Fight, On Cass has come and gone. Was it a success? A look back.
I have to confess: I almost didn't publish this article. At first, I thought that the simple dreams of a fan to reminisce and give other fans something that the company that owns the character won't to be just that. I'm talking, of course, about the call I put out to fans of Cassandra Cain to send me their favorite moments involving the character. You can read all about it here. However, despite lots of people pledging that they would send in their favorites, January 26 came and went, and, everyone slacked out!
Then, the next day happened. A friend, after I told him about the lack of follow-through on responses, decided to not let this event go down without a fight. So here I am. Surprised, astonished, and giddy. To that I have to say: thank you, Kiarou.
So why did I do this? Everyone who's a comic book fan has that hero who they will read about, no matter what, be it a mainstream corporate powerhouse like Superman, Batman, Spider-Man, Iron Man, Wolverine, or be it a lesser known character who, despite not having the support and seemingly unlimited chance to find an audience that more well-known characters get, still has a devoted fanbase.
For me, that character is Cassandra Cain. From beginning to end, her run was exceptional to me, due to the growth she had as a character. Even through the rough times, when she was EVIL or badly written, I stuck with the character. Now, the character is literally in limbo, and, honestly, I think Cass has gotten an unfair reputation, with some going so far as to call her "toxic".
I wanted to change that, and show why there are so many that appreciate this character.
For me, the reasons I enjoy Cass, or any character, so much are the little moments. I'm talking about the moments that show a character's weaknesses and show that character working to overcome them. For Cassandra Cain, it's her inability to do some simple, everyday things, like read. For me two moments that reflect this stick out and will always make me a fan of the character. The first moment is from Batgirl vol. 1 #58 to which she tries to read a passage from Charles Dickens' A Tale of Two Cities:
It's a nice quaint moment showing her trying so hard to overcome her disability. The other moment is a longer one in Batgirl v. 1 #34. It appeals to both my love of Cass as well as my appreciation of Damion Scott's art and Kelly Puckett's writing. It's several pages of just Cassandra doing her training routine. However, what's eating her is the case she's on, which cost the life of a young child. No words here - just the emotion shown from the character. The only dialogue is from the killers between pages, building up the inevitable showdown between the two forces.
It's such a great build-up that every time it leaves me with a wide smile because the arrogant crooks got their comeuppance. But it also signifies what really burns at the core of the character. Here was a person who was given no life at all, no purpose but to end lives. In the story above, she's seen another child who's life was ended prematurely. It burns inside her until it explodes when she faces down the murderers. It's a classic moment, executed perfectly.
Now that I've shown you mine, here are the moments other fans sent me:
“The second fight from #25, mostly because I just think the art is prettier and I'm a sucker for pretty art lol. More than that, it really showed off Cass natural fighting ability and determination to always come out of top.”
“And the little speech she gave Dick in GoG is my other favorite moment because it shows her maturity as a character. She's one of the youngest of the Bat family, but has a wisdom beyond her years. And more than that, it shows that her character isn't the same as when we first met her, she's really changed. Also, I like the way Snyder and Nicieza writes Cass. The very simple, straight to the point dialogue really suits her compared to how some other writers have her speak is fluent and verbose dialogue.”
Speaking of other fans' favorite moments. Well, I can't list every single one like mine and the one above since those were via e-mail. There were many more moments posted via tumblr, and it's a little harder to quote every single person who gave me a moment from that. What I can do is I can post the moments themselves, and encourage you to visit the Tumblr link for further reading.
Now, one of the numerous other angles of Fight On, Cass that I wished to achieve was to get some artistic talent (art, amv, fiction, or anything really) to contribute as well, allowing fans of the character to create their own memorable moments. Truth be told, this isn't even my idea. I frequent various places around the net. One of those places is 4Chan's /co/. One day, I noticed a thread pertaining to Cassandra Cain and moments we'll probably never see (the thread is long gone, but the ideas remain via here). I decided shortly thereafter: “Screw that, I'm going to commission some of these wondrous ideas.” So I found an artist, Kiarou, and so I did:
I really should have known better than to doubt the resolve of Cass fans. I named the event, Fight, On Cass after all. In the end, the event rose to the challenge and fought on. I'm grateful for that to all those who particpated, and espically to Kiarou, who breathed new life into this when I was about to give up. If you want to continue to pour on those moments, go right ahead. That's what this article is for. Flood the Facebook and forum.
And for all those who participated: thank you very much. There's only one real way I can think of poetically ending this.