Batgirl (2000-2006) #21
"Didn’t… Mean… Please… I… Oracle…”
This, to me, is the moment Stephanie and Cassandra become the tightest of friends. Steph becomes privy to a side of Cass literally no other member of the Bat Family has seen, and she responds with understanding, kindness, and secrecy in return. In some ways, she becomes the only person who truly knows Cass as herself.
Another thing that catches my attention is that Cass’ immediate concern is not about Batman. It’s about Oracle knowing. I think that says a lot about the shift Cass is feeling in her values and in her understanding of the relationships she has built so far.
Finally, I would be amiss as an equal parts Dick Grayson-fan and Cassandra Cain-fan to not note that in this event, both future siblings murder a villain with their bare hands. Cassandra, in a rare moment of relinquishing her self control, uses a finishing move without realizing that the Thanagarian technology Shadow Thief was using shorted out and thus took out his metahuman abilities. Dick, on the other hand, is led to believe that the Joker is responsible for killing Tim Drake (no worries, he was fine) and proceeds to go into a blind rage and beat the Joker to death with his fists.
So how weird is it that in this one crossover event two members of the Never-Kill-Ever-Ever Bat Family murder two villains? Is there really anything to draw from the comparisons?
Well, yes! Or, at least, I find there’s quite a bit of value to come by from it. These are both my favorite characters from the entire DCU, and what I love most about them (as I say again and again) is that I find them to be amazing examples of true heroism, compassion, and love. Yet they are, quite literally, the only members of the inner-family besides Jason-Crime-Lord-Todd who can say they have body counts. Whether it sticks or not.
The fact is, they’re both pretty brutal characters. They have the capacity to harm you, to kill you, and it’s sort of a fearsome thing to think about. But, if you sit and really think about it, anyone has the power to hurt you. I think it’s very true that the more power someone has to help you, the more power they have to hurt you just as bad. And these moments, to me, reflect each other as reminders that the reason Cass and Dick are capable of being as great of heroes as they are is because they actively choose to not use that power to hurt people.
It’s not exact situations, but both stem from the individual letting their usual guards down. Cass, in a false sense of security based on the idea that her opponent could withstand her full force, let go of her restraints and let free. This is the very action she has passively chosen to not do even against Lady Shiva. Dick, in grief and positive anguish, lets go of his temper and allows it to take over - letting his emotions rule unchecked.
In the aftermath of the events, and after the Shadow Thief and the Joker are revived, Cass and Dick are mortified. Cass immediately secludes herself, running away from Steph and Barbara to remind herself that her Death Duel is approaching quickly. This duel, and her resulting death, acts as solemn reassurance that she’ll pay for her committed sins. Her actions with Shadow Thief have “taught” her that she deserves it for what rests in her nature. Dick, broken by how he killed with his own hands, similarly resigns himself to being alone. He returns to Bludhaven and keeps distant and angry as he beats himself up over and over for a good while in something of a spiraling display of guilt and self-hatred.
Okay, my dissection of (what I find to be) interesting parallels is done!
I need feminism because a senator actually referred to a pregnant woman as a ‘host’.
Not a woman. Not a mother. A ‘host’.
You know what a host is?
It’s the victim of a parasite.
So this pro-life dude just made an argument against his own agenda.
And also, a host?
Fuck that shit.
If you see something like this, DO NOT CALL AN EXTERMINATOR!
Call a beekeeper, they can relocate the hive instead of killing them. Bees are dying at an alarming rate, please do not contribute to that! They are so important for our ecosystem!
If I saw something like that, as long as the little pain-butts didn’t have a way to actually GET INSIDE THE HOUSE, I’d probably leave it alone. That’s the coolest looking thing I’ve seen in a while.
… Did they really just build a freaking hive inside of the door?????