Posts tagged ‘Stephanie Brown’

Detective 809 – War Crimes begins, and Croc needs help


Andersen Gabrych and Pete Woods return, with Javier Bergantino on inks, for War Crimes, a four part sequel to War Games, beginning in Detective 809 (Early Oct. 05), and continuing though the following issue, and the two issues of Batman the same month.


The question of blame for the events in War Games is central to this storyline.  Batman takes down the head of the Vosovs, but even she blames Batman for the revived warring.


Bruce Wayne is sent the tape of a tv show, in which a heavily scarred survivor, Aaron Black, is interviewed, and talks about the torture and death of Stephanie Brown at the hands of Black Mask.  He reveals her identity as Spoiler, and as Robin as well.

Batman goes to see Leslie Thompkins, only  to find that she has left Gotham completely.  And Stephanie’s medical records have been stolen as well.


Batman runs into Aaron Black, and has the guts to stand up to him and defend his position, but gets a bit more scared when the Joker shows up.

The story continues in the next issue of Batman.


Gabrych also scripts the Croc story, with Castillo and Ramos on the art.


As dangerous and threatening as he is, Croc still maintains enough sanity to not eat the doctor, who he is relying on to cure him from the virus Hush injected him with.


The last page of the story makes one wonder about the doctor’s motives, but that’s just for the cliff-hanger.  She stays true to her oath.

The story concludes in the next issue.


Detective 798 – Tim Drake makes a decision, and the Riddler does as well


War Games has the first chapter of its second act in Detective 798 (Nov. 04), by Gabrych, Woods and Smith.


The gang war has turned personal, as the teenaged daughter of one of the mobsters was murdered, and Batman is getting frantic. It doesn’t help that he was captured on television for the first time.  Oracle suggests bringing in Stephanie, as they need more operatives, but Batman, though he regrets how he treated her, does not think Spoiler would be safe.  Neither realizes yet that she is already sooo involved.


The Body Doubles, villains from the old Resurrection Man series, who proved far more popular than the hero, make an appearance in this, shooting Renee Montoya.

Batman meets with Commissioner Akins, asking him to turn the police force over to him, so that Batman can have the men needed to end the gang war, but Akins turns him down cold.


Tim Drake spends a lot of time agonizing in this issue.  He vowed to never become Robin again, after his father’s death.


But he knows he is needed, and too many lives are at stake.  Tim returns to the Manor, and a grateful Alfred, and once again becomes Robin.

The story continues in Legends of the Dark Knight.


The Riddler is at the mercy of Poison Ivy in the second chapter of his three-part story,by McCarthy, Castillo and Ramos.


Ivy really belittles him.  Not only does he not have any powers, he does not have the stature of the Penguin,or even the Joker.  He whines and pleads and begs.


Marched to the top of a high canopy of trees, and certain that Ivy intends to kill him, the Riddler shows some courage after all.  He tosses Ivy a riddle, and jumps into her jungle.

The story concludes in the next issue.

Detective 797- War Games begins, and the Riddler visits Poison Ivy


Gabrych, Woods and Massengil launch the first chapter of War Games, which will run through the Batman books for the next three months, in Detective 797 (Oct. 04).  The story follows the one-shot, Batman – the 15 Cent Adventure, in which Stephanie, back as Spoiler, tries to prove her worth to Batman by stealing one of his secret plans and putting it into operation – which results in sparking a gang war.


Batman and Oracle spend most of the issue trying to co-ordinate things and keep control of a situation that spirals rapidly away from them.  The Penguin had attended the meeting-turned-firefight with Deadshot as his bodyguard, and as the story progresses, all the mobs wind up hiring costumed villains, though most only get cameos.


Orpheus and Onyx visit the Penguin and Deadshot, but discover that they know no more than anyone else about the situation.  But everyone is leaping to take advantage of it – the Escobedos and Vosovs get into their own personal vendetta, and the Triad splits and winds up fighting against itself for dominance in Chinatown.

The story continues in Legends of the Dark Knight.


The Riddler comes to visit Poison Ivy in the first chapter of a three-part story, by Shane McCarthy, Tommy Castillo and Rodney Ramos.


The story is a follow-up to Hush, from recent issues of Batman.  The Riddler, blamed by many for setting all of that off, is on the run, and mistakes Poison Ivy’s invitation for sanctuary.  He is amazed at her private jungle, unaware that her powers were so great.


She, of course, did not invite the Riddler for tea.  She was used as part of Hush, and none too happy about it.

The story continues next issue.


Detective 796 – Stephanie Brown as Robin, and Onyx shows her stuff


Stephanie Brown’s dreams have come true in Detective 796 (Sept. 04), as Gabrych, Woods and Massengil relate her adventures as Batman’s partner in crime fighting.


After Tim Drake quits being Robin, Batman offers the position to Stephanie, who jumps at it.  Oracle accuses Batman of doing this simply to piss off Tim, to which Batman responds by ignoring Oracle.


This issue pits them against Zsasz, who has broken out of prison and begun another killing spree.  The art does an interesting thing with his vision. Only humans (potential victims) are shown in vibrant colour, everything else is grey.  There is no reason to think this is some sort of super human power, it reflects his psychosis.


As they search the subway for Zsasz, Stephanie falls into his hands, and needs to be saved by Batman – but evens the scales as she saves Batman from Zsasz later in the fight.


Batman is not entirely pleased with her actions, finding that she is tending towards wanting to use lethal force.  At the end of the scolding, she asks if he is firing her.  He replies that he is simply teaching her.  But he fires her before the next issue anyway.


Gabrych also concludes his back-up story of Onyx in this issue, with art by Walker and Nixey.


Batman and Batgirl stage a fight with Orpheus in Penguin’s Iceberg Lounge.  Onyx shows her stuff, taking down both heroes.  No one is likely to mess with her after that.  Or Orpheus.


Still, Cassandra Cain hates losing a fight, even a staged one, and hopes for a friendly, but real, match with Onyx one day.


Detective 649 – Spoiler vs the Cluemaster


Dixon, Lyle and Hanna conclude the Cluemaster/Spoiler storyline in Detective 649 (Early Sept. 92).


Spoiler is less than pleased when Batman informs her that she will not be allowed to join him and Robin when they stop her father’s crime.  But she still gives Batman all the information she has on it.  There is some impressively elaborate planning, including staging accidents to block the roads with access to the location, although Stephanie has no idea how they plan to escape afterwards.


Everyone converges on the mall for its grand opening.  Spoiler waits until Batman and Robin have left, and then goes anyway.


Cluemaster and his gang are dressed like Robin Hood and his merry men, and the robbery begins to unfold perfectly.


Batman and Robin show up, but are outplayed when a helicopter smashes through the domed roof, to carry Cluemaster and his haul away.


Spoiler is on the roof, and disrupts his plans long enough for Batman to climb up.  Cluemaster grabs Spoiler, threatening to kill her.


And then finds out who she is.


Unmasked, Stephanie takes down her father. She is tempted to kill him, but Batman talks her out of it.

A really great return for Cluemaster, far better than any story he had previously appeared in.  And the addition of Spoiler makes this a fascinating family, one that we absolutely had to see more of.

Detective 648 – Spoiler debuts


Dixon, Lyle and Hanna continue the Cluemaster story in Detective 648 (Late Aug. 92).


Robin tracks the source of the clues, mailed from different locations in the city, and encounters Stephanie, garbed and masked.  When Robin discovers that the person he tacked is a girl, he is disoriented enough that she manages to fight him off and get free.


Robin doubles down on trying to find out who the girl is, although Alfred suggests that Tim may have some other interest in her.  They determine that she is Stephanie Brown, the daughter of the Cluemaster.  Confronting her, Robin determines that far from working with her father, she has been sending the clues in order to alert the police, in hopes that they will catch him.


Robin brings her to Batman, who asks her codename, and she replies Spoiler.  Batman approves.

The story concludes in the next issue.

Detective 647 – Cluemaster returns


Dixon, Lyle and Hanna bring the Cluemaster back in Detective 647 (Aug. 92).  For the past few years, the Cluemaster had been a member of the Injustice League, appearing in various Justice League books, and more or less reduced to a joke.


In this story, he presents himself to one of Gotham’s gangs, showing himself to be far more capable than he had seemed in recent years.  He insists that he has been cured of his compulsion to send clues to the police before his crimes.


There is another mayoral election brewing, with Armand Krol as the front runner.  And a mysterious young girl, Stephanie, is also introduced.


Commissioner Gordon starts receiving puzzle pieces, and calls in Batman and Robin.  They eliminate the Joker and Riddler as suspects, leaving Cluemaster the most likely culprit.


Batman tracks him down, and for the first time in his long career, we learn that his real name is Arthur Brown.  Brown insists he is on the side of the angels, and has no connection with the clues being sent.  The partial truth is enough to make Batman let him go.


The gang, however, are none to thrilled about the clues the police are receiving, and the boss accuses Cluemaster of sending them, and orders him killer.  Cluemaster quickly turns the tables, killing the boss and taking over the gang.

The story continues in the next issue.



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