DC gets Carrie-d away with robbin’ Steph fans yet again. Also, puns.
|April 5, 2013||Posted by Jess under Comics|
Following the death of Damian Wayne, DC has announced the new Robin will be…Carrie Kelly, of Frank Miller’s out-of-continuity “The Dark Knight Returns” fame! Which of course begs the question: why not use that other girl Robin, the one with the passionate fanbase and trade paperbacks on The New York Times bestseller list? My Twitterlist is blowing up with outrage over this umpteenth diss towards Steph, and you’d think I’d be right there with them. After all, I haven’t exactly made my love of her a secret.
But let’s recap, shall we? DC has already:
- made Steph Robin as part of a publicity stunt, only to promptly kill her off in a lengthy, brutal, sexualized sequence;
- subsequently announced that she had never really been a Robin and denied her a memorial case for years;
- hosted a panel in which one of their freelancers, speaking as a representative of their company, expressed a desire to violently murder her fans for asking when they would see her again, and did not subsequently apologize nor request that the writer do so;
- removed a character who, again, made The New York Times bestseller list, along with Cassandra Cain, from their New 52 in favor of Barbara Gordon, claiming it was to avoid confusion, while retaining four essentially identical-looking male Robins (thus eliminating not just two female characters, but a character of color and a differently-abled character);
- rejected multiple pitches from popular writers to use her, including Gail Simone, Grant Morrison, Scott Snyder, Bryan Q. Miller, and Scott Lobdell;
- publicly berated fans dressed as her and mocked fans, male and female, who have asked for her return;
- solicited the out-of-continuity digital comic Smallville with Steph as Nightwing, then hastily replaced her with Barbara Gordon – and outright lied to the fans about the change, claiming it was because Barbara was more iconic, when Miller was in fact just told to replace Steph, not to replace Steph with Barbara;
- made Dustin Nguyen recolor the hair of a little girl dressed as Steph – not Steph herself, just a random little girl dressed as her – in yet another out-of-continuity digital comic, after it had been released;
- claimed that the character isn’t actually popular because not a lot of people bothered to send them boxes of waffles, despite the constant blogposts about and tributes to her, repeated queries at conventions, multitude of cosplayers, and, again, her book making The New York Times bestseller list.
In other words, the Powers That Be at DC have done everything they can to erase Stephanie Brown – and any tributes therein – from every possible universe they control, despite interest from top talent in writing her, while heaping scorn and ridicule on her fanbase. There is no financial reason for recoloring a little girl’s hair in Li’l Gotham, and considering that her hair was turned black and not red, there’s no way to hide behind the tired old “iconic” excuse. Since 2011, it has become painfully clear that someone high up at DC hates Stephanie Brown. There really is no other logical explanation.
And I am certainly not the first person to point this out, but Stephanie Brown’s fanbase is young, female, and vocal – all things that TPTB at DC don’t seem to like very much. So maybe it would be better to say that someone high up at DC hates Stephanie Brown’s fans. (My money’s on the guy who yells at fans who ask about her, but I have no proof of that. Oh, to be a fly on those walls!)
So there was no way in hell that Steph was going to be the new Robin. Honestly, I don’t even think it’s DC trolling. Carrie Kelly is a popular character from a popular book, and I’m genuinely glad there’s a female Robin in continuity now, two if you count Helena Wayne. (Not that I’m touching the Batbooks with a ten-foot pole, but, you know, in general I’m always glad to see more girls in prominent roles.)
I don’t want this post to come across like I’m suggesting that anyone stop requesting Steph’s return, talking about how great she is, or pointing out all the little ways DC has tried to erase her, because advocacy is important, especially with a character so linked to female fans. But this news, when it should make me excited – a spunky girl Robin! my favorite! – merely fills me with contemptuous ennui, because it just serves to remind me that DC killed a little boy of color and erased a popular female character because girls liked her. And none of that – the consistent killing off of minority characters, the petty reactions to vocal, enthusiastic fans who aren’t 35-year-old dudebros, and most of all my contempt – seems likely to change until the TPTB change.
When will that be again?