Stephanie Brown

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Character
Name: Stephanie Brown
Occupation: Masked Vigilante
Title/Rank: Spoiler, Robin, Batgirl
Location: Gotham
Status: Limbo (Has not yet made an apperance in the New 52)
Relationships: Dated Tim Drake
Fandom: DC Comics
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Stephanie Brown is a Batman character from DC Comics.

Canon

Stephanie is the daughter of the Batman villain Cluemaster (alias Arthur Brown) and the nurse Crystal Brown. She took up vigilantism in order to stop her father during a brief period when he was cured of his compulsion to leave clues but still committing crimes. Her original moniker, Spoiler, came from the way she would 'spoil' her father's crimes.

Spoiler

Stephanie Brown took up the mantle of Spoiler to try and spoil her father Cluemaster's crimes. This is the mantle she has used for most of her comic appearances. In her earliest appearances Batman appeared charmed by her efforts, but as time went on, he grew increasingly disapproving and several times ordered her to stop.

She became attracted to Tim Drake who at the time was the current Robin, even though he kept his identity secret from her, and they eventually began to date. She also became close friends with the current Batgirl, Cassandra Cain, after making a deal where Cassandra would train Stephanie and Stephanie would teach Cassandra how to read.

During her relationship with Tim, she learns that she is pregnant from a previous relationship with a boy named Dean. She gives birth to a daughter, who is adopted by an unknown family.

Robin

Following Tim Drake's forced retirement as Robin, Stephanie sewed her own Robin costume and went to the Batcave to declare herself the new Robin. Batman accepted this and worked with her for several issues, but he fired her after she used lethal force against the serial killer Mr. Zsasz to save Batman's life.

In an attempt to impress Batman, she stole the War Games protocol from the Batcomputer and enacted it. The plan was supposed to end with Matches Malone as the reigning crime boss of Gotham City. However, Stephanie did not know that "Matches Malone" was an alias of Batman. Without Malone there, a gang war broke out, and the supervillain Black Mask seized control of Gotham's underworld and captured Stephanie, torturing her for several days.

Stephanie succumbed to her wounds at the end of the "War Games" event. This is later retconned twice. First, in "War Crimes," it was revealed that Dr. Leslie Thompkins deliberately let Stephanie die to teach Batman a lesson about endangering children in his crusade. Later, it was revealed that Stephanie did not die and that Dr. Thompkins faked her death to protect her. Stephanie then returned to Gotham and the Spoiler identity.

Batgirl

Stephanie Brown became the third Batgirl after her best friend Cassandra Cain gave her the costume during the "Batman Reborn" event. Though they initially butted heads with Barbara Gordon, they soon came to terms and Oracle gave Stephanie a new costume and served as her mentor and mission control. She teamed up with Damian Wayne, Supergirl, and Klarion the Witch Boy, and she formed a partnership (and flirtation) with the police officer Nick Gage.

Near the end of her run she learns that Bruce Wayne arranged for her to become Batgirl with Cassandra before his "death," and the two make peace. She then joins Batman Inc. and travels to the United Kingdom, where she teams up with Knight and Squire and goes undercover at a boarding school for the daughters of supervillains.

Stephanie's time as Batgirl was relatively short lived, lasting only 24 issues before it was erased by the New 52 reboot.

Fandom

Shipping

Stephanie Brown is a popular character for shipping. On the canon side, she is often paired with her ex-boyfriend Tim Drake and her ally on the police force Nick Gage, with whom she often flirted during her solo series. She is also shipped with other members of the Batfamily such as Bruce Wayne, Dick Grayson, Jason Todd, Damian Wayne, and her best friend Cassandra Cain. Another popular couple pairs her with her other best friend, Kara Zor-El.

Robin or Not?

There is substantial controversy over whether or not she qualifies as a Robin. Her time as Robin was short lived and is generally agreed that Bruce only asked her to take over the position as part of his ploy to get Tim back. The question over her legitamcy goes all the way up to the heads of DC who can't seem to make up their minds on the matter. Some of the writers say she was a Robin, others don't and she is frequently left out of material that is supposed to be about all of the Robins.

In an issue of The All-New Batman: The Brave and the Bold she was one of the future Robins called back to assist in savings Batman's life.[1]

There is some suggestion, although it has not been confirmed one way or the other, that her time as Robin was completely erased with the creation of the New 52. The current writer of Batman, Scott Snyder, did refer to her as one of the Robins though.[2]

Death

Stephanie's later-retconned death sparked a lot of feminist discourse in fandom and led to the foundation of Girl-Wonder.org. She is often cited as one of the symbols for mistreatment of women in comics.[3]

Her death was also a representation of something- a lot that's wrong with the treatment of young female characters in comics. But Stephanie's power drew fans together and she came back- overcoming the greatest force there is to face for a comics character-DC Editorial. And now she's back, still flawed, still strong, still positive, her return only serving to reinforce what kind of character she is.[4]

New 52

With the creation of the New 52 post-Flashpoint, Stephanie's fate is uncertain. She has yet to appear in the new continuity and there have been conflicting reports as to her status. Batman Incorporated Leviathan Strikes while published several months after the start of the new continuity, takes place prior to Flashpoint and the New 52. The new continuity has Barbara Gordon going back to her role as Batgirl as well, leaving little room for Stephanie.

Many fans see this as a troubling development. The lack of official word on her character leaves many people fearing that all of the growth she's shown over the years will be wiped away.

Fanworks

Examples Wanted: Editors are encouraged to add more examples or a wider variety of examples.

Fanfiction

  • No Dawn, No Day an often recommended Damian/Steph fic, regarded by many as the best for the pairing. A future AU based on Batman 666/700

Fanart

Vids

Meta

Archives and Communities

Resources

Stephanie Brown Wiki

References

  1. [1] The All-New Batman: The Brave and the Bold #13
  2. [2] Scott Snyder Courts Fear with Owls in "Batman"
  3. http://stephaniebrown.wikia.com/wiki/Why_create_this_site%3F
  4. http://stephaniebrown.wikia.com/wiki/Why_create_this_site%3F