Throughout its ten season run, the creators of the TV series Smallville tried to wrangle an appearance by Batman or Bruce Wayne in their reimagining of the world of Clark Kent, but they could never swing it. Now, however, that there's an ongoing digital comic series called Smallville Season 11, there are no more obstacles in the way. So, in issue #5, Batman will finally come to Smallville – and the bonus is that his Nightwing will actually be Stephanie Brown.
Writer Bryan Q. Miller, who wrote for the TV series as well, has a history with Brown, who started as a vigilante named Spoiler, eventually became the fifth Robin (a fact which DC creators tend to forget, much to the consternation of female fans) before maturing into the newest Batgirl – a series Miller also wrote. That was before the New 52 happened, though, and Brown hasn't been seen since (unless you count the nebulous world in which Batman Incorporated exists, which it's seemingly like maybe we shouldn't). So Brown's appearance here is really her first since she was washed away with the DC reboot. And Miller has reasons for incorporating her here.
"Bruce can be somewhat of an angry man," he says. "Stephanie's personality is so can-do and unsinkable and bright, so it's very much on purpose on Bruce's part that he has a good cop going out on patrol with him every night."
In the Smallville world, Miller says Batman's been operating since before Clark was "The Blur" during the TV show (since he didn't become Superman until the finale). He's also aware that some people aren't thrilled with the look of Batman's armor.
"There's a heavy amount of griping about Batman's armor, but people are talking about it, which is not necessarily a bad thing," he says about this digital comic. "And I'm hearing from people that it's bringing them to comic shops and the DC app, and they're discovering all kinds of other comics. In the best way, I think it's a good gateway drug for all of the storytelling that DC has to offer."