Let Me Tell You About Orpheus
So, I never liked all that buisness about Stephanie Brown coming back to life and this man is why.
Orpheus here was a trusted member of Batman’s inner circle during the nineties. He was black, a successful entertainment producer, a patron of the arts and his origin story didn’t involve anyone getting killed. He was in the superhero game to be a positive role model and use his unique talents for the betterment of mankind. You usually don’t see motivation like that from anyone except, like Ted Kord. Maybe that’s why they got rid of him. Maybe he was too positive to be a part of the Batman universe.
So, anyway, Orpheus starts operating in Gotham because he feels it needs a positive black hero for kids to look up to. He earns Batman’s trust and Batman’s former bodyguard Onyx’s friendship and continues to act as one of Batman’s generals in his war on crime.
Then comes Stephanie Brown.
Honestly, I like the character of Stephanie Brown. There was nothing wrong with her.
But she got tangled up in a power struggle between Tim Drake and Batman and got fridged. Hard. And that was a shame. But on her way down, she managed to get Orpheus killed as well. So! While Stephanie Brown, a woman, got killed to further Tim Drake’s characterization, Orpheus, a minority, got killed to further her characterization. Everyone’s in the wrong, right? But then…
Fans magically cry Stephanie Brown back to life and she takes the mantle of Batgirl from a different minority. All the while, such a big deal had been made of her death in and out of context, but Orpheus, who’s death would have been much simpler to explain away is just forgotten. He just goes unmentioned in that way that when a little blonde white girl goes missing, it’s suddenly News, but you don’t see such a fuss made over people of color. And he’s still dead. Batman gets hot new Minorities like Batwing and the new Azrael with sexier, more tragic backstories and Orpheus just fades deeper and deeper into obscurity.