Charlene Roberta "Charlie" McGee is the daughter of Andy McGee and Vicky Tomlinson in the novel Firestarter. Her parents gained psychokinetic powers after being injected with the chemical drug Lot Six in a government sanctioned experiment.
Charlie was born with pyrokinetic powers. A secret government agency called The Shop, who were behind the experiment, wanted to capture Charlie for weapons research.
Charlie is described as having shoulder-length fine-spun blonde hair and wide-set blue eyes. She is very beautiful, looks like her mother, and is also tall for her age.
In the book, she primarily wears a green rayon blouse and red stretch pants.
During the kidnapping scene, she wears a salmon colored shell top and jeans.
In the winter scenes, she wears a blue parka with fake fur and snow pants.
In the scene where she first meets John Rainbird, she wears a bright blue Danskin leotard.
Charlie is very stubborn, intelligent and strong.
She was taught that it was not right to steal which she deem also a Bad Thing. But after the men from The Shop keep coming after her and her father, she was taught a difference between lesser and greater evil, which she identifies as little bad and big bad. After remembering her mother's death, she taught to herself, This was stealing, but what did that matter? in order to justify stealing.
After seeing a soldier in a phone booth talking to his girlfriend, she decided that she would never let a guy stand her up due to having knowledge about what a snow job was. This caused her to hurt him by setting his feet on fire.
At first, she didn't want to hurt anybody intentionally, but after her father's death, and all the events surrounding the novel and movie, she decides that she will use her power on people, but only if they are a threat to herself or others around herself.
History and plot
Charlie McGee was born on March 24, 1975, in Harrison, Ohio, to Andrew "Andy" McGee and Victoria "Vicky" Tomlinson with her abilities due to her parents having participated in a mysterious government funded experiment during college. Both of her parents had been injected with unknown amounts of a drug known as Lot Six, which, among other things, had been proven to alter the subject's chromosomes and pituitary gland. During the experiment, they found out that they were in love with each other, which lead to their marriage and to the birth of Charlie.
Charlie was told by Andy that she shouldn't do it when she used her abilities such as pyrokinesis, called the Bad Thing. There was the time she use them in the kitchen which caused Vicky to scream and be hurt without intentions. She still remembers the bandages that her mother had to wear.
During the incident that caused her and her father to run away from the two men from The Shop, she and father escaped in a taxi toward the Alabany Airport. While traveling in the taxi, she slept. Once they arrived to the airport, Andy used two quarters to use the televisions in their desks in order to keep their seats. Charlie asked Andy if she to use her abilities to steal money. He explained to her that the men chasing them was also not right compared to stealing. She agree to try and went to steal coins from phone booths using her abilities. While stealing, she overheard in a phone booth a soldier who was trying to trick his girlfriend thought his phone call. Charlie became bother about it that she decided after the soldier left the phone booth to turn his feet on fire. When she arrived to back to Andy, she told him about the incident she caused concerning the soldier.
They decided to leave the airport and become hitchhikers to continue their escape from the men of the Shop.
Firestarter 2: Rekindled
As shown in flashbacks, the Shop invaded the McGee's cabin in the Colorado Rockies in 1989, killing Charlie's mother Vicky, while Charlie and her father Andy escaped. On May 21, 1989, the Shop confronted them at the Manders' farm; Charlie used her power to destroy the Shop agents. On July 25, 1989, the McGees were successfully captured by Shop agents led by an assassin named John Rainbird, who ordered the hit on Charlie's mom. Rainbird created a false connection with Charlie, and after a period of prolonged captivity, Charlie was briefly reunited with her father, only for Rainbird to reveal his true intentions and murder him once Andy revealed who Rainbird really was. Pushed over the edge with emotion, Charlie burned Rainbird, supposedly to death.
To be continued...
In the upcoming 2021 remake, Charlie will be portrayed by Ryan Kiera Armstrong.
Powers and Abilities
Charlie was born primarily with the power of pyrokinesis, which was called the Bad Thing. She could let it go it everywhere and she could feel it when it wants to get out. She also had other powers that she inherited from her parents: Mental domination, telepathy, telekinesis and precognition. All of these powers were connected to her power to start fires. She sometimes had a hard time controlling her abilities, which Andy told her that she shouldn't do it, especially whenever she was upset or angry. The other reason she was told not to use her abilities was to not be found out by The Shop. However, as she got older, it did seem like her powers were growing and she was also getting better at controlling them.
It is later stated that, when Charlie grows older, she may be able to cause nuclear explosions by the sheer force of will, with some of the doctors responsible for the experiment believing that one day, she may be powerful enough to crack the whole planet in two. While her precise limits are currently unclear, she was sufficiently powerful enough to overload the power sucking Cody to the point that he was greatly harmed from the strain of trying to absorb her power.
Unlike her parents, Charlie does not receive any strain from using her abilities, like headaches.