|"Here Endeth the Lesson"|
|July 13, 2011|
|Written by||Bryan Q. Miller|
|Cover by||Dustin Nguyen|
|Interior Art by||Pere Perez|
|Colored by||Guy Major|
|Lettering by||Carlos M. Magual|
|Edited by||Katie Kubert, Janelle Asselin|
|Previous Issue||Batman, Incorporated Special #1|
|Next Issue||Batgirl #24|
"Given my line of work, knowing when I need someone watching my back only makes me stronger." - Stephanie Brown
"Screwed" takes on a whole new meaning for Stephanie Brown as The Reapers speed up their nefarious plan, going toe-to-toe with Batgirl in the heart of Blackgate. But who are the Reapers working for, and why? Answers to both those questions and more await Batgirl as "The Lesson" concludes.
Summary of Stephness: As the Reapers launch a full scale assault on Gotham Central, Batgirl and Detective Gage examine Clancy Brown's dead body in the Reaper's lair. Gage upbraids Batgirl for leaving town in the middle of their case, but Batgirl counters that he should have told her about his past with the Reapers. He clears the room, and tells her that in college, he was an idiot, and his fiancee was killed in a shootout with the police. He tells Steph that Grey Ghost called the station looking for Batgirl with his dying breath.
Steph unlocks the video Clancy had left for her, in which he reveals that the Reapers were working for a client to gain metahuman abilities, but was killed for his troubles. Steph plans to use the intense guilt she feels, and Gage gets a call from Commissioner Gordon about the attack on Gotham Central. The Reapers stole the impounded super suits and headed to Blackgate Penitentiary.
In a police chopper with Gage, Batgirl calls Batman, who is tied up at Arkham, and Oracle, who is tied up with the Birds. Just before she jumps into the fray, Steph tells Gage to call Barbara. In the prison, Steph interrupts more murderous Reaper activity, focusing all five of the villains' attention on herself. She fights well, but loses her utility belts (the thigh one is apparently empty!), and discovers that the Reapers are here to free their comrades and kill their client, who has failed to pay them.
Cornered, Steph shouts "Shazam," which puzzles her foes, until Stargirl, Bombshell, Miss Martian, and Supergirl join her. The five heroines make short work of the Reapers, and Steph and Kara plan to team up more regularly. Steph deduces that the only closed door in the prison must be the client, and kicks down the door, revealing none other than her father, Arthur Brown, the Cluemaster!Back Matter: Behind the Scenes: Bryan Q. Miller posted about the Steph/Nick/Babs triangle here: http://bryanqmiller.tumblr.com/post/95053452595/hi-bryan-i-loved-your-batgirl-run-one-thing-i (no longer active)
Hi Bryan, I loved your Batgirl run! One thing I wanted to ask is what would have happened with Officer McHotpants? I liked that he and Babs got off on the MOST WRONG foot in the world but when there was cutey small talk between Steph and him I was like, "NO! she's a BABY! an 18yo BABY" - how was that gonna play out? Was Babs gonna find out and dislike him even more? ("stay away from my BABY!")? Or was he gonna find out?? The problems of comics ending!
The one part of the triangle Steph had no knowledge of was Babs/Nick. Once she found out, she was going to bow out out of respect/love for Babs. Nick’s issue was to be that his interactions w/ Batgirl reminded him more of his relationship with his dead fiancee than his interactions with Barbara. It would have been a chance for both Steph and Nick to mature a little bit. That said, we never had a chance to get close to getting that far along - once BoP relaunched, word came down from on-high that Barbara could no longer be a part of the Batgirl book in any capacity. We had the smallest hint in Issue 23 of picking that thread back up."