before. Come the third training
session with Bruce, she refuses to back off, asking angrily if her live is
worth more than that of the people she’s saving. Her stubbornness reminds him
of Jason, which has him all but fleeing from Gotham for a few days, declaring
that he is not going to lose anyone else.
Fiercely Assertive Protector: 11
Plight Of Permanent Perfectionism: 5
Better Off Dead: 6
Frustrated, and determined that she doesn’t need
defense, nor Bruce’s approval, Cass dons some face paint and a more
street-ninja-like version of her outfit, then sets out to hunt criminals at
night. To her shock, Barbara has knows about both her secret vigilantism and
her disregard for her own safety, and while she promises not to tell on Cass,
she wants her to stop. Not because of some sense of moral superiority, but
because Barb is genuinely worried for her well-being.
Fiercely Assertive Protector: 12
Better Off Dead: 7
Then, one night during her stunt as the unnamed, face-painted vigilante, Cass comes across a special kind of criminal: Lady Shiva Woosan, who Barbara specifically warned her to stay away from, because she actually IS better than Cass, even before her brain was re-wired. Instead of getting the hell out of dodge, Cass gleefully removes her mask and follows her into a French restaurant, where she spends enough time checking out the menu while observing Shiva quietly to have one of the waiters come over, offering her to leave or be removed by the police.
However, just as Cass is about to give up, a girl who looks like royalty and has two armed and armored muscle men for bodyguards appears, and Shiva makes her move. Cass rushes in, marveling at both Shiva’s speed and her complete and utter disregard for the guys she takes out with single hits… only to run straight into Lady Shiva’s punch. The issue ends as it began: with Cass getting hit in the face and thinking “this sucks”.