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Batgirl (Stephanie Brown) (DC Comics) no background cape unfurled


(Stephanie Brown) (Part 1)


This profile is part of a chronological series about Stephanie Brown.

We’re starting to have a lot of Batgirl material, so it’s best if you first check our Batgirl orientation page to see an ordered list of profiles.

In this two-part entry, we’ll cover the entire Batgirl vol. 3 run, excellently written by Bryan Miller  . It also includes all of Steph’s contemporary appearances. Meaning October of 2009 to the Summer of 2011, at which point the book is daftly cancelled and yes I’m still miffed about that.

Here… we… go !



  • Real Name: Stephanie Brown.
  • Other Aliases: Fay Wray, Constance Aberthine, “Dork Knight”.
  • Known Relatives: Arthur Brown (aka the Cluemaster, father, deceased), Agnes Crystal Bellinger-Brown (mother), unnamed child (adopted away).
  • Group Affiliation: Oracle’s Network.
  • Base Of Operations: Gotham City.
  • Height: 5’7” (1.70m). Weight: 115 lbs. (52 Kg.). Age: 19.
  • Eyes: Blue. Hair: Blonde.

Powers and Abilities

Brown is unusually talented when it comes to athletics, gymnastics, fitness, the martial arts and acrobatics. Even with little training she performed at an Olympic level.

But her talent was minor compared to the likes of Tim Drake, Richard Grayson, Cassandra Cain, etc..

For a 115 lbs. person, Brown is remarkably tough. She has superior pain tolerance, and is very bad at dying. She has soundly beaten doses of drugs and hallucinogens that would have been fatal to persons twice her weight.

She’s also genuinely determined, and has an exceptional will to live and fighting spirit.

Batgirl (Stephanie Brown) (DC Comics)

Are you experienced ?

Stephanie was intensively trained by Batman (Bruce Wayne) for weeks, and had several spans where she trained with Cassandra Cain. That makes her a redoubtable fighter, performing at a high cinematicThe level of power and (un)realism found in a spectacular action movie. level.

  • Batgirl can vanquish most street-level threats.
  • She could fight a delaying action against no less than the League of Assassins’ Seven Men of Death.
  • Tim Drake was startled to see how faster she had become since her Spoiler days. However, my sense is that he didn’t pay attention to the progress Steph made as Robin.
  • Several of her unarmed techniques resemble Cassandra Cain’s. Which requires lots of skill and training.

Stephanie is now a proficient rooftop vigilante – clever, experienced and quick on her feet. She’s comfortable with new and dangerous situations, pragmatically making up solutions until she can understand what’s going on.

She doesn’t have the fancier skills such as detection, computers, engineering, etc.. But she has the backup to handle those.

Despite her ditzy image, she has strong perceptive and deductive intelligence. She can devise strategies based on briefly observing disparateMade up of things unlike each other. clues. Such as how her opponent’s powers seem to work, or weak points in their tactics.

Batgirl (Stephanie Brown) (DC Comics) doing a meh gesture in a pink polo shirt

A utility belt full of crap, and a positive attitude

The Batgirl black-and-eggplant costume includes :

  • Light body armour (optimised not to hinder movements).
  • Exceptionally good electrical insulation. And enough energy insulation to turn security lasers into a mere jolt of sharp pain.
  • Shotgun microphone built in the cowl to listen to distant conversations.
  • Extensive radio uplink with video feed and life signs monitors.
  • Transparent rebreather (normally carried in her belt).
  • Built-in lenses for various sorts of night vision.
  • Fully-stocked utility belt. Plus a garter to carry even more gear.

The suit isn’t quite bulletproof. However, said bullets presumably were armour-piercing rounds. They were used by the Seven Men Of Death – the only gunmen who manage to hit her during this era.

Much of Batgirl’s ample pouch space is occupied by batarangs with specialised payloads. Stephanie loves her batarangs – because batarangs are awesome.

Steph also uses a bat-line. It is the usual pistol-like device shooting a grapnel and de-celSpecific rope tech allowing for super-hero urban acrobatics. line.

  • There is a setting for the grapnel to just grab something it hits – perhaps helped with the release of soluble adhesive. This allows Batgirl to grab objects at a distance and yank them toward her.
  • This line is occasionally used to entangle opponents. But it doesn’t work that well and Stephanie only uses this tactic against mooks.

Concussive smokarangs ! Flaming icerangs ! Electro-magna-gooperangs ! Tah-daaah !

Batman, Incorporated later provided Steph with a computerised industrial press to fabricate batarangs. In this version :

  • The “wings” of the bat are always grey.
  • A pair of colour-coded warheads forms the “body” of the bat. Green is restraining goop, yellow is electrical, blue is cold, red is incendiary.

Another new feature was magnetised batarangs. Those have “wings” that adhere to metallic surfaces they get slapped against.

It would seem that the press allows for timed warheads – detonating x seconds after impact. But these timers presumably have to be set when the batarang is being machined.

Batarangs can have mismatched warheads. But this is not usually a good idea unless Stephanie has a specific strategy in mind. The electro-magna-gooperangs were used but once, and it only worked since they were hand-applied in large quantities.


Her main melee weapon is a collapsible baton/staff. This weapon looks like a telescopic metallic baton, but can extend to quarterstaff length when needed. It can collapse all the way to a length of about 15cm (6 inches).

Stephanie has a garter holster so she can hide this weapon under a skirt or dress.

This weapon hits harder than it should. It was seen smashing solid metal on several occasions. What is happening there is unclear, but the Unfettered Fist Schtick (DCH) or Power Attack (DCA) Advantage in our game stats allows Stephanie to hit as if she were superhumanly strong.


Batgirl occasionally uses a high-speed vehicle called the Ricochet. It’s a cylinder with a huge engine and three motorcycle wheels. It lies close to the ground and is piloted prone.

Barbara Gordon built it as an escape vehicle. She could drop into the Ricochet from her wheelchair and get away real fast.

The Ricochet can presumably reach speeds in excess of 300 km/h (185 mph). And it feels even faster since the driver is but inches above ground level.

It has an emergency brake mode, with the two front wheels pivoting sideway and slamming against the ground.

The Ricochet has an autopilot mode, presumably using GPS coordinates and preset points. There’s also a light foldable wheelchair stored in the back.

Batgirl (Stephanie Brown) driving her Ricochet vehicle


In the final issues of this Batgirl run, Steph also drives the Compact. It is an armoured, armed high-performance car, characteristics unknown.

The Compact normally looks like a compact car with numerous options (including a high-end GPS) and superior racing performance.

The Compact can be switched to combat mode. It then becomes a visibly armoured vehicle and sports a turret, with what might be twin machineguns. In combat mode the Compact completely ignored small arms fire.

Batgirl (Stephanie Brown)'s car, the Compact (DC Comics)


A good chronological marker with matching vibes would be P!nk’s “So what”. It’s a childish, energetic, chaotic, high-tempo, subtly off-kilter pop-rock anthem.

History (part 1)

Late 2009 meant changes for Stephanie Brown.

  • She resumed her studies, enrolling as a first year freshman at Gotham U.
  • She was reunited with her mother. Mrs. Brown had been transferred to a new hospital and now worked hours allowing her to regularly see her daughter.
  • She found herself with a black super-hero costume on her hands.

Stephanie had been teaming up for months with her friend Batgirl (Cassandra Cain) during her nightly patrols. Though Stephanie wasn’t supposed to be active as Spoiler, Cass didn’t mind – and training with Batgirl made Spoiler even tougher.

Shortly after Bruce Wayne’s apparent death at Darkseid’s hand, Batgirl abruptly gave up her role and vanished. She left her costume behind for Spoiler, implicitly making her her successor.

Just Cain gets enough

Cain was secretly executing on a complex contingency plan after Batman’s death. She had covert missions to accomplish, during which she wouldn’t be Batgirl.

And Steph felt that she *had* to step in as the new Batgirl. She began wearing the costume as a Gotham City vigilante.

Batman (Richard Grayson) and Robin (Damian Wayne) soon realised that she couldn’t be Cassandra Cain. They handed the matter over to Oracle (Barbara Gordon).

Gordon quickly determined what was going on and confronted Brown.


Batgirl & Batgirl

Oracle intended to have Brown renounce vigilantism. But that didn’t work at all. Stephanie refused to stop investigating Scarecrow’s drugs ring, since lives were in immediate danger.

Gordon remotely monitored and advised Brown, using the Batgirl costume’s systems. The idea was to deal with the emergency, then yell harder at Brown.

However, Barbara came to realise how committed, capable and determined Stephanie now was. After a slip of the tongue, she realised that she was proud to call Steph “Batgirl”.

Mission control

Oracle now supported Stephanie. She patterned her offer after how Batman (Bruce Wayne) had once helped Robin (Richard Grayson).

She also built new Batgirl equipment, mixing Spoiler visuals in.

Barbara then took a teaching assistant position at Gotham U., to make it easier for them to coordinate.

From there, Barbara and Stephanie soon mended fences with Dick Grayson. Even Damian Wayne came to grudgingly accept Batgirl.

Stephanie also salvaged her friendship with Red Robin (Tim Drake). Perhaps too well, since mutual attraction made its return. Worse, Stephanie couldn’t help but feel jealous of the young woman supposedly engaged to Drake as part of her cover.

Batgirl (Stephanie Brown) posing with collapsible staff

What’s black and eggplant and blonde ?

As she tried to cope with life as a freshman, Stephanie also found herself entangled in Oracle’s difficulties.

Gordon had taken another young woman — Wendy Harris — under her wing. This provoked the wrath of the Calculator, Harris’s father.

The Calculator went to insane lengths to locate and kidnap Wendy. That included turning thousands of Gothamites into techno-zombies, using Apokolipsian nanites derived from a Justifier helmet.

Harris and Brown managed an impromptu team-up. Batgirl saved Gotham, rescued Oracle and earned the friendship of Wendy.

Cruising speed

Under the code-name “Proxy”, Harris became Oracle’s apprentice. She provided support for Batgirl on certain missions.

Batgirl also started developing a working relationship with certain GCPD officers. Her #1 contact was the handsome Detective Gage, on whom she developed a crush.

Stephanie’s career as a student was less spectacular. She was a straight-B freshman. And she couldn’t decide on a major. Ms. Brown felt the only job she was doing well was being Batgirl.

After Oracle had to fake her death, Stephanie was among the few who knew the truth. However, Gordon no longer could provide enough help.

Though she was struggling with psychological issues, Proxy agreed to step in. She became Batgirl’s support.

Batgirl (Stephanie Brown) in mid-air (DC Comics)

History (part 2)

By that point Bruce Wayne had returned. While widely believed dead, he had actually been cast through time and weaponised. Yet he managed to come back without destroying the world.

For a while he discreetly observed what had gone on in his absence. He saw that Cassandra handing the Batgirl role over to Stephanie had worked well beyond his expectations.

Return of Bruce Wayne

While Oracle’s network of operatives had to go dark with her “death”, the returned Wayne created a new one. Batman, Incorporated was a company founded by the Wayne Corporation. It backed Batman’s allies.

At this point Proxy and Batgirl were operating from Firewall, a secret base under Barbara Gordon’s old home. Batman, Inc. had it upgraded into an equivalent of the Batcave, with a cutting-edge arsenal.

Stephanie also learned that Cassandra had been operating covertly in Hong Kong for months. Bruce Wayne had Cass resume operating in costume — as Black Bat — after Batman, Inc. was launched.

Batgirl (Stephanie Brown) (DC Comics) leaning forward staff captive touchdown

London calling

However, Wendy Harris left for Nanda Parbat to attempt to heal her psyche.

At the same time, Bruce Wayne requested that Stephanie Brown enrol in an English finishing school.

Brown grudgingly agreed to leave for London for a first trip. There, she responded to a crisis along with Squire (Beryl Hutchinson), another young Batman, Inc. operative.

Father issues

Returning to the US for a while, Batgirl put an end to the Reapers – a murderous conspiracy based in Gotham University.

To close that case she assembled a league of young superheroines – Supergirl (Kara Zor-El), Miss Martian (M’Gann M’orzz), Stargirl (Courtney Whitmore) and Bombshell (Amy Allen).

This victory led her to the discovery that she was being stalked by her father.

The Cluemaster was the patron of the Reapers. And he had become addicted to the Black Mercy alien plants’s hallucinogenic properties.

We have both kinds, reboots and softboots

Despite being exposed to Black Mercy spores, Stephanie once again spoiled her father’s plan with a well-placed batarang.

Her friends got her to the hospital to detox her. But Batgirl had beaten the hideously addictive spores through sheer stubbornness, without needing a transfusion.

During her hospital stay Agnes Brown discovered that her daughter was Batgirl. But she came to terms with this while Steph was still in intensive care.

At this point the DC Universe was rebooted — again — and Steph taken away from us. Bastiches !

Batgirl (Stephanie Brown) by Dustin N'Guyen (DC Comics)

Continued in part #2 !

The second half of this entry has a big discussion of her characterisation, a bunch of quotes, and full stats for both DCH and DCA.

Oh boy oh boy !

Writeups.org writer avatar Sébastien Andrivet

By Sébastien Andrivet.

Source of Character: Batgirl volume 3 (2009-2011) and contemporary appearances (DC Universe).

Helper(s): Batgirl fans on rpg.net’s Tangency Other Media, Darci, Salinea, Frank Murdock, Pawsplay, Murkglow.

Writeup completed in August of 2011.