Stephanie Brown, also known as Spoiler, is a fictional character in the Batman universe. She is the first female to take on the role of Batman's sidekick Robin, and the fourth to put on the suit. Stephanie first appeared in Detective Comics #647, and was created by Chuck Lixon and Tom Lyle.
Stephanie Brown is cheerful yet strong, not afraid to stand up to the feared characters in Gotham such as Batman. She is the daughter of a criminal named Cluemaster, who has worked closely with the Riddler from time to time. Instead of following in her father's footsteps, Stephanie decided to take up the job of crime-fighting. She first became Spoiler primarily to stop her father every time he had gotten out of jail, but then got used to the business and patrolled the streets of Gotham City on a regular basis.
As a young girl, Stephanie's looked up to his father, although he was away doing his time in prison or committing crimes. Stephanie thought that it was fair game as he would, as part of his name, leave clues behind, much like Riddler. However, Cluemaster believed that his plans wouldn't be foiled if he neglected leaving clues, and begun doing so after he was released from jail. This upset Stephanie, who then decided to take over her father's 'clue-leaving' jobs for the police and Batman, and creating the Spoiler suit.
Stephanie Brown would continue to foil her father's plans each time he escaped from prison as Spoiler, until she realized that she enjoyed this new life, and worked Gotham full-time as a crime-fighter. This led to her encounters with the third Robin, Tim Drake. They eventually worked together whenever they met up, and falling in love with each other in the process.
Robin and Spoiler enjoyed each other's company, though it was an off-and-on relationship, with problems such as Stephanie not knowing Robin's identity, and Robin having to go away on missions issued by Batman. To make matters worse, she found out that she was pregnant from a fling with an old boyfriend (of which fled Gotham). Upon hearing this, Tim Drake took on a disguise in order to support Stephanie, going with her to her regular check-ups and Lamaze classes. Another mission halted Robin's support during her third trimester, however, but Tim made it back to Stephanie when the baby was being born. Stephanie knew she was not ready to raise a child, and in tears, gave the baby up for adoption.
Not too long after, Stephanie was back on the rooftops with Robin...that is until her jealousy got the best of her. Tim noticed a gang following a classmate at his high school, and so followed her to make sure nothing went wrong. Spoiler coincidentally found Robin following the student, and watched as he protected her from harm. This caused their relationship to end for some time.
The break-up didn't last too long, however, as Stephanie realized how much she loved and missed Robin. In an effort to find him, she stumbled upon the dark knight, who decided to take her in and train her. Spoiler was also brought in by the Birds of Prey and received training in martial arts as well as criminology. Batman, to keep Spoiler's spirits high, told her Robin's secret identity (which led to a fight between Batman and Robin), of whom recently returned from a mission in Tibet. Stephanie and Tim got back together, and began fighting crime side-by-side once again.
Not too long after, Stephanie had received word that her father was killed, which put another halt on her relationship with Tim. Stephanie let her frustrations out on the criminals, Riddler in particular, in order to find closure by knowing what kind of man her father was. She eventually moved past the supposed death, and again reconciled with Tim. It was during this time that Stephanie remembered one of her "proud" moments with her father, which she had shared with Tim. One night, her old babysitter came to her rather tipsy, and nearly raped her. When Stephanie had informed her father about this act, her babysitter was found dead from apparent overdose a week later.
The Fourth Robin
During a mission with Robin, Spoiler's leg was broken by Johnny Warlock. Robin then snapped, and beat Warlock to death for hurting her. Although Warlock was resurrected somehow, Tim was left in a state of shock, breaking the 'never kill' rule that his mentor would enforce to him. Stephanie stayed by Tim's side until he recuperated from this event, only to be pummeled with more bad news. Tim's father found out about his night life, and informed Tim to give him his crime-fighting days. Tim obeyed his father's wish, and concentrated on his schoolwork. Stephanie, who joined the same high school as Tim, would soon get jealous again, as she caught one of Tim's classmates flirting with him. This led to Stephanie breaking up with Tim again, and temporarily takine his place as Robin. With a Robin outfit she made herself, she headed towards the Batcave and asked to be Batman's new sidekick. He reluctantly accepted, and the two went on missions together. Stephanie's wild side would get the best of her, however, as she wouldn't listen to Batman's orders, leaving him no choice but to fire her as Robin.
The "Death" of Spoiler
Stephanie wouldn't give up, however. In an effort to win back Batman's trust, Stephanie stole important criminal underworld plans to show her worth. The plan backfired though, resulting in a huge gang war, and Black Mask capturing Stephanie. He tortured viciously for information on his enemy, Batman. Eventually, Stephanie freed herself and arrived at the nearest hospital, where she supposably died from her wounds with Batman by her bed. She was refused of proper medical care as par request of Dr. Leslie Thompson, all for a bigger plan on Stephanie's future.
Controversy erupted during Stephanie's death, with fans arguing that female-supporting characters are always being killed off in the DC universe. The writers attempted to cover things up by having Stephanie return, but the before and after stories are rather contradicting to one another. Nevertheless, Stephanie does return to the Robin series.
As it turns out, Dr. Leslie Thompson replaced Stephanie's body with another girl, and helped her recover. Stephanie's secret identity was exposed by Black Mask, so she fled to Africa with Dr. Thompson under a different name until everything blew over. Months later, Stephanie returned to Gotham and worked for Penguin for a short time before re-locating Robin and joining the crime-fighting side again. She and Robin makes up for the hundreth time, and resumes her life in the same high school as him.
Recently, during the Batman R.I.P. arc, Spoiler assists Robin in trying to locate Batman's whereabouts, but Spoiler was instructed by Batman after she re-joined the team to keep Robin from finding out the truth. She's also tied up with an assassin and enemy of Robin, Gladiator, who wants nothing more than to be rid of Robin.