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Robin Stephanie Brown 0004

Batman and Robin

Stephanie Brown is the latest (and best if you ask her) person to wear the mantle of Robin, Batman's trusty sidekick. Weather it's cruising the mean streets of Gotham or Arkham on her trusty (and LOUD) Redbird motercycle, flying through the air in her retro-fitted Flying Batcave (yes it is as awesome as it sounds), throwing her custom batarangs (Gooparangs for the win), fighting along side her best friend (they call themselves Team Awesome Chicks in Green) Artemis, or eating towers of waffles at the Bonita Diner, Stephanie brings a sense of levity and fun to Arkham City Limits, but piss her off and she'll make sure she kicks your ass.

BackgroundEdit

Stephanie Brown is the daughter of the Cluemaster, one of Gotham City's third-rate criminals. Her father spent most of her childhood in jail or away from the family. He claims to be rehabilitated upon his return to Gotham, but Stephanie becomes furious when she discovers that he is actually returning to crime, this time not leaving his trademark clues behind. She decides something needs to be done. The Spoiler Stephanie tailors a costume for herself, and calls herself The Spoiler due to her attempts to "spoil" her father's plans. She learns where her father is hiding out, finds out his plans, and leaves clues so that the police and Batman could stop him. Robin (Tim Drake) tracks her down and, after a few brief confrontations, helps capture Cluemaster. Although she initially wishes to kill her father, Batman convinces her to allow him to be arrested. Each time Cluemaster escapes or starts some new plan, Stephanie dons her costume again. Eventually, she decides she likes being a superheroine, and she begins regular patrols as the Spoiler. This also brings her into regular contact with Robin, on whom she has a bit of a crush. At first, Robin thinks of her as a pest, but later comes to enjoy her company. He was dating Ariana Dzerchenko at the time. However, the two sometimes work as partners, and during a point in which Robin and Ariana were unable to see each other, he and Stephanie grow even closer. Robin soon realizes that his feelings for Stephanie have grown into something more, and, after breaking up with Ariana, he begins dating Stephanie. Unfortunately, because Robin needs to maintain the secrecy of Batman and his allies, Robin is unable to reveal his true identity to Spoiler. At first, she seems happy with this arrangement. Stephanie then finds out she is pregnant by an ex-boyfriend who had run from Gotham City after the earthquake depicted in Batman: Cataclysm. Robin, under the alias Alvin Draper, takes Stephanie to Lamaze classes, and the two become even closer. Robin moves to Keystone City during the last few months of her pregnancy, but he returns to her when she is giving birth. With Robin's help, she is able to cope with placing her child up for adoption. Although a painful experience, she feels it best to give her daughter a chance at a better life. Soon after, Robin's father sends him away to boarding school, and the couple is forced into a long distance relationship, made even more complicated by the fact that Stephanie still did not know his real name. During his time away, Robin befriends a girl named Star. One night, after seeing her go into an alley with some suspicious-looking people, Robin decides to follow her in costume. He runs into Stephanie, also on patrol, and she follows him as he tracks down Star to a gang meeting that erupts in a violent shootout. He saves Star, but Stephanie is convinced that he is cheating on her, and refuses to see him afterward. Shortly after this, Robin disappears from Gotham for several days (because he is in Tibet on a secret mission), and in his absence Spoiler realizes that she still wants to be with him. Batman approaches Spoiler in order to try to discover Tim's whereabouts, and then offers to train her. He also tells her Robin's real name, and this betrayal by Batman drives a wedge between the two. Spoiler begins to train with Batman, Batgirl, and, briefly, the Birds of Prey. Stephanie and Tim, as she now knows him, reconcile. Even after Batman —having decided that she was not crime fighter material— tells her to hang up her costume and the Birds of Prey stop mentoring her, she still patrols secretly in addition to going on rare dates with Robin in their civilian identities.[10] When the U.S. government comes to Stephanie and her mother and tells her that Cluemaster had died while working for the Suicide Squad, Stephanie is shocked. She temporarily cuts off ties with Tim and goes on a vigilante rampage, hunting down the Riddler, her father's former associate, to try to get a better idea of who he had been in life. Eventually, she makes peace with his memory, and she and Tim rekindle their relationship. In Robin #111, Stephanie reveals that when she was a child, her babysitter (a friend of her father) had attempted to rape her. This man died of an apparent drug overdose eight days after she told her father what had happened. She resigns herself to never knowing whether or not Cluemaster had killed him. Stephanie is later injured during Tim's battle with the occult hitman Johnny Warlock, who breaks her leg. In a fit of rage, Tim apparently beats Warlock to death (though he would later be magically resurrected), which sends him into a deep, angry depression. He refuses to speak with Stephanie, whom he blames for him killing Warlock.

RobinEdit

Stephanie snaps Tim out of his depression just as his father discovers he is Robin. After Warlock's death, Tim's father orders him to hang up his cape, and Tim is forced to live a normal life for a time. One day after school, Stephanie attempts to surprise Tim with a visit. As she arrives, however, she catches a female classmate, Darla Aquista, attempting to seduce him. Assuming yet again that Tim is being unfaithful, she breaks off ties with Tim and angrily decides to put her attention elsewhere. Creating a homemade Robin costume, Stephanie sneaks into the Batcave and demands that Batman train her as the new Robin. Batman reluctantly accepts her as the new Robin, puts her through several months of intensive training, and makes her a better costume with roughly the same design as Tim's. As Robin, she patrols with Batman, but he thinks she is too unskilled to be an acceptable replacement for Tim. Batman later fires her after she disobeys his orders during two missions.

In an effort to prove her worth to Batman, Stephanie steals one of his long-term plans for dealing with the entirety of Gotham's criminal underworld, arranging a meeting to bring them all together. Since this plan is predicated on the involvement of "Matches Malone", who, unbeknownst to her, is a persona that Batman uses to infiltrate the underworld, it quickly spins out of control. The result is a city-wide gang war in which Stephanie is captured by the Black Mask, who tortures her extensively to get information about Batman, as well as learning enough information to allow him to take control of Batman's plan and assume command of the gangs himself. Although she escapes and makes her way to a hospital, she is severely injured, and supposedly dies in a hospital bed as Batman sits beside her. Batman later finds evidence that vital medical treatment that could have saved Stephanie's life had been denied by Doctor Leslie Thompkins. When Batman confronts the doctor, Thompkins claims she willfully withheld such treatment to send a warning to any of Gotham's youth intending to follow Stephanie's example.

Spoiler returns[edit source]Edit

In the events following The Resurrection of Ra's al Ghul, Robin follows the trail of a female thief called Violet. This leads him to reunite with his friend Ives during social service classes at St. Camillus Cathedral. He also has random encounters with a blonde student in high school that trigger his memories of Stephanie. During his quest to find Violet, he is followed by a character dressed as Spoiler. This Spoiler reveals herself to Robin, trying to warn him that Violet led him to an ambush. Believing someone else is dressing up as Spoiler, Robin falls into Violet's trap after Spoiler addresses him by his real name.[12] 

After escaping the ambush, Robin and Batman track down the woman in a bid to force her to stop imitating Stephanie. When confronted, she removes her mask and reveals that she is indeed Stephanie, with Leslie Thompkins having faked her death. Batman  reveals his doubts about her death leading him to not erect a memorial for her in the Batcave. Since her secret identity had been compromised, Leslie faked her death so villains could not use her against Batman as Black Mask had done. Living with Leslie in Africa under an alias, Stephanie had been performing volunteer work until an attack from a local witch-hunting tribe prompted her to return to crimefighting, and subsequently to Gotham.[1] Stephanie reunites with her mother, enrolls in Tim's high school, and rejoins the Bat-Family.[13]

Before being revealed to Robin and Batman, Stephanie works freelance for the Penguin and gets information that helps him in his gang wars. She abruptly stops aiding him, after which he loses the advantage and leaves Gotham. She sends Penguin a note apologizing for leaving him when he needed her the most.

During the Batman R.I.P. storyline, Stephanie played the role of both ally and betrayer to Robin. Following Batman's disappearance and descent into madness, Robin attempts to balance his search for Bruce with his attempts to maintain control over Gotham's criminals. Tim asks that Stephanie help him locate Batman, but having anticipated his downfall, Batman has ordered Stephanie to hinder the investigation, believing that Tim needs to learn how to handle things on his own. Tim discovers the deception, and pulls away from his relationship with Stephanie. Unbeknownst to Tim, Batman has also ordered Stephanie to make Robin a stronger hero by challenging him, so Stephanie hires the Scarab, an assassin she encountered while she was Robin. After ordering the Scarab to use non-lethal methods, she also begins working with Tim's enemy, the General, who eventually tries to kill her. Her martial arts prowess is able to save her from getting shot in the head—she is instead shot in the shoulder, escaping just in time to save Tim's life when the Scarab goes rogue.

The General, now using the identity of Anarky, decides to plunge Gotham into anarchy by starting a city-wide gang war, and Stephanie aids Robin in keeping order and defeating the General. Afterward, Robin reveals that he is aware that Stephanie had worked with the villains to help him become a better Robin under Batman's orders. He notes that her actions were successful, but her methods were questionable. No longer in love with Stephanie, Robin orders her to abandon the Spoiler identity as he can no longer trust her.

In Batman and the Outsiders (vol. 2) #13, Batgirl recruits Spoiler and Vigilante to a new network of heroes that will replace Batman, who is missing after the Batman R.I.P. storyline. She is able to turn completely invisible while fighting the Vigilante, though Fabian Nicieza, current writer of the Robin title, said he knew nothing about it.[14] However, in Gotham Gazette: Batman Alive, Nicieza incorporates the new ability, with Robin stating she stole the technology to make herself invisible.

In Teen Titans #66, Stephanie appeared as one of the potential candidates to help fill Miss Martian's vacant seat on the team's roster. She was drawn into a fight with Bombshell, who mocked her and accused her of being a coward. In the end, Robin revealed that Stephanie had not come to join the Titans, but instead to help him with his preparations to leave the team.

In the Red Robin series, Stephanie and Dick Grayson (who is now the new Batman following Bruce Wayne's apparent death) become concerned about Tim after Dick transfers the mantle of Robin from Tim to Damian Wayne. Furious, Tim comes to believe that Bruce is still alive, and goes in search of him under the guise of Red Robin. When he cuts off all communication with the Bat-Family and the Teen Titans, Stephanie approaches Tim in his private base. This action, however, only infuriates Tim more. Kicking her in the chest after she sneaks up on him, he reiterates that he cannot trust her and orders her not to follow him on his mission, leading her to return to Gotham.

Batgirl[edit source]Edit

Stephanie graduates from high school off-panel, is a student at Gotham University, and is still living with her mother. Cassandra Cain has apparently become disillusioned following Bruce Wayne'sapparent death and gives Stephanie her Batgirl costume. After operating as the new Batgirl in Cain's costume, Stephanie is confronted by Barbara Gordon, who was notified of her activities by Dick Grayson. Barbara tried to reason with Stephanie to get her to stop being a vigilante, as she still saw Stephanie as an impetuous youth, remembering her role in causing a city-wide gang war and her near-death experience at Black Mask's hands.[15] However, a new type of recreational drug is hitting the streets of Gotham known as "Thrill", which they discover was manufactured by theScarecrow and Black Mask II, and the two women need each other to stop the drug trade.[16] Stephanie eventually confronts and defeats the Scarecrow, impressing Barbara and proving that she now has the maturity and the responsibility to face her fears and failures. Barbara decides to allow Stephanie to continue on as Batgirl. Barbara later takes a job as an assistant professor at Stephanie's school in order to continue to keep in contact with her. Barbara also designs a costume for Stephanie to replace Cassandra's tattered costume, incorporating various elements of both the Spoiler and previous Batgirl costumes.[17]

As Stephanie is taking steps to balance her double-life as a college student and a vigilante, Barbara makes a test run on Stephanie's Batsuit, which includes monitoring Stephanie's vital signs and allowing both women to communicate through wireless links. After some warm-up against minor criminals, Stephanie finds herself against Livewire, who causes a blackout in the city while draining its power. Fortunately, Stephanie's costume is insulated, and she is able to overpower the villainess. Stephanie also develops an attraction to Gotham PD's newest young recruit, who just transferred from Coast City PD, Detective Nicholas "St. Nick" Gage, who is also attracted to her as Batgirl. However, this budding romance is complicated by Commissioner Gordon, who is trying to set the young detective up on a blind date with Barbara. The Commissioner finds their mutual attraction unsettling, because despite the fact that Batgirl's identity is yet unknown to him, Gordon knows that the superheroine is still a teenager.[15][18] Her activities also have led her and Barbara into conflict with the new Dynamic Duo, Batman (Dick Grayson) and Robin (Damian Wayne). However, even though Stephanie and Damian initially do not get along, he is intrigued by her motivations to be a vigilante.

While meeting a classmate, Francisco, Stephanie is left unconscious after being shot while trying to protect him from a group of kidnappers.[19] Stephanie survives the gunshot wound and it is later revealed that Francisco's real name is Fernando Garcia, a son of a real estate mogul whose father's unethical business practices have led to him becoming a target. Because of Garcia's abduction, Stephanie and Barbara join forces with Batman and Robin, as some of the Gotham rogues are involved in the crime, including Roulette.[20] After they rescue Garcia, Dick, after seeing Stephanie's fight with Roxy Rocket, although still not completely approving of her as Batgirl, realizes that she reminds him of Barbara when she was in the role, so he allows Barbara to continue training Stephanie.

Stephanie was later asked by Barbara to shut down the vigilante operations of John Raymond, a wealthy young superhero who had been giving powerful exo-suits to a number of people in hopes of creating a nationwide army of crime-fighters he dubbed "Web Hosts". After being convinced by John that he could keep his Web Hosts in line, Stephanie and Barbara agreed to not only allow him to continue his vigilante actions, but also upgrade the equipment he was using.[21]

In the first part of the Red Robin/Batgirl crossover story "Collision", Tim Drake returns to Gotham with proof that Bruce Wayne is not only still alive but also lost in time. At the same time, immortal terrorist Ra's al Ghul begins his attack to destroy everything the Wayne family has built, in response to Tim crippling his League of Assassins organization during his quest. Tim returns to the Batcave to seek the current Batman's aid, only to find Stephanie as Batgirl.[22] After their confrontation, Stephanie and Tim reluctantly work together to protect Ra's al Ghul's possible targets. After saving Leslie Thompkins from the League, Tim attempts to rekindle his and Stephanie's old romance. She rejects these advances before Prudence, another member of Ra's al Ghul's men, interrupts them with her assignment to target the new Batgirl. Stephanie, however, bested the assassin in combat. Prudence subsequently reveals her true allegiance to Tim, which apparently overcomes her supposed loyalty to The Demon's Head. After narrowly escaping Tim's safehouse (which the League of Assassins had booby-trapped before the three arrived), they encounter members of another organization of assassins, the Council of Spiders. The League of Assassins are eventually defeated after Tim thwarts Ra's al Ghul's plan strategically with Bruce Wayne's will that was made before his disappearance.

Stephanie would also show up against her mentor's nemesis, the Calculator, with his daughter, Wendy Harris, to rescue Barbara and Gotham itself after the villain injects nanites into the citizens and heroes of the city and controls them.

In another storyline, Stephanie made a cameo appearance as a member of the assault team led by Dick Grayson to go against the new Black Mask.[23]

She later appears alongside Batwoman and fellow teen superheroines StargirlSupergirl, and Lightning as part of an all-female team created by Wonder Woman to repel Professor Ivo's faux-alien invasion of Washington, D.C.[24]

After Bruce Wayne's return, it is revealed that the true reason Cassandra Cain handed over her Batgirl mantle to Stephanie was that she was acting under her mentor's order in the event of his death or disappearance.[25]

Around this time, during The Lesson arc, Stephanie was forced to deal with a mysterious group known as The Order of the Scythe, who briefly framed her for murdering a student on her campus.[26] During her final adventure as Batgirl, Stephanie confronts her father and is ensnared by a sample of Black Mercy. Stephanie experiences a number of future events, including a time-travelling adventure with Cassandra and Barbara, the Royal Flush Gang attacking her at her college graduation, and eventually training the new Batgirl, a girl named Nell. She ultimately breaks free from the Black Mercy and confides in Barbara that despite the wonderful things she experienced while in the fantasy world, she preferred to live in the here and now.[27]

The status of Stephanie Brown following the events of Flashpoint remain unknown.

Powers and abilities[edit source]Edit

Like most of the Batman family, Spoiler has no superhuman powers. She has been trained extensively by Batgirl, Batman, and the Birds of Prey in martial artsacrobatics, strength training, interrogation, and detective skills. She carries a belt similar to that used by other Gotham vigilantes containing a grappling hook, tracking devices, and various other crime fighting paraphernalia. During Gotham Underground, the Penguin gave her an unknown device that allowed her to become completely invisible. According to Tim Drake, this "ability" was achieved through stolen technology.

Steph's costume is equipped with kevlar and carbon fiber-reinforced polymer to protect against ballistic, flame, and electrical attacks. Stephanie also uses a collapsible bo staff, similar to the one that Tim Drake uses; it is implied that she had been trained by Cassandra Cain in using it.[18]

Arkham City Limits AccomplishmentsEdit

Steph has certainly made an impact since rejoining the fight in Gotham City. Notable accomplishments include breaking into The Riddle Factory, capturing Phobia (alongside Artemis), helping lead the heroes to victory in Riddler's Game Show, helping to defend the Watchtower. She also holds the (self-given) record for most waffles eaten at the Bonita.