Misfit’s secret origin!Talk about a scoop! I feel a bit like Lois Lane & readers, am I thrilled to share the following with you:When I first thought of the character, she wasn’t really much of a character in her own right..she was designed to be a pest, a less-goofy-but-still-annoying Bat-mite style character specifically for Oracle. I love Oracle, I loved writing her. But her life was so ordered and so removed from other people in some ways that a little chaos now and then really made for fun stories. So I created Misfit, who originally took over the Batgirl mantle without anyone’s permission.I gave her teleportation powers (the ‘bounce’), partly in tribute to Bat-mite, and partly because it was the EXACT power that would make her the biggest pest to Oracle. She could bounce past even the best security, and would show up at the worst possible times. What I didn’t really reveal was her origin…her SECRET origin, more about that in a minute.I never intended her to count as a real Batgirl. She didn’t wear that mantle long, and she didn’t have Barbara’s or Cass’s approval. So I never counted her as an in canon Batgirl, really, but some disagree. She immediately became hugely polarizing, which was great fun. The DC editors were a little cautious…because I deliberately made Misfit annoying. And she DID annoy a lot of readers, many still don’t like her.But a funny thing happened, a group of readers that LOVED her sprung up immediately. She had blogs written about her, fan art, tons of cosplayers (probably the most popular cosplay option of any character I have created). A great many young girls in particular seemed to adore her. I think she symbolized a specifically young, female type of fun that is rarely seen in superhero comics. In some ways, she was the anti-Black Alice. Even though both had tragic origins, Alice has a dark, sad attitude, and Misfit is made of bubbly optimism.I remember getting the first sketch of the character from Nicola Scott. I had suggested that Misfit’s costume look like it could be made from a laundry hamper full of wadded up clothes, and Nicola, as always, nailed that immediately. I kind of love that Misfit has an outfit you can cosplay so easily, and it gives her a different feel, visually. No one designs like Nicola…she made Jeannette and Junior and Misfit just like how I dreamed of them.It was a weirdly fun bit of synchronicity that the “M” on her shirt for Misfit resembled a bat, somewhat. So it made her look like the Bat-family, even while maintaining her own name and not being just another bat-spinoff. Interestingly, this apparently is part of why she isn’t in the new 52 yet. I heard this second hand, but……apparently, Scott Lobdell likes the character of Misfit and wanted to use her in the New Teen Titans, which would have delighted me. But, because an editor thought the ”M” on her shirt was a bat-symbol, they thought that Misfit was still tied too closely to the bat-family and she was dropped from the roster. I tried to explain that it’s an ‘M,’ not a bat, but by the time the mistake was realized, it was too late for her to be on the team. Weird! But it was nice of Scott to try, he was actually great about it. It’s no harm done, it’s an understandable mistake, but it’s a shame, Titans is a hit book and she would be great in the new 52.It may still happen, some people are trying to bring her back. But it’s too soon to say if they will succeed. I hope she does, young girls need heroes they can relate to, as well.Finally, a little reveal. I don’t know if they ever would have let me do this, but the parents we saw in her origin were not her real family. They were her adopted family.My story was that Charlotte Gage-Radcliffe wasn’t born here at all. She wasborn on Gemworld.That’s right, like Princess Amethyst, Misfit was Gemworld Royalty, princessof the Ruby House. When her family was killed, she was sent to Earth to hide,and her memory (except for her power to bounce and her phenomenal fightingskills), were erased.If you go back and read the stories, you will see Charlie bragging about her glamorous life, when the reality is she was a homeless orphan. But it’s not ENTIRELY a lie because she really WAS a princess as a child, but that memory had been paved over.I love DC history, and I adored the Amethyst book. The secret princess mythis very, VERY potent stuff for young girls, particularly those who, like I did asa girl, a very powerful fantasy life, to make up for a less wonderful reality. Iwanted Charlie to be a double-twist…she THINKS she’s a princess, but wefind out she’s really poor and homeless and an orphan, but then it is revealedthat THAT is the lie and that she really IS a princess.I love the idea of a Gotham City fairy tale. Those two elements colliderather fiercely.I am revealing this now because IF we can get Charlie back, the Gemworldorigin more than likely will not work, and her story might have to besimplified a little bit.So in my headcanon, one day, Charlotte Gage-Radcliffe finds her memory andthe way back to her home, and her remaining loved ones.
Somewhere in the ideasphere, Misfit smiles and wears a crown.