Spoiler Alert: Five Ideas for the New 52 Stephanie Brown | Fanboys Anonymous

Spoiler Alert: Five Ideas for the New 52 Stephanie Brown

Posted by Ryan Little Saturday, November 16, 2013
Proponents to DC's New 52 line wide reboot have often used characters who did not survive the leap between the old universe and the canon reset as the center piece for their refutes. It came to the pleasant surprise of many, then, when DC announced recently the return of fan favorite, Stephanie Brown.

Previous Robin, Stephanie Brown, will return in Batman: Eternal

Stephanie's return has sparked quite a bit of speculation as her legacy in the old DCU encompassed appearances as several different characters. Most recently, Brown took on Gotham City as the new Batgirl in a run that lasted twenty-four issues prior to the reboot. Along side of Batgirl, her notable appearances include Spoiler and, though briefly, a tenure as Robin. Barbara Gordon's reprisal of the Batgirl role in the New 52 makes Stephanie's return both curious and exciting. Removing Barbara from her wheelchair was a bold move on DC's part and most likely means the Batgirl title won't be up for grabs any time soon. With so many roles, both new and old, to choose from, Stephanie's return will be anything but predictable. Here's my list of the top five personas I'd like to see Brown don in her return.

5. NIGHTWING

Barbara Gordon as a female Nightwing

This one may seem a bit over the top, but what's the point of speculating if you can't have a little fun? Dick Grayson, the current and chartering Nightwing, is alive, though not very well thanks to the Crime Syndicate. Although it may be said for many comics, I believe costumes and superhero personas aren't revered anywhere as much as in Gotham City. Batman and his family aren't heroes, they're symbols. The uniqueness of these personas, however, comes not in their effect on the city, but their place in the lives of those who don them. Dick Grayson and Tim Drake aren't Robin anymore because they don't need to be. The Batman Universe is a place where heroes don't have to move along the infamous sliding timeline of comics as slowly, thus allowing them to grow in profound ways. As such, I believe that the Nightwing role should become one of these rights of passage as much as being Robin is. Brown could,then, be an excellent candidate to lift the torch. It would allow Dick a chance to mentor someone in a way that's far more personal and Stephanie the challenge of embracing a role, but pioneering the development of it. I think the struggle to be a new, different, Nightwing could be more interesting than become a new hero, or one that's already been handed off before. Plus, I don't think the DCNU can ever have enough escrima sticks.

4. BAT KNIGHT DARK BIRD WING HOOD

Who will Stephanie Brown return as in batman: eternal

This one, to me, may be one of the more probable, though less exciting, choices. While the Bat Family has certainly found some welcomed additions over the years, I believe the Batman brand is a tempting one to extort and, consequently, cheapen. It takes more than a cowl and a bat logo to make a hero and I hope any new additions to the franchise come with serious planning and consideration. Anyone can make a super suit and become a hero in the world of comics. I believe the Bat Family should be a higher standard of hero that isn't joined lightly.

3. CATGIRL

Could Stephanie Brown be Catgirl in the New 52 Batman: Eternal


The New 52's early issues were made even more infamous after several shocking reveals, particularly the depiction of Batman and Catwoman having intercourse. The pair's bittersweet relationship has always been fun, which is why I think it reasonable that if Bruce wants to help Selina he may recommend she get a partner for the reasons having one helped save him. Cue Catgirl. Remember Catgirl? Kitrina Falcone first donned the costume pictured above in Batman 692 and aided Catwoman for several issues before retiring. While on the surface she may seem to be the classic partner that's simply a mini version of an established character I think the idea of giving an infamously unscrupulous character someone to mentor could be a lot of fun. Bruce's mentorship comes with the living conditions that go along with being one of the world's most wealthy individuals, a cave teeming with bat themed gadgets, and a butler. While that all sounds like a great deal, I can't say the comforts that go along with being a billionaire and one of the world's greatest heroes makes for the most tension. Partnering someone with Selina would challenge them emotionally on several levels and would force Selina to confront her often conflicted life choices. What better way to flush out that imbalance than by having her assist someone in finding their own direction?

2. SPOILER

Stephanie Brown may be spoiler in the New 52's Batman: Eternal


Spoiler, Brown's debut character, has a fairly sorted past. The role was originally created by Brown to assist the police and Batman in defeated her father, The Cluemaster which resulted in Spoiler's always being an accessory to other stories instead of her own leading lady. It should still be said, however, that this successfully navigates the issues I raised with simply slapping a bat on someone's chest in number four. Furthermore, the idea of a hero operating in Gotham outside of the direct Bat Family could open up a wider range of stories and help make both heroes and villains who have been through the same paces new again.

1. ORACLE

What role will Stephanie Brown take in Batman: Eternal


Barbara Gordon's return to the role of Batgirl sparked quite a bit of conversation. While many discussed what it would mean having her as Batgirl, I found few discussing the ramifications of losing Oracle. A computer wizard, Oracle's skills were highlighted in many stories, especially Battle for the Cowl, and showcased the need for the massive Bat Family to have a uniting factor. Having a strategic coordinating mind in the back drop only adds to the stealthy tactics that are a Batman trademark. I believe Stephanie would be perfect for the role. Youth is often associated with technical knowledge in the modern zeitgeist and I think the responsibility of delegating danger to infamous costumed heroes would be an interesting challenge for a largely unproven Brown. Furthermore, it's a nice way to stay in touch with the heavy hitters of the Bat Family without entirely depending on them. Being Oracle would allow Brown to stand among the big names of Gotham's heroes without being eclipsed by them.

After a lengthy hiatus, Stephanie Brown has finally been announced to to return in the third issue of Batman: Eternal this spring. How would you like to see Stephanie make her return? Sound off with your list in the comments section below.
THIS POST WAS WRITTEN BY A GUEST WRITER

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