Apparently the original plan for the Brown’s after Batman Eternal was that after Arthur’s death Crystal was supposed to take on the Cluemaster Identity and become some sort of Lady Cluemaster and be Steph’s new nemesis (because god forbid Steph get to fight someone she’s not related to).
Obviously DC didn’t follow through with this plan after it was said that Crystal abandoned Steph at the end of Batman Eternal she was literally never seen again and five years later Arthur was brought back from the dead yet again in the Young Justice 2019 series where he states he faked his death, even though we literally saw his throat get slit, watched him bleed out and then got told his body was literally identified at the morgue.
Though to be fair we’ve watched Arthur die on panel multiple times in comics, he’s considered a D or C list villain but Arthur might as well be as unkillable as any A lister considering how many times DC has brought him back from the dead just because DC refuses to let Steph have a major villain who is not her father, even though she’s long since outgrown him and DC has to make Arthur capable of things he by all means should not be capable of just to make him worth Steph’s time.
Though Arthur Brown’s near immortality aside, Arthur being brought back to life leaves Crystal in the lurch leaving me to wonder if we will ever see her again.
Online I’ve seen a handful of people discuss the scrapped Lady Cluemaster story, some are upset that it wasn’t used not only because they’re tired of Steph only ever fighting Arthur but also because some liked the idea of an older woman being a villain while others are glad it wasn’t used considering that in preboot Arthur Brown abused his wife and daughter for years and an abuse victim taking on the identity of their abuser is in incredibly poor taste.
But regardless of the scrapped idea I’m wondering if Crystal will ever show up in comics again, in the preboot we watched Crystal Brown struggle with addiction (which did lead to the neglect of her daughter) having gotten addicted to painkillers after dealing with her husbands abuse and eventually she came out the other side, where in Batgirl 2009 she worked to rebuild her fragile relationship with Steph however in the reboot Crystal was made into a criminal just like her husband who sold Steph out to criminals, sent hitmen after her and abandoned her daughter after she believed Arthur had died to protect herself from the fallout of his failed plan.
Obviously the two Crystal’s are very different people but what is the future for the character in general? If DC brings back the character preboot Crystal was and simply pretends like the reboot Crystal never happened that feels as though that would be kind of cheap and several of storylines since the reboot suddenly wouldn’t make sense anymore. I also don’t think DC will be that willing to erase Crystal’s Batman Eternal actions since the fact that Harper and her brother took Steph in when Crystal abandoned her daughter is a point that DC can use to make Harper look more important when they want to give the character a push and DC has shown they have no problems with pushing other characters under the bus to make Harper look better.
But having Crystal reappear as a villain seems like an insult to the person she was in the preboot. Which is why as far as Crystal Brown goes DC has sort of written themselves into a corner, after going so far in Batman Eternal it would make a bad move worse to simply back out of what they did and pretend it never happened but going further would be an insult to the character’s history in general.
The most likely option is that Crystal ends up never seen or heard from again by DC except for Steph alluding to her from time to time and fans will go ‘does Steph know where Crystal is?’ like they did when Steph hoped for some sort of family counselling for her and her parents issue 18 of Young Justice (2019). By not bringing Crystal back they never have to admit they made a mistake with what they did in Batman Eternal. Though honestly the matter of Crystal Brown getting resolved or DC even paying any attention to her character means that they first have to acknowledge and pay attention to Steph and that’s an uphill battle in and of itself