|"Batgirl Rising: Point of New Origin, Part Two"|
|September 16, 2009|
|Written by||Bryan Q. Miller|
|Cover by||Phil Noto|
|Interior Art by||Lee Garbett, Trevor Scott, Sandra Hope|
|Colored by||Guy Major|
|Lettering by||John J. Hill|
|Edited by||Harvey Richards, Michael Siglain|
|Previous Issue||Batgirl #1|
|Next Issue||Batgirl #3|
Steph: "Fight or flight. I choose fight"
As the new Batgirl continues her nightly mission, the mystery of her secret identity intensifies. Now she has become the target of both Gotham City’s heroes (who don’t take kindly to a new person wearing the cape and the cowl) and its villains (who want to see the entire Bat-family six feet under)!
Summary of Stephness: Stephanie is fighting several mooks and flash backing to when Barbara Gordon invaded her kitchen. Babs tells Steph that she shouldn't be Batgirl, reminding her that she once brought the city to its knees and telling Steph she's such a bad example that Babs used her "autopsy" photos to stop the last girl who wanted to Batgirl (in Birds of Prey #99). In the present, Stephanie thinks to herself that fixing her mistakes is precisely the reason why she's still doing this. In the past, she angrily storms away from Babs, saying it's none of her business. Barbara says it is, and throws a batarang at the door to stop Stephanie. She warns her that wearing the bat will bring major villains down on her. In the present, Steph has defeated the mooks, thinking to herself that Babs touched a nerve.
In Steph's philosophy class, the teacher talks about Devil's Square, aka Thunderdome, where the riot took place last issue. As the place is so dangerous, he asks why criminals go there. Stephanie's classmate Jordanna disparages the inhabitants, saying people only go there to keep running or go back to jail. Stephanie, stung by this attack on the lower class, replies aggressively that sometimes people don't have a choice. In order to save herself from "showing her issues", She also jokes that maybe the inhabitants stayed for the schools. Most of the class was amused, but not Jordanna.
Jordanna plows into Stephanie outside of school,yelling, "Out of the way, funny girl!", making her drop her supplies. Jordanna's friend Francisco helps Steph pick them up, explaining that Jordanna was a "bitch this time of month". When Stephanie asked which time of month, he replied "like, the whole month." As Jordanna leads him away, he invites Stephanie to hang out with them later, apparently inviting her to the Gotham Harvest Festival.
At the Gotham U Harvest Festival, Stephanie notices that Jordanna is ranting and raving and talking in "text". Jordanna then proceeded to completely flip out, tossing the punch bowl and yelling, "Toofast! Toomuch!" and collapsing. Stephanie catches her, holding her head above ground and yelling for somebody to call 911. She sees some men fleeing the scene and (realizing they must have spiked the punch) goes after them.
Stephanie fights the gangsters, and is contacted by Oracle via her cowl. Oracle aids Steph in battle, but warns Stephanie off pursuing the men. She invites Stephanie back to the Batcave, where she confirms the gangsters were peddling an aggression- heightening drug, and that that is what caused the riot earlier too. One of the thugs Steph beat senseless checked into the hospital. When traces of the drug were found in his system, the police picked him up.
Oracle again attempts to dissuade Stephanie from being Batgirl, revealing she was shot when Stephanie examines the cases inside the cave. Babs admits to herself that she's purposefully trying to break Stephanie, and maybe that she is somewhat jealous that Steph is taking up the mantle. Nevertheless, she threatens to call Steph's mom if Stephanie keeps being Batgirl.
Nick Gage and his partner are attacked while taking the gangster to the police station. A cloud of the agression drug hits them while the gangster is spirited away. Nick's drugged partner is about to attack Gordon and other colleagues when Steph appears and knocks him out with an electric batarang. She thinks to herself that no matter what Babs thinks of her, she's getting to the bottom of this crime, even if she might not like what she finds. Just as she says this, the issue cuts to the rescued gangster waking up and greeting his "boss"- who turns out to be The Scarecrow!
Back Matter: Dan Didio provided an essay in the back matter of DC Nation that was printed on the back of DC's comics from the week of September 16, 2009:
Well, if you were wondering who the new Batgirl is but haven't read the first issue of her new series, I suggest you skip this column. But, if you did read it...please, by all means, continue.
For several months we've teased you about our plans to launch a new Batgirl series, but we never said who'd be inside the costume. And there was much speculation on who might actually wear the cowl. Barbara Gordon might have seemed a logical choice; after all, Hal Jordan and Barry Allen were back in costume, so why not Barbara? And then there was talk of Cassandra Cain. She was the reigning Batgirl and was back to being a hero. Why not leave her in the costume? Even Misfit (from Birds of Prey), Wendy (from Teen Titans), and Bette Kane (of Flamebird fame) were thrown into the mix, just for fun. But as you now know, that group didn't make the cut. Instead we went with a character who just recently returned to the land of the living, the former Robin, current Spoiler, and now, future Batgirl, Stephanie Brown.
Choosing the new Batgirl was not an easy decision, and strong arguments could be made for most of them. At one point we were sure it would be Barbara (she was as close to being Batgirl again as Nightwing was to being dead) but after long discussions it was agreed that Oracle had become such a strong character, there was no sense going back. And since we wanted to make a change, Cassandra no longer seemed right for the role. (Not to worry, Cassandra fans; plans are afoot, in a very big way, for our favorite non-lethal assassin in 2010.) As for Wendy, Bette and Misfit, none felt strong enough for the position. That left us with the one choice we all agreed on, Stephanie Brown.
Now me and Stephanie, we go way back. As a fan I followed her story in ROBIN comics, and when I first got here at DC, agreeing to her "death" was one of my first "controversial" decisions. After all, I was the one who suggested making her a Robin before killing her, so her death would seem to have more meaning. Heh. Who knew?
From the time of her death, to the outcry for a memorial, and ultimately, to her return, there is no denying that her character had connected with a portion of our fanbase, and more important, connected to the Bat-family. It just seemed to make sense that she was the one, and given her history and ties to all the members of Batman's world, the potential is there to make this new Batgirl the one fans will be speaking about for a very long time. I hope you agree and give her a try. We have a great creative team in place with Bryan Q. Miller and Lee Garbett, and I think you are going to enjoy the ride.
To be continued."
(In contradiction to Didio's claim, Bill Willingham has twice claimed that he was behind Steph's promotion to Robin.)