04 August 2007

The Friends and Foes of Batman - David Cain

David Cain first appeared in 1999, and is yet to appear in any media outside of the comic books.

David Cain is one of the world's premier assassins, taking out some of the most famous and powerful people on the planet. He was one of the people who trained the young Bruce Wayne with the skills that he would use as Batman, although Bruce has, naturally, never used the murder techniques Cain demonstrated. When asked why he went to Cain in the first place, Batman replied 'Knowing how to kill doesn't mean you must kill.'

Exceptionally meticulous, Cain's success can be partially attributed to his painstaking preparation, always planning far ahead for any contingency: hence his decision to train someone to be his partner and eventual successor. He had made several attempts in the past, training young children, but found every one of them to be a failure. If he was to accomplish his goal, he would need to have a child of his own, whom he could train from the moment he or she was out of the womb. But in order to do this, he also needed a to find a woman warrior worthy to mother said child. David Cain found the perfect mate in Sandra Wu-San.

While visiting he witnessed Sandra and her sister Carolyn, sparring in a martial arts tournament. While both women were highly accomplished fighters, Cain saw a flame in Sandra which he felt he shared. Cain decided to spark it by removing the restraint that held her back. One fateful day, Sandra found the bloody corpse of her sister, murdered in cold blood.

Discovering that David Cain had been the one to kill her sister, Sandra Wu-San hunted for the murderer, only to be lured into an ambush by Ra's al Ghul's League of Assassins, of which Cain was a member. Although she lost the battle, in the heat of the moment, Sandra realized how much she had held back when fighting Carolyn and got a taste for just what heights she could attain with more experience--her life now had purpose. However, Cain exacted a price for sparing Sandra's life after the battle with the League. In order to be reborn as something new and terrible, Sandra agreed to bear Cain's child and leave that child for him alone to raise. The child who would later be named Cassandra Cain, was to be Ra's al Ghul's "One Who Is All," a perfected bodyguard whose only native tongue was an instinct for hand-to-hand combat and the ability to read people's intentions simply by observing their slightest muscle movements. With Carolyn gone, Cassandra and Sandra were the only two humans known to share this gift. The day of Cassandra's birth, Sandra also set out for her own rebirth, as the Lady Shiva: creator and destroyer.

Cain trained Cassandra in every imaginable form of violence, from hand-to-hand combat to weapons and explosives. To further her skills, Cain never taught her how to speak; instead, physical movement became her language--she learned to read a person's body language as well and easily as other people can understand speech. This skill led Cassandra to be able to predict exactly what her opponents were going to do, sometimes before they knew it themselves.

When she was 8 years old, Cain took her to kill a businessman. After she did it, she "read" him as he died, she saw death as the man saw it. "Terror and then... nothing". In addition to scarring her emotionally, she realized murder, like Cain's profession, is wrong, and she ran away from her father. Cain was surprisingly devastated by her disappearance and has never been the same since. He has never quite given up hope that someday she might return to his life. While Cain is not that good of a father, he has shown that he does care deeply for Cassandra; he even began to cry slightly when he heard her speak for the first time, even if it were merely the word "Stop".

David's daughter Cassandra Cain recently became curious as to the identity of her birth mother, believing it to be Lady Shiva. She went to visit Cain in prison to find out who, but Cain wouldn't tell; saying that he had promised not to, and that some things were better left not known. However, despite David's silence, Cassandra Cain did eventually confirm her suspicions during a fateful meeting with her mother. As a result, Cassandra also quit being the superheroine Batgirl and attempted to kill her father. But David's body disappeared leaving a hint that he survived.

Friend and Foe Profiles:

Ra's al Ghul
Talia al Ghul
Baby Doll
Bat-Hound (Ace)
Black Mask
David Cain

The Dark Knight returns in 349 days!

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