Caitlin Fairchild is the daughter of Alex Fairchild, a Gen-active member of Team 7. The identity of Caitlin's mother was never revealed, and Caitlin has never spoken of her. From a young age Caitlin exhibited exceptional intelligence, but was physically weak and socially awkward.
As a result of Project: Genesis intervention, Caitlin's Gen-factor manifested, giving her superhuman strength.
Caitlin Fairchild was created in 1994 by writers Jim Lee and Brandon Choi and artist J. Scott Campbell when they created the young superhero team known as Gen 13. With her bright red hair, exaggerated figure, and great strength and intelligence, Fairchild quickly became the most popular and recognizable character on the team.
During most of her Gen 13 career Caitlin was the acknowledged team leader, with John Lynch and Alex Fairchild as mentors to the team. After her father's death, Caitlin took full leadership of Gen 13.
Caitlin's history is rebooted: Caitlin is still living with her adoptive parents when she mysteriously wakes up with a version of her familiar green uniform. Her parents take this as a cue that their apparent mission to raise her is over. Soldiers enter her home, killing her parents and kidnapping Caitlin.
The New 52
Fairchild is a researcher for N.O.W.H.E.R.E., a clandestine organization that captures and experiments on metahuman youths, including Superboy. When the original head of the Superboy project is killed upon Superboy's awakening, she is put in charge, overseeing all aspects of Superboy's development. It would later be revealed that Caitlin is actually working undercover to bring N.O.W.H.E.R.E. down from the inside.
Major Story Arcs
Wildstorm / Image Comics
Caitlin's academic skill led to her acceptance at Princeton University, where she double-majored in computer science and electrical engineering. During her sophomore year at Princeton, Caitlin was recruited into Project: Genesis, believing it to be a prestigious government internship. One night, Caitlin began to feel ill due to secretly being fed drugs designed to activate latent Gen-active abilities, and tried to find a bathroom. She inadvertently stumbled into a restricted room where her future teammates Roxy Spaulding and Grunge were hanging out.
While Caitlin was studying data about the true nature of Project: Genesis on a computer screen, a guard discovered the three of them in the room. He first attacked Caitlin, seemingly knocking her unconscious, and was about to turn on Grunge and Roxy, but was interrupted when Caitlin’s anger activated her Gen-active abilities. Within seconds she transformed from a mousy computer geek into a tall, statuesque, and super-powered amazon who easily dispatched the guard. Due to the drastic growth in Caitlin's height, proportions, and musculature, most of her clothes were completely shredded as a result (something that would become a regular occurrence during her superhero career).
After Caitlin's Gen-active transformation saved them from capture by the security guard, Grunge lent her his shirt so she could preserve what was left of her modesty. The three youths quickly decided that they had to escape from Project: Genesis. Along the way, they were joined by two more Gen-actives named Bobby Lane (later known as Burnout) and Sarah Rainmaker. Despite their best efforts, the group’s escape from Project: Genesis would have failed if not for the intervention of International Operations director John Lynch.
Deciding that I/O had to be opposed, Lynch turned on the organization and helped the teens flee to San Diego, California, where he set up a luxurious safe house for them in the La Jolla area. Lynch promised to teach the fledgling superheroes how to make a difference in the world and to help them uncover the mysteries of who their parents were. Several of them adopted code names, though Fairchild never came up with a code name for herself and always simply went by her last name.
Lynch provided the team with superhero uniforms. Fairchild was given a tight bare-legged bodysuit made of an advanced and durable material in order to accommodate her powerful physique. Despite this, her costume was routinely in need of repair or replacement, since she usually managed to get part or most of it shredded while in action. Fairchild's costume design and its green-and-purple color scheme has remained mostly unchanged, even after the team was rebooted in 2006.
Reunion with Alex Fairchild
Caitlin was reunited with her father, Alex Fairchild. The team relocated to the Florida Keys, where Roxy and Caitlin discovered that Alex had fathered both of them, making them half-sisters. Sadly, the family reunion was short, as Alex was killed protecting his two daughters and the rest of the team from the villainous Professor Tindalos. Caitlin took full leadership of Gen 13 after her father's death, since Lynch was still missing.
The New 52 (Post-Flashpoint: Earth-0)
Caitlin is first seen working as a scientist and researcher for N.O.W.H.E.R.E., in charge of overseeing Superboy's development. Fairchild's initial appearance was similar to the pre-Gen-active Wildstorm version, once again of slight build and wearing glasses. She has a close friendship with Rose Wilson, a young N.O.W.H.E.R.E. operative in charge of killing Superboy, should he prove to be uncontrollable.
Caitlin, also called "Red", shows a close attachment to Superboy after they psychically bonded during his awakening. When Superboy is thrust into the field prematurely, Caitlin is adamant that he is not ready and needs more training and growth, but her pleas go unheeded, resulting in Superboy being lost beneath a crumbling building.
When Superboy returns to N.O.W.H.E.R.E.'s facility, he breaks into Fairchild's room, demanding answers. Angry that he would dare intrude in her room to question her, after she'd been so caring about him during the project, she reveals her metahuman powers by suddenly bulking up and defending herself easily, as she is immune to Superboy's telekinesis. However, she is knocked unconscious by a chunk of ceiling that Superboy throws at her. She is then taken away by N.O.W.H.E.R.E., who claim that she is a terrorist bent on taking down the organization from the inside. Before she is taken, however, she leaves behind data on N.O.W.H.E.R.E.'s activties for Rose to find.
While being transported away to one of N.O.W.H.E.R.E's holding facilities, Caitlin is rescued by Superboy, dressed in a disguise. He leaves her in the care of an NYPD detective, Jocelyn Lure. When Caitlin wakes up, she panics and claims that everything is ruined, then rushes back to the N.O.W.H.E.R.E. facility.
Caitlin returns to the N.O.W.H.E.R.E. facility in the midst of The Culling, an annual event run by Harvest that forces teenage metahumans to fight each other to the death, with the surviving members becoming a part of Harvest's Ravagers. There, she is confronted by her friend, Rose, who now holds ill feelings towards her, claiming that Caitlin lied to and betrayed her, since all this time her main goal was to bring down N.O.W.H.E.R.E. from the inside. While Fairchild attempts to reason with her former friend (claiming that, while she did lie about her true intentions, their friendship was still real), Rose doesn't listen, and the two come to blows. Though Rose gains the upper hand, Caitlin is saved by Ridge, who knocks out Rose from behind and then joins her on her mission to rescue the other children.
Caitlin escorts the young metahuman prisoners to escape pods that will take them away from the Arctic N.O.W.H.E.R.E. facility, programming each one with a different set of coordinates. She stays behind to take the last escape pod, along with Ridge, Terra, Beast Boy, Thunder, Lightning, and others. However, some are not completely trusting of both her, being a former N.O.W.H.E.R.E. scientist, and Ridge, a former Ravager.
Caitlin's escape pod crash lands in the Alaskan wilderness, short of its intended destination. Most of the teens that she helped rescue complain about the prospect of freezing to death, and chastise the leadership position that Caitlin has taken, as they still don't trust her after she worked for N.O.W.H.E.R.E. Some of the kids, including Beast Boy and Terra, decide to leave, using their powers to fly off against Caitlin's wishes. After inadvertently insulting Ridge for being an ex-Ravager, he attacks her, claiming that he's as much of a victim as the rest of them, being experimented on by N.O.W.H.E.R.E. to unlock his metagene. Caitlin then apologizes and declares that she will do everything she can to help them.
A short while later, Caitlin manages to talk down Ridge, Thunder, and Lightning from killing a N.O.W.H.E.R.E. security team that tried to surrender. Their evac ship is then compromised by Rose Wilson and Warblade, who kill several of the teens that try to surrender. In order to escape, Cailtin has Thunder use his power to crumble the ice beneath them, sending them plummeting into the icy waters below.
After finding refuge on a cargo ship, Caitlin and the others end up at a port in Seattle, Washington. There, Thunder and Lightning break off from the group, leaving Caitlin with Ridge. When Thunder is captured by Shadow Walker, Lightning calls for their aid but then betrays them, as Shadow Walker promised to return her brother if she gave him Fairchild.
Lightning captures them for Shadow Walker, but then blasts him away. On their way to the safehouse, the group stops to bathe and play in a stream despite Fairchild's protests and Ridge drags her into the water. She notes the brands on their skin and Ridge pulls her out before she is accidentally electrocuted by Lightning. They battle the acolytes of Brother Blood before they are overwhelmed and captured to be used as blood sacrifices in opening a portal to the Red. Terra and Beast Boy arrive to release them and Fairchild tries to stop them from killing the acolytes.
After Lightning sacrifices herself to facilitate their escape, they head to Los Angeles to meet up with Niles Caulder, her contact. She worries that she's made the wrong choice about releasing the captives of N.O.W.H.E.R.E., and that instead of saving kids, she's unleashed a bunch of ticking time bombs on the world.
Powers and Abilities
Physical Growth Augmentation
Caitlin's Gen-factor activation caused her proportions and muscle density to increase exponentially. Her tissue density causes her to weigh far more than her hourglass figure would suggest, tipping the scales at 300 pounds. The augmentation also had the effect of turning a plain-looking girl into an anatomically extreme yet strikingly beautiful woman, though for some reason Caitlin has remained oblivious to this and often seems convinced that she is still unattractive. It has been theorized that Cailin's transformation wasn't random, but in fact her body physically augmenting itself to match her high intellect.
Fairchild has confronted and been able to hold her own against some of the strongest heroes and villains in the Wildstorm universe. She can lift well over 100 tons under normal conditions, making her limit for super-strength the same as Supergirl's.
Fairchild is virtually invulnerable and can absorb a tremendous amount of physical punishment without injury. She has fallen from great heights onto solid concrete and walked away unharmed. Her bones are nearly unbreakable and her skin can withstand puncture even by bullets. Her upper limit for durability is the same as Supergirl's.
Caitlin can exert herself well beyond peak human endurance levels without tiring or even growing short of breath. Her upper limit for stamina is the same as Supergirl's.
Caitlin is far more dexterous and agile than a normal human and is capable of impressive acrobatic feats, especially when combined with her superhuman strength.
In her rebooted incarnation, Fairchild was able to catch a bullet fired from a sniper rifle before it could hit its intended target.
Thanks to extensive training and actual combat experience while with Gen 13, Fairchild is a formidable hand-to-hand fighter, and has learned how to use her great strength and other superhuman physical abilities to her advantage in battle.
In her rebooted incarnation, Fairchild somehow absorbed the shapeshifting powers of another "genie" (that reality's nickname for those with Gen-factor powers). She gained the ability to melt into a purple liquid and reform into other shapes. After absorbing these powers, Caitlin's skin, hair, and lips turned purple. It is unknown whether she retained these new powers.
Caitlin possesses a remarkably advanced Intellect, majoring in both computer science and electrical engineering at the Ivy League level. She is a talented computer whiz and has skills comparable to that of of a high-level programmer and hacker.
Though reluctant, Caitlin is a natural leader and has been in charge of the Gen 13 team for most of its existence. She has developed a keen understanding of battle strategy, and her teammates instinctively follow her lead whenever a combat situation arises.
- Height: 6' 4"
- Weight: 300 lbs (136 kg)
- Hair: Red
- Eyes: Green
- Other notes: The Gen13 Zine was stated that Fairchild has the same measurements as supermodel Elle MacPherson.
- Citizenship: American
- Marital Status: Single
- Education: Double-major, Computer Science & Electrical Engineering, Princeton University (degree unfinished)
- Occupation: Adventurer, student, team leader of Gen 13
- Known Relatives: Alex Fairchild (father, deceased), Roxanne "Roxy" Spaulding (Freefall, half-sister), Karen (cousin)
Fairchild appeared as a main character in the Gen 13 animated movie (1999). She was voiced by actress Alicia Witt, who is a natural redhead like Caitlin.
The animated Fairchild was generally very similar to the comic book version. The film version of Caitlin was the daughter of Stephen Callahan and the sister of Threshold. (Alex Fairchild was the uncle who raised her.) She also possessed a degree of telepathic power in addition to her physical powers. Fairchild wore the same green and purple costume that she did in the comics, though her voluptuous figure was toned down for the film.