Evelyn Crawford: 1979 - 2003

Evelyn Crawford was born into an abusive life. Born in Blüdhaven, Evelyn had an alcoholic father and absentee mother. She was also abused by an uncle and when she got the nerve to finally come forward with it, she was pulled away from all her friends and family and placed in a foster home in Gotham. Evelyn didn't care that her foster parents were just interested in doing the bare minimum and collecting the check. As a teenager, she ran with a rough crowd and was well on her way to becoming the same type of losers that her parents had been.

But that was not Ev's destiny. Seeing something beyond her rough edges and sharp tongue, an older girl named Dinah befriended Ev and offered her an after-school job at her family's florist shop. Ev rejected the offer at first, until she needed some spare cash and decided to try it out. Much to her surprise, Evelyn enjoyed the work. Not only did it put some digits in her bank account, but it gave her something to look forward to... and more important, it gave her what she had really been missing all this time: a family.

With the help of Mr. and Mrs. Lance writing letters to a congressman on her behalf, Evelyn decided to join the United States Marine Corps, attending the US Naval Academy. Evelyn still struggled with her problems relating to authority figures and even joining her fellow cadet Etta's "Holliday Girls" didn't help Evelyn pass in the top ten percent, but she still passed. It was one of Evelyn's happiest moments but one she didn't get to share with her family as just before her graduation, Evelyn was asked by a "spook in a suit" (later identified as Maxwell Lord) to join a black ops program known as Checkmate. When Evelyn agreed, a cover story was made up and Evelyn was arrested and sent to Belle Reve prison on espionage charges.

Evelyn should have been unnerved with how easily she let herself slip back into that criminal mentality, but it was that mindset that helped her infiltrate the network of criminals and get her in the Penguin's crew. Once she was in with Penguin's men, Checkmate arranged her release due to a "clerical error" and it was not long before the Penguin reached out...[1]

Starling: 2003 - Present

Recruited by Oswald "the Penguin" Cobblepot, Evelyn Crawford was given the codename that she would continue to use for many years to come: Starling. Evelyn worked in a small smash and grab crew as a getaway driver and lookout.

Evelyn struggled in this position as she found chances for promotion few and far between. She was expected to drive the van and keep an eye out for the cops and Batman, and nothing beyond that. When she shared this concern with her handler, a man called Agent Steel, one member of her crew was abruptly picked up by GCPD just hours before a big job, requiring the crew to utilize Evelyn in a more prominent capacity. When the job was pulled off despite this hitch and the arrival of Batman, Cobblepot took notice of Starling.

Months later, she was pulled off the crew to join the security detail. This required Evelyn to play the role of part-bodyguard and part-hostess. The hardest part of this was not standing up to the dangerous folk that frequented the Iceberg Lounge, but rather keeping a smile when Oswald would leer at her. A couple years in, Penguin got out of arms-dealing for a while. Evelyn was told to maintain her cover and keep contact at a minimum. So Evelyn kept working at the Lounge. Even when she was sentenced to five years in prison, Checkmate was silent.

When Bane blew up Blackgate, Evelyn was among the hundreds of escapees. Eventually, Evelyn made her way to the Iceberg Lounge. Once there, she found Black Canary interrogating Cobblepot. Evelyn ran in and grabbed Penguin's assailant. In the middle of the melee, the two locked eyes. Knowing Evelyn recognized her, Dinah ended the fight and escaped with Evelyn's limp body.

When Evelyn came to she was in the Clocktower. Reunited with Dinah, Starling sang like a bird, Evelyn had kept her silence long enough, but Checkmate had left her out in the cold for far too long. I verified what I could but Checkmate's encryption is truly top-notch. After deciding that she was telling the truth and unable to return to her old life, Starling became a Bird of Prey.[2]

Threat Assessment


  • Exceptionally Agile and Athletic
  • Expert of Demolitions
  • Expert Driver and Pilot
  • Expert Marksmanship
  • Special Military Training
  • Master of Stealth
  • Expert Tracker
  • Expert Martial Artist
  • Expert Weaponsmith

Trivia and Notes


  • Her identity as Starling is known to ARGUS.

Links and References

  1. Oracle Files: Evelyn Crawford (1/2)
  2. Oracle Files: Evelyn Crawford (2/2)
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