Batgirl [first series] #45
Cover Date: December 2003 Cover Artist: James Jean
In April 2000, one of the oldest and most popular members of the Batman family finally got her own series. But this wasn’t your grandfather’s—or even your father’s—Batgirl.The new Batgirl was Cassandra Cain, a mute Asian-American martial arts expert learning the ropes of crime fighting under the watchful eyes of second Bat-girl Barbara Gordon. In this issue, Cassandra dons the classic costume worn by her mentor to do battle with a mob of zonked-out Gothamites hopped up on the city’s new designer drug, “Soul.” The sartorial plot twist provided cover artist James Jean with an opportunity to put a fresh spin on an iconic character design.
“I wanted to convey the idea that a small, lithe girl could decimate a larger opponent with confidence and style. Cas-sandra is wearing Barbara Gordon’s old costume, and I used the classic color palette of blue, red, and yellow for the effect of an homage. Also, I had been experimenting with halftone dots during that time, and decided to enlarge them to a ridiculous degree in the background. The smiley faces in some of the halftone dots allude to an element in the plot about mind-altering drugs that turn a person into good or evil. With the rendering of the piece, there’s particular at-tention paid to the edges and coloring. Though the colors are simple, I wanted them to have a soft and lush ef-fect. “—James Jean