View Poll Results: Do you consider Stephanie Brown to be a true Robin?

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  • Yes, her time in the tights makes her as much of a Robin as the rest of the boys!

    80 50.31%
  • No, she was not defined by the mantle as were the other Robins.

    79 49.69%
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  1. #1
    Astonishing Member Pohzee's Avatar
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    Default Is Stephanie Brown a True Robin?

    Today is Friday. As the week ends and Wednesday passes, many of us have read our comics and discussed them to our satisfaction. The weekly discussion has begun to settle, so it is time to kick up some dirt. It’s time to debate! The internet has never successfully changed anybody’s opinions before, but we can always try!


    When the “Robins” (Dick, Jason, Tim, Damian) are discussed collectively here on this forum (as they often are) I have noticed a surfacing response that Stephanie Brown’s tenure as Robin is equal in merit to Dick, Jason, Tim, and Damian. As such, these posters consider Stephanie to be “one of the Robins.” What do you think CBR? Do you consider Stephanie Brown to be a Robin (one of “the boys” so to speak)?


    This isn’t a question of whether Stephanie Brown was Robin. The answer to that question is unequivocally yes. Stephanie Brown was Robin during the Batman: War Games crossover. This question is asking whether or not you consider Stephanie Brown to be a true Robin alongside Dick Grayson, Jason Todd, Tim Drake, and Damian Wayne.

    Discuss!
    Last edited by Pohzee; 04-28-2017 at 01:10 PM.
    It's the Dynamic Duo! Batman and Robin!... and Red Robin and Red Hood and Nightwing and Batwoman and Batgirl and Orphan and Spoiler and Bluebird and Lark and Gotham Girl and Talon and Batwing and Huntress and Azreal and Flamebird and Batcow?

    Since when could just anybody do what we trained to do? It makes it all dumb instead of special. Like it doesn't matter anymore.
    -Dick Grayson (Batman Inc.)


  2. #2
    Astonishing Member Pohzee's Avatar
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    I believe the answer to this question is no. Stephanie Brown is not “a Robin.” She certainly was Robin for a period of time, but simply being Robin does not in my opinion make “a Robin.”

    This sounds awfully semantic, I know. “How can one be Robin and not be one of the Robins?” you may ask. The answer is that my definition of a Robin is more narrowly tailored than simply the act of being Robin. To me, a Robin is a character that whose character and development are defined by their time as Robin, whose history is inseparable from their time as Robin, and served in this position for many real world years before replacement. Dick Grayson was created as the individual hero Robin and operated as Robin for over forty years before graduating into the Nightwing persona. Jason Todd was created to replace Dick as Robin and was Robin for nearly five years before dying in Death in the Family. As a response to Jason’s death, Tim Drake was created to be Robin. Tim went on to be Robin for twenty years. In his epic Batman run, Grant Morrison introduced Damian Wayne, the biological son of Batman. He was originally envisioned to die in four issues, without a code name or character arc, but Morrison decided to develop the character by developing him in the Robin mantle before killing him. Despite Morrison’s intentions to keep Damian deceased, Damian was resurrected and returned to the Robin mantle and remains Robin to this day.

    Each of these these characters are defined by their “Robinhood”: To oversimplify, Dick is the first Robin who grew up and became his own man. Jason is the dead Robin who was resurrected and operates as a dark Robin that operates in shades grayer than most of the Batfamily. Tim... doesn’t exactly have a role, but this is because he was so deeply tied to the Robin persona that stripping his character of the mantle left him without a place. For Damian, the Robin mantle is his means of redemption and development from a brat assassin into a hero. Their time as Robin is centrally important to these characters. Removing their history of Robin significantly alters their character, stripping their of their place and appeal.

    Stephanie Brown was not created to be Robin. She was created with her own unique identity: Spoiler. Stephanie Brown became Robin during the War Games story arc. Unlike other Robins, Stephanie Brown’s tenure as Robin did not last for multiple years, or even one year. Stephanie Brown was Robin for a four month period of real world time. Unlike the other Robins, Stephanie Brown was not made Robin to fill the mantle or to undergo character development. Stephanie Brown was made Robin as a misdirection. According to the former Batgirl writer Dylan Horrocks, Stephanie was made Robin "purely as a trick to play on the readers, that we would fool them into thinking that the big event [War Games] was that Stephanie Brown would become Robin but we knew all along it was a temporary thing, and she was then going to die at the end of this crossover story.” Like Damian, Stephanie was never intended to be Robin indefinitely and were predetermined to die after their stint as Robin. On the surface, it may seem that Damian and Stephanie’s time as Robin are similar enough that one being a Robin merits the other’s recognition. However, when we dive into the differences of their tenure, clear distinctions begin to emerge. Primarily, I return to the length issue. Stephanie’s time as Robin was twenty times shorter than the next shortest duration of Robin. Secondly, Robin has become an integral part of Damian’s character. His time a Robin served as a period of important development and integral part of his character. You cannot remove his history of Robin without completely altering the character. On the other hand, Robin has never been an important part of Stephanie Brown’s character. Stephanie Brown was created 12 years before she became Robin and had her own defining mantle as Spoiler. After her return from the dead and during the end of the post-Crisis era, Stephanie Brown adopted the mantle of Batgirl. This run was widely enjoyed, much more so than her controversial time as Robin. Stephanie Brown moved on from the Robin mantle with little impact on her character and was superseded by the Robin who she followed, making this more of a bump in the road for both her character and the heritage of the Robin mantle. In the New 52, Stephanie was reintroduced without her time as Robin and it has not changed her character significantly. This is not the case with true Robins.

    Stephanie Brown is not and has never been defined by her time as Robin. Her time in the mantle was too short and her legacy limited as Tim settled back into his staus quo as Robin following her departure. Both her time as Spoiler and as Batgirl are more important parts of her character than her time as Robin. As such, I do not consider Stephanie Brown to be “one of the Robins.”
    It's the Dynamic Duo! Batman and Robin!... and Red Robin and Red Hood and Nightwing and Batwoman and Batgirl and Orphan and Spoiler and Bluebird and Lark and Gotham Girl and Talon and Batwing and Huntress and Azreal and Flamebird and Batcow?

    Since when could just anybody do what we trained to do? It makes it all dumb instead of special. Like it doesn't matter anymore.
    -Dick Grayson (Batman Inc.)


  3. #3
    Mighty Member Katana500's Avatar
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    It sounds like you've thought about this a lot Nightwinglvl Im not that sure! I think she is a true robin...maybe, I don't think time matters all that much! Because even though it was super short it was still really important to her character.

    One thing I do know is I'd love to see her as Robin again one day. I think a proper female Robin was a missed opportunity for DC.

  4. #4
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    First off, I want to commend you. This is, quite frankly, the most mature, and well thought out argument I've ever seen for Steph not being "a true Robin."

    You definitely raise some good points, but ultimately I still disagree, and I'll explain why once I've properly gathered my thoughts,(I don't like making arguments that I haven't fully thought out), as that's necessary given the quality of the points made.

  5. #5
    Invincible Member MajorHoy's Avatar
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    She was a Robin in a different continuity, but there is no evidence yet that her time as a Robin actually happened now with the current version of continuity.

  6. #6
    Extraordinary Member Caivu's Avatar
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    Robin.jpg

    /thread
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Caivu View Post
    Robin.jpg

    /thread
    Heh. I was gonna post that with my eventual extended response.

    Oh, and while part of a shitty retcon because people were rightfully complaining, Bruce ALSO said that the only reason she didn't get a Robin memorial was because he knew she was alive.

  8. #8
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    On principle maybe I`d might say yes but I never followed her run. With the requirements you laid out in the OP, there`s already someone I consider one of the boys.

    Her name is Carrie Kelley.

  9. #9
    Extraordinary Member adrikito's Avatar
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    In my opinion YES.. She was a Robin..

    In the last chapter of Batman Beyond chapter Bruce remembers the old Robins (dick, jason, tim and damian) and... in the end he adds Duke...

    BBY.jpg

    If Duke can be considered a Robin, Steph is MORE ROBIN. She wears the Robin costume.
    Last edited by adrikito; 04-29-2017 at 04:28 AM.

  10. #10
    Extraordinary Member Badou's Avatar
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    I went with no. She just doesn't seem to be part of the Robin Legacy like how the others are and is now much more associated with the Batgirl mantel. When she became Batgirl that is what defined her character and when she became a much more central part of the Batman family.

    Her time as Robin is gone from continuity too pretty much and whenever they mention former Robins she isn't typically listed. I mean Jim Gordon had a longer tenure as Batman than she had as Robin but people don't look at Jim as being part of the Batman Legacy. Carrie Kelley is the female Robin that people acknowledge not Steph.

  11. #11
    Moderator Frontier's Avatar
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    I like Steph.

    I think she could've been a great Robin had it not been an editorially mandated direction to lead into her death and discredit her character.

    But I have to confess that, more often then not, I just don't think of her as a Robin. Maybe it's because she just never really owned that role like the others did, maybe it's because it reminds me of War Games, but I just don't really associate her with that identity.

  12. #12
    Invincible Member MajorHoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Badou View Post
    . . . I mean Jim Gordon had a longer tenure as Batman than she had as Robin but people don't look at Jim as being part of the Batman Legacy.
    Jim Gordon as part of the Batman legacy is a bit different.
    He wasn't chosen in the same way others were . . . he was more hired / assigned to wear the Bat-robo-bunny suit, so it's more like he was called "Batman" than he actually was Batman. (Though as Gordon, he would have been worthy to wear the cowl if necessary.)

  13. #13
    Fantastic Member Spiderboy12's Avatar
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    I voted "No", for pretty much the reasons Nightwinglvl elucidated. Or, to put it very simply, Steph being Robin was a story device. It was never intended to last for more than a few months.

    Perhaps the same could be said for Damian originally, but his stint as Robin managed to survive both a massive continuity reboot and his own death. So yeah, he counts in a way Stephanie does not.
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  14. #14
    Extraordinary Member CPSparkles's Avatar
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    I don't associate her with the role. I associate her more with Batgirl. Carrie is the female Robin that comes to mind.

  15. #15
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    As I seem to be able to do for many things, I'm going to make a comparison between this situation, and Doctor Who.

    Within the Doctor Who fanbase, there's much deliberation over who is and who isn't a companion.

    Some people say that you have to have traveled in the Tardis, and that you must have gone on more than one adventure with the Doctor.

    Problem is, that excludes characters like Liz Shaw, who was the Doctor's partner all throughout series 7, but it does include a few minor characters.

    So, people tend to include Liz Shaw on companion ranking lists, but exclude characters like Adam from series 1 of the new show.

    Everyone has different definitions, and funny enough, there actually is a direct comparison for Steph.

    Sarah Kingdom. A badass, no-nonsense woman who helped the Doctor throughout the 13 episode long "Dalek Masterplan."

    She was created to die, and did so by the end of the story. And yet there are still plenty of people who consider her a companion. Partially because she was actually in more episodes than some characters who meet the above definition.

    We all have different qualifications for what makes "A real Robin." Tenure length and relevance to who they are are factors for some, but not others. Honestly, the reason I don't consider legnth an issue is because compared Dick, no one else, especially Jason, was "a real Robin."

    She held the role, and participated in multiple stories and books while holding the mantle. And like the Robins before her, she eventually graduated from the role.

    Yes, unlike the others she had an identity before being Robin, but Damian was around for some time before becoming Robin too, even if he wasn't holding an alias. Hell, in his opening arc, kid was a damn villain.
    (Not gonna lie. Morrison having Damian nearly KILL Tim by sucker punching him with the spikes made it pretty damn obvious that he was never meant to be a long term character that the reader was meant to like or enjoy)

    So yeah, in my eyes, Steph's as much of a Robin as the boys. And reboot or no reboot, she always will be.

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