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Cassandra Cain is a fictional character in the DC Universe who served as Batgirl from 1999 to 2009. The daughter of assassins David Cain and Lady Shiva, she was deprived of speech and human contact during her childhood as conditioning to become the world's greatest assassin. Consequently, Cassandra grew up to become an expert martial artist while simultaneously remaining mute, developing very limited social skills, and being illiterate. Cassandra first appeared in Batman #567 (July 1999) and was created by Kelley Puckett and Damion Scott (though it was Alex Maleev who designed her costume). Cassandra was the first Batgirl to star in her own ongoing Batgirl comic book series. An Asian-American, she is also the first non-white member of the Batman family and remained one of the most prominent non-white super-heroes, until she was replaced as Batgirl by Stephanie Brown in 2009.
Cassandra Cain was first introduced during the No Man's Land crossover storyline (1999). She is one of the Oracle's agents in Gotham. In that arc, Gotham was leveled by an earthquake, declared a "no man's land," and isolated from the rest of the United States. After proving herself by saving Commissioner Gordon's life, she is given the Batgirl costume with the approval of both the Batman and the Oracle. She becomes Barbara Gordon's ward. In this story arc, Cassandra cannot speak at all and can only communicate through gestures and drawings.
Bruce Wayne, also the Batman, eventually learns about Cassandra's past. She murdered a businessman when she was eight years old after Cain transmitted a video he had made of the murder to the Batcave. Nevertheless, Wayne continues to accept Cassandra after she takes several bullets to save the life of a hired assassin, proving her devotion to protecting human life. This action illustrates the major difference between Cassandra and the other members of the Batman family; while the other characters were motivated to fight crime by the murders of loved ones, Cassandra is fighting crime to atone for a murder that she herself committed.
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