The short answer is that I absolutely love the character and think she is very important in many ways, and deserved her own comprehensive website, with as much accuracy and thoroughness as only a rabid comic book fan could give.
Also, I had all these scans sitting on my hard drive, as well as every comic she'd ever been in in my collection, as well as a encyclopedic knowledge of her, and that had to all go somewhere.
Why do I love Steph? Why do I think she's important? Well, that will take a bit longer to explain.
I believe Stephanie is a truly positive as an original character. She didn't begin her career as a knockoff of a male hero, she has trauma but isn't defined by it, and she perseveres no matter what- not only in a typical superhero way, but against the warnings of her boyfriend, mentors and friends- all trying to keep her down- she was determined to keep helping people as the Spoiler.
One of the few superheroines with an entirely practical costume not designed to show as much skin as possible, Stephanie has no powers- she doesn't even have the impossible ninja training and gobs of money Batman has.
She comes from a blue collar background. Her father is a criminal, but she didn't let that embitter her and she didn't follow in his footsteps- she hated him. She hated him because she saw what he did to the family, and what he did to the world. And when no one else was able to stop him, she stepped forward. Because she KNEW it was right. She was a naturally athletic young girl with after school gym class martial arts training, but she fearlessly stepped up to stop her father, completely confident. She stared Batman in the face and defied him.
She isn't a genius. She isn't rich. And she never had anything handed to her. She had to claw, bite, and scream for everything, including proper training and simple respect from her fellow heroes. And when she did get the training, she learned fast and refused to give up. She never let anybody turn her away and she wasn't scared of anybody or anything. She sewed her own costume, got her supplies from Radio Hut, and when her motorcycle broke, rode her old bicycle to pursue crooks. She made up for lack of training by beaning crooks with blunt objects and being quick and agile.
She's also very flawed. Impulsive, bad temper, and she screwed up all the time, both on the job and off. But I think this only serves to make her a better character. She slips on the rooftops, she gets in bad relationships, and she jumps into things without looking. She isn't uber-competent or unrelatable. She worries about things like whether she's as good as everyone else, how her relationship with her boyfriend is going, and what to do with her blonde locks under her full face mask.
I haven't even gotten to her personality- in contrast to the rest of the Bat Family, she's sunny and always crackling with jokes and sarcasm. She comes from a bad background, but pulled herself up by her own bootstraps. And each new mistake, injury, or abuse only makes her more determined to succeed. She believes in herself.
In other words, she's the epitome of a strong teenage girl- flawed, but fearless. The ultimate and true example of a hero who refuses to give up in the face of impossible odds.
Becoming the first female Robin only reinforces this. She didn't ask to be Robin- she went up to Batman and said, "I AM Robin now." Batman had to concede, and so, though her role was short lived, as a glass ceiling breaker, Stephanie officially became an icon and inspiration.
Her death was also a representation of something- a lot that's wrong with the treatment of young female characters in comics. But Stephanie's power drew fans together and she came back- overcoming the greatest force there is to face for a comics character-DC Editorial. And now she's back, still flawed, still strong, still positive, her return only serving to reinforce what kind of character she is.
I was lucky enough to have started this wiki just as Stephanie began to show signs of returning. I was able to give in depth coverage of the whole thing, and celebrate her return here, giving this site new purpose.
Steph functions a lot as a supporting character, like many superheroines. But in an interesting twist, there was a reason for this- she was more inexperienced than Tim Drake, the title character. She fought in story to break free of this (another interesting twist!), getting training with Black Canary, Batman, and Batgirl, and of course, eventually becoming the title character for a few issues.
Now Stephanie Brown, once the symbol for mistreatment of women in comics, has her own title as Batgirl, and is part of one of the strongest female legacies in comics. Once again, her failures didn't stop her, she took the title of her own volition to honor her friend, and did it without Batman's permission, because Cass's okay was the only one that mattered to her. She is a hero because it's the right thing to do and because it's part of who she is. She shares her title with other female characters who have been mistreated and "fridged"- like Barbara Gordon, and later on Cassandra Cain (hopefully, as the writer says, she'll turn up.) Stephanie is going to get her redemption and proper mentoring from another strong female character if you support her title. So I'm asking you- if you like Stephanie even a little bit, buy Batgirl and help her and these other characters go to greater heights. Show DC there's plenty of love for Steph out there.
I'm aware some people don't like her, but if you do, this wiki is for you, and contributions are welcomed. Particularly in need are summaries for certain comics in Appearances, comic Reviews, Fanart, Commissions and anything else that you feel the need to help out with. Feel free to explore. In conclusion, Steph rules.