Stephanie Brown is returning to comics. Again.
It seems you just can’t the character down. When Stephanie Brown was murdered in 2005, fans took to the internet and conferences to
request that she, as a former Robin, have her costume put in a trophy case like the other dead Robin.
The back and forth between DC Editors and Creators went on for four years even showing up in the comics themselves as in this editors not from 2007.
Whether it was fan pressure or DC simply waiting for the “right time,” Stephanie Brown returned to comics in July of 2008.
DC made Stephanie Brown the Batgirl replacing Cass Cain a year later when the plan to return Barbara Gordon to the tights were shelved.
The Batgirl book starring Stephanie Brown was one of the best reviewed books of the next two years. But her run would be only 24 issues as DC once again moved forward to return Barbara Gordon to the role as part of the new 52 in September of 2011. Stephanie Brown made one last appearance in December of that year in Batman, Inc.
She then joined Cassandra Cain, the adopted daughter of Bruce Wayne, in going on to the “bench” - characters that would not be showing up in the new 52 for awhile.
The benching of the character was not for lack of trying for a number o creators. During the last two years, several writers attempted to include the character in the books or in pitches including Gail Simone and Grant Morrison. But the character was considered “pitch poison” within DC and any appearance was nixed. When fans celebrated the return of the character in the out of continuity Smallville written by Bryan Q. Miller, the writer of her standalone series. However, in July of 2012, their excitement quickly dissolved when the character was removed from already in production book and turned in Barbara Gordon.
At every comic convention a fan (both male and female) would ask about the return of Stephanie Brown and Cass Cain. The answers would range from polite to downright dismissive. At one point DC joked that there would not be taking questions about the two.
But not this week at NYCC. This week DC planted a question about Stephanie. And the woman who asked it? Kyrax, the Batgirl of SDCC who challenged the publisher on its treatment of female characters. Here’s what really went down.