Stephanie and her mother have a complicated relationship. When we first meet them, it isn’t very good; Crystal is drowning her sorrows in pills, leaving her teenage daughter to largely fend for herself. 

It’s clear that Stephanie resents this; that she’s angry, and disappointed, and lonely. This doesn’t make her any less protective of her mother, however - she became Spoiler to stop Arthur from her hurting her. And unlike Arthur, it’s always clear that Crystal does love Stephanie; she simply isn’t equipped to raise her. She made bad choices, and she’s suffering for them, and so her daughter suffers too.

The first hint of change comes when Gotham is struck by the Cataclysm. Crystal admits that she isn’t the mother she should have been. Stephanie is more concerned about her being all right, about getting them through the earthquake in one piece.

Then, Stephanie gets pregnant. She thinks she’s failed, that she’s disappointed her mother, that she’s everything other people expected her to be. But Crystal tells her straight out that this isn’t true - that Stephanie is so much stronger than she was at fifteen, that she’s proud of the woman she’s becoming. 

At this point, it’s very clear that Crystal knows she’s done wrong by her daughter, and that she wants to change. 

And she does. 

We do not, explicitly, see her get help - but we never see her use drugs again, no matter how she’s tested. She becomes more involved in Stephanie’s life. This does have some drawbacks for Steph - Crystal didn’t approve of Spoiler.  It’s the first time, I think, that Steph had to directly lie to her.

Overall, however, Stephanie’s life improved. She had support and encouragement; she wasn’t so alone any more. Her house felt like a home again.

Then, of course, War Games happened. Stephanie appeared to die, and was gone for at least a year. If anything could cause Crystal to relapse, this would be it - but she didn’t. Because she was damn well going to honour her daughter’s memory. 

We only see the beginning of their reunion. Crystal is, of course, completely stunned; Stephanie promises to tell her everything. By the time Batgirl happens, it’s clear they’ve come to an understanding, and their relationship is solid and healthy.

Except Stephanie is still lying. She’s still Spoiler, and later, she’s Batgirl. Crystal doesn’t find out until the end of the series.

And all she says is that she’s proud. This is how we leave them - happy, and loving, and whole. 

You can’t keep a Brown woman down, not forever.

asker

Anonymous asked: Why are you mad at New52!Batgirl? I mean, I don't like a lot of things about it, but I'm curious what is your problem with that. Can you explain?

It’s the concept itself, anon - taking Barbara from Oracle to Batgirl, and erasing her legacies in the process.

This is long and a bit personal, so it’s going behind a cut! Please keep in mind that this is my personal view, and I don’t begrudge anyone who does love New 52 Batgirl. 

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You didn’t leave me much to escape with. But I don’t play to stay, fellas. Bet on that.
Birds of Prey 64

You didn’t leave me much to escape with. But I don’t play to stay, fellas. Bet on that.

Birds of Prey 64

Birds of Prey 62

Birds of Prey 62

Birds of Prey 63

Birds of Prey 63

asker

Anonymous asked: Do you post New 52 Barbra

I do not! I don’t read New 52 Batgirl, because I’m, uh, still mad about it. And honestly, every part of it I have seen - IDK, that’s just not Babs to me. I’m not going to read something I dislike to celebrate it on a blog I do for fun, y’know? And I don’t want to post it just to shred it, because that’s not what this blog is for.

Alas, “fuckyeahbatgirlsexceptthatone” is a bit unwieldy. 

There are a lot of people that DO post that Barbara, though! likebirdsofprey, for example, is about all the Birds, including New 52. 

asker

Anonymous asked: How do you feel about the Batgirl Future's End cover and the possibility of Cass returning in it

I think Barbara herself looks ridiculous, and I’m honestly trying not to get my hopes up about the rest.

I think it’s ridiculous that Cass hasn’t appeared yet, and I’ll be thrilled if and when she finally does. But I’ll also be - really wary. The New 52 has done some fun, interesting things! But for a lot of characters, the writing has either completely missed the point or - I don’t even know. (Bar Tor. Really.)

I hope with all my heart that Cass shows up and everything amazing about her is intact, even if the details of her origin have changed. But, well - I’m worried.

Damian Scott designs a new costume for Stephanie.

Damian Scott designs a new costume for Stephanie.