Saturday, October 06, 2007

Is there really a case for "The Case"?

Today I give you a sneak peak into my head, as I mentally debate the question:

Should the Stephanie Brown Robin receive a memorial case in the Batcave?

Pro: Stephanie was the first female in-continuity Robin.

Con: Yeah, for what? 3 months? That's, what, 10 minutes comic book time?

Pro: Jason Todd received a memorial case when he was killed as Robin.

Con: Here's the thing: Jason Todd's Robin career lasted from 1984 through 1988. That's over 4 years real time. Let's compare that with Stephanie's, uh, brief tenure in the role.

In fact, let's compare Steph's tenure with other brief tenures:

Bart Allen's Flash career lasted longer.

Superman's Electro-Supes career lasted longer.

Ben "Spider-Clone" Reilly's Spider-Man career lasted longer.

Jean Paul Valley's Batman career lasted longer.

Hell, Dick Grayson's Batman career lasted longer, albeit slightly.

Compared to Jason Todd, Tim Drake, and especially Dick Grayson, Steph's tenure as Robin was a hiccup. A blip on the radar screen.

Pro: And whose fault was that? DC and the Bat-books in particular have screwed over her character royally. Even if the plan was to have Tim come back all along, the Bat-office still could have gotten a year or so of interesting Girl Wonder stories. But what happened instead? She got fired from the Robin gig by Bats for disobeying an order, tortured with a power drill, and condemned to death by a wildly-out-of-character Leslie Thompkins for the sole purpose of teaching Bruce a lesson.

And for what? For another "One of Batman's protocols comes back to bite him in the ass" story. Because Lord knows, that's never been done before.

Pro: Once again, let's not forget that she was the first in-continuity female Robin.

Con: And here we get to the 500-pound elephant in the room: Would enough fans even give a crap about Steph getting a memorial case if she wasn't female?

Pro: But she was. (Insert bad Bette Davis voice here.)

Con: Her Robin costume sucked.

Pro: True, but maybe, given time, somebody could have redesigned it, as was done for Tim and for Green Lantern Kyle Rayner at the starts of their careers.

The Verdict: Does the Stephanie Brown Robin deserve a special memorial case in the Batcave?

Yes and no.

I stand by my belief that the "Girl Robin" wasn't notable enough to warrant a memorial, other than for being the first girl Robin.

Stephanie Brown herself, however, was a different story.

Because she also had another superhero identity in which she spent the bulk of her career: The Spoiler. Even her codename had an interesting genesis. She originally adopted this identity as a way of thwarting the criminal activities of her father, Arthur "Cluemaster" Brown. She literally kept "spoiling" his plans.

It was her primary superhero identity for over 12 years. As both Stephanie and Spoiler, she had a significant impact on both Robin and the Bat-Family, even without the War Games/War Crimes storylines.

I compared her Robin time to Nightwing's Batman stint for a reason. Although Batman and Robin are the more iconic identities, Nightwing and Spoiler are the identities Dick and Steph are better known for. If Dan Didio ever flips out and kills off Nightwing, I'd rather see Dick immortalized with a Nightwing memorial case than a Batman one.

Same goes with Stephanie. I support a case for Stephanie Brown, but it should, at least in part, include some Spoiler memorabilia, since that was where she left her biggest mark.

The Solution: I actually got this idea from the recent All-Flash. We see a scene in the Flash Museum where statues of Bart Allen as Impulse and as Kid Flash are positioned side-by-side at roughly a 30-degree angle from each other.

I suggest a similar setup for Stephanie's memorial case. Have her Robin costume displayed as Jason's was, but have a Spoiler costume next to it, maybe at a slight angle.

Maybe Dean Trippe can help design it.


At 6:58 AM , Blogger Scott (The Mad Thinker) Anderson said...

You brought up some stuff I hadn't thought of. Very well thought out. Part of me thinks "I just don't believe Batman would give her a memorial" for the reasons you gave. But the other part of me says, "Yeah, but comics are for the fans and if this sticking in the craws of fans, find a way to give her a memorial."

And you are right that the memorial to Spoiler makes a bit more sense. But the other thing I think of is that she was really much more associated with Tim than she was with Bruce. I think I might like to see that Tim had a Spoiler memorial. I don’t know if that would completely satisfy the fans who have been asking for the Steph memorial, but it might

At 8:44 AM , Blogger elias A. said...

I've just discussed this on my blog, so just a remark here: I agree that her time as Spoiler should be more important than the one as Robin.
Probably the most important thing, however, seems to me what Batman PROMISED her on her deathbed. True, he didn't explicitly promise her a memorial, but something like that is heavily implied, and even if she didn't really "deserve" it, his promise sounded like he wouldn't split hairs over that and be generous.

I don't really agree she had more to do with Tim. Since after Officer Down she was heavily focussed on Batman instead, as a trainer and father figure.

At 5:26 AM , Blogger Jesse said...

I don't understand why Stephanie Brown is less important than a giant penny, a ROBOT DINOSAUR, or all of the packrat crap the Batcave is crammed with. Batman obsessively collects trivial objects related to his cases. Seen in this light, Stephanie is conspicuous by her absence, at least to me.

At 11:31 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Digital Memory sure is becoming cheaper these days. I'm curious as to when we will eventually reach the rate of 1c to 1 Gig.

I'm still waiting for the day when I will finally be able to afford a 20 terabyte hard disk, lol. But for now I guess I will be satisfied with having a 32 gig Micro SD Card in my R4i.

(Submitted by BB for R4i Nintendo DS.)


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