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A guy asked me a question the other day... about why people run when things get tough. That's easy -- you can become someone else, wherever you land, right? Who's gonna know the difference? So why stay? Why set yourself up for more failure? For more pain? Also easy -- because we don't know how to do anything else. So why stay? Why open yourself up to all the bad you've tried to leave behind? "The only variable you can control is yourself." You can forget who you are, or you can be who you want to be. That's why you stay. You stay for a second chance.
~ Stephanie Brown.
So no matter what I say about my killer supervillain dad and his tights-wearing buddies, it just looks like more tabloid schlock. I've cried "Wolf"! or "Leaked nude selfies"! or "Scandal"! too many times. So now I'm on my own. And the bad guys expect me to just disappear down the memory hole? Spoiler Alert: no damn way.
~ Prime-Earth Stephanie Brown.

Stephanie Brown, also known as The Spoiler, is a fictional superheroine in the DC comics and universe, and is a vigilante in Gotham City. She is the daughter of the villainous Cluemaster, and becomes a crime-fighter to atone for his crimes. Brown briefly was the fourth Robin and Batgirl, and is a member of the Batman Family.

She was created by Chuck Dixon and Tom Lye, and first appeared in Detective Comics #647 in August of 1992.

Biography

Early Life

Stephanie Brown is the daughter of Arthur and Crystal Brown, with her father being the villain Cluemaster. When she was a child, her babysitter attempted to rape, and he later died of an apparent drug overdose eight days later after she told her father. Arthur spent most of her childhood in prison or was away from them, and when returning to Gotham, he claimed he was "rehabilitated".

However, Stephanie discovered that he was returning to crime with his need to leave clues behind, and was angered that he returning to his unlawful actions. During this time, Stephanie's mother became depress (probably because of her husband's criminal life), and became addicted to painkillers.

Becoming a Vigilante

Stephanie decided to become a vigilante to stop crime, creating a costume for herself and called herself The Spoiler. Knowing where her father was hiding, she left clues for the police and Batman to find his location and stop him. Batman's sidekick, Robin (Tim Drake), tracked her down, and she joined in on the Cluemaster's capture. During this time, Stephanie became attracted to Robin, but was annoyed that he knew her identity, and she didn't know his.

During "Knightquest", Cluemaster broke out of prison alongside the Electrocutioner and Czonk, and Stephanie learned of this. Going after her dad, she ran into Robin, and let him work with her to stop her father. After stopping Cluemaster, Stephanie gave Robin a kiss in thanks for helping her fight her father, but the two had to part ways due to the police arriving. She was later kidnapped by the Gully Carson gang who were working with Cluemaster, but the latter decided to contact Batman and Robin to save his daughter when the gang withheld their cut. Batman and Robin freed Stephanie, who refused to leave and helped them fight the rest of the gang. Afterward, Stephanie payed her father a visit in prison, and also made her attraction to Robin more clear to the Boy Wonder.

Stephanie later worked with Robin and Green Arrow (Connor Hawke) to take down gang, and later attended a funeral for Karl Ranck, a classmate of Robin. That night, Stephanie met up with Robin, telling him that she was going to help find the one who killed Ranck. The two were over their heads on finding Rancks' killer, but were saved by Batman, who ordered Spoiler to go home. During this time, Stephanie and Robin became closer, especially after Tim realized his feelings for her and broke up with his then-girlfriend Ariana. However, Robin was unable to reveal his true identity to her, as he needed to maintain the Batman Family secrecy.

Stephanie eventually found out that she was pregnant by her ex-boyfriend Dean, who had left Gotham City during the Cataclysm. Though Robin and Stephanie became closer, the former was moved temporarily to Keystone City during the last few months of her pregnancy. However, he returned to Stephanie when she was giving birth, and with his help, was able to help her give the child up for adoption. Stephanie believed it was the best chance for a child to have a better life, and continued her vigilante career.

When Tim was sent away to boarding school by his father, Stephanie and Tim began a long-distance relationship. The relationship became more complicated due to the fact that Stephanie still didn't known his real name, and Stephanie believing that he was cheating on her with his friend Star. Shortly afterward, Robin was on a secret mission in Tibet, and during his disappearance, Stephanie realized she wanted to be with him. Batman approached Stephanie and offered to train her, and also revealed Robin's real name as Tim to her. Stephanie was then trained by Batman and members of the Birds of Prey, and also befriended Cassandra Cain by giving her reading lessons.

Stephanie and Tim reconciled, but Batman believed she wasn't hero material and told her to hang up her costume. Despite this, Stephanie still patrolled with Robin, and the two went on regular dates during this time. When the U.S. Government came to Stephanie and her mother, they told her that Cluemaster died in service of his country in the Suicide Squad. Stephanie was shocked by this, deciding to cut off ties with Tim and went on a rampage against criminals. She hunted down her father's associate the Riddler, to get a better idea of who he was, and eventually made peace of his memory. Unbeknownst to Stephanie, Cluemaster was still alive, and it unknown if she or her mother knows that he still alive.

Becoming Robin

When Tim's father discovered his secret identity, he was told to retire from crime-fighting and to live a normal life for a time. When Stephanie attempted to surprise him at school, she saw a female classmate of Tim's attempting to put the moves on him, and assumed that he was being unfaithful. Angered, Stephanie broke ties from Tim and created a homemade Robin costume, and snuck into the Batcave. She demanded Batman train her to be the new Robin, and Batman accepted her despite his past belief that she wasn't hero material.

Stephanie went through several months of intensive training, and patrolled with Batman, showing herself to be a capable replacement for Tim. However, when she was captured by Victor Zsasz, she used lethal violence against him, much to Batman's disapproval. When Stephanie disobeyed Batman's orders to save his life, he fired her and told her that she done being a hero because she couldn't follow orders.

Death

In an effort to prove her worth, Stephanie stole one of Batman's long-range plans on dealing with the entirety of Gotham's criminals. Stephanie didn't know the plan had the involvement of Batman's alter-ego "Matches Malone", the plan went out of control. The result was a gang war in Gotham City, and Stephanie was captured and tortured by Black Mask to get information about Batman. Stephanie escaped and made her way to Leslie Thompkins' clinic, but she died of her severe injuries by Batman's side.

Batman later found evidence that a medical treatment could have saved Stephanie's life, he learned that it was denied by Leslie herself. Batman confronted her in Africa, who revealed that she withheld the treatment to Stephanie in hopes that Batman would see the violence he caused and to give up his mantle. Batman exiled Leslie from the United States, telling her that if she returned, he would make sure she would be prosecuted.

Return

In reality, Stephanie survived her death, as it was revealed that she was severely wounded to the point of near death. Seeing this at a chance for a new life, Stephanie asked Thompkins to fake her death, and she began to work as a missionary in Africa to recover from her injuries. After recovering a year later, Stephanie returned to the United States and resumed her identity as Spoiler, and rekindled her friendship with Tim. In addition, Stephanie enrolled in the same school with Tim under an assumed name to prevent criminals from attacking her.

When Batman disappeared, he requested to Stephanie to sabotage Robin's efforts to find him, and she succeeded until Tim learned the truth. Stephanie later infiltrated Intergang's headquarters to learn if they knew about Batman's location, but her plan failed when Vigilante (Dorian Chase) attacked the place to kill Johnny Stiches. Stephanie fought Vigilante outside, but were stopped by Batgirl, who made them an offer to join her new team. After another attempt to sabotage Robin's mission, Stephanie decided to give her crime fighting career until she was forced to stop Nocturna. After capturing and stopping Nocturna, Stephanie realized she couldn't give up being a hero.

Becoming Batgirl

After Batman's apparent death, Cassandra decided to take off the Batgirl costume, saying that since Batman was gone, she saw no reason to continue wearing the costume. Stephanie took it and began to wear it, becoming the new Batgirl. However, everyone noticed something was a little off about Batgirl, and Barbara tried to reason with Stephanie to stop being a vigilante, referring to near death by Black Mask.

Barbara was eventually impressed by Stephanie's maturity and responsible behavior after stopping Scarecrow and Black Mask, who created a drug called "Thrill". Seeing that Brown could face fear and failure, she decided to allow Stephanie continue to be Batgirl. Barbara later took a job as a an assistant professor at Stephanie's school in order to continue to keep in contact with her.

Portrayals

Television

  • In Young Justice: Invasion, she was voiced by Mae Whitman.

Gallery

Trivia

  • Her main love-interest in the comics is Tim Drake.
  • She is the only member of the Batman Family to have been both Robin and Batgirl.
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