Name: Crystal Brown a.k.a Agnes Bellinger (Detective Comics #647)
First appearance: Detective Comics #647
Crystal Brown was not the model mother. A pharmaceuticals addict who let Arthur get away with his criminal activities, not to mention abuse of her and her daughter, she nevertheless found her inner strength and quit taking meds somewhere between Robin #5 and Robin #56. After this, she became a caring mother to Stephanie. She showed as much support as she possibly could during Stephanie's pregnancy. She worked long hours, including night shifts, as a nurse to keep her and her daughter from sliding into debt. When she discovered Stephanie's activities as a vigilante, she forbade her from being Spoiler. Stephanie naturally didn't listen. Later, Steph revealed to her mother that she worked with Batman and Robin. Her mother worried that it "could get you killed!" When Arthur stayed at the house after his release from jail (Robin #92), it was only because his name was on the mortgage and Crystal couldn't hire a lawyer to fight him. She showed zero tolerance for his activities and was happy when he left.
After Arthur's "death" she slipped into a depression, which caused Stephanie to leave for a while. However, Steph moved back in and patched it up with her Mom in Robin #119.
In "War Crimes" Crystal tried to get Stephanie's story out on a talk show, only to be constantly interrupted and attacked by Black Mask, who insulted her daughter in the meantime. Crystal responded by stomping Black Mask's ankle and exclaiming "My daughter was hero! I know that now!"
After being rescued by Batman, she tore up the remains of Stephanie's medical files, saying, "It doesn't change anything. She's gone. Live with it, Batman. I have to."
Stephanie was reunited with her Mom in Robin #174. She went to the hospital to see her. Crystal was both shocked and ecstatic, and Steph told her she was going to tell her everything.
Tim noted in Robin #179 that Crystal is not happy about her daughter's return to being Spoiler, but can do nothing about it as she has a night shift. When Stephanie went to the hospital for a gunshot wound later that issue, she thought to herself, "Hope Mom's not on call."
After Stephanie decided to quit being Spoiler for a while, she took to picking her Mom up from work in order to "bodyguard" her in the dangerous Gotham streets. She told her Mom it was the "best job and ex superhero can have" while hugging her.
Stephanie returned to being Spoiler without telling her mother, and then took up the mantle of Batgirl. Crystal gave her daughter breakfast in bed on the first day of her attendance at Gotham University in a new attempt to bond, and expressed pleasure that Stephanie had finally left the vigilante business behind. Stephanie had to scramble to hide her Batgirl costume from her mother when she went near the closet.
Barbara Gordon later threatened to call Stephanie's mother if she didn't stop being Batgirl, which Stephanie said was a "low blow".
Barbara never made good on her threat and eventually accepted Stephanie as Batgirl. Though her mother is still unaware of her vigilante activities, Stephanie took a positive step forward in their relationship by getting up early to make her mother her own waffles to show her gratitude.
Crystal also has the most inconsistent appearance of almost any character. Just look at those pictures!
- Stephanie's mother was first named as Agnes Bellinger in Detective Comics #648 (that was the name with which she signed in as a visitor for Arthur Brown); however, in Batman: The Ultimate Guide by Scott Beatty, she was listed as Crystal Brown. (Mr. Beatty said that he had asked what her name was, but at the time the writers did not recall since it had been so long). There is speculation that "Crystal" was either a middle name or nickname. Bellinger would be her maiden name that she may have returned to after divorcing Arthur. (IMO her name is Agnes "Crystal" Bellinger-Brown)
- Pete Woods admitted on the DC boards that the plump nurse version of Stephanie's mother was an homage to his own mother.