With Barbara Gordon reclaiming the mantle of Batgirl in the rebooted DCU, it was uncertain whether the most recent Batgirl, Stephanie Brown, would remain part of continuity. However, just as Dick Grayson has once again reverted to the persona of Nightwing, it seems that Stephanie Brown has similarly been returned to being Spoiler. This is revealed in passing in the recent solicitations for Batman Incorporated: Leviathan Strikes. It reads:
“Guest stars galore! Batman and Spoiler team to face the School of Night while Batman Incorporated travels to a sinister Cold War interrogation facility to face the mind-bending menace of Doctor Dedalus for the last time while the true identity of Leviathan is finally revealed, with shocking consequences for the Dark Knight.”
While others may bemoan the change in Stephanie Brown’s alter ego, viewing the restoration of her first superhero identity as a step backwards from the titles of Robin and Batgirl that she seemingly worked so hard to gain, I see this transition as a good thing. It was revealed a couple months ago by Dylan Horrocks, that Stephanie’s tenure as Robin was simply a red herring to distract readers from the fact that DC had intended to kill her off (luckily it didn’t stick,) while simultaneously making her important enough to earn a case in the batcave, similar to Jason Todd’s.
And although I enjoyed Stephanie’s run as Batgirl, the title seemed to focus on the legacy Stephanie had inherited, moving her further away from how she was first portrayed. Much like how many people consider Impulse to be the definitive version of Bart Allen, I believe Spoiler to be the definitive version of Stephanie Brown. It is an identity unique to her; one that she forged on her own, and worked hard to maintain, despite most of the Bat-family telling her to quit, because they claimed she wasn’t good enough. Welcome back Spoiler. Let’s hope you get that solo title you deserve.
(via DC’s The Source.)