Detective Comics -649 pg00
Detective Comics #649
July 21, 1992
Written by Chuck Dixon
Cover by Matt Wagner
Pencilled by Tom Lyle
Inked by Scott Hanna
Colored by Adrienne Roy
Lettering by John Costanza
Edited by Scott Peterson, Denny O'Neil
Previous Issue Detective Comics #648
Next Issue Robin #3
Stephanie Brown: "In your dreams, Birdboy. To the Spoiler belongs the victory."

Batman and Robin must stop the Cluemaster's most extravagant crime yet: a robbery at the grand opening of a mall, where the Spoiler plans to have her own revenge on the Cluemaster.

Summary of Stephness: Stephanie tells Batman and Tim her father's plan, which is to rob a mall charity function while hiring people to cut off the roads all around the mall. She wants to come with Tim and Batman, but they tell her it's too dangerous. Steph is not amused, and decides to get to the mall her own way, via rooftop. Tim tells Batman he could have gone easier on Steph, but Batman replies she can't be trusted because she's out for revenge.

The Dynamic Duo bust the heist, but Arthur has a helicopter come pick him, a charity float, and the money up. Batman grabs on and Arthur yells at his henchmen to shoot him, but Steph swings to the rescue, taking out the henchmen and saving Batman's life. However, Arthur manages to get her in a headlock, not realizing Batman's newest "junior vigilante" is his daughter (or even female!). He threatens to throw sulfuric acid on her face. To save Stephanie's life, Batman reveals her identity to her father. The shocked parent yanks her mask off, and Stephanie promptly elbows him in the spleen and proceeds to give a righteous beatdown, culminating in her grabbing some nearby chains and strangling her less-than-model dad. Batman urges her not to kill him, to which a distraught Stephanie screams, "He destroyed my life! DESTROYED it!" Batman tells her that if she goes through with killing him, it will be her who destroyed her life, not Arthur Brown.

Reluctantly, Steph drops the chains, leaving her father gasping for air. The wind carries her fallen mask away and the issue ends.

Behind the Scenes notes: In Detective Comics #654 and #655, the letters columns were filled with comments about Steph. Some wondered where she got her costume so fast, to which the editors replied, "Costumes-R-US." Others begged for Spoiler to team up with Batman and Robin as an addition to the Bat-family. Still more thought it was about time for Tim to have 1) a regular standalone series, and 2) peer relationships with potential romantic connections. Obviously, Steph provided these things when Tim finally did get his own series!

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  • Detective Comics 649 (05)