I do think that's exactly what happens with the character--whether you're seeing one story or the other changes everything. I think with me one thing that biases me is that I really am interested in the story where the one person just isn't good enough. It's not exactly a superhero story, but I've always liked stories where you've got, say, the two people growing up and training for something and one of them is moving along well and the other one turns out to not be able to do it.
Ironically, not because I identify with the person doing well. I usually identify with the person who has to reassess what they want to do one way or the other, and adjust because they're not going to just smoothly follow the road. Of course, the main reason this worked for Steph was because in comics time can stand still, so she could have a decade of working with Tim with the day of reckoning far off, but it still seemed like that was always hanging over their heads that eventually they'd hit a fork in the road because this is what Tim is and it's not what she is. Which I found compelling because so often when somebody is the "you can't do this character" they're played as an extreme--either they're a joke or they're crazy. Steph isn't either.