If you’re a Stephanie Brown looking to get to the bottom of a rumor about your favorite character, you’d think the best place to go for answers would be today’s DC Comics Superman panel at Comic-Con International. But you’d be wrong.
According to Comic Book Resources’ report, a fan dressed as Stephanie Brown approached the microphone to ask whether the character would appear as Nightwing next month in the digital-first Smallville Season 11, as the publisher announced last month, or whether there was truth to the rumor that she is being replaced by Barbara Gordon. Unfortunately for the fan, writer Bryan Q. Miller wasn’t on the panel as scheduled (he arrived late to San Diego), and the response she did receive was … let’s say unhelpful, and maybe a little flippant.
“The first rumor wasn’t known by us,” DC’s Vice President of Marketing John Cunningham replied, “and I have not heard of the second in the halls of DC, so I can’t comment.”
“But there was art!” the fan shot back.
“Are you going to believe art or are you going to believe us?” Superman writer Scott Lobdell said to the laughter of the audience. Cunningham gave her a Court of Owls mask, so that’s something.
If you listen closely, those sounds you hear are frustrated Stephanie Brown fans screaming out in unison, and then cramming more waffles into envelopes addressed to DC Comics.
Miller, who wrote the character in the previous volume of Batgirl, told Comic Book Resources last month that he decided to introduce her as Batman’s sidekick in Smallville because, “I felt I couldn’t get any deeper into this without having Stephanie somewhere. This is the Stephanie that people who read Batgirl came to know and love. Not much of her has changed. She’s just wearing a different costume. Choosing Nightwing as opposed to Robin just seemed like the nice kind of take we’d have done on the show so it’s not exactly the same thing as the comics because there are a bunch of other comics where you can get that. We’re doing our own take, which isn’t too far from, in quotation marks, ‘how it’s supposed to be,’ but it’s our little corner of the world.”
Batman and Nightwing are announced to be introduced online in Smallville Season 11 in August, and then in print in September.