This profile is part of a series – which covers Stephanie Brown’s story.
So you should first check our Batgirl orientation page to see which entries exist, and their order.
And I guess that she’ll also be on a Robin orientation page when we add one.
This specific entry covers Steph as Robin, during the War Games era on Bat-books. Please never ask for my opinion about the War Games era on Bat-books.
- Real Name: Stephanie Brown.
- Former Aliases: Spoiler.
- Known Relatives: Arthur Brown (aka the Cluemaster, father, deceased), Agnes Crystal Bellinger-Brown (mother), David Bellinger (uncle), child (name and gender unrevealed).
- Note: Agnes Brown’s name has been robertbrucebannerisedWhen two different given names are mistakenly provided for a character, assuming that one is actually their middle name. since she’s erroneously called “Crystal Brown” during this era.
- Group Affiliation: Partner of the Batman.
- Base of Operations: Gotham City area.
- Height: 5’5” (1.65m). Weight: 112 lbs. (51 Kg.).
- Eyes: Blue-green. Hair: Blonde.
Powers & Abilities
Stephanie finally got a span of structured, full-time, intensive training. This has done wonders for formalising and increasing her skills.
She’s now even stronger, faster and more proficient at hand-to-hand combat.
Robin further received an intensive round of training in detection techniques.
However, this Robin was pointedly denied access to a number of secrets, advanced techniques, special equipment, etc..
To her enduring chagrin, she also never got to drive the Batmobile. Not even a little bit. Even though she has a learner’s licence !
Stephanie is presumably using the same equipment Tim did. But since right now we haven’t researched that, let’s stick to what she demonstrated in the material :
- Motorised de-celSpecific rope tech allowing for super-hero urban acrobatics. line with grapnel.
- A costume with an aluminium/fibreglass weave. This proved impervious to cutting and impaling, but was only seen once.
- A compact but powerful flashlight.
- Smoke micro-grenades, about the size of a large marble. They’re usually thrown in volleys of three, presumably for better coverage.
- Adhesive, miniaturised tracer bugs.
She never deploys melee or ranged weaponry (say, batons or batarangs) which is weird.
History (part 1)
Against Alfred Pennyworth’s advice, Batman made Stephanie his new Robin. He then put her through gruelling weeks of intensive training, acting as her coach.
Bruce’s take was that :
- He was low on manpower, and Stephanie already had many of the basic skills.
- He was impressed by her determination.
- It worked as an indirect gambit to pressure Tim into returning.
But though Stephanie threw herself into her training, the issue remained. She was gifted and driven, but she didn’t operate at the impossible level of talent of a Dick Grayson or a Tim Drake.
Oracle (Barbara Gordon) took over taskmaster duty whenever Bruce was away. And it was clear that she still didn’t like Brown.
Cassandra ran some of the training sessions. But she was markedly more distant than before.
Make way for the Dynamic Duo
During her deployments, Robin :
- Defeated Tiger Moth II. This high-tech robber had tech that scrambled the senses and made her impossible to hit. But Steph found a way around that.
- Survived an attack by extraordinarily dangerous serial killer Victor Zsazs. Then helped take him down, as her boss wasn’t doing that well against Zsazs. However, Batman disapprovingly pointed out that Robin had used a potentially lethal move during the fight.
- Had an altercation with Superboy (Kon-El/Conner Kent). Seeing that there was a new Robin, Superboy arrogantly and pushily demanded explanations – until Batman told him to scram.
- Clashed with an assassin named Calamity. Robin was forced on the defensive, but turned the tables when the arriving Batgirl (Cassandra Cain) seemed in danger. However, it had been a secret test. Calamity, a former David Cain student, was working with Batgirl to train Robin.
- Located the Scarab (Maat Shadid), who had been hired to murder scores of people in their sleep as a brute-force attempt to slay Robin (Tim Drake).
However, the confrontations with the Scarab didn’t go well for the Dynamic Duo. Her power armourStrength-enhancing body armour, like Iron Man’s. was too advanced and too well-armed, even after Bruce met her in his own suit.
Fearing that the Scarab would kill Batman, Robin intervened – against orders. It didn’t work, and the Scarab escaped after stealing a batplane.
Thus, after about 50 days of being Robin, Stephanie was fired.
History (part 2)
Bruce forbade Stephanie from being active as either Robin or Spoiler. Predictably, she disobeyed.
As Spoiler, she sought to take down a major Mafia don, the aged Pasquale Galante Jr.. That was her gambit to impress Batman.
To do so, she used one of Batman’s wargaming scenarios. The first step was to trigger an urgent meeting of all major mob leaders in Gotham.
But Stephanie couldn’t know that :
- Batman was Bruce Wayne, and thus wasn’t active at all times. Wayne was attending a society event when the mob meeting was organised, and was further kept busy by a Kobra attack there.
- Batman often operated undercover as “Matches” Malone, a shadier-than-thou underworld fixer. The scenario hinged on Malone intervening during the meeting to prevent any escalation.
What evil lurks in the heart of men
Without Malone, the rushed and suspicious mob summit degenerated into a bloodbath.
There was nothing the horrified Stephanie could do. Most enforcers present she could have handled, but some of the muscle was just too deadly. Such as Philo Zeiss, Deadshot (Floyd Lawton) or the Silver Monkey.
This massacre resulted in all-out mob wars throughout the Gotham area. The firefights, arsons, drive-by shootings, bomb attacks, etc. killed scores more. The gangs had to keep striking fast and hard to survive.
Batman, having but few helpers at that point, was overwhelmed. Even with :
- Nightwing (Dick Grayson) rushing in from Blüdhaven to assist.
- Catwoman (Selina Kyle) protecting her East End turf.
- Robin (Tim Drake) eventually being forced to return to action by the carnage.
- Tarantula (Catalina Flores) from Blüdhaven taking over the Latinos United Gang in Gotham. Her main objective was to keep the younger LUG members out of the line of fire.
All-out gang war
Spoiler helped with damage control. But she avoided Batman and his assets. To the point of fleeing when she ran into Batgirl.
However, Catwoman took her in, providing emotional support as they rested from the street fighting. Catwoman wrongly assumed that Robin would have been briefed about her Selina Kyle identity.
Stephanie being a wreck, Selina had her stay with her sidekick Holly Robinson, and Holly’s girlfriend Karon.
However, as she collected herself, Steph realised that she could salvage the plan by briefing Orpheus (Gavin King).
Know that the mask destroys one identity…
Meanwhile, the supposedly dead Black Mask (Roman Sionis) had been busy.
Using the element of surprise, he murdered mob leaders so he could take power in the wake of the war. And Sionis killed King just as Brown reached him.
Robin defeated Black Mask. But his extraordinary pain tolerance allowed him to turn the tables on her.
Captured, Stephanie was extensively tortured. She gave him next to no info, except that Orpheus had been secretly working for Batman before Sionis murdered him.
Sionis impersonated King. From there, he deduced why Batman’s plan hinged around Orpheus.
As the most credible underworld leader still standing, Orpheus could unite the decimated mobs. Then walk them into a huge trap set by Batman and the GCPD. Black-Mask-as-Morpheus hijacked that plan.
As things thus degenerated even further, Spoiler managed to escape. She ambushed Black Mask when he returned, and defeated him despite her wounds. But she hesitated too long before killing him, and Sionis shot her.
Spoiler still managed to drag herself out, and Batman located her. She could be evacuated to Leslie Thompkins’ clinic, but the damage was too extensive.
After a brief conversation with Batman, Stephanie Brown died.
Stephanie only wore her home-made (but pretty good) Robin costume with a bare midriff for a few hours.
It was replaced ASAP with a professionally-made one, though it kept most of her design ideas.
Once she becomes Robin, Steph is over the moon. It’s the greatest thing that has ever, and ever could, happen to her.
She throws herself into her training and her Robin work with an intensity and endurance that would be unbelievable in a more realistic genre.
Her sassy, independent nature also clearly remains in play. Batman obviously still values Tim more than he does Steph, so she’ll often make funny (but never mean, insulting or genuinely sarcastic) comebacks when he makes that too clear.
Though it’s not explicit in the story, this means that Ms. Brown is filling one of Robin’s core roles. To prevent Mr. Wayne from further degenerating into a joyless, self-righteous fanatic.
(Or at least that’s the theory. Batman’s characterisation during this era was gravely dysfunctional).
But my wrath will come down like the cold rain
During her short career, Robin first came across mass murderers such as Scarab or — especially — Zsasz.
Seeing such evil revolted and infuriated Stephanie. Her reaction resembled a desire for vengeance, and she fought such opponents more brutally than Tim would have.
Interestingly, this overrode her fear and disgust. She wanted to *stop* such people. Even as they clearly outmatched her, and even though Batman had told her she’d be fired if she disobeyed orders.
A question of Tim
During this era, Stephanie is training all the time, and giving her all to being Robin. She therefore barely sees Tim.
She once checks up on him… just as Tim is being kissed by Darla Aquista. Steph doesn’t realise that it wasn’t consensual, and this reactivates her old insecurities about dating him.
She, therefore, throws herself even deeper into her training. She’s still very much in love with him, but there is no room for anything. Plus, everyone around her is being weird and frames her taking the position Tim abandoned as betraying Drake.
(As Batman declines teaching her how to drive the Batmobile) “Mock me at your peril, masked man.”
DC Heroes RPG
Tell me more about the game stats
Robin (Stephanie Brown)
|Dex: 06||Str: 03||Bod: 04|
|Int: 05||Wil: 05||Min: 05|
|Inf: 03||Aur: 04||Spi: 05|
|Init: 018||HP: 035|
Acrobatics: 07, Artist (Gymnastics, pianist): 04, Artist (Sewing): 03, Martial Artist: 06, Medicine (First Aid): 04, Thief (Stealth): 05, Vehicles (Land): 03, Weaponry (Thrown): 05
Area Knowledge (Bristol Township), Financial Backing (Bruce Wayne), Iron Nerves, Lightning Reflexes, Schtick (Disarmer (Weaponry (Thrown)).
Batman (Low), Oracle (Low).
- De-Cel line with grapnel [BODY 05].
- Flashlight [BODY 03, Flash: 06, Limitation: Flash is Steady Illumination Only].
- Smoke marbles (x12) [BODY 01, Fog: 04, Grenade Drawback, Dart Bonus].
- Tracers (x5) [BODY 01, Cling: 02, Radio comms (Homing signal only): 09].
Unsinkable and unslashable
The body armour only appears in one story, to allow her to survive Zsasz’s attacks without severe wounds.
BODY 06, Enhance (Physical RV): 01, Blunting: 06 is a possibility, if we assume that the Blunting also applies to Ballistic, energy, etc. Descriptors.
Perhaps the special weave turned out to be harder to repair than expected. Thus explaining why the suit wasn’t worn again.
Some panels give the impression that she might have STR 04. But assuming that she’s simply using her Martial Artist EV substitution in those works better. Especially since she’d have reasons to spend a few Hero Points.
Some Skills and Advantages were kept from her Spoiler days. They’re not demonstrated during this era, but since said era is so brief…
I wasn’t expecting the Iron Nerves, but it matches Stephanie’s more aggressive resolve during this short era. She can feel scared, unsure, etc. but attempting to do Intimidation Character Interaction against her doesn’t seem to go anywhere. Girl don’t afraid of nothing.
The Connection with Batgirl is dropped, based on the material. The relations between Cass and Steph became oddly distant during this span.
Source of Character: DC Comics.
Writeup completed on the 16th of March, 2023.