SPOILER WARNING: This article contains spoilers for Scott Snyder, James Tynion IV, Scot Eaton, Carlo Pagulayan, Igor Vitorino and Geraldo Borges’ “Batman and Robin Eternal” #26.
“Batman and Robin Eternal” drew to a close in issue #26, and Mother’s defeat at the Bat family’s hands heralded a few major changes for its cast of characters. As the series served as a New 52 origin for Cassandra Cain, it’s fitting that she chose her new code name at the end of the issue: Orphan.
If that sounds familiar, that’s because it’s the code name her father David Cain used when he was in Mother’s employ. Cassandra chose to assume the Orphan mantle after her father died during the final battle with Mother.
As Mother triggered a self-destruct sequence on her fortress in the Arctic Circle and attempted to escape, David Cain appeared and killed her by shoving his sword through her chest. Before the two tumbled into an active volcano, David Cain told his daughter, “You deserved better than me… You deserved what [the Robins] had. I’m sorry, girl.”
In the final pages of the series, Bruce Wayne — who has returned to his role as Batman — attempts to console Cassandra. However, when he calls her by name, she corrects him, saying, “No. Orphan.” Batman acknowledges her decision and calls her by this name before the scene comes to a close.
Cassandra Cain isn’t the only character who undergoes a major shift in the series. After Mother’s death, Harper Row decides to hang up the cape and retire from her role as Bluebird.
“I want to help people, but I want to help them on my own terms,” she explains to Batman. “Maybe that’ll mean a costume. Maybe it won’t. But for now I need to take the time to feel it all out in my own time.”
While this certainly leaves the door open for her to come back as Bluebird, it means she’ll be out of the spotlight for a while. However, lest fans be concerned that’ll be the last of Harper Row, James Tynion IV revealed there are plans in motion for the character.
Harper Row’s story isn’t over. I’ve got plans. https://t.co/lFgmEGezy3
– James Tynion IV (@JamesTheFourth) March 30, 2016
“Batman and Robin Eternal” #26 is now on sale.