The Next Batman Shouldn’t Be Robin, But Batgirl Cassandra Cain.
Several protégés support DC Comics Batman, so there are many potential successors to the Dark Knight throne. But one Batgirl deserves this honor more than any other – Robin included. Cassandra Cain might not be the first person who comes to mind to replace Bruce Wayne. Cass is a clear choice when compared with her Bat-Family friends.
Cain was created by Kelley Puckett, Damion Scott, and Lady Shiva’s daughter, a fan-favorite character. She is also the only Bat-Family member who truly wants to be Batman, at least for the right reasons. Batgirl #50, by Rick Leonardi and Dylan Horrocks, demonstrates why. After Batgirl and Batman have been administered Dr. Death’s aggressive-inducing drug Soul to their bodies, they begin trading blows at a rapid pace. They battle across Gotham, each side bringing everything with them and neither one of them breaking a sweat. Their deathmatch ends at Sprang Bridge, where an explosion from a gasoline tanker jolts the Bat-Family members into their minds and plunges them into the Gotham River below. They hold hands as Cass tells them that their only contact with David Cain, her birthfather, was through violence. Bruce finally asks Cass where her loyalty lies between herself, Barbara, and David. Cass points at his chest with the Bat Symbol and replies, “No. You are not. This” proves that she, just like Bruce, understands that Batman is more than his identity. It’s a symbol of justice for all who are in need.
This is only one example of the respect Batgirl has for Batman’s legacy. It’s one reason she’s the obvious choice to take on the role. Scott Peterson, Kelley Puckett, and Damion Scott wrote the first issue of her solo series. Bruce had commented on how similar they were for many years before Flashpoint erased them from the timeline. She is, without doubt, the Bat-Family’s best fighter – better than Batman himself! But her drive and dedication to the mission she shares with Bruce make her the perfect successor, especially when compared with the Robins.
Nightwing was a great Batman. However, he lived his entire life in Bruce’s shadow and would never want to take over the role again. On the other hand, Red Hood has his problems with Bruce, which he needs to resolve before he can ever consider taking over. Tim Drake is the Bat Family’s greatest detective. But, fans have repeatedly seen that the pressures of following Bruce’s legacy lead Tim to an extremely dark place in many timelines. Stephanie Brown, a great hero by herself, has had a relationship with vigilantism that has been so tangled that she can’t imagine staying as Batman. Although Damian is Bruce’s biological heir, and Robin most often proclaims the Batman mantle as his inheritance, readers have seen the dark future that his Batman creates and know that there’s an ego-driven part of him that would rather claim the mantle to fulfill his genuine desire for justice.
Cassandra Cain might not be the first to be thought of by fans when it comes time to replace Batman. But she should be. She is the Bat-Family’s most authentic and most suitable to carry on the legacy. Bruce and the Robins will be doing Gotham a favor by having Batgirl replace Batman after the Shadows of the Bat event.