"#2: BATGIRL: THE FLOOD, by Bryan Q. Miller and Lee Garbett. (DC Comics, $14.99.) The new Batgirl must team-up with her predecessor Barbara Gordon to foil a plot by the Calculator, who has a score to settle with the former Batgirl who now operates as Oracle, an information broker."
"With the holiday season winding down, here are some last-minute gift ideas from the wide world of comics and graphic novels this year, as picked by USA TODAY's Brian Truitt, John Geddes and David Colton, fanboys all...
Batgirl: Batgirl Rising, by Bryan Q. Miller and Lee Garbett (DC Comics; 176 pages; $17.99)
Grant Morrison has been doing some wild and crazy things in Gotham City with Bruce Wayne and the other Bat-characters. But a funny thing happened along the way to Batman time-traveling back from the dead: Stephanie Brown, the onetime Spoiler and now Batgirl, became one of Gotham's most interesting residents. Deftly penned by Bryan Q. Miller, Stephanie (who also "died" for a time) lives at home, goes to college during the day, gets schooled nightly in the art of superheroism (under the watchful eyes of Oracle), and is a complex character many readers can relate to in the DC Universe."
Supergirls Gone Wild: Gender Bias In Comics Shortchanges Superwomen
Arts: Torture me. Kill me off. My fans shall avenge me.
By Charlie Anders
July 30, 2007
"Batman needed a new Robin. His previous protégé had quit after his dad found out his teenage son was sneaking off to wear green tights. Then, in May 2004, a 16-year-old named Stephanie Brown stepped into comic-book history as Bruce Wayne's first female sidekick. When the caped crusader told her she got the job, she jumped in the air and shouted, "This is so totally cool!"
Stephanie's 71-day tenure as the Girl Wonder started off well. Drawn in a fun, Powerpuff Girls style, she trained hard, and even saved her mentor from a serial killer. But then, in a series of unfortunate events, Batman canned her, she accidentally set off a Gotham City gang war, and finally fell into the hands of a skull-faced villain called Black Mask, who tortured her to death with a power drill.
Her grisly demise hit fans hard, particularly the female readers who'd only just started enjoying the thrill of a Robin they could identify with. After the two previous boy Robins had retired and died, respectively, their uniforms were preserved behind glass inside the Batcave. But Baman never got around to memorializing Stephanie. More than two years later, a grassroots campaign based at the website Girl-Wonder.org is still aggressively lobbying DC Comics to give Stephanie her two-dimensional due. And the flames of discontent only grew higher when DC editor Dan DiDio told female fans at a recent comic convention that in his book, Stephanie "was never really a Robin."
Of course, sudden-death plot twists are nothing new in comic books...."
Best Comic Book Series: Robin
Being a Boy Wonder sure can suck
Yeah, Robin gets to beat up bad guys with Batman and save the world with Young Justice. But for most of the year, it's been one crisis after another for comics' preeminent high-school sophomore. After failing to save a teen's life, he almost quit the superhero biz. He can only date his girlfriend as Robin, not as Tim Drake. And then she winds up pregnant. All these hurdles are the reasons why Robin has graduated from 1997's Best Hero to this year's Best Comic Book Series.
Robin's greatest strength lies in its ability to keep you coming back for more. Sometimes its endings are explosive, other times the endings will dangle a lit fuse in front of you, waiting to blow next issue.
The biggest bombshell dropped in Robin #57: a week after his first date with Spoiler, she tells him she's pregnant (no, it's not his). The cliffhanger to issue #51 saw Robin accidentally kill Lady Shiva and be swarmed by armed soldiers (don't worry, Robin ravers - he revives Shiva in the next issue). The last panel of #52 has Tim, flying back from his European soul-search, looking down on a burning, ruined Gotham City, ravaged by an earthquake. And in Robin #54, after a reconciliation with former girlfriend Ariana, the visual of the issue's last panel foreshadows things to come; Tim and Ariana are shown in the front seats of his car, the only thing between them, symbolically, is Spoiler's costume lying in the back seat.
"I particularly like the character of Spoiler in Robin," says Peter David, writer of Young Justice and Supergirl. "I think the creative team is approaching [her pregnancy] storyline with a great deal of taste and intelligence."
And it's that sort of intelligence that makes Robin's more subtle moments soar as well as the splashy ones, mixing everyday teen-age quandaries with superhero secret-identity woes. When Ariana was banished to an all-girls school last year, Tim - as Robin - took to hanging out with Stephanie Brown, a.k.a. Spoiler, and found that he enjoyed it. He liked being able to tell Spoiler about his problems as Robin, something he could never tell Ariana. But when Ari transferred back to Tim's chool, Tim was left with an agonizing choice: Spoiler or Ari? He chose Spoiler, which left one problem - he can only date her as Robin since he refuses to blow the whistle on his and Batman's secret identity. Then Spoiler discovers she's having a baby...and asks Robin to accompany her to birthing classes!
When is comes right down to it, Robin is a teen you can relate to with a mix of the fantastic. Everyone's had girl problems. But toss in a double life and it makes it all the more interesting. Teen pregnancy? Happens all the time, but have you ever seen a superhero at Lamaze class? And hey, this nerdy teen actually got the girl, not to mention bringing home Wizard's Best Comic for 1998.
Maybe being a Boy Wonder doesn't suck, after all.
== Little bird set to be new Robin ; Spoiler likely to take on role as Batman’s sidekick 17 May 2004 The Gazette == It looks like Batman is used to having a Robin bobbob-bobbin’ around. In “Robin” No. 126, scheduled to arrive in comic-book shops Wednesday, the hunt is on for a new Robin — the fourth.
The first, for those of you uneducated in Bat-lore, was Dick Grayson, who fled Batman’s shadow and grew up to become another hero, Nightwing. The second was Jason Todd, who was killed by the Joker — and by bloodthirsty readers who called for Jason’s demise via a phone-in poll in the late 1980s. No. 3 was Tim Drake, who got the job after figuring out Batman and Bruce Wayne were one and the same. But Tim resigned as Robin in April’s issue after his dad found out about his crime-fighting ways and demanded an end to them.
It looks like Robin No. 4 will be Stephanie Brown, who already prowls Gotham City as the Spoiler. DC Comics isn’t trumpeting the change: A spokesman called it “simply a part of Batman’s ongoing adventures.” So don’t be surprised if Tim returns as Robin before too long. Or, hey, they could go for No. 5!
== Tune in next time for fate of trusty sidekick 28 July 2004 The Dallas Morning News == For the last 65 years - since Detective Comics #38 hit the stands in July 1939 - Robin the Boy Wonder has been Batman’s faithful apprentice in his war against Gotham City’s evildoers.
For three months this summer, though, it was Robin the Girl Wonder. And now, there’s no telling if there will even be a Robin at all.
As another Robin once said on the campy 1960s TV series: Holy Switch-a-roo!
In the pages of Robin #126 (July 2004), Batman appoints the fourth incarnation of his trusty teen sidekick - a teenage girl named Stephanie Brown - only to fire her two issues later for disobeying orders.
Talk about your summer internships gone wrong.
As the story goes, the most recent Robin (Tim Drake) gave up the cape and mask after his father figured out what he was up to all those late nights. Stephanie, Tim’s girlfriend who had fought crime in Gotham City as the purple-caped Spoiler, somehow succeeded in lobbying Batman to be the successor.
“This is so totally cool!” she exclaimed.
She helped foil a few crimes and even made appearances in other comic books, but in Robin #128, her eyes get too big for her stomach, and she is given the pink slip.
It wasn’t the first new identity for Robin; the uniform had been worn by three different boys, Tim being the last. (One former Robin was killed after readers voted for his death.)
Nor was it the first time for Batman to join forces with the fairer sex; Batgirl, Oracle and Huntress are frequent helpers, and even Catwoman has changed sides lately. But it was the first time in the continuum of the comic books that the yellow cape, red vest and green tights have belonged to a girl.
It was also the first time that the outfit seemed appropriate.
Hard-core comic fans heard whispers about the story line in the spring and got their hands on Robin #126 when it hit the stands in May.
(You guys: Don’t bother writing the e-mail; we know there was a girl Robin in Frank Miller’s futuristic The Dark Knight Returns.)
So what happens next? The Robin title will continue to be published, with a story line involving both Tim and Stephanie coming up this fall. Will Batman talk Tim into returning? Will he cave in and give Stephanie another chance?
His handlers aren’t saying; a representative for DC Comics rejected interview requests faster than you can say Holy Child Labor Laws! So for now, Batman’s next move is as well kept a secret as the contents of his utility belt.
Robin writer Bill Willingham’s motive seems to be a matter of simple storytelling; he sees the change as another chapter in an epic tale about heroes.
“The whole idea of a teenage sidekick is to look at how someone learns to be a hero,” he told Wizard magazine. “At least that’s what’s interesting to me.”
That, and maybe the notion of two Robins going to prom together. Stay tuned.