You may know about the daughter of David Cain and Lady Shiva, trained to be a master assassin and later became Batgirl. She would often work with Batman, but many can’t help but to wonder: who would win in a fair fight? Yes we are talking about Cassandra Cain vs Batman, where an expert martial artist would battle against one of the smartest people on the planet. The answer to this question may be elusive, as Batman has beaten stronger and more powerful enemies without lifting a finger. His strongest muscle is his brain. We can see this in Batman: Knightfall (in the end when he defeats Jean-Paul Valley) and JLA: Tower of Babel.
But seriously, what would happen if they had to throw fists at each other? The real deal, no holding back? If you are just looking for the answer to that single question, we have it. In Detective Comics 951 Batwoman (Kate Kane) asks Bruce what he thought would happen if we saw Cassandra Cain vs Batman. He responds by saying that of course he thought about it, and he’d lose. So by Batman’s own admission Cain is a better martial artist and she would win the fight. Well that settles that. Right?
I’m sure just his word would not satisfy you. You are a comic book fan, and comics are a visual medium. You want to see them actually fighting, blow to blow, correct? The closest think you will ever see would have to be in Batgirl issue 50 (series 1 from 2000). The reason why I say this is because it literally says on the cover “Batgirl vs Batman”. And since it’s a special fiftieth issue, you know it’s gonna be a juicy fight. It starts off by Batman demanding that Cassandra goes home while they are standing in a graveyard. He tells her that he doesn’t want to fight her. She accuses him of lying and tries to kick him, but he blocks it while she continues. Batman tells her to stop before he is forced to hurt her. She takes the words as instigation. The fight begins to get a bit ridiculous as the scenery changes to them fighting on top of a freight train, and then on top of a monorail.
It turns out that near the beginning of the fight, a mind-altering substance called Soul had exposed itself to them both and instigated the fight farther than it should have. You see, Soul turns people into homicidal maniacs. It’s made from the liquefied essence of pain, bitterness, frustration and rage. (Sounds like my ex-girlfriend.) Nightwing tries to intervene with Batman and Cassandra just punches him in the head for no reason and then continues fighting Batman. Robin manages to get the antidote for Soul as the punching and kicking continues. This Cassandra Cain vs Batman battle takes a pause while the chaos moves to a bridge with traffic. When a truck full of gasoline tips over Batman ignites the gasoline on purpose. Cassandra lunges toward Batman to get away from the explosion as they both jump off the bridge. While in the water they embrace each other. When they get out of the water Bruce asks Cassandra where her loyalties lie. She says they don’t lie with him, but with his symbol, as she points to the bat on his chest.
It turns out though that, although the drug was effective, it wasn’t as mind-altering as it was thought to be. The fighting, as Batman explained, was necessary for both of them. He describes it as the only type of therapy Cassandra would understand. But wait, we just saw Cassandra Cain vs Batman. Who won? As Oracle points out at the end of the story, it was just a big act, and Batman planned the whole thing. He anticipated the outcome, which was that it would bring them closer together. In the end we see them swinging through the air together. So I guess Batman won using his wits? Sorry folks, no bloody corpses here. Although Batman did cause a car wreckage and blew up a bridge for no reason.
If you are interested in the two of them fighting, you should buy this issue for sure. I mean seriously, the entire thing is just them fighting with minimal plot. Shallow or not, it’s nice to see that they worked things out in the end. Do you have any thoughts? Let me know.