(Spoiler Warning for Detective Comics #955, Continue at your own risk.)
This might not seem fair because I already put this comic in my posting about comic books you should get this week. There are tons of comics out there that deserve your attention, but Detective Comics #955 with Cassandra Cain blew me away this week. James Tynion IV and Marcio Takara have been killing it for a while now with their run on Detective Comics, and with this issue they set a new standard for themselves. #955 starts with most of the Bat-team beaten, stripped of their equipment, and chained underground by the League of Shadows.
Lady Shiva and her legion of ninjas are planning on slaughtering the people of Gotham while it stands defenseless. The only person standing in their way is the wayward daughter of Shiva, known as Cassandra Cain. She was once Batgirl, then became the Black Bat; today she is codenamed Orphan. Cassandra was raised from birth to be a silent warrior, not learning to actually speak until her teens. Her first Batgirl costume actually featured a piece of cloth stitched over her mouth. She was fashioned into more of a weapon than a person until she joined the Bat-family.
Today she still struggles with communicating with others and being able to express her emotions. Lady Shiva rejects her daughter because of her refusal to kill. Her morals and ethical code wrestles with her trained instinct to kill any foe. In this issue she proves that there is no better fighter on the Bat-team than Cassandra Cain. She throws herself against a horde of League ninjas in a seemingly impossible battle to rescue her friends and save Gotham from disaster.
Our heroine only speaks about 30 words in the whole issue which leaves room for Marcio Takara’s artwork to take center stage. The imagery in #955 is dark, brutal, and epic in scale. There is a breath-taking two page spread in the middle of the comic that I had to just sit and stare at. There is another sequence that turns into a widescreen experience of ninja mayhem and havoc. Imagine the movie The Raid: Redemption mixed with the emotion of the movie Warrior. If you like comics or if you just like a well told story that looks beautiful, you need to go out and buy this issue. End of story.
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