For fan-favorite, wise-cracking, waffle-loving vigilante Stephanie Brown, Bat-family identities are apparently just like Pokemon . . . you gotta catch ‘em all. The former Spoiler, former Robin, and former Batgirl will reappear in a DC comic for the first time since last September’s universe-wide reboot, albeit outside the mainstream continuity. Steph’s triumphant return to the pages of DC Comics will occur in Bryan Q. Miller’s Smallville Season 11 as Nightwing. Yes, that’s right. Nightwing. The only title missing from Steph’s impressive collection now is Batman (but give her time).
In this uncolored preview page, we can see a raven-haired Stephanie Brown fighting at Batman’s side in a story arc appropriately titled “Detective.” In an interview with TV Guide, Miller said: “Bruce can be somewhat of an angry man. Stephanie’s personality is so can-do and unsinkable and bright, so it’s very much on purpose on Bruce’s part that he has a good cop going out on patrol with him every night.”
Though Stephanie Brown has yet to be incorporated into the New 52 continuity, her appearance in Smallville Season 11 might be a sign that the powers-that-be at DC (or simply just Miller, who wrote Steph’s run as Batgirl from 2009-2011) have an interest in keeping up the character’s visibility. Fans have been hoping that Batman Inc. would serve as a good place to reintroduce Steph into reboot canon, but so far, there’s been no word on the character appearing in that title under any of her many names. The issue will be a digital first, released online in August, and then in print in September.