Friction (comics)

Friction (comics)


comic_color = background:#ff8080
character_name = Friction
alter_ego = Charlotte Beck
publisher = Marvel Comics
debut = "DP7" #1 (1986)
creators = Mark Gruenwald
Paul Ryan
alliance_color = background:#c0c0ff
alliances = The former members of Therapy Group C of the Clinic for Paranormal Research, The Central Intelligence Agency
previous_alliances = Black Powers
aliases =
powers = Can mentally increase or decrease the friction of a surface, making it extremely slippery or sticky.

Friction (Charlotte Yolanda Beck) is a fictional character appearing in the comic books published by Marvel Comics. She first appeared in D.P.7 #1, which was published under Marvel's New Universe imprint.

Fictional character biography

Early life

Charlotte Yolanda Beck, or "Charly" as she is affectionately known, was born in Racine, Wisconsin on September 1, 1968. She graduated high school and went to the University of Wisconsin-Madison part-time to study dance.

On September 15, 1986, while she was a sophomore, Charlotte experienced an intense headache in her ballet class. Suddenly, everybody around Charly began slipping around as though the floor was covered in ice. Charly was the exception. She later found herself sticking to things, and other people continuing to slip around her, and so began to realize that she was somehow the cause of the strange events.

A psychology professor told Charly about the Clinic for Paranormal Research, so she dropped out of college and admitted herself. She began attending therapy with several other people with paranormal conditions or abilities, and developed a close friendship with her group.

On the Run

When one of their group discovered the Clinic had some nefarious plans, Charlotte reluctantly left with the group.

At first the pressure was strong to stick together to defend themselves against the forces the Clinic had hired to bring them in, and they shared a trailer for over a month. Gradually they began to split off into smaller groups. Charlotte considered leaving the group and going back to school, considering she now had complete control over her power and was able to blend in with normal people better than many of the others. Before she got the chance she was surprised with a tranquillizer dart while alone and returned to the Clinic, where she underwent months of brainwashing to convince her the reasons they left the Clinic were overblown.

Two of her friends managed to turn out the members of the Clinic's administrations that did not have the patients best interests in mind, and so Charlotte was willing to stay at the Clinic. In order to help keep the Clinic afloat, she served as receptionist.

Racial Tensions

Charlotte had developed something of a crush on fellow patient Randy O'Brien. She flirted with him heavily but he did not seem to be as interested in her as she was in him.

When she made a more overt play for Randy, he confessed that he didn't think a relationship between them would work long term, for a number of reasons, but among them was that although he was attracted to her and might be comfortable with the idea of romance, he couldn't see himself marrying someone who was black, attributing the attitude to his small town midwestern upbringing.

At around this time, some of the more militant black paranormals of the Clinic, lead by a woman named Indigo, decided to form their own special interest therapy group to force the clinic management to take their concerns seriously, and to deal with the racism of some of the other patients. At first Charlotte wasn't interested, but after she was rejected, and encountered some of the more racist patients, she decided to drop out of her therapy group and join the Black Powers.

She soon found that the group was more militant than she expected, and they compiled a list of racists that they wanted to 'teach a lesson'. Pressured to give a name and still angry, Charlotte claimed Randy was racist.

The Black Powers assaulted two racist patients who were also working security and, when one of Randy's antibodies witnessed it, they went after him, too. A fight ensued, and although Charlotte didn't want to see Randy hurt, she was too afraid to intervene to stop it and make her new friends angry at her.

Charlotte was kicked out of the group a few months later when she used her powers to stop a major fight between the Black Powers and the DDTeens, a group of teen patients led by her friend Scuzz.

Charlotte soon found herself offered places in many other groups, including her original therapy group, the DDTeens, and an all-female groups. The Black Powers even wanted her back when one of their own members was murdered. Indigo threatened to kill Charly if she didn't support the group when they staged a riot and murdered the men she thought responsible.

Instead of helping, Charly warned her friend Lenore that there might be trouble, so she could use her powers to stop it. Although one person died when Indigo started the riot, Lenore's powers quelled it quickly.

Indigo later tried to kill Charly for not helping her in the riot, but Charlotte was saved with the help of Randy's antibodies. This allowed the two of them to make up.

The Pitt Aftermath

The next day, her friends discovered one of the original members of therapy group C, Blur (New Universe), was missing, and managed to piece together that his family had died in the destruction of Pittsburgh, known as The Pitt.

Many of Jeff's friends wanted to go after him, and Charly saw the added benefit of getting her away from Indigo, and so she and the five others left on a cross country trip.

The group made it past several military cordons of the area, only to fall off the edge of the Pitt. Charlie was able to use her power to make everybody stick to the sides, and then Randy's antibodies helped ferry almost everybody to the surface, where they soon encountered Jenny Swensen, a military officer gone AWOL with an experimental exoskeleton, who helped them rescue Dave, who'd found Jeff at the bottom of the Pitt.

Swensen led the women of the group to go after one of theirs (George Mullaney, also known as Mutator because he changed his appearance every 24 hours), who had been waylaid by several scavengers. One of the scavengers was a paranormal, and by the time they made it back to their shelter, Dave, Randy, and Jeff had disappeared. Jennifer left Charly with Lenore and Mutator and tried to get answers from the army.

Despite Charlotte's disgust for Mutator, the three stayed together for days before they were captured by the United States Army. Lenore and Charlotte were taken for questioning, and were being pressured to enlist in the army, when they received another offer from the Central Intelligence Agency to become operatives. They accepted.

The team began training, and were reunited with several former friends and acquaintances, but Charlotte only went on two missions for the company.

The first was when they were sent into the jungles of Brazil to find out what happened to a paranormal biological weapon, a huge mass of flesh that absorbed every human it could. Charlotte barely escaped with her life, and their team lost a member.

New York

They were next sent to New York City, to spy on former head of the Clinic and now presidential candidate Philip Nolan Voigt. Voigt immediately detected their surveillance and used paranormal abilities to compel the entire team to work for him.

When Randy O'Brien and Dave Landers later arrived independently to investigate Voigt, Charlotte's team was ordered to kill them. At first she didn't realize she was fighting Randy, because by this point he had been permanently stuck inside one of his antibodies, but even after he made his identity clear, she could not resist Voigt's orders. Once they subdued Randy and Dave, Voigt threatened that if the two interfered with his plans again, he'd order Charlotte and the other women to kill themselves.

Despite this situation, the group all moved in together. Shortly after that, after learning Voigt knew about the surveillance, the CIA cancelled the project that employed Charlotte and her friends. The project's disgruntled head sent out an assassin to kill the team, but they were able to fight him off.

Cut off from the CIA, Charlotte got a job as a waitress and attempted to restart her dance career by going to Broadway auditions, but kept getting turned down.

She also made a deliberate effort to avoid being alone with Randy, despite living in the same building. When he confronted her on the topic, she admitted that she didn't want to have a relationship with him anymore, because he couldn't pass for normal like she could, and pointed out the irony that he rejected her because she was black, and now she was doing the same thing.

In February of 1989, Charlotte met an attractive man claiming that he was a patient from the Clinic, and that he arrived shortly after she left. He said he recognized her from her picture from the files. He told her about a man claiming he could Cure paranormals, and then asked her out to lunch. They spent the day together, and she fell for him, inviting him for dinner that evening. After a fine meal, John Mason confessed the truth. He was actually George Mullaney, known as Mutator. He was always attracted to her but knew she was repulsed by the way he changed. One day, he found he had changed into something pleasant, and wanted to spend the day with her while he was still handsome.

She later witnessed George getting cured of his paranormality, but was disappointed that his normal form was not nearly as handsome as John Mason.

Charly decided not to get the cure, as her powers didn't keep her from doing anything.

Powers and abilities

Friction can mentally control the attraction objects have for one another, thus making them stick to one another or nearly frictionless. It is not known the precise manner in which she affects these objects, weather she affects the actual molecules of these objects' surface or if she coats them with some sort of energy that has variable frictional properties.

She can project her parability a maximum of about 250 feet from her person and affect an area no greater than 100 square feet. She needs to be able to visualize the objects in order to affect it; consequently, she has difficulty affecting the inner mechanism of object or the inner organs of living beings. She has sufficient control over her parability yo cause a person's eyelids to stick together. She needs to concentrate in order to maintain her influence over an object's friction. She can use her parability to stick to walls or ceiling or to slide over reasonably flat surfaces like a skater.

Other versions

Exiles World Tour

*During the Exiles World Tour, an alternate version of Friction came into existence after the Exiles battled the Proteus possessed Justice shortly after DP7 escaped. Her history, demeanour and powers remained that same but how the Exiles now affected his future is yet to be revealed.


*In Newuniversal: Shockfront #2, Charlotte Yolanda Beck show how history changed after Richard Nixon wins the United States presidential election, 1960.

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