Bruce Wayne is lost in time. He is using every bit of his strength, wits and training to get back to the present. If anyone can do it he can. But Gotham City hasn’t shut down in the meantime. Criminals have seen that the Batman is gone and have tried to strike while Gotham’s protector is gone. Fortunately, Bruce Wayne has a family that has stepped up to pick up the slack while Bruce is gone. Each member of the Bat-Family has evolved to be better than they were. Absence in the Family will detail that evolution. I will talk about what the character’s were doing before Bruce was taken and how they have changed since Bruce’s disappearance. Now Batgirl.
Batgirl has been a name many heroes have taken. The name has had a long legacy filled with ups and downs. The current woman to hold the title has a similar history. Stephanie Brown’s past has tremendous highlights; becoming a hero, dating Tim Drake, being trained by Batman. It has also had extreme lows; being the daughter of a criminal, giving up her baby for adoption, being cast out by Batman, being tortured and nearly murdered by criminals as Robin. Her background is far too long to recount in just a paragraph so I encourage you to go to Wikipedia and read about her. Then you should start reading her ongoing series, Batgirl, because it is fantastic.
Stephanie is the newest person to take the Batgirl mantel. She is trying to put her past behind her and become a hero that can live up to the Batgirl name. That doesn’t mean that she is going to try to be like the previous Batgirls, especially Cassandra Cain. PB was as serious as Bruce, maybe even more so. Her personality even blended into her costume which was almost completely black with even her mouth covered. Cassandra was a great Batgirl and hero but, Steph couldn’t be more different. She is funny and cheerful. She has fun when she is out on patrol and saving Gothamites and readers can see it. Stephanie does want to be part of the Bat Family but she won’t change her personality to do it.
Steph’s fighting skills and physical endurance are already top notch, but it doesn’t hurt that she has the original Batgirl training her. Barbara Gordon, currently Oracle, has really taken Stephanie under her wing. Oracle has decided to fully integrate her into the Bat Family and has started training her in the abandoned Wayne Manor. Not only does Oracle have years of knowledge she can share with Stephanie but the fact that the original Batgirl is helping her means a lot.
The first year of her series has been Steph trying to find her place in Gotham and as Batgirl. She is a different Batgirl than those before with her constant jokes and self deprecating humor but she is just as tough as any other member of the family. Batgirl is one of the best comic series coming out today and I can’t wait to see it, and Stephanie, get even better.