Last time out I covered Matrix/Supergirl, so I'm taking a look at the second (and my favorite) Batgirl, Cassandra Cain. For her, Cass was raised to be the perfect killing machine/bodyguard for Ra's al Guhl. Her Father David Cain seached for right genes which were necessary to create this "One Who Is All". Cain searched for the perfect mother for this child, finding her in the Wu-San sisters of Detroit, who practiced martial arts with each other nearly every moment of their childhood in a type of sister's language. Cain sympathized with the younger sister, Sandra, when he noticed that she held back out of love for Carolyn. To "help" Sandra reach her full potential, Cain murdered Carolyn, then lured Sandra into an ambush by the League of Assassins, where he defeated her. Cain spared Sandra from death on the condition that she bear his child, and leave her for him to raise. Awed by the potential heights she could reach in her physical talents now that Carolyn was gone, Sandra agreed to Cain's bargain in order that she might go on to become the unstoppable force of nature known as Lady Shiva: creator and destroyer. Shiva's hope for her child was that she might one day grow to be the one force that could stop her reign of destruction....yep fine start for childhood
One of Cass' talents was photographic reflex, parts of her brain normally used for speech were trained so she could read other people's movements and predict, their next move.
Cain deprived her the ability to speak and she suffered from dyslexia. (she knew ten words at best.) When Cain took her to murder a bussiness man, she realized after killing the man, that murder, was wrong, and she ran away from her father. 10 homeless years later she helped Oracle (Barbara Gordon/Batgirl 1) during the No Man's Land event in Gotham, eventually becoming Batgirl. She became Barbara's ward.
Batman eventually learned about Cassandra's past when Cain transmitted a video he had made of the murder to the Batcave, but Batman nevertheless continued to accept Cassandra after she took several bullets to save the life of a hired assassin, proving her devotion to protecting human life.
A telepath Her brain was "rewired" allowing her to think with words and understand English (although speaking properly took longer, and she still could not read or write) at the cost of her ability to predict and read people. This left her unable to defend herself in a fight, as that part of her style relied completely on her ability to read moves, not the "strategies, patterns, and tricks" employed by Batman and most other martial artists. Fearing that she would meet a fate similar to former Jason Todd Batman refused to let Cassandra wear the Batgirl costume and patrol the city until she could learn adequate defensive skills, which he estimated would take at least a year of work. She soon discovered that her mother could read people like she used to be able to, and asked her to reteach her. Lady Shiva accepted, on the condition that in a year they would have a duel to the death. Knowing that she would never kill again and would most assuredly lose, but preferring to be "perfect for a year" rather than "mediocre for a lifetime", Cassandra accepted and Lady Shiva retaught her in a night. Other happening include her supposed flirting with Superboy, finding out Shiva was her mom fights her, breaks her neck , Joining and leading the League Of Assasins, half following Shiva and the others Cassandra. In the ensuing confrontation, Cassandra was mortally wounded by her "adoptive brother", The Mad Dog while heroically saving one of the students under her leadership. Shiva revived Cassandra in the Lazarus Pit, then answered Cassandra's questions on her parentage. Fights Robin (Tim Drake) and Supergirl (Kara Zor-El), then joins Deathstroke's Titans East, ] and is once again wearing the Batgirl costume. She is being drugged by Deathstroke. After a rematch with the Ravager, Robin injects a counter serum (prepared in case Deathstroke regains control of his daughter again) to Cassandra. She apparently regains control over herself, with a desire of revenge by killing Deathstroke for violating her like Ravager and Terra before her. Whether she will or can accomplish this remains to be seen. Then she is allied with the Teen Titans Miss Martian comments that she is more in control of herself now), and faces Slade, Match, and other former Titans East teammates, before being subdued by Risk.
Basically she is the one Batgirl to star in her own series. Much like Linda, people didn't like a new Batgirl but over time, they began to give her props (probably because Babs , Spolier, Robin (Drake) and, Bruce were all helping her grow as a hero and a person) But now she's a "villian" much to many people's (and mine) confusion. Her book is what got me to enjoy Batman in general