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SDCC ’12 | DC confirms Stephanie Brown won’t appear in Smallville

Following some confusion at Friday’s Superman panel, DC Comics confirmed today at Comic-Con International that Stephanie Brown won’t be appearing as Nightwing in Smallville Season 11. As rumored, she’ll be replaced by Barbara Gordon.

The introduction of the one-time Spoiler turned Robin turned Batgirl alongside Batman in DC’s digital-first series was announced last month, giving some consolation to fans frustrated that the character has yet to be seen in the New 52. But even as Comic-Con began, a rumor emerged that the publisher had changed its mind.

On Friday, the fan who made headlines at last year’s convention as “the Batgirl of San Diego,” attended DC’s Superman panel in hopes of getting answers, but walked away with none. So today she returned for “The New Wave” panel, where Co-Publisher Dan DiDio delivered the official news: Stephanie Brown is out, and Barbara Gordon is in.

“That is true, and there’s a reason for it,” DiDio said in response to the fan’s question, noting that he supported the change from the original plan, as it falls in line with the Smallville practice of bringing the iconic versions of DC heroes into that television world. “If we’re going to introduce a character into the ‘Smallville’ world, I want them to be the most iconic versions like Barbara Gordon or Dick Grayson, and maybe down the road we can do more.”

Of course, the iconic version of Nightwing would be Dick Grayson, and not Barbara Gordon.

It’s unclear when exactly DC made the decision, as Stephanie Brown’s introduction in Smallville was trumpeted just a month ago at TV Guide, followed three weeks ago by an interview at Comic Book Resources with writer Bryan Q. Miller in which he explained that, “I felt I couldn’t get any deeper into this without having Stephanie somewhere.”

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53 Comments

So many things I want to say here, but I want to wait until I’ve cooled off enough, so that it comes less from a place of anger and more from a place of reason.

This makes me sad. I’m not a big Stephanie fan but I feel DC have done the fans a big disservice with this knowing how much the fans out there wanted her in something. I am glad Kyrax2 got a straight answer this time though after that ridiculous Superman panel.

DC Comics: Do you know what we’re doing? Because we don’t have a %$#&ing clue.

Well we certainly wouldn’t want to let a writer use a character he is passionate about, now would we?

I am reminded of George Perez’s comment about how his editors at DC wanted a typewriter rather than a writer.

You absolute butthole, you. I’m not even angry. I’m just kind of bewildered. It’s like how fans always joked about how George Lucas went out off his way to piss his fans off. Well, that’s DiDio. I mean, how many fans have missed Stephanie Brown this past year, were overjoyed to have her return, and then shot down. This isn’t even like a nasty business man ruining people’s work; this is like the cranky, jaded uncle who storms into the 10-year-old birthday party, throws the cake out the window, pours beer over the presents, and tells everyone there’s no Santa. It’s just mean. What’s next, promising Wally West will return, and instead have Linda Park raped and murdered by Grundy? Who knows now?

Thing that bugs me most about Smallville season 11? CLEARLY at the end of the show, clark is wearing the classic superman suit with the red shorts etc. The 2-toned one in the comic sucks balls.

I said before there are people who hate stephanie brown at DC. I don’t know why but goes back to do days they made her robin and wrote so her bad as it. I’m just surprised that Stephanie lasted as long as she did as Nightwing. I’m surprised didn’t make change right away. That does make you think again how much people at dc know what each other are doing.

There’s NO reason to change it. im relatively young supes fan (24) but even i like the classic suit. the 52 one is weak. i can live with no red shorts, but the high collar sucks. u cant wear that under clothes. and yes i know he can somehow “magically” make it appear, but it takes away from so many iconic thing that little kids and old folks can see and love. the tearing open of the shirt for example. and, side note, why would and indestructible man need ‘armour’? just sad to see that even in the smallville book we get a bastardized version of the suit. im really surprised DC approved this. even movie/tv guys never tried for the 2 tone B.S.

Because why should you give a writer the very character he writes perfectly? Piss on Didio.

“Maybe I should put my money behind Marvel Now…and I’m not even a Marvel fan.”

Read comics from companies other than Marvel and DC. Your mental health will improve.

“Thing that bugs me most about Smallville season 11? CLEARLY at the end of the show, clark is wearing the classic superman suit with the red shorts etc. The 2-toned one in the comic sucks balls.”

They actually explain this in the opening pages of the first issue. His change of suit is noticed by folks like Lex and Lois. The new suit actually has the S composed of led so no prick with a kryptonite bullet can shoot in the the heart.

My biggest complaint is that they are doing a gigantic disservice to all the characters involved. Barbara is Batgril/Oracle. She sure as hell aint Nightwing. Either use the characters or don’t. I don’t DC really gives a damn though since it’s a comic based off a tv show and they have their real comics to screw up some more.

I’m amazed people give a shit. Really, what was so great about Stephanie Brown? I can’t remember anything that makes me want to see her again. That said, is her getting left out of a book that DOESN’T COUNT really that big a deal? Surely fans of the character would rather see her in a book set in the DCU and not one that’s a sequel to a bloody TV show.
I could understand if they said they were going to put her in Birds of Prey or have her sidekick up with Batgirl/woman and then changed their mind. But this series? Come on people, relax. No longer reading DC full stop? That ridiculous hyperbole is getting to be more common than “you’re worse than Hitler.”

The personal attacks on Didio are too much.

“…in line with the Smallville practice of bringing the iconic versions of DC heroes into that television world.”

Didio is full of crap on this one. Mia Dearden as Speedy, Impulse founding the JLA, becoming Isis being akin to demonic possession, etc. Smallville was never concerned with “iconic” versions of characters. They were concerned with using characters that fit their story, their budget, and the plans of WB (Bart was officially deemed “Impulse” when they were working on a Flash TV Show, as I recall).

I really wish Didio would just be up front with the real reasons instead of spouting off about “iconic versions of characters”. It’s marketing. I understand that, I can forgive that. As much as I loved the Stephanie Brown Batgirl title, as much as I like the character, as much as I want to see her back in some capacity, I understand the importance of marketing. Just be up front about it.

Dear DC:

COWAAAAARRRRDDDSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!

fine that they explain it. but i am a penciller by nature, and while i do appreciate and love solid/good writing, the suit change was pointless and masturbatory to serve the ‘new 52′. and btw, lead is not effing bullitproof. in fact lead is a relatively soft metal. and fina about the ‘S’/ the 2 tone blue is stupid. and pointless.

If Smallville only used iconic versions of characters, then why was Bart Allen the Flash instead of Barry?

and Batman’s Smallville outfit? weak. the Nolan Batman’s showed a relatively realistic (that a BILLIONAIRE could afford!) suit that was still recognizable as batman. that one in the comic sucks pretty hard. and anybody who has decided all of a sudden that they are upset about a NOTHING character who was Robin for 7 seconds not being included? Really? REALLY? how about NOT having Dick grayson!? the first robin and a 70 year old character. And the ‘cowards’ remark? as comic fans have you ever noticed that no matter how unimportant or unrelatable or even bland a character is, there’s always that .001 percent that deems it a crime they weren’t used. Weird.

Why is there all this Steph vs. Barbara? Why NOT just use Dick Grayson? Or is he going to appear in a future issue as Batgirl?

Richard said:
“No longer reading DC full stop? That ridiculous hyperbole is getting to be more common than “you’re worse than Hitler.””

Well, I can honestly say that I went from regularly buying about thirty DC books before the relaunch down to zero after the relaunch. I haven’t bought a single DC book in nearly a year. Getting rid of Stephanie wasn’t the only reason that I decided to drop DC but it was one of the reasons.

Just more bullspit from DC. And have you notice the there are no vids or audio from the panels this year. What are you so scare of DAN?

@Kwaku: Actually, they’re quite warranted. We’ve had to put up with his nonsense for a good 8 years now.

@richard: Perhaps you should read Stephanie’s Batgirl series. It’s very good and might open your narrow mind. Steph’s an awesome character and shouldn’t have been benched.

she ain’t Robin though. Dick Grayson ideally, Tim Drake a solid 2nd choice. Shit, even Carrie Kelly.

Great point, Kit Walker. Dan Didio really has too much power and is allowed to make too many nonsensical decisions.

Robin/dick Grayson = iconic
Batgirl/Barbra Gordon = iconic
Nightwing/Dick Grayson is not iconic.

So why even care about who is under the cowl

If they are looking for the most iconic characters why in the world would they green light night wing. I love night wing but only comics people generally know who he is.

DC is lost.

I agree with Lee. Love the hell outta Nightwing and Dick Grayson in general, but true, not much really known at all outside comics themselves

regarding lee and ian’s take on nightwing he has been on 3 to 5 cartoon series by now with many more viewers than dc comics. i read the smallville comic has had about 10 million downloads since it started . thats a huge audience most of whom i am assuming are fans of the tv show not dcu comics. so it not some little book no one cares about . i can see why dc wants to use babs especially to reach a new predominantly female audience but shouldn’t they have mentioned that from the time miller pitched the story arc?
i wonder if miller will stick with the book after this? he is a tv writer does he need dan didio telling him who can use and cant.??
for those who think stephanie is a crappy character you haven’t read bryan q millar’s terrific batgirl series. it was my favorite book for 2 years i cannot recommend it enough. just amazingly fun crimefighting adventures

never said she”s crappy, just does not resonate with the general public. I loved the ‘Aztec’ series by morrison even though it only lasted 10 issues, ppl gotta start been less secular if they want comics to grow to a larger audience. stop being so weirdly protective of nothing characters. to me its like being really upset that Pruneface didnt have more to do in Star Wars. let it go.

I wonder if Bryan Q. Miller plans to transition Gordon from the Nightwing role into the Watchtower/Oracle role for the Justice League. With Tess “dead” and Chloe still planning to leave for Star City, the League will need someone to coordinate communications and intel for the team. Gordon seems like the obvious choice for the role. Its too bad that Stephanie Brown will stay benched for the time being, but this move could make for some interesting storylines for Smallville.

Ian Michaels, you’re so out of touch it’s not even funny. I don’t even know where to BEGIN addressing all that ignorance in your post.

Y: The Last Nerd

July 14, 2012 at 8:50 pm

At least DiDio had the balls to explain why Stephanie was replaced, unlike the morons from Friday’s panel.

look man, im not against them benching Steph and cass because no one knows what to do with the character etc but this is a whole another level since they are going out of their way to deny the character an appearance.

what are they afraid off, that cass and steph will make babs look like crap? because Batwoman already does that.

this is as worst as the recent AvengersEMH controversy.

Frrankly the attacks against Dan DiDio, who likely had shit all to do with this decision now that there are people far above him that he answers too (Not to mention that Jim Lee is on the record as having far more control over the digital side of DC’s publication model) are extremely gross.

I’m sorry your favorite character isn’t going to appear, but grow up.

BWAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH! I hope DC/Didio and company keep teasing Stephanie Brown appearances and then pulling it – just to irritate all 47 of her fans that feel so entitled to constantly b&tch about it on every website on the net.

Hilarious.

Also, if you’re reading a Smallville Season 11 comic . . . you’re already in a bad place. Just let it go . . .

Good. Stephanie Brown fans are excruciatingly annoying. Anything that brings them misery is fine in my book.

I don’t get what any of this article is referring to

only way to some this up is ‘ugh’ DC editorial kinda sucks right now.

im choosing to interpret this as Stephanie is coming to the New 52 soon and they didnt want to step on that (im an optimist) was gonna try Smallville season 11 with this arc but now im not

sooooo, catsmeow, im oput of touch because im aware that that ransfering an iconic character to another medium requires a general understanding of the public? sorry, but the ppl out of touch are the ones that hold the comics just waaaay to close to the chest. i love comics, but im adaptable enough to understand change (ie. the x-men costumes in the movies) but at the same time i dont dace for change simply for change sake (ie. though i did like Amazing Spider-Man, the adidas stripe on his legs i found purposeless and a bit distracting) so if you care to disagree with me, im all for it, everyone has different thoughts and felings, but to simply say you dont agree witj no backup or POV discuss is kinda weak. Sorry, catsmeaw, i dont men to insult, i just do enjoy discussing opinions. and i am curious and respect yours.

sorry, im a shitty typist

Shouldn’t the headline of this article have been “Spoiler Alert,” or is that too trite? When are headlines ever to trite?

Ian Michaels, you are indeed a shitty typist. I hope you soooooo oput ransfering ppl waaaay to dace felings witj catsmeow catsmeaw bloobly blibbly (i dont men insultz)

wow, even i can’t read that. lol. well played, ben. lol

I know! To combat all this negative publicity, they’ll announce this Smallville Batman is gay. Extra gay. Then all the angry bleeding heart protesters will love the book again.

Let’s face it, the corporate comics are more interested in expanding their brand to the elusive new or lapsed reader than they are the ones that continue to support the small comics part of the business. As much as I loved the Steph Brown Batgirl series and was intrigued on how she would be used in Smallville Season 11, the comics are catering to the brand to sell merchandise and movies. If we look at Steph in that vein, she is a ‘nothing’ character because she doesn’t register in the public consciousness. Hence why DC will make an established character gay or bring in someone that people might know from cartoons, etc. Why bring in another character to muddy the waters when people do know who Barbara Gordon is? It sucks but that’s the way it is.

If you want to look for comics that are about taking risks, I think Marvel and DC have gotten out of that business for the most part. The New 52 was a gamble but with the comic sales stagnant they really didn’t have anything to lose. Image seems to be promoting comics that are more risk-taking than ever before and have interesting stories and art. I grew up on Marvel and DC comics and wish that they were trail-blazing with their content but for the most part, I don’t see it.

“sooooo, catsmeow, im oput of touch because im aware that that ransfering an iconic character to another medium requires a general understanding of the public? sorry, but the ppl out of touch are the ones that hold the comics just waaaay to close to the chest. i love comics, but im adaptable enough to understand change (ie. the x-men costumes in the movies) but at the same time i dont dace for change simply for change sake (ie. though i did like Amazing Spider-Man, the adidas stripe on his legs i found purposeless and a bit distracting) so if you care to disagree with me, im all for it, everyone has different thoughts and felings, but to simply say you dont agree witj no backup or POV discuss is kinda weak. Sorry, catsmeaw, i dont men to insult, i just do enjoy discussing opinions. and i am curious and respect yours.”

Okay then, I guess JL/JLU shouldn’t have had John Stewart and Hawkgirl on the team. After all, they’re not the “iconic” members of the Justice League. I agree that DC and Marvel need to adapt their characters in different contexts, but I don’t see how replacing Stephanie Brown with Barbra Gordon in a role neither of them had works towards that. Of course, if DC and Marvel would focus on selling their comics beyond the direct market, maybe they could get more readers for their lesser known titles. I’m not a fan of Stephanie Brown, but this just seems kinda dumb on DC’s part.

This link says it all…Marvel seems to treat their legacy characters better these days.

http://imgur.com/7hMTu

Donald Ferguson

July 15, 2012 at 3:45 pm

DC-

Why do you hate Stephanie Brown ?

Why do you hate the fans of the character?

Do you get your fun from knowing that there are a great deal of people who just don’t see a need for Barbara to be Batgirl in the main 52 (let alone in EVERY OTHER PLACE another character culd fill the same role) and then deny Cassandra and Stephanie’s fans a chance to see them again?

I had NEVER subscribed to a Batman title before Stephanie had been given the mantle of Batgirl and for the first time in 30 YEARS I actually enjoyed a Bat-Family book.

But then you took that away with the reboot, and now you’re taking away other chances for newer characters to shine just because you’re scared somone might not buy a new title if the ‘best Batgirl ever’ wasn’t in it.

Flash Fact DC: you keep wanting these ‘mythical new readers’ , yet you keep pushing off older readers like myself with character choices based on who’ safest instead of who can best fit the role and help the fans get the characters they want back in circulation.

I’m not a ‘mythical new reader’ DC, I’m a longtime reader who’s been with you since Emerald Dawn 1 and right now I can safely say I have never been more disappointed in DC than I am at this minute.

You want to keep me and untold number of other older readers? Start thinking of ‘diversity of characters’ as a way to get a mix of characters out into the public eye instead of reusing the same one in mutiple positions. Maybe with more, different characters out there you’ll ge those mythical new readers AND not totally piss off the ones that have been with you for so many years.

Kind of a win-win, don’t you think?

“This link says it all…Marvel seems to treat their legacy characters better these days.

http://imgur.com/7hMTu

That says it all. You can change some of the words in it make it about Wally West or other characters DC just thrown aside. Iconic? You know they say but at the same time they take iconic parts of superman. They replace Wally west with Iconic from 30 years ago. You ruin your classic Iconic 40s by totally running JSA. There is nothing going to save how bad them. Now all the sudden care about a more iconic character? When think Barbara Gorden we think Nightwing all the sudden? Makes no sense.

“Donald Ferguson
July 15, 2012 at 3:45 pm

DC-

Why do you hate Stephanie Brown ?

Why do you hate the fans of the character? ”
I totally agree. I don’t get the hate and nothing new from DC. As I said earlier post about the hate being their for years. The whole reboot never made any sense to me. The choices made in it never made in any sense. You didn’t have to get ride of characters like Cassandra or Stephanie to bring Barbara back as Batgirl. I really hope even though I don’t some of what Marvel doing with relaunch I hope it does better and last longer then DC Reboot. Just to shove it to them.

Well there went the only comic I was going to buy from DC.

*sigh* Back to waiting for Games to come out in TPB

Call me crazy, but this almost feels like DC is giving the middle finger to fans for the “Send Waffles to DC Offices” thing they’ve been doing trying to get Stephanie Brown back into the main DCU. It just seems odd that after the Waffle thing for Steph started up, she gets booted off Smallville.

I’m really disappointed. I was really hoping to seeing Miller write Stephanie again. I like Babs. I buy Gail Simmone’s Batgirl book every month. Meanwhile, I don’t buy or read the Smallville book. Despite how much I like Bryan Miller’s work, its not been a series I’m motivated to pick up. That being said, when DC said they were going to introduce Stephanie Brown as Nightwing, I had every intent to buy that issue. Why? Because I LOVE how Miller wrote Stephanie as a character. But now that she’s been replaced with Barbara… well, I don’t have the desire to buy the book anymore. Steph was the only thing I was looking forward too about that series.

So, sorry DC, but this move not only lost you the chance to get more of my money (which granted is not a lot) but also the chance of me becoming a loyal reader of the Smallville book, thus getting my money every month. :-(

Kory Stephens

July 16, 2012 at 8:46 pm

Dan Didio: Giving readers the finger since 2002

I’m not a Stephanie Brown fan nor do I care whether its her or Barbara that’s included.
The real thing to be upset over is that after giving a writer permission to use a character, they waited until the work was done and then told the writer that they changed their minds. Now things have to be rewritten and redrawn. Regardless of how you feel about any of the characters that’s a pretty unprofessional thing to do.

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