Batwoman's second season is well in full swing, and it's definitely had a lot to cover with regards to character work thus far, between the introduction of an entirely new Batwoman in Ryan Wilder (Javicia Leslie) and the development of existing DC Comics characters like Luke Fox (Camrus Johnson) and Alice (Rachel Skarsten). While the show's ties to DC Comics' Batfamily have been relatively spread out (especially since the departure of Ruby Rose's Kate Kane), viewers are set to be introduced to a significant member of that canon tonight, with the live-action debut of Stephanie Brown (Morgan Kohan). As DC Comics fans will surely tell you, Stephanie has a complicated and storied DC Comics history — and here's what you need to know about it.
Created by Chuck Dixon and Tom Lyle, Stephanie first made her debut in 1992's Detective Comics #647. It was quickly established that Stephanie was the daughter of Arthur Brown/Cluemaster, a veteran Gotham City criminal who created elaborate puzzles and clues for his foes to find. After discovering that Cluemaster was returning to a life of crime, Stephanie decided to take matters into her own hands, making a vigilante costume and going by the moniker of Spoiler, in hopes of literally "spoiling" his plans. After repeatedly donning the costume to fight each of her father's new plans, Stephanie realized that she did like being a superhero, and began to work alongside Tim Drake/Robin. The pair develop a close bond, one that grows romantic over time.
After Tim is forced to stop being Robin, Stephanie creates her own homemade version of the costume, and convinces Batman to train her as the new Robin. Stephanie's actions as Robin accidentally contribute to the start of the War Games storyline, a citywide gang war that ends with her being tortured and seemingly killed by Black Mask. The brutal nature of Stephanie's death — and the fact that a monument to her was not constructed in the Batcave, as was the case for the male Robins who had died — became a source of controversy for fans. Later, it was revealed that Stephanie's death was faked (with the help of Leslie Thompkins), with Batman retroactively revealing that he didn't make a memorial for her because he was suspicious of whether or not she really died.
Stephanie returns to Gotham City and operates as Spoiler once again, eventually also donning the moniker of Batgirl after Cassandra Cain stepped down from the role. Stephanie operates as Batgirl pretty consistently until the 2011 reboot that occurred in the New 52, which removed her and her history from continuity altogether until 2014's Batman Eternal #3. Stephanie has since been properly reworked into the continuity in the DC Rebirth relaunch, operating as both a member of the Batfamily and the Young Justice. Most recently, Stephanie has appeared in the comics as one of the "Batgirls" alongside Cassandra Cain.
While a lot is unknown about the circumstances of Stephanie's Arrowverse debut on Batwoman, it's pretty safe to say that the series has a lot of canon to potentially go off of.
Batwoman airs Sundays at 9/8c on The CW.