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Webcomic / CassToons

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A Fan Web Comic based around the offstage life of Cassandra Cain, the second Batgirl.

In the spring of 2006, after Infinite Crisis, most of DC Comics' series jumped forward in time, in an event called One Year Later. In Robin (1993), Tim Drake suddenly found himself fighting a surprising villain, the former Batgirl, Cassandra Cain. Not that a Face–Heel Turn was out of the question, but the character had undergone other, more inexplicable changes. Once near-mute and barely able to read, Cass was now loquacious and literate in Navajo. Likewise, her stated motivations directly contradicted the continuity of her own series.

One fan codenamed Espanolbot felt unhappy with the sudden changes and created what amounted to an editorial cartoon in which Cass herself complained about her treatment. This struck a chord with other fans, and similar strips were soon created. Eventually they became a running feature on several forums, known as CassToons.

While the original focus was on the supposed mistreatment of Cass, the strip soon widened up to make fun of events not just in The DCU, but also in the Marvel Universe (especially the Civil War event) and comic books in general. From there the strips grew to encompass satires on real-world events and themes, movies, videogames, even creating satire on itself and its creators/illustrators/writers.

The art of the early "main" strips were created in Paint, resulting in the style's gradual transition to a Pixel Art style before Espanolbot changed to Free-Hand sketch and scanning. Other strips consist of variable styles but most were made using the Free-Hand sketch and scanning method.

Unlike most webcomics, CassToons doesn't have its own website. Comics were made and posted to relevant threads in various forums, most of them dead. An "official" archive was maintained here, but stopped updating in 2009.

Tropes used in Casstoons include:

  • Adaptational Villainy: Jimmy Olsen is The Devil.
  • All Just a Dream: Black Canary's marriage to Green Arrow.
  • Always Someone Better: There are some people even Cass cannot defeat, like Chuck Norris.
  • Animated Actors: The characters may have to follow the scripts they're given "on screen" but interact very differently when they're "off duty".
  • Armor-Piercing Question: After reading a statement by Beechen about how he "sympathises" with Cass's fans, Cass goes on a rampage, until Tim asks how exactly she managed to read the interview in the first place.
  • B-Side Comics: Many people posted their own cartoons to the Cass Cain thread, and these were compiled at the DeviantArt archive along with the "main" Casstoons. Usually, the side comic was named after the handle of the person who posted it, unless the series came with a natural name.
  • Back from the Dead: Many recurring characters are favorites of the writers who have died in the continuity from which they come. Sometimes, the strip will have an explanation for why the character was Not Quite Dead in the first place; said explanation is usually a joke in itself. Other times, the character will explain that they've been ressurrected somehow. Still other times give no explanation whatsoever. Two characters got an entire arc to explain how they came back.
  • Badass Adorable: Cass is a ruthless, merciless killing machine... who just happens to be a tiny, adorable young woman who enjoys watching cartoons, or singing to Queen when the mood takes her.
  • Berserk Button:
    • Don't suggest the Mad Hatter hasn't actually read Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. It shan't end well.
    • Never call The Shade "Mister Tophat". Dr. Light found out what happens if you do the hard way.
  • Black-and-White Morality: The Question, and to a greater extent Mister A subscribe to an Objectivist view of this. Mister A therefore regards Squirrel Girl as pure evil.
  • Butt-Monkey: Kid Devil, deliberately flanderizing his status in the comics.
  • The Cameo: Danny the Street, in no. 953.
  • Cargo Ship: In-universe. The Mad Hatter and his hats have a... complicated relationship.
  • The Casanova: Tim Drake.
  • Demonic Possession: Damien Wayne, in his first appearance, courtesy of Jimmy Olsen.
  • Dumb Blonde: Gold-haired Supergirl is portrayed as a brainless idiot.
  • Even the Girls Want Her: Cass has this opinion.
  • Evil Twin: Evilcass, created as a possible explanation for the Not Himself behavior seen in Robin.
  • Fan Disservice: The Joker hijacks a morning talk show, and flashes the audience. The entire cast is traumatised, save Deadpool.
  • Flanderization:
    • Many of the characters have had their personalities exaggerated for comedic purposes.
    • Supergirl's then-obnoxious personality was blown up to Heroic Comedic Sociopath levels. Likewise, her early tendence to develop silly, fleeting crushes was turned into Kara being utterly sex-crazed with the purpose of slut-shaming her.
    • Batwoman's portrayal was well before she received her own series. At the time her Hollywood Hype Machine followed by her lack of appearances gave a perception that she had no actual personality or character beyond being gay. Then her series came out, which quickly rectified the issue.
  • Follow the Leader: In-universe, Cass is inspired by Sue Dibny apparently possessing a scarecrow in 52, and tries to repeat the process with Steph. Thus the Stephcrow was born.
  • Forgotten Fallen Friend: Stephanie Brown's treatment causes Cass to try and get Bruce to remember her. It doesn't work, and then he forgets who she is as well.
  • Grammar Nazi: Cass, after turning "evil", starts becoming a lot more uptight about grammar, shooting one of her henchman's memos with a gun.
  • Heel–Face Revolving Door: Cass's initial impression of the Marvel Universe.
    Cass: I swear, the heroes here aren't people, they're freaking yo-yos!
  • Hell-Bent for Leather: Cass's Batgirl outfit. As Cass learns, wearing it during summer isn't a great idea.
  • Hidden Depths: The Punisher and Namor are surprisingly effective therapists.
  • I Need a Freaking Drink: Cass's reaction to learning Deathstroke is behind Titans East.
  • Infinite Canvas: Strips run for as many panels as the author wants. Since the strips are originally posted on a message board, this format is fairly natural.
  • Kid from the Future : "Cass Daughters", a running gag developed over time. There currently exists an entire "League of Cass Daughters"
  • Kill It with Fire: Cass' solution to the Japanese ice cream industry. All of it.
  • Let Us Never Speak of This Again: Tim's suggestion when Cass finds him with Connor's head in a jar... on top of a female mannequin.
  • The Lost Lenore: Wonder Girl never stops crying about Connor.
  • Mama Bear: Lady Shiva
  • Meta Fic
  • No Fourth Wall: Often times characters will talk directly to the fans. Writers have even appeared in-strip as well, such as an appearance of Anne Onymous of The Wotch acclaim, as a thank you for her mention of Casstoons in The Wotch, or the appearance of writer Micheal Dark as a telepathic letter in one strip.
  • No-Sell: Voldemort tries going on a killing rampage through the cast. Nothing he tries works for a variety of reasons.
  • Not a Morning Person: Cass, Tim and Steph, so much so it takes them a while to cotton on that A) Vic Sage is alive, and B) In their apartment.
  • Oh, Crap!: Deadpool, during the Concorpse and Stephcrow incident, when he realises he's the Only Sane Man. He tries to commit suicide five times, with no luck.
  • Only Sane Man: Black-haired Hal, for the Halians. Consequently, he's miserable.
  • Orphaned Series: Although CassToons itself has too much material to be considered "stillborn," the deviantART archive includes the B-Side Comic "StarbaToons," which unfortunately wasn't illustrated more than once. The scripts were still written and posted, however, as well as included in the archive.
  • Perma-Stubble: All the Goddamn characters, save the Goddamn Wonder Woman.
  • Perpetual Smiler: The Cass Bot.
  • Pixel Art Comic
  • Politically Incorrect Hero: Hal Jordan. It's not even the least of his issues.
  • Properly Paranoid: Thor is utterly convinced trees are evil, and that squirrels are their agents. He's right about the latter.
  • Put on a Bus: Henchie the Henchman.
  • Redemption Equals Death: Cass does not approve this trope.
  • Ripped from the Headlines: In the sense that the strip keeps track of and regularly comments on recent developments in comics. Many of the storylines are parodies of unpopular or poorly written recent comic stories.
  • Robot Girl: Lovecass, created by Tony Stark when the real Cass wouldn't make out with him.
  • Someone Else's Problem: Eldritch Abomination attack? Tim's off the clock, and Cass can't be bothered.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Casstoon no.174's final panel is a deliberate reference to an issue of Ultimate X-Men where Sinister introduced Professor X to his greatest enemy, "STAIRS!"
    • Dan Didio is usually drawn to resemble Krankor, the villain of Prince of Space. At one point, Cass even calls in the Prince to help fight "Dankor".
    • The strips leading up to no. 600 are a prolonged shout-out to the witch-burning scene in Monty Python and the Holy Grail, with The Shade as Sir Bedevere.
    • The Sentry's method of stopping World War Hulk? Quote Superman: Red Son.
    • The Saint of Killer's reaction to being threatened by the Goddamns? "Piss on you, I'm working for Garth Ennis!"
  • Smug Smiler: Adam Beechen is almost always drawn with a smug grin.
  • Smug Super: One early strip has Supergirl gloating to Cass about how Supergirl (2005) was selling better than Cass's own book had.
  • Stiff Upper Lip: Alfred, so much so that being set on fire doesn't concern him.
  • Stupidity Is the Only Option: When fixing up Titan Tower's security, Jaime hires Lock-Up. Tim objects, but since the only other people present are Wonder Girl, who starts crying when Lock-Up reminds her of Connor, and M'Gann, who takes him at his word that he's good and refuses to read his mind, he's forced to hire the guy. It predictably goes wrong.
  • Take That!: Many, mostly directed at Dan Didio and other executives
  • Those Two Guys: Several, actualy...Deadpool and the third Blue Beetle, but before them Dual-Kavorka Men Hal Jordan and Ollie Queen.
  • Token Good Teammate: Geoff Johns and Greg Rucka, for all of DC. And even they have their bad moments.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: Supergirl eventually mellows out, just not towards Cass.
  • Unexplained Recovery: Cass once murdered and buried Bette Kane and Wonder Girl. They got better.
    • This is quite common of the series in general, though.
  • Unsound Effect: "A BIG FLASH"
  • Walking Shirtless Scene: Superboy-Prime.
  • We Have Reserves: Professor X's response to an approaching Hulk is to throw wave after wave of X-Men at him.
  • Your Head Asplode: Batman, in one early strip where he kidnaps an infant, and Cass points out this is illegal.