Shadow of the Batgirl by Sarah Kuhn and Nicole Goux

Cassandra Cain has been raised for one purpose: to be an assassin. Bred to carry the mantle for her father, she lacks even the basic ways of communicating but can kill a person a thousand different ways. Her life changes when one of her targets desperately utters one of the few words she knows, “daughter.” Cassandra finally realizes what she is and chooses to run. She finds a woman who gives her food, yet she is still timid and escapes when the woman tries to ask her questions. The Gotham Library is the refuge Cassandra needs. It’s full of places to hide and books with knowledge. She starts to teach herself to read and is approached by Barbara Gordon who works at the library.  They form a relationship as Barbara gives Cassandra a job researching and archiving the past actions of Batgirl.

A hideout/ sanctuary in a library! A student of the first Batgirl… A passing on of the torch. To be honest, I was a little thrown off by the prospect of a young woman being without language at such an age, but then the backstory starts to be revealed and it becomes more plausible.  Cassandra has a great skill in reading people and being able to sense their frustrations and motivations. Barbara is the key to nurturing it and helping her achieve her new identity. And also getting a really cool costume. There are several others who contribute to her evolution, but I’ll keep them for your reading. 

The art in this book is fantastic. Check this out!


The color palette and the shading create a modern and fluid look to all the panels. Even at rest, there is movement for these characters, an inner turmoil that Goux is able to capture in her work. I love the vivid lines too. They give a raw look that is perfect for Cain.

Pick this one up for an awesome YA/ All Ages look at Batgirl.

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