[World of Bats] Batgirl #17-23, 25 "To The Death" / Spirit World

Hello and welcome to the World of Bats, the Batman Book Club!

For the next two weeks – okay, fine, basically the month of May – we’ll be focusing on one of the more beloved members of the Bat-Family, Cassandra Cain, aka Batgirl!

So for the next two weeks here we’ll look at a mix of stories in her past and one of her most recent adventures.

First, let’s look at Batgirl #17-23 and 25, written by Kelley Puckett and drawn by Damion Scott.

  • Note, we’ll be skipping #24, since it’s a tie-in issue to the “Bruce Wayne: Murderer?” event which we’ll be covering at a later date.

Cassandra Cain’s near-superhuman fighting abilities are so much a part of her identity that when they failed her, she was willing to make an unthinkable bargain to get them back. Impressed by their first encounter, the unbeatable assassin Lady Shiva agreed to help restore Cassandra’s incredible skills. In return, exactly one year later, Lady Shiva would return to challenge Cassandra to a rematch. Only this time, it’s to the death.


Batgirl #17
Batgirl #18
Batgirl #19
Batgirl #20
Batgirl #21
Batgirl #22
Batgirl #23
Batgirl #25

Next, we’ll be looking at a recent adventure Cass was a part of called Spirit World, written by Alessa Wong and drawn by Haining.

From the pages of Lazarus Planet: Dark Fate, a new Chinese hero emerges who’s able to travel to and from the Spirit World, the realm of the dead, and that of the living. Their name is Xanthe, and their superpower is being able to burn items folded from joss paper and immediately turn them into real objects, based on the East Asian practice of burning joss paper at graveyards in order to send resources to ancestors in the Spirit World…except Xanthe can retrieve those items in the world of the living! Their weapon of choice is a large broadsword (because who doesn’t love a big sword when you can choose to use a big sword?!). Xanthe is a master of the dark arts who’s here to give Constantine a run for his money…literally. When Constantine shows up saying Xanthe scammed him into buying something, he finds them and Batgirl Cass Cain fighting an abnormal influx of jiangshi (Chinese hopping vampires) and joins in to help. But when a portal opens up that drags Batgirl into the Spirit World, it’s up to Xanthe and Constantine to travel to the land of the spirits to rescue her! Who knows what other spirits we’ll find in the Spirit World-like that skateboarding boy wearing hanfu with some headphones and a gaping hole in his chest?!

  • Note: As of today, the 27th, the sixth issue of Spirit World is still on the Ultra tier, but it should be available to the regular tier on the 30th.


Spirit World #1
Spirit World #2
Spirit World #3
Spirit World #4
Spirit World #5
Spirit World #6

Reading will run from 2024-04-27T05:00:00Z2024-05-10T05:00:00Z, but if you’re training for the big fight, you can always come back later!

Looking forward to discussing these stories with you all! :batparrot:

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@TheBatgirlofNML! This was what I was talking about! :smiley:


Cool! I haven’t read Spirit World but I’m pretty sure I own those issues of BG! You may not know this about me but I love Cass, she’s a great character.


I’ve gotten that suspicion, yes. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


Oh, I forgot to mention! While the Spirit World mini does give you the cliffnotes to what happened to set up the story, there was a short story that lead up to it that you can read in up to two ways:

First, there’s the Lazarus Planet: Dark Fate one-shot, which also has stories featuring the Doom Patrol and Huntress.

And there’s also the Dawn of DC We Are Legends Special Edition, which reprints that story and some new stories about the other characters and teams that came out of this line, The Vigil and City Boy dealing with other Bat-Family characters like Red Hood and Nightwing, respectively.




One more week left of reading! How much have you guys read so far?

Here’s something – it’s been a while since I threw out a question with the reading.

From really getting to know characters like Tim and Stephanie for the first time, to meeting wider members of the DCU like John Constantine and Xanthe (which is pronounced “zan-thee,” in case anyone else was wondering), these readings features a good amount of Cassandra team ups. So my question is: Who else would you like to see Cassandra team-up with? We can stick with the DCU, or we can really go nuts and suggest a dream team.

Also, I’m going to try out something else – a POLL! So I have two ideas in mind about next week, which I’ll say also features Cassandra and that’s it. But, I’m having a hard time deciding! So I’ll throw it out to a vote to see what happens.

(Sorry, I had to, considering the day. :smiley: )

So what would you like to read next?

  • A Cassandra Cain solo story
  • A Cassandra Cain team-up story
0 voters

Supergirl. @EDT put it in my mind that the two had never really met and is been stuck there for a bit.


im fine with teamups but i would much rather see a solo adventure


I appreciate how these Batgirl issues put more emphasis on the drawings telling the story over text. It does force me to pay closer attention to the art and sometimes I’m guilty of just letting my eyes go straight to the text

As far as the Spirit World goes, I enjoyed it. I appreciated how the ideas of identity and remembrance were woven in. And, without giving anything away, I liked how things were ultimately resolved

As far as who I might like to see her paired with, I think Cassandra and Damien might have somethings in common that they could discuss


whenever characters that could have a cool friendship exist with multiple things alike dc tends to ignore it for whatever reason


Yeah, I think we’re all a little guilty of that sometimes. :sweat_smile: I do agree that a more visual focus is important for this book, especially since at this point she’s still grappling with language and physical movement is what she’s still best at, it kind of helps put you in her shoes.

Definitely – I’ll be perfectly honest, I hadn’t read all of Spirit World before putting it here and I figured that Cass would have a little more to do, but I thought she worked well as a supporting character, and I really liked Xanthe and their story. I haven’t read all of the We Are Legends line DC did, but I think Xanthe might be my favorite new character of those stories.

Oh yeah, that’s a fun one – I know they’ve been around each other a little bit, but definitely not enough. Though I think their discussions would probably involve a lot of swords, knives, staves, nunchucks, etc etc. :rofl:

I have to imagine a lot of writers would love to play more with those character interactions, but there’s sometimes issues of editorial mandates and the like.

“Can Character X have a team-up story with Character S?”

“Nope, Character S is dead/trapped in an alternate dimension/possessed by a malevolent brain worm over in their own book.”