She’s the mean one

I actually half swear that if Iris West is any indication, should Stephanie Brown start nagging at Tim for not helping her with household chores and taking care of her baby now that she’s a working mother (if not them, then her nieces and even her parents and sister) fans won’t like it. They’re not used to Steph barking orders, spiting Tim whenever he screws up big time and worse, both of them getting into fights.

Iris West was technically mostly like that in the earlier Flash stories, she was often exasperated whenever Barry came late (I actually think Barry Allen’s a closet Italian if we go by stereotypes and that it’s not uncommon for those of Italian descent to author his adventures). This could’ve lessened eventually but it gives a good idea of what would happen if Steph were to do the same, only this time it’s Tim who shirks familial duties.

Practically more of the same problem except that either Iris was like that from the start or the odd fact that if allowed, that would be deconstructing how sexist the Robin stories are in hindsight.

Terrible Tim

Like I said, should Steph ever be better at sports than Tim ever was coupled with her being an actual gangster at some point and also a dedicated working mother herself in addition to Black Canary being his biological aunt and his own grandfather and father calling him a sissy a different picture emerges. Rather than an idealised self-insert and taking his own canonical interactions with other people his age into consideration, he’d come off as cocky, controlling and insecure.

Though his own concerns are understandable, let’s not forget that in most situations should Black Canary ever turn out to be Tim’s biological aunt she’d largely replace both Lady Shiva and Dana Winters in most of the stories they appear in. This also necessitates Tim to parent his own father in that without Dana Winters around, he’s going to do the…wifely duties instead. Some people already do this, that’s if they lack one other parent around.

(Or if the other parent’s too maladjusted to function independently.)

If that’s ever case, that would mean his own interactions with Steph would now seem controlling and condescending. Like he talks down to her and demands her to give up the baby, never mind that she continues to care for the child and demands him to help her. Never-ending ugly fights and the odd fact that Tim would have more in commong with Green Arrow than he does with Batman.

In the sense of being rather chauvinistic towards otherwise strong-minded women. (He’s also kind of controlling to and irritated at his own teammates.) Coupled with being considered a sissy and overprotected by others, then it seems Tim’s controlling and condescending personality stems from overcompensation and insecurity that we get a glimpse of what a de-Mary Sued Tim would be like.

By flawed, he’s unlikable in the sense of being patronising and controlling to people that he even infantilises them. His concerns are understandable but not when others are actually capable of being independent that’s when you realise how annoying Tim can get.

He’s a sissy boy wonder

I suspect that part of the problem with making Stephanie Brown better at sports and especially football/soccer and weightlifting than Tim Drake as well as coming up with her own gym equipment’s that it feels emasculating. About as emasculating as Stephanie Brown being part of a girl gang after she instigated something bad somewhere. Nobody wants Steph to end up tougher than Tim.

Not when it’s compounded by things like being independent on her being, having to look after her own family and is also a working student to boot whilst Tim gets overprotected by Uncle Oliver Queen and Aunt Dinah Lance and parented by Bruce Wayne. That’s when fanboys feel emasculated and intimidated by Steph being far more independent than Tim ever was. Also about as horrifying if she’s now barking orders at Tim.

Rao help if Tim wasn’t that athletic but worsened by that his own father worked in the timber business and his grandfather being a lumberback himself. There comes storylines where they’ll do anything to man Tim up even when he refuses to. And the the only relatives who’d man him up are his liberal Uncle Oliver and Aunt Dinah Lance.

(Partly why she’d make both Lady Shiva and Dana Winters redundant once BC’s outed as Tim’s biological aunt.)

Should Stephanie Brown actually be the tougher of the two not just due to her having to look after her family and herself whatever she can do about it but that she’s also part of a girl gang true to form, Tim would try to infantilise her never mind that she’s actually capable of doing things on her own if allowed to. Though that would mean Tim might be overcompensating for his lack of manliness.

If he can’t be manly in hobbies like lumberjacking (which is what his grandfather and father do), he might learn to be (too) manly in relationships by having to exert his dominance over Steph whilst appearing like a nice guy. Though that would be too realistic in the sense that some people who do overprotect are also insecure themselves. As in they really don’t trust others’ ability to be strong and independent.

Never mind that they have to be or will themselves to. Not to mention some parentified children end up infantilising and controlling others if because that’s what they’re used to, moreso if their parents are unfortunately too immature or too vulnerable to help. Tim having to cheer Batman up whilst having to be manly to impress his relatives at a young age would screw him up.

Especially when it comes to Stephanie Brown who even lashes out at him. Worst case scenario’s that Steph not only fights Tim but also comes to scorn him for the way he acted around her for so long that she’d happily cut him out of her life. That would also mean Tim’s flawed in the sense of being patronising, arrogant and insecure.

If he was called a sissy before, being controlling to others is his way of compensating and it’s unflattering at that.

Comes running for her

I actually think by having a rich female cousin would be enough to deconstruct some of the problems with the way women are written in the Nightwing stories. In that they’re almost always sexually interested in him, whether as girlfriends or as his admirers. But nary somebody who’s only in a platonic relationship with him. Though I know incest exists but since almost everybody hates it, it’s safe to say that it’s with his cousin that he’s going to be platonic to.

But that reveals other problems. As with Tim, there’s nary a strong female figure let alone a platonic one who’s also a biological relative. Also, like with making Black Canary into Tim Drake’s blood aunt, giving Dick Grayson a rich woman for a cousin makes Batman look bad and that necessitates storylines where both Green Arrow and Dick’s uncle would do anything to look after those two.

That Dick’s going to rely on her for financial support and security’s going to not only irritate misogynists but also make Batman and the rest of the Batman family redundant as to be dubious. (Same with Black Canary being Tim’s aunt.)

Kind of ruins things

I still suspect having Stephanie Brown getting mad at Tim whenever he shirks domestic and childrearing duties especially now that Stephanie’s a dedicated, working mother so she’s going to nag at him for not helping with her with child would irritate and surprise fans a lot. If because they’re not used to Steph barking orders a lot. They’re also not used to Steph becoming a dedicated working mother too.

Not to mention it ruins the whole reader surrogacy thing in that the hero in question gets nagged by his girlfriend for screwing up in some way. The Flash comics are a good example of what I’m saying wherein Iris West nags at Barry Allen for coming late. Not to mention she even entrusts her nephew Wally West in Barry’s care.

Iris’s personality did soften but I highly suspect that Iris seemed to be way too strong in the sense of openly calling out the male protagonist for his shortcomings. Something that unconsciously intimidates certain male readers a lot. Chances are we’d get a similar dilemma with Steph demanding Tim to help her take care of the baby and do household chores or if Tim is Black Canary’s biological nephew.

It wouldn’t matter what she wears, some people’s mothers do dress strangely and can be as strict and loving as any mother would. Some popstars are mothers themselves and unsurprisingly make their kids do their homework and chores. I would be just as ruinous if Dick Grayson has a milionnairess for a cousin.

No seriously, we’d run into stories where Dick Grayson starts begging for her money and she has to duly give some of it to him. They want Dick Grayson to have never-ending badass adventures and have women ogling him. They don’t want Dick Grayson to come begging for his cousin’s money if because that would mean Dick Grayson has dead-end jobs.

The fact that he changed jobs a lot suggests that he might be out to find something that suits him more. Especially now that he’s got a rich female cousin, that would mean he’s stuck in dead-end jobs and needs her for survival or something. Things like those emasculate male readers if these happened at all.

She orders him around

I guess it would be really surprising to see Stephanie Brown ordering Tim to help her look after her child once she’s got a lot of things to do. Completing her education or learning something new, working at a restaurant and looking after her family whilst trying to keep calm. That actually sounds like what many other people go through.

The only problem is some people would find it hard to believe that Stephanie’s now a working mum who nags at Tim. Never mind there’s already a precedent or two in both DC and Marvel. Marvel’s got Peter Parker who started working at a young age to support himself and Aunt May after Uncle Ben died. Then there’s Iris West who infamously nags at her bf Barry Allen. It’s not a big stretch for Steph to do both.

That’s other than letting go of the Steph they knew before.

Beatitude from the Occident

Like I said before, if Iris West is any indication it’s not really fun to see a superhero get nagged a lot by a woman especially if she’s his girlfriend. (I guess that may be related to the fact that people normally prefer women to be submissive never mind there are situations that necessitate some of them to be either more assertive or independent.) I suspect that even if Iris West were comics, if comics are any indication, she’d still be seen as unlikable and mean.

Yet ironically she’s also important in Flash stories, whether if she does mellow over the years, as Bart’s grandmother and Wally’s aunt or for the odd fact that the storyline where she got killed by Reverse Flash with Barry avenging her and her returning got retold many times with different characters. That’s actually what I’ve bene telling all along. The first time it got retold was in the first Flash programme where the Iris West’s replaced by Barry’s brother and he’s also got an evil doppelganger in Pollux.

Eventually in the Flash comics proper, Golden Glider replaced Iris West with her brother Captain Cold replacing Barry Allen and Chillblaine replacing Reverse Flash. Then in the 2000s we get Linda Park, Wally West and Professor Zoom and eventually Barry’s mother in Iris’s role. Pretty repetitive in hindsight. Or recursive if you will but still proves my point right. Also if there’s ever a real way to turn this storyline on its head, it’s not by switching roles between Iris and Patty.

That didn’t last long once DC Rebirth kicked in. Even the new Flash programme, with its racebent Iris, still preferred the old relationship to a large degree. But by using an even older piece of literature to upend whatever’s been done to the Flash stories as well as themes behind it and character depictions. Yes I’m referring to the Divine Comedy.

Rather than Golden Glider being a ghost, it’s Iris who’s the ghost but one who guides her still living husband Barry to beatitude. Logically, if Caitlin were to be a werewolf on the Flash not only would it let out the Red Riding Hood comparisons but also the Divine Comedy ones where she’s going to replace the hungry she-wolf. Ad infinitum with Barry as Dante and Jay Garrick as Virgil.

Let’s not also forget that Beatrice also nags a lot at Dante-personaggio and if fans think Iris’s out of Barry’s league it’s even moreso for the real life Beatrice Portinari who even married somebody else. (That’s really the only difference between Iris and Beatrice in a way.) Yet her namesake character prefigures a lot in Dante’s poetry so much so that you can make a good argument for Iris being Beatrice to Barry’s Dante.

Though that would mean Patty Spivot’s going to be Gemma Donati. In the sense of being the person that some people think Barry/Dante would have more in common with (in a way) yet not so beloved and as important as Iris/Beatrice is. (Rao help if Dante’s descendant marries/dates somebody named Gemma Beatrice.) It still fits pretty well in the sense of their given roles and perceptions.