With all the battles that happen in comics week-to-week, the one that got me most excited this week was the showdown between Orphan – Cassandra Cain’s new identity – and her mother, Lady Shiva, in the latest issue of Detective Comics.
Detective Comics 952
Written by James Tynion IV
Art by Christian Duce and Alex Sinclair
It’s probably not fair to compare the showdown that’s been building in Detective Comics since issue 950, when the LEAGUE OF SHADOWS arc kicked off, to the epic Shiva vs. Cassie story that took up a good chunk of the Cassie-led Batgirl series from the 2000s. We were all still learning about Cassie then, and DC Comics writers had promoted both Cassie and Shiva as the best fighters in the world. The showdowns the two had back then became the stuff of legend. We foamed at the mouth waiting for the next battle between Shiva and Cassie. And then we found out Shiva was Cassandra’s mother. Hot damn.
With this latest arc in Detective Comics, we’ve hit the reset button on a lot of things. Cassandra was never Batgirl, for instance, but she’s still considered one of the best fighters in the world, and this arc is establishing that Lady Shiva is still one of the most feared assassins in the world, leading a League of Shadows (thanks, Batman Begins, for that one) and even giving pause to the fearless Ra’s al Ghul. Even Batwoman’s father, who led a group of trained soldiers seeking to emulate and replace the Bat, is scared of her.
And now Shiva is in Gotham City to claim daughter, who she sees as being weak under the training of Batman. The first encounter between the Rebirthed versions of Cassandra Cain and Lady Shiva was not an epic brawl that took over a whole issue of amazing fight panels. It was a tease. A taste of what, hopefully, will come somewhere down the line. Shiva sense the power Cassie has, but Cassie holds back because she doesn’t want to kill anyone.
Whatever the end result of the current story, I hope Shiva and Cassie don’t face off again, at least not for a while, so we can see Cassie honing her skills to match up with her mother. Having Shiva as a boogeyman hanging over everyone’s heads is a great use for her. Also, doing this to Batman:
I love it when Batman gets taken down. It just makes me feel all warm and fuzzy.