Enter Spoiler (DETECTIVE COMICS #647, ROBIN vol. 4 #1-120, 1992-2004)
Following her introduction in DETECTIVE COMICS #647 (1992), Stephanie became a recurring character in ROBIN as a love interest and sidekick for Tim Drake. Steph wasn’t shy about her infatuation with the Boy Wonder, and often tried to pressure him into revealing his true identity to her, as she continually showed up uninvited on his patrols around the city.
Despite the constant rejection, Steph doubled down on her desire to become a Super Hero on par with Robin, intent on getting him to return her feelings. Eventually he began to see her as an equal—and despite his steady refusal to share his real identity, the two began a strictly in-costume romance as Spoiler and Robin, while Tim Drake continued to live a private life without Stephanie.
But when Steph unexpectedly became pregnant with an ex-boyfriend’s child, Tim was forced to reevaluate his priorities and their relationship. Under an assumed identity, he helped Steph cope with her pregnancy. But before the baby could be born, Gotham City was rocked by a massive earthquake (BATMAN: CATACLYSM, 1998-1999), which caused it to be shut down and cut off from the outside world (BATMAN: NO MAN’S LAND, 1999). These events resulted in Tim and his family moving to Keystone City, leaving Stephanie behind.
Stephanie put the baby up for adoption after it was born (ROBIN vol. 4 #65, 1999) and continued to operate in Gotham City until the No Man’s Land restrictions were removed and things returned to relative normalcy.
Batman took notice of Stephanie’s tenacity, as well as her relationship with Tim. Shortly after the Drake family’s return to Gotham, Batman told Steph that Robin was Tim Drake (ROBIN vol. 4 #87, 2001) and offered to train her alongside the Birds of Prey. The violation of trust caused a rift between Tim and Stephanie, as well as between Tim and Batman.
Stephanie trained for a brief time before Batman decided she was too impulsive and “fired” her, requesting she stop being Spoiler altogether.
But she decided to continue operating as Spoiler in secret. During this time, she and Tim finally reconciled and for the first time began a relationship in their civilian identities.
Robin, Death and Return (BATMAN: WAR GAMES, ROBIN vol. 4, 2004-2009)
When Tim Drake’s father discovered he’d been acting as Robin, he forced his son to quit the Super Hero business altogether, leaving Batman without a partner. Stephanie jumped at the opportunity. Despite her and Bruce’s rough history, he begrudgingly agreed to take her on as Robin (ROBIN vol. 4 #124-126, 2004).
Steph’s tenure as the Girl Wonder, however, was short-lived. Bruce fired her yet again for disobeying direct orders in the field. Furious and desperate to prove herself, Steph then stole a contingency plan from the Batcomputer in a desperate bid to concoct a scenario in which she could be a hero—not realizing the plan was designed to create a power vacuum in the underworld of Gotham City. The catastrophic BATMAN: WAR GAMES (2004) was the result.
Through WAR GAMES, a new criminal kingpin arose in Gotham: the Black Mask. As Black Mask solidified his position, he caught Spoiler and tortured her for information on Batman.
She refused to break, and Batman soon found Stephanie and brought her to a hospital, but she died from her wounds.
Or so it was believed. It was later revealed (in ROBIN vol. 4 #174, 2008) that Stephanie’s death had been a cover-up orchestrated by Dr. Leslie Thompkins to keep Stephanie and her family safe after the events of WAR GAMES. She’d since been living under an alias in Africa, but was unable to fight the urge to return to being a full-time Super Hero. She returned to Gotham to take up the mantle of Spoiler.
Batgirl (BATGIRL vol. 3, 2009-2011)
Following the massive shake-up in the wake of Bruce Wayne’s “death” (FINAL CRISIS, 2008-2009) and the resulting BATTLE FOR THE COWL (2009), Stephanie found herself taking on a new role in Gotham City. When the second Batgirl, Cassandra Cain, gave up her mantle, Stephanie stepped in and became the third Batgirl.
She worked closely with Barbara Gordon, the original Batgirl. She maintained her new role until the events of FLASHPOINT (2011) rebooted the continuity of the DC universe.
The New 52 (2011-2016)
Stephanie made her first appearance in the New 52 continuity in the BATMAN ETERNAL event (2014), in which she was reintroduced as Spoiler. Most of her original backstory remained, but her time spent as Robin and Batgirl was removed.
Following DC UNIVERSE REBIRTH #1 (2016), Stephanie joined a team of Gotham-based heroes in REBIRTH: DETECTIVE COMICS. She, Red Robin, Orphan, Batwing and Clayface were mentored by Batman and Batwoman to be the city’s next generation of Super Heroes.
During this time, she and Tim Drake rekindled their romance from the pre-FLASHPOINT continuity.