DC Comics giveth, and DC Comics giveth away.
Dan DiDio maybe gone, but his “iconic” policy of taking a dump on 90s legacy characters remains intact at the company, and perhaps his final act as DC Publisher might be once again taking something away from one Stephanie Brown.
In the Dan DiDio-Era of DC the character has had a rough go. From almost at the very start of DiDio’s tenure, the character was designated the sacrificial lamb to the event slaughter in very much loathed, Batman: War Games to being given another legacy role (Batgirl), after the prior one was only given to give the fans of the character some satisfaction, before kind of walking back on it during the entire time the character was “dead”.
This was of course, given to spite another beloved fan-favorite character, Cassandra Cain. All because DiDio wanted the “iconic” Batgirl Barbara Gordon back in the role, which he would finally achieve when the New 52 was launched in 2011. Which makes this DC Nation entry all the more always damning and hilarious to reread when it comes to all three characters.
During the New 52, the company played a game of, “Stephanie who?” condemning the character and going overtly out of their way to make sure any random Easter Egg cameo would instead be changed. Or, replaced again by Barbara Gordon because, Dan DiDio really really hates 90s legacy characters. Well and Teen Titans. And the Justice League International cast…
Which is why during the “Rebirth” Era of DC, Stephanie Brown it was kind of startling to see DC honor the character’s Batgirl past by re-releasing her ongoing in new trades, including a few adventures of the character in the Batgirl anniversary trade, and even giving the character some closure in Convergence event with a mini-series. Then in canon we were given this in Detective Comics #980:
Stephanie learned of her former past as both Robin and Batgirl. It seems only one of these things stuck, though writer Brian Michael Bendis gave a tip of the hat homage to this period in an arc on Young Justice which featured an alternate universe version of the character running around as Batwoman:
But, curiously the character in the main line never really brought up the Batgirl portion of her past after learning, instead mentioning a lot about her being a Robin. Even appearing in one panel as a “joke” during the much loathed-Heroes in Crisis mini.
So what’s the answer? Well, it seems with the last act of DiDio might be to have taken it away– AGAIN for the sake of the idea that got him axed, “5G”, aka Generation Five, the supposed “fix” to the entire mess of DC History now thanks DiDio himself and his underlings. We know the opening that’ll lay it all out was going to be in May.
Yesterday’s Robin 80th Anniversary Special on the other hand apparently was the opening salvo of 5G and “fixing” DC history. Here’s what the special had this on Stephanie’s opening profile:
No mention of her time as Batgirl, but as Robin and Spoiler. The point was hammered home more in the profile at the end which you can note the differences how one Robin gets while another does not.
But as you can easily notice, Tim Drake has all attained all the identities he’s taken in the character’s career (though some would rather him dump the Drake portion). This move isn’t entirely surprising as back during NYCC when DiDio revealed the “first draft” of his new timeline (Bleeding Cool pip pip) had gotten pictures then dissected every caption mentioned.
They too noticed the lack of Stephanie’s time as Batgirl originally, and some fans waved off the possibly that it could be added back later given there were still portions not fully put in yet. Well, it’s March, and this month we got our first look at DC’s “fixed” timeline with this special officially. Once again, dare I say is it time to reset a certain counter on their stupid moves? I’d say the answer is… YES!
So yes, Judas Terror. I know you can hear me! RESET THE COUNTER!!!