Charles-Gordone

“I want a bisexual woman of color who isn’t defined by her race or sexuality-”

“I want a disabled character who won’t let said disability stop her-”

“I want the Oracle to return to the DCU-”

“I want a bisexual/homosexual character who’s friends of the same gender aren’t freaked out about it-”

“I want-”

Shhhhhhh, no sweetie, stop talking.

What you want is Frankie Charles

(credit to @feministbatman)

(Also, I don’t mean to say that we have enough POC/disabled/LGBTQ characters in comics, (seriously, we need more of those) but I do think a way to show this is praise the characters we already have, thus showing the writers what we want more of)

With love

Queen Alice of Hearts

(Edit: the credit for the GIF and the edit actually belongs to @feministbatman ! I am so sorry for miscrediting before!)

Frankie Charles, AKA, Operator

I’m making the same choice you did all those years ago when you put that bat symbol on your chest. I’m not made of glass. I can do this.”

For those who need to know: 

Introduced in Batgirl #35, Francine “Frankie” Charles is a coder and hacker with muscular dystrophy whom Barbara met in physical therapy. Over the course of the Burnside run, Frankie came to know of Barbara’s alter ego after being trapped by the algorithm of Barbara’s mind that gained sentience and corruption (Which she promptly helped to disable.) In that moment, Frankie decided that she was going to be a super hero, despite her roomate’s over-protectiveness when she attempted assistance and so designed and installed a neural implant that allows her to interface with electronics and, essentially, inhabit and become those devices.

At the end of the first volume of “Batgirl of Burnside”, critics accused Frankie of being a ‘poor substitute’ for the then out-of-continuity Oracle; even going so far as to call her “Oracle-Lite”, “A forced replacement” and “Pathetic pandering” to a potentially disabled audience, despite trying her best to fill an entire quota of disability all by herself. These comments did come from an understandable bitterness at losing Barbara’s Oracle, but came at the dismissal of her strengths as a character–until it was revealed that her code-name was to be ‘Operator’ and she has been essentially ignored by a large part of the DC fandom.

Unlike characters such as Wally West jr and Duke Thomas, Frankie Charles hasn’t been carried over into DC rebirth; being used only in passing mention and cameos in the two Batgirl lead titles, which is suspicious. Cries for inclusiveness of characters with disabilities seem to have quieted down substantially since DC rebirth with little mention or appreciation being offered to Operator outside of DC Bombshells (Which, thankfully she  was giving a starring role in the annual and potentially a bigger part to play.) 

Frankie Charles as a character is more than just ‘filling the role of a disabled person’; she is driven, passionate and resourceful–demonstrating competence beyond what new characters are ever afforded in the super hero genre with a love of life and the people around her. 

Therefore; I felt it was up to me to raise awareness of this beautiful, beautiful character–signal boost! She might not be part of the Batfam, but that’s no excuse not to appreciate what she tried to offer in the Batgirl of Burnside run!

“Soon after Kurt and Courtney got together and had their baby, Frances Bean, we were playing in Seattle, and the two of them came to see us. After the show, Kurt cornered me in the dressing room. ‘I don’t know what to do,’ he said. 'Courtney thinks Frances likes me more than her.' Someone took a photo of us right at that moment. My back is turned to the camera, and I remember that conversation vividly. I can’t imagine what life was like in the chaos of their drug-fueled life, and it’s hard for me to remember that they were together for only a couple of years. It takes so little time to forge a life, or in this case, a brand.”

—Kim Gordon, from Girl in a Band

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Burnside Ladies (issue #35 - #40

(Left to Right: Nadimah, Yuki, Barbara, Alysia, Rose, Jordan Barberi’s girlfriend, Diane, Yuri, Frankie, Dinah, Evil Barbara, Batgirl Robber 1, Dinah’s band mate, Liz, Batgirl Robber 2, Batgirl Robber 3, Jo, Angry Grandmother, Batgirl Robber 4, Mugger Girl)