Stephanie Brown is the daughter of the Cluemaster, one of Gotham City third-rate villains. To ruin his schemes, she became the vigilante Spoiler. She eventually grew into becoming the third Batgirl. Despite a long history with Robin (Tim Drake), her relationship with Batman is less straightforward.
Stephanie's father Cluemaster spent most of her childhood in prison or away from the family. Though he claimed to be "rehabilitated" upon his return to Gotham, Stephanie was furious to discover that he was actually returning to crime without his need to leave clues behind. She decided something needed to be done. Stephanie tailored a costume for herself, and called herself the Spoiler. She knew where her father was hiding out, found out his plans, and left clues so that the police and Batman could stop him. Robin (Tim Drake) tracked her down, and she joined in on the capturing of Cluemaster. She also became attracted to Robin, and it annoyed her that he knew her identity but she did not know his.
During the events of "Knightquest", Cluemaster broke out of prison, along with Czonk and the Electrocutioner. Stephanie learned of the breakout on the news. Her mother, suffering from depression, was struggling with an addiction to painkillers. Steph decided to don her Spoiler outfit and go after her dad. She ran into Robin, and he let her work with him, although they got separated. Spoiler helped Robin out and he gave her a kiss in thanks. Before she could find out if she would see him again, the police arrived and they had to part ways.
Stephanie was kidnapped shortly thereafter by the Gully Carson gang, working with Cluemaster, who was still behind bars. Cluemaster got the idea to use her as insurance, but when the Carson gang withheld his part of the cut, he contacted Batman and Robin and told them that he had been forced to orchestrate their schemes because they were holding his daughter. Batman located the Carson's lair and Robin freed Stephanie. She insisted on getting her costume and going with him to bring down the rest of the gang--against Batman's objection. They were successful, and Stephanie decided to pay her dad a little visit in prison. She also made her attraction to the Boy Wonder very clear.
Spoiler next bumped into Robin when he was teamed up with the Green Arrow (Connor Hawke) to take down a street gang selling guns. She told him that she did not think it was fair that he got to have all the fun, so she was going to become the Spoiler more often. She insisted on coming with the two of them as they took down the gang, flirting with Robin as usual. There was no time for that, however, when they went after the real leaders of the gang the following night, as Robin was enraged over the death of a fellow student, Karl Ranck. Steph went to the funeral, unaware that Robin was there (with his girlfriend) in his civilian identity. That night, Spoiler met up with Robin, telling him that she was going to be Spoiler more often, and would help him go against the boy who shot Ranck. They were in over their heads however, but thankfully Batman turned up, saved their necks and ordered Stephanie to go home.
Relationship with Robin (Tim Drake)
During a point in which Tim and his then-girlfriend Ariana were unable to see each other, he and Stephanie grew even closer. He soon came to realize that his feelings for Stephanie had grown into something more, and after breaking up with Ariana, began dating Stephanie. Unfortunately, because he needed to maintain the Batman Family secrecy, Robin was unable to reveal his true identity to Spoiler. At first, she seemed more than happy with this arrangement.
Unfortunately for Stephanie, she found out she was pregnant by her ex-boyfriend Dean, who had left Gotham City during the Cataclysm. Tim, in his cover identity Alvin Draper, took Stephanie to Lamaze classes, and the two became even closer. Unfortunately Robin was moved temporarily to Keystone City during the last few months of her pregnancy. He however returned to her when she was giving birth. With Tim's help, she was able to deal with giving her child up for adoption. Although a painful experience, she felt it best to give her daughter a chance at a better life.
Soon afterwards, Tim was sent away to boarding school by his father, and the two were forced into a long distance relationship, made even more complicated by the fact she still did not know his real name. During his time away, Robin became friends with a girl named Star. One night, after seeing her go into an alley with some suspicious-looking people, Robin decided to follow her in costume. He ran into Stephanie, also on patrol, and she followed him as he tracked down Star to a gang meeting that erupted in a violent shootout. He managed to save Star, but Stephanie became convinced that he was cheating on her, and refused to see him for a time.
Shortly after this, Robin disappeared from Gotham for several days (he was off in Tibet on a secret mission), and in his absence Spoiler realized that she still wanted to be with him. Batman approached Spoiler and offered to train her. He also told her Tim's real name, and this betrayal drove a wedge in between him and Robin for awhile, as well as causing trouble for Stephanie and Tim. Spoiler began to train with Batman, and also the Birds of Prey (although they were a bit more reluctant). Stephanie also began a friendship with Batgirl Cassandra Cain who helped train her in-exchange for reading lessons.
Stephanie and Tim, as she now knew him, reconciled. Even after Batman - having decided that she was not really hero material - told her to hang up her costume and the Birds stopped mentoring her, she still patrolled with Robin, as well as went on regular dates. When the US Government came to Stephanie and her mother, and told her that the Cluemaster had died in service of his country in the Suicide Squad, Stephanie was shocked. She cut off ties with Tim and went on a crime-fighting 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 made peace with his memory, and she and Tim rekindled their relationship (It was later revealed after Stephanie's "death" that Arthur Brown had indeed survived, though it remains unknown if she knows that he is alive, or he her).
Stephanie has also revealed that when she was a child, her babysitter had attempted to rape her. This man died of an apparent drug overdose eight days after she told her father what had happened. Whether or not he had killed him was one of the questions she had to resign herself to never being able to answer.
When his father discovered his secret identity, Tim was told to hang up his cape, and he did. He was forced to live a normal life for a time. During one day after school, Stephanie attempted to surprise Tim with a visit. Unfortunately as she arrived, she caught a female classmate of Tim's attempting to put the moves on him. Assuming yet again that Tim was being unfaithful, Stephanie broke off ties with Tim and angrily decided to put her attention elsewhere. Creating a homemade Robin costume, Stephanie snuck into the Batcave and demanded that Batman train her as the new Robin. Despite his past belief that Stephanie was an inept crime fighter, Batman accepted her, put her through several months of intensive training and made her a costume with the same modifications as Tim's. As Robin she patrolled with Batman, and for a time seemed like a capable replacement for Tim. She was eventually captured by Mr. Zsasz and she used lethal violence against him. Batman did not like that. After Stephanie disobeyed Batman's orders (in order to save his life), Batman later fired her and told her that she was done being a hero because he could not trust her in the field.
In an effort to prove her worth to Batman, Stephanie stole one of his long-range plans for dealing with the entirety of Gotham's criminal underworld. Since this plan was predicated on the involvement of "Matches Malone" (who she did not know was actually one of Batman's alter egos), it quickly spun out of control. The result was a citywide gang war, in which Stephanie was captured by Black Mask, who tortured her to get information about Batman. Although she escaped and made her way to Leslie Thompkins' clinic, she had been severely injured by the villain, and died in a hospital bed as Batman sat beside her.
Batman later found evidence that vital medical treatment that could have saved Spoiler's life had been denied by his longtime trusted ally, Leslie Thompkins, who had fled to Africa in shame. When confronted by Batman, Thompkins, in tears, claimed that she willfully withheld treatment to Spoiler in the hopes that Batman would see the violence he caused and give up his mantle. Batman exiled Leslie from the United States, informing her that if she ever returned he would make sure she be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
About a year later, a Spoiler appeared in Gotham once more. Although her identity had yet to be revealed, it was been shown that she had blonde hair and knew Tim Drake's secret identity, leading to confusion and anger on his part.
When Robin confronted this new Spoiler, it was revealed Stephanie Brown did not die in the above mentioned adventure, but was severely wounded to the point of near-death. Seeing this as a chance for a new life, Stephanie asked Dr. Thompkins to help her fake her death. The two went to Africa, where Stephanie worked as a missionary during her recovery. After recovering, Stephanie returned to the United States and took up her former identity as Spoiler and has resumed her friendship with Drake after announcing her return to her mother. Stephanie also enrolled in the same school with Drake under an assumed name to prevent those criminals who think her already dead to prevent them from resuming their attacks on her in her real name.
Main article: Batman R.I.P.
Shortly after, Batman disappeared without a trace and Robin summoned Spoiler to talk about the situation. She helped Robin on his quest to find the truth about Batman and together they stopped the Sprang Bridge Soldiers. However, when they found evidence of Batman's activities, she prevented Robin from seeing them. After tearing the city apart, Robin finally learned that Spoiler had sabotaged his efforts and she revealed that she did so under Batman's request.
Spoiler infiltrated Intergang's headquarters to learn if they knew anything about Batman's location. However, her plan failed when Vigilante attacked the place with the intention of killing Johnny Stitches and Spoiler had to stop him. They took the fight outside and were stopped by Batgirl, who made them both an offer to join a new team she was gathering.
After her attempt to sabotage Robin's mission, Stephanie decided to give up her crime fighting career and live a normal life, until she was forced to stop Nocturna from fleeing a crime scene. Then, she realized that she could not give up. Stephanie started working as Spoiler again and this time she captured Nocturna for good. After this, she talked to Tim, who told her that he was leaving Gotham and she finally admitted that she would not stop working as a crime-fighter.
Main article: Batgirl: Batgirl Rising
Stephanie Brown not only worked beside Cassandra Cain, but also succeeded her as Batgirl. One night, after Bruce Wayne's apparent death, they were fighting a group of thugs; when the fighting ended, Cain simply took off her outfit saying that since Batman was gone she saw no reason to continue wearing the costume. Stephanie took it and began to wear it, saving people as Batgirl. However, everyone noticed that something was a little off about Batgirl. Barbara tried to reason with Stephanie to get her stop being a vigilante, as she still saw Stephanie as an impetuous youth and remembered her role in causing a city-wide gang war and her near-death experience at Black Mask's hands. However, a new type of recreational drug is hitting the streets of Gotham known as "Thrill," which they discover was manufactured by the Scarecrow and Black Mask. Both women find themselves needing each other to stop this drug trade. Stephanie eventually confronts and defeats Scarecrow, which impresses Barbara and shows that she now has the maturity for the responsibility and is capable of facing her fear and failures, and allows her 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 Stephanie a costume for her to replace Cassandra's tattered costume.
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 along with allowing both women to communicate with each other through their comm-links. After battling some of the criminal elements in the city, Stephanie finds herself pitted against Livewire, who causes a blackout on the city while draining its power. Fortunately, Stephanie's costume is insulated, so she is able to overpower the villain. Stephanie also develops an attraction to Gotham PD's newest young recruit, Detective Nick Gage, who shares in her attraction, but only as Batgirl. Commissioner Gordon is trying to set up Gage as a blind date for Barbara. The elder Gordon finds their mutual attraction unsettling, even though he is not yet aware of the current Batgirl's identity, but knows that she is still a teenager. Her activities also have led her and Barbara to a blow with the new Dynamic Duo: Batman (Dick Grayson) and Robin (Damian Wayne). However, even though Stephanie and Damian Wayne initially do not get along, there is a hint that he harbors a crush on her. While meeting a classmate, Francisco, Stephanie is left unconscious after being shot while trying to protect him from a bunch of kidnappers. Stephanie survives the gunshot wound. It is later revealed that Francisco is the son of a real estate mogul whose unethical business practices led him to become a target. Because of Gracia's abduction, Stephanie and Barbara join forces with Batman and Robin, as some of the Gotham's rogues are involved of the crime, including Roulette.
Batgirl and Supergirl team up for the first time. Batgirl has been captured and Oracle sends Supergirl to save them. Batgirl and Supergirl become fast friends and go to stop the Toyboy. Supergirl takes down Toyboy while Batgirl stops Mr.Freeze. They are captured by a giant Superman/Batman robot being powered by the Kryptonite Man. Batgirl manages to send out a distress call to Oracle before disconnecting. Oracle calls Superman and the new Batman (Dick Grayson). Superman, Batman, and Robin save them and in the end Supergirl is seen scolding Robin for calling Batgirl "Fatgirl".
Main article: Red Robin: Collision
Dick, after seeing Stephanie's fight with Roxy Rocket, does not completely approve of her as Batgirl, but since she reminds him of Barbara when she was in the role, allows Barbara to continue training Stephanie. Stephanie also receives a new state-of-the-art transportation known as the Ricochet (based from Batman's Batcycle designs) from Barbara.
In a first part of a Red Robin/Batgirl crossover, Tim Drake returns to Gotham with proof that the original Batman is not only still alive but also time lost, 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 organizations during his quest. Tim returns to the Batcave to seek the current Batman's aid, only to find Stephanie as Batgirl. After their confrontation, Stephanie and Tim work together to protect Ra's possible targets. After saving Leslie Thompkins from the League, they encounter Prudence, another member of Ra's men, whose assignment is to target the new Batgirl. Stephanie, however, bested the assassin in combat. However, 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 plan strategically with Bruce Wayne's will made before his disappearance.
The Return of Bruce Wayne and The Lesson
Shortly after these events, Stephanie was "tested" by Bruce Wayne, who was disguised as the Insider at the time, and the two reconciled their differences in a poignant moment, ending with Bruce giving her his full approval. Shortly after this, Batgirl fought against Shellcase of the Seven Men of Death in order to stop them from getting to Vicki Vale.
Stephanie then (as Batgirl) came into conflict with a mysterious group known only as "the Order of the Scythe," also called "Reapers". They plotted to frame her for murdering a student on the campus of Gotham University, and stole a high tech suit of armor designed by the same student. Her clash with the Order was interrupted by team-ups with Damian Wayne and Klarion the Witchboy. She eventually defeated the Reapers at Blackgate Prison, also confronting her father, the mastermind of the plot.
Powers and Abilities
- Acrobatics: She was trained by Batman and through her own experience in acrobatic tactics.
- Artistry: Stephanie has designed and painted the casings for several of her own gadgets, and painted communication devices for Tim Drake
- Computer Hacking: She was trained by Oracle to hack computers and computerized security systems.
- Escapology: She was trained by Batman and through her own experience in the art of escaping.
- Investigation: Stephanie's investigative nature has allowed her to uncover even Batman's secrets.
- Martial Arts: Stephanie was trained by Batman and Oracle in hand-to-hand combat. Using her skills she has not only taken on Batman's villains but Superboy too.
- Stealth: She was trained by Batman and Robin in stealthy maneuvers. She was able to sneak into the Batcave and Tim Drake's international hideout, and she has sneaked through Gotham City by its sewers.
- Tactical Analysis: Seeking Batman's approval and to solidify her role as his sidekick she stole one of his most dangerous ultimatum plans and enacted it. Though she did not create this plan she was instrumental in its execution.
- Throwing: She is skilled enough in throwing that she is able to contend with Batgirl (Cassandra Cain), Robin (Tim Drake) and many other sidekicks. She was trained by Batman and Oracle.
- Batgirl Costume: After becoming Batgirl, Barbara Gordon designed a new costume for Stephanie which is comparable to the rest of the Bat-family's, which it is armored and insulated against ballistic, flame, and electrical attacks. Stephanie's Batsuit carriers a wireless relay within her cowl in order to keep her in contact with Barbara. The suit also allows Barbara to monitor Stephanie's vital signs.
- 223 Appearances of Stephanie Brown (New Earth)
- 119 Images featuring Stephanie Brown (New Earth)
- 37 Quotations by or about Stephanie Brown (New Earth)
- Character Gallery: Stephanie Brown (New Earth)
- DC Comics Encyclopedia: Updated and Expanded (height and weight)
- Robin (Volume 2) #3–5
- Robin (Volume 2) #15–16
- Robin (Volume 2) #25–26
- Robin (Volume 2) #80
- Robin (Volume 2) #65
- Robin (Volume 2) #111
- Detective Comics #796
- Robin (Volume 2) #126–128
- Batman: The 12-Cent Adventure #1
- Robin (Volume 2) #130
- Batman #633
- Batman #644
- Robin (Volume 2) #175
- Robin (Volume 2) #176
- Batman and the Outsiders (Volume 2) #13
- Gotham Gazette: Batman Dead? #1
- Gotham Gazette: Batman Alive? #1
- Batgirl (Volume 3) #1
- Batgirl (Volume 3) #2
- Batgirl (Volume 3) #3
- Batgirl (Volume 3) #4
- Batgirl (Volume 3) #5
- Batgirl (Volume 3) #6
- Batgirl (Volume 3) #8
- Red Robin #10
- Bruce Wayne: The Road Home: Batgirl #1
- Bruce Wayne: The Road Home: Oracle #1
- Batgirl (Volume 3) #15–16
- Batgirl (Volume 3) #17–18
- Batgirl (Volume 3) #24
- Batgirl (Volume 3) #12
- Batgirl (Volume 3) #19
- Batman: Gotham Knights #57
- Teen Titans (Volume 3) #13
- Robin (Volume 2) #94
- Batgirl #20
|Batman Family member |
This character is or was an incarnation of or an ally of Batman, and a member of the Batman Family. This template will automatically categorize articles that include it into the "Batman Family members" category.
|Teen Titans member |
This character is or was primarily a member of the younger superhero team known as the Teen Titans, in any of its various incarnations. This template will categorize articles that include it into the "Teen Titans members" category.
Birds of Prey member