Stephanie Brown is back in DC comics! After a long absence she’s returning to the world of costumed crime fighting – as early as this summer! The following article contains spoilers for the ongoing Smallville comic book as well, so if you want to avoid them bookmark this page for later and then close your browser before any more damage is done! After starting out as the rebellious daughter of a less then successful career criminal, Stephanie Brown parlayed her antics into a stint at Batman’s side as Robin, and eventually a full time gig as the last incarnation of Batgirl before the New 52 reboot. Unfortunately for fans of the character she ended up on the wrong side of the drawing board for the company wide re-launch, and hasn’t been heard from since, outside of the late publishing of a story that ended up becoming the Batman Incorporated: Leviathan Strikes! one shot.
Okay kids, this is where it gets complicated: her triumphant return is going to be in the pages of the Smallville comic, and it’s going to be as Nightwing! There’s a whole mixed bag of emotions here for some people, but from where I’m standing this is all win. Her character has a long history, but I think Bryan Q. Miller’s run on Batgirl is where people found her the most endearing. After making himself a fan favorite writer on the Smallville television series, giving him reigns on the comic was a no-brainer, and I think returning Stephanie Brown to him here is an equally obvious best case scenario. The original story was the long waited appearance of Batman in the Smallville universe, but as the details of the upcoming arc flesh out it seems there’s a lot more to latch on to. You have to wonder how this will affect the dynamic of the duo. Will they be swinging into Metropolis as partners, or is Steph back in sidekick mode? As much as I’d love to know the full history of how we got to this point, it’s still a Superman book and I wouldn’t want to see too much time used on backstory for them. Her black and purple Nightwing costume is a nice spin on her old Batgirl threads, and this whole concept seems like a really fun and fresh take on some of our/my most beloved characters. I can’t wait to see how it all plays out, so I will definitely be picking up the digital first copies! In the meantime here’s a nice large updated picture of one of the covers, isn’t it amazing what a good colorist can do?