Fabian Nicieza was kind enough to answer questions on his DC message board about his upcoming run on Robin. Here are the questions and answers relating to Spoiler:
>>Please tell us that spoiler is not going to take over Robin comics.
Beegs, the comic is called ROBIN. Spoiler will appear regularly, but in what context will surprise a lot of people, both those who like Steph and those who don't!
>>will the Batgirl Spoiler friendship be addressed?
Not immediately, Bizz. I just sort of got drop-kicked into all this, so I need to get a better pulse on upcoming Bat-family events, including Batgirl, at the same time as I'm trying to catch up on the schedule a bit.
3) A lot of stuff have been brought up recently: Tim's troubles with Zoanne, his (apparently founded) worries about Ives, the conflict with Violet -- who may be on the side of the angels, but doesn't seem to get along with Tim (though Steph might like her) -- corrupt cops, and, of course, Steph herself (and was that her working for Penguin in Gotham Underground? Because if there are two Spoilers running around...). Especially with RIP coming up, will you get a chance to address these plot threads, or will they dangle for awhile?
Some will certainly be addressed, some won't necesarily "dangle" but might not need a clean "resultion" -- sometimes in life, things don't have tidy wrap-ups, especially regarding relationships.
>>Is there going to be any more information on why Spoiler was working for Penguin?
I'll figure it all out, but honestly, I haven't gotten all my issues of Gotham Underground yet. I was buying it up to issue # 5 but then I began getting DC books for free (yay, a perk!) -- but... we get our copies a couple months behind so I'll have to fit all the pieces together as I go along -- but I will, since it all plays nicely into Spoiler's role as the series progresses...
>>How will Tim and Stephanie's relationship evolve?
I'm the guy who rung tragic, overwrought romance out of Justice and Firestar, Rogue and Gambit, Hawkeye and Moonstone, Cable and Deadpool, so I figure the signs are pretty clear about how they're going to evolve... it's gonna get interesting, that's for sure...
1. Steph's not going to become a villain is she? Sorry, I'm paranoid after what happened to Cass Cain, and the "different role" thing has my mind jumping to conclusions.
Define villain? No. She won't be a villain or go through what Batgirl did. She will be forced into a role that places a lot of pressure on her relationship with Tim. Or, better said, sometimes love just isn't enough...
2. Will her former Robin-hood ever be mentioned or play into anything? Just curious, I don't mind if it's not.
I don't know what you mean by that.
3. Will she appear in Robin # 175 and # 176? She was originally solicited to do so.
She plays a very prominent role in #s 175-176. And resumes an important recurring subplot role thereafter.
>>By my question I meant if the fact she was formerly Robin would be important in any way to upcoming storylines, since you mentioned you saw all the Robins as a tapestry.
Oh, okay. Got it. No, Steph's time as Robin won't play an integral part in the storyline approach, since she will be more comfortable with the role of Spoiler, which I tend to take literally.
>>Oh, and so, to echo Pepperspray, I guess Search for a Hero is going to start # 177, instead of # 178 like the solicits say?
Yes. All previous solicits are changed. #s 175-176 are the R.I.P. issues by me and Joe Bennett. # 177 starts Search For A Hero, with Freddie (wait til you see his first couple covers -- wow!). -- fabian
>>Any chance we will ever see the villain Scarab again? (Scarab was actually one of Steph's villians as Robin)
Scarab will be coming up shortly.
>>Tim's love life: This kid seems to have multiple relationships going on....Steph, Zoanne, and Cassie. Did I miss anybody? This issue seems like it should be settled.
I would say that his situation with Cassie is pretty settled from my reading of Teen Titan and Steph JUST came back, so resolving the Zo/Steph stuff is a bit early, I think. So, I guess I disagree with you. Romantice triangles shouldn't be settled, they should be milked for all they're worth for as long as you can!
2) You've mentioned that the Spoiler/Robin dynamic will change. Let's say, hypothetically, they stay together. Do you see them as becoming more serious partners as opposed to their former high school-escapades? If Steph sticks around and they stay together, would the nature of it all be more serious?
Well, hypothetically, she could be a Skrull, so it changes the answer to any question, doesn't it? ;-0
I will say this: I like Tim and I like Steph. I like Robin and Spoiler as a team. I also think drama is born of moral conflict and emotional tension. And I also don't know all that many high school relationships that last forever.
So... how's that for a non-answer-answer...? :-)
>> Fabian, there has been some speculation about the solits for the October Robin issue. "...And why is Spoiler paying a visit to the General?" I don't know why, but some people are taking that to mean that Spoiler is going to the Gotham General Hospital. And being that the previous issue has "Tim finally becoming a man" or whatever, they've all begun to predict that Tim gets Steph pregnant and she's visiting the hospital for help or something..
That's pretty funny. But no, in this case "becoming a man" is not a euphemism for anything other than assuming more adult responsibility and "paying a visit to the General" means she is paying a visit to the General, who happens to be a character that has appeared often in this series. People love their conspiracies, don't they? -- fabian
>>augustuscaesar - we don't know that Steph is trying to have Tim killed; it could be Jason, or it could be this new Red Robin. All we know is that Steph wants A Robin killed, not Tim specifically...
Actually, we don't even know that, Greg. All we REALLY know is Spoiler is talking to an assassin about a job that will pay half a mil. We'll probably find out a little more as we go along, I expect...
1) Fabian, is there a reason Steph picked Scarab and not another person? Will we see some more talking between those two?
Who says she only picked Scarab?
2) Will Steph show up in the next issue? Is she in all issues you've written?
Yes and yes.
3) Will Tim and Steph ever get to talk like she wants? And are there reasons why she didn't tell him she wasn't dead you're planning on revealing?
I think the Robin/Spoiler special covered all that nicely. I'd rather deal with the ramifications of those decisions.
4) Does she get to get in a fight with anyone?
A little, then maybe a lot.
6) And final question (I promise) what do you see her skill level (in martial arts) as right now? Has she trained to be better than before she "died"?
I don't play "level of skill" games, since too many readers want to impose numerical absolutes and dictate storytelling based on those parameters. She is certainly more skilled than she was before her training as Robin, but no where near as skilled as Tim, Jason, Nightwing, Batgirl, Huntress, etc.
Man, you Spoiler nuts are a small, but loyal bunch... makes it hard to juggle a title where half the readers can't stand a main character and the other half would jump off a bridge for her...
Hard -- but fun! :-)
>>Also, will Steph be in the final issue? Will she have a home in any other title now that Robin is canceled? Will the issue set up a direction for her?
She will be in the final issue briefly. Her future direction is for future writers of Tim to determine.
>>And you know that if we asked questions about the issue on Wednesday you'd just say wait and see! But I'll give it a shot: Will the Red Robin/Tim and Stephanie/Scarab fights be happening seperately and concurrently, or will there just be a general melee between those four?
Wait and see. :-) Actually, the opening fight is very brief.
>>Fabian! You are writing Steph in the Gotham Gazette thing!
Are the characters mentioned going to interact, or will their stories be seperate? (The "various" makes me think it might be several seperate short stories, but it's a normal sized comic, so...) I'm particularly interested in Steph and Leslie interacting. Will that happen?
Separate vignettes for each character. Not sure who, if anyone, will interact with each other, but scenes and characters will overlap.
>>Do you know who the artists are?
After Robin (182)
>>So why did you think this direction for Steph WOULD please both her fans and detractors?
What do you mean by "THIS" direction? There is no direction yet. There is only the kick in the butt that gets her going there.
The status quo I am hoping to set up for Steph in Gazette is a little unlike anything she's had before and IMO far more in keeping with the kind of character she has been shown to be (pro and con, of which I think there's fair argument for both sides).
And if you think wrapping up a character arc that also sets her up with a new status quo is easy to do with a character who:
- got into the game to spoil her father's crimes
- fell in love with a boy wonder
- had a kid,
-became a crimefighter
-then became Batman's partner
- got fired
started a gang war in Gotham
- got tortured and killed
'- lived in Africa for a year plus
-came home to have a slightly crazed Batman ask her to push Robin to the brink
- right before Batman died
AND to do it in 2 5-page chapters...
... well, I'd have to tell you you're wrong... but it sure is fun trying...
Nicieza at Newsarama:
About the Robin # 181 solicit:
Good question, Mink and damn you for remembering the solicitation! :-)
In my VERY rough outline for the issue (legal pad jottings at that point), I wanted to fold the Spoiler story thread into the Cavallo and Wise rogue cops storyline. I knew Tim would be out of commission, in my original thoughts, he was going to be in the hospital under his Alvin Draper alias.
I had to hand in the solicit copy while I was still breaking the story down, so I kept that note in there to show Spoilerites (you know who you are... God, we ALL know who you are by now... ;-)) that she'd have a continuing role in the issue.
When the time came to break down the scenes I had in mind by page requirements, that entire story direction was getting impossible to accommodate, but I still planned to keep it, even if it became 1 or 2 pages rather than 4-5 spread throughout the issue. But then I realizes Tim in the hospital would make a lot of the information dissemination and manipulations he's pulling harder to juggle, so I decided to move him to the cave.
Then... when I started scripting, the Tim in the Batcave recurring beat just became stronger for me as I felt it created a strong sense of drama in a nice staccato rhythm working towards Freddie's dramatic revelation of Tim's "condition" (and that splash is all Freddie, since he juggled panel allotments for my pages before and after to turn that into a cool splash).
So, I basically tore apart my original breakdown, since I was able to find an easier way for Cavallo and Wise to walk (setting it up last issue with a dialogue change in my final script to help set up the new scenario in # 182) AND fold Spoiler into the end sequence so that she is around for all of the climax next issue. Overall, I was pretty happy with how it turned out, even though the process was a bit of a haul.
Now the next question you plan to ask is: "Are the final scripts or plots ever finished before solicitations are done?" And I'll say, "I can't speak for all writers, but in my 20+ years of experience as a writer and editor, plots or scripts are usually not completed on monthly titles at the time solicitations are due." That's why you'll see story discrepancies like this occur, or outright changes to a creative team (The writer was beheaded in an unexpected lawn mower accident? Idiot writers shouldn't be doing yard work, they'll melt in the sun! ;-))
Don't forget, we submit to editorial, who turns it over to sales, who tweaks and writes the final copy, who gets it all approved internally, then it gets sent to the printers for the Diamond catalogue, so before you see it on line or in a store, weeks have passed since we started the creative process -- and hopefully this shows you it is indeed a process.
See, all that work just to hear an Internet reviewer or poster take months of effort and casually toss off a two word summary of: "u suck!" Makes it all worthwhile. ;-)
augustusceasar: Sean, I was wondering now that Steph (Spoiler) is back alive in Robin is their a chance she may be one of the Teen heroes who has a cameo in TT at some point?
Sean: Her return will definitely be addressed.
Message on Dan Didio's Myspace
From: My Mind's Eye Date: Nov 16, 2008 11:00 PM
With Robin ending...you guys aren't planning on killing Stephanie again, are you? I just worry that without her home book being there anymore, no one else will want to use her, and hence you guys will just get rid of her again.
From: Dan DiDio
Date: Nov 20, 2008 4:06 AM
I never wanted Stephanie to leave in the first place, no worries,very safe, for now. :)
all the best,
Beam77: BFTC was a good story. I have a question though. Why wasn't Spoiler in the story? You said in an earlier interview that she was. Did you change your mind? She was also on the second issue cover.
Tony Daniel: Because of the tie-in planning, I was asked to leave her out so someone else could use her. I'm not sure what happened after that. I like Spoiler. I was able to fill the void with Squire though.