A Brief Guide to Robin: Stephanie Brown

This is the part 4 of the 6 part series “A Brief Guide to Robin”. For links to previous Robins, click on their names: Dick Grayson, Jason Todd, Tim Drake

Steph BrownRobin was a short-lived career for Stephanie Brown, but she is nonetheless a very important character in the Batman series. She was first introduced as Spoiler in the early 90s. Her C-villain father, Cluemaster, was released from prison and was up to his old crime antics but without leaving his signature clues behind. Stephanie took it upon herself to “spoil” his plans by following him and leaving clues for Batman and the police to find leading to his capture. Of course Cluemaster escapes, so Steph returns to her Spoiler crusade, teaming up with Robin (Tim Drake), to arrest him again. She begins to really enjoy patrolling with Robin, developing feelings for him even though he could not reveal his true identity. Tim and Stephanie still make a romantic relationship work, though. Tim even created an alias to attend Stephanie’s lamaze class (with her ex-boyfriend’s baby, but we won’t get into much detail about that). Eventually Batman offered to train her alongside Batgirl (Cassandra Cain). Her relationship with Tim fluctuated throughout the series, and was eventually the catalyst to becoming Robin.

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Stephanie Brown batgirlTim’s father forbid Tim to continue being Robin and shipped him to boarding school. Stephanie wanted to surprise Tim by visiting, but found a female classmate trying to seduce him. Furious, she breaks up with him and returns to Gotham. She sneaks into the Batcave and demands to become Robin. Bruce tentatively put her on a probationary period and through training on the condition that if she disobeyed any orders there were no second chances. Robin was like a new chapter in Stephanie’s life. She felt like she was finally part of the Batman family. Unfortunately, it didn’t last long. Batman was caught in life threatening situation and she disobeyed his orders to stay away. Stephanie ended up being nuisance and allowed the villain to escape. Bruce fired her as Robin and Spoiler, asking her to leave the Batcave. On her way out, she took some of Bruce’s long-term plans to handle gangs in Gotham. Attempting to prove herself, Stephanie tries to execute the mission, but ends up starting a gang war. She is captured by the Black Mask and is tortured to near death before Batman saved her. Her battle wounds ended up being too deep and Stephanie died…

…but not really. Apparently the doctor faked her death by switching the bodies with a woman who overdosed. She was actually in Africa doing volunteer work. Stephanie returned to Gotham as Spoiler for a stint, eventually becoming Batgirl secretly after Cassandra gave up after Bruce’s “death”. With the support of Barbra Gordon and Bruce (he is never really dead), Stephanie is continuing to excel as the third Batgirl.

Still to come: Damien Wayne and Carrie Kelley