From all of us at FANGRRLS: we hope you are having a very lovely Saturday and a Happy Misfit Day!
Wait, you mean you’ve never heard of this holiest of holidays? Allow us to explain.
Misfit Day is an unofficial, fan-started holiday celebrating one of DC Comics’ less visible teenage heroines. On April 7 each year, fans of the character come together online in places like Twitter and Tumblr to celebrate by creating and sharing their very own fanart and talking about how much they appreciate the 16-year-old teleporting wannabe Batgirl.
Misfit, or Charlotte “Charlie” Gage-Radcliffe, first appeared in DC Comics in Birds of Prey #96, written by Gail Simone with art by Nicola Scott. She was not going by Misfit at the time, however, as she first came to Barbara Gordon’s attention when she decided that what Gotham City was missing was Batgirl. With no Batgirl in sight, the teen decided this was her burden to bear, dressed up in a homemade Batgirl suit, and started trying to thwart criminals like her idol.
Problem was, she was pretty bad at it.
When the Birds of Prey head to Gotham to find out who is potentially ruining Barbara’s legacy, they discover Charlie and find out that not only is she a Batgirl superfan, she knows all about them and has even been inside their headquarters several times. You see, she can teleport, so she shows up right next to Barbara and decides to ask if she can take over as Batgirl.
Barbara realizes that, although powerful, Charlie isn’t trained, and talks her down from taking over in the least delicate way possible: by showing her pictures of the last teenager to attempt to join the Batfamily. These weren’t happy pictures, oh no. They were photos of a (thought to be) deceased Stephanie Brown’s autopsy. That will turn you off superheroing.
While Charlie agrees not to continue fighting crime as Batgirl, she instead adopts her own identity as Misfit. Barbara eventually discovers that Charlie is an orphan and homeless thanks to a fire in the Gotham City slum she lived in with her mother and brother, and decides to take the girl in and train her to help out the Birds of Prey.
Misfit doesn’t really appear much outside the realm of her involvement in the Birds of Prey and is rarely used by anyone other than Gail Simone, which is a shame since she’s a fun and interesting character. In addition to her role as a young protege to the former Batgirl, Misfit is also one of the only confirmed asexual characters in superhero comics (Simone has said she always intended for the character to be ace, though she never really got the opportunity to write her that way), which is a boon for a specific part of a very underrepresented population.
It is for those reasons that fans have invented their own holiday, a time when they can come together as fans and celebrate a character they feel has never quite gotten her due.