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.

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.

The wolf in scientist’s clothing

Beware of wolves in sheep’s clothing, beware of Killer Frost posing as Iris West. I still swear should Caitlin ever become a werewolf, this only enables writers to retell Red Riding Hood and why Snowbarry as a canonical relationship would be really bad. It’s like what happened on Arrow where the producers eventually catered to certain fans’ whims that it ended up halving the viewership.

Not to mention by having Felicity Smoak replace Black Canary, it actually worsened things. Almost as if they shouldn’t have allowed her to recur on Arrow to begin with if you believe some fans. Alternately speaking, having Caitlin appear as a werewolf would allow Snowbarry to happen, just not in a way fans expected. If because that’s when she impersonates Iris to kill Barry Allen.

And Barry’s going to run away from her. I even think having Caitlin Snow as a werewolf makes her way more deceptive than Harrison Wells ever was if because she’s so beloved by the fans that if she were to openly kill Barry’s family and friends and then try to kill Barry, they wouldn’t like it. Yet that’s still proving my point. And if she does go wolf, that’s when things go south.

Henpecked by Spoiler

Like I said, the biggest problem should Stephanie’s own child be retained (or where Stephanie has to look after her sisters’ nieces and/or students) is that she might nag at Tim whenever he lazes around. Actually superheroes being nagged at isn’t unheard of. Iris West does it to Barry Allen. Even Jean Grey nagged at Scott Summers when he looked at Psylocke. But in Tim’s case, it’s more like that nobody wants him to be depicted in a bad light and partly why some people take issue with Iris (whether if she’s black or white).

If because nobody wants a woman barking orders at a man and the like. Actually Stephanie did nag at Tim Drake before. However with a small child around, she’d probably be so stressed out that she needs Tim to help her. If he doesn’t, she’s going to get really frustrated. (I also think if Stephanie’s child were to be retained, she’d probably end up as a working mum to support them and herself, which’s also unprecedented if you observe the early Spider-Man stories.)

If Iris West’s any indication, should Steph ever nag at Tim whenever he screws up fans wouldn’t like it. Especially if/when said character’s supposed to be an audience surrogate (Barry and Tim) that it wouldn’t be fun seeing their girlfriends constantly nag at them for screwing up in some way. (To be honest, Iris didn’t seem that dark-haired before in the earlier comics and she’s what Steph’s like if she were older or at least allowed to be more independent*.)

If Stephanie initially showed up as Tim’s sidekick, her nagging at Tim for screwing up and demanding him to help her raise the baby or do household chores and looking after children together would lead to an uncomfortable role reversal. In the sense that Steph orders him around to help him do domestic/familial duties though that would be implying Steph’s portrayal in the older stories tend to be paternalistic.

In the sense that the possibility of her being better at somethings (like sports and even coming up with her own gym equipment) wouldn’t just be emasculating but also not a good look for Tim if he’s supposed to be unathletic. Her portrayal being paternalistic now makes much more sense with stories where somebody tells her to give up the baby (never mind that she could end up being attached to them if she cares for them a lot) and her not being trusted around.

Especially when it comes to training her (though some of it’s secondhand so). If true, it would be highly uncomfortable for fans to have her nag at Tim for not helping her around in looking after the baby/babies and house. It would be just as uncomfortable if Steph’s shown to be a working mum if because that makes her much more independent than initially portrayed.

Seriously, she wouldn’t always have much time to date Tim and when she does, she also demands Tim to help her with the chores which would put off audiences if because they’re not used to these portrayals. Though that would deconstruct just how misogynistic Spoiler was portrayed as and still is.

*Initially and for the longest time, Iris wasn’t Barry’s sidekick let alone a female Flash since that belonged to Patty Spivot in the older stories.

He’s the fastest poet alive

I still think associating Barry Allen with Dante Alighieri would work pretty well. (Though for the former, it would involve a substantial limitation in his power set to where he’s practically reduced to escaping real fast.) But that would still work if because Dante Alighieri did arguably have a vision of himself travelling through a literal heaven and hell. (I actually think this would make the Divine Comedy one of the earliest recorded been to hell testimonies as there are others like Angelica Zambrano who have their own versions.)

Also both of them wear red (at least for Dante in one confirmed illustration taken either during his lifetime or shortly after his death) and have/had blond hair. This sounds weird given Dante described himself as having blond hair before (though it would’ve darkened over time, whatever the degree) and he does have a blonde descendant in Massimilla di Serego-Alighieri. Same with the late Brunoro di Serego-Alighieri and it would be just as damning if Dante did have another descendant who resembles what Barry Allen should look like, comics wise.

They also have mentors of sort whom they admire and their beloved women who nag a lot at them for screwing up. Again it wouldn’t and shouldn’t be that much of a stretch to imagine Jay Garrick as Virgil and Iris West as Beatrice (if it sounds weird, Dante also had a daughter named Sister Beatrice and Devil May Cry’s got Trish, who’s the spitting image of Dante Sparda’s mum). So there’s that.