Residence: Mobile, mainly Keystone City
Occupation: Professional Criminal, former botanist assistant
1st Appearance (Golden Age) - Flash Comics #89 (November 1947)
1st Appearance (Silver Age) - All-Star Comics #72 (June 1978)
Pre-Crisis Fate - Committed Suicide in Infinity Inc. Annual #1
Post-Crisis Fate - Still Dead
Shortly thereafter, the Flash again encountered the Thorn as the she tried to rob a large shipment of diamonds being brought into Keystone on a barge. As the Flash captured her assistant, the Thorn herself swam towards a departing ocean liner, intending to blend in among the passengers and disappear. Seeing the Flash closing in, she hurled a special explosive thorn stunning the hero and sending him below the waves. Unfortunately for the would-be escapee, the blast dislodged her from the side of the boat to which she clung and detonated the remainder of her explosive arsenal. Assuming the Thorn killed in the explosion, Garrick returned to Joan's apartment. Shortly thereafter, Rose Canton arrived and was informed of her "sister's death", with Jay and Joan not realizing that the criminal was in fact standing right before them (Flash Comics #89, with additional details from Infinity Inc. Annual #1 and unpublished Flash Comics #107).
A few months later, Garrick was visiting Canton at her home to check her progress. As the two walked in the rose garden, Garrick was stuck by a thorn. This event excited the Thorn half of Canton's personality and within hours, the Thorn had unleashed a massive thornstalk in downtown Keystone City. Vaguely aware of Garrick's suspicions, the Thorn waited at her apartment disguised as Rose while the stalk grew and after a quick and confounding visit by the Flash, departed for the scene. After some initial efforts by the police fail, the managed to remove the Thorn from her protective vines only to have her vanish in whirl of thorns. While the dazed hero recovered in her wake, Rose Canton appeared bewailing the errant ways of her "sister". The next day, everyone who had been touched by the Thorn's plants ran amok in a drug-induced rage. When the Flash and captured them all, the Thorn appeared again and offered her hand, daring the Flash to walk her to a jail cell. When he did, she shoved him inside and set off an explosion with her explosive thorns. Her ploy failed, of course and as the Flash bore down on her, she dove into a nearby sewer drain and detonated the street behind her. Again assuming his adversary dead, the Flash reported the news to mournful Rose (Flash Comics #96).
In 1949, Rose Canton finally made a confession to Garrick, that she
and the Thorn were one in the same. While the Rose aspect of her personality
was repentant of the Thorn's crime, the Thorn aspect was enraged at what
she perceived as betrayal. She attacked Garrick in his laboratory and revealed
her plan to kill him, Joan Williams and the Flash in turn. Leaving the
scientist for dead, she kidnapped Joan Garrick and left an ultimatum for
the Flash to try to rescue his confidante. When the Flash arrived, the
Thorn had Joan trapped in an explosive bubble, perched high atop Stony
Point, a cliff overlooking the river. Seeing the hero approach, the Thorn
pushed the bubble over the edge, sending Joan to her doom. As the
Flash freed his future wife from the trap, it exploded, knocking the Thorn
from her perch overlooking the river. Her fall knocked her unconscious
and she recovered in Joan's apartment, Rose again managed to assume control.
In the 1940's, mental health care was inadequate to the needs of as complex
a case as the Rose and Thorn. Contacting the Justice Society, the Flash,
Green Lantern and Wonder Woman
agreed that it was best that she be tended to outside of the American penal
system, specifically on Transformation Island, a rehabilitation facility
administrated by the Amazons. As Rose was taken aboard Wonder Woman's invisible
plane, her attention to Green Lantern became a fateful obsession that would
become significant years later (unpublished Flash #107 with addition
details from Infinity Inc. Annual #1).
As far as is known, Rose remained on Transformation island for nearly twenty years, a model prisoner. However, while the outward schism between herself and the Thorn seemed contained, Rose had developed an obsessive crush on Alan Scott, the Golden Age Green Lantern. After years of good behavior, Rose as allowed to return to the States where she dyed her hair black and developed an alias as Alyx Florin. Her youth preserved by Amazonian science, she moved to Gotham City where she aggressively pursued Alan Scott. In the late 1960's, the two were wed. On their honeymoon, the Thorn re-asserted herself, seizing the sleeping hero's power ring. Unable to wear it, she flung it into the fire, creating an explosion that covered her departure and left the grieving Scott believing her dead. Unbeknownst to Scott, however, Rose was now pregnant with his children, twins who she put up for adoption to keep them out of the clutches of the Thorn (Infinity Inc., Annual #1).
For years thereafter, the Thorn remained submerged beneath the personality of Rose, who disappeared into American society and obtained a job as a nurse in Keystone City. In the late 1970's, the Flash revealed that he and Jay Garrick were one in the same in an interview in We magazine (Flash Spectacular #1). This event triggered the re-emergence of the Thorn, who launched a crime wave in Keystone City which attracted the attention of the Justice Society. Recruiting the Sportsmaster and the Huntress as her allies, she murdered several officials in Keystone before turning her attention to Joan Garrick, now publicly known as the wife of the Flash. After nearly killing Wildcat, the Thorn and her cronies were rounded up and carted off to a maximum security prison in the Midwest (All-Star Comics #72-73).
Several years later, the Thorn escaped. Now aging and lacking direction, she retreated to Tashmi Island to further study the flora that had given her original powers. How long the Thorn remained on Tashmi and whether she occasionally left is unknown. In the early 1980's, her children, now grown and displaying super-powers of their own, visited Tashmi Island after finding it on a map in the JSA headquarters. Thinking the island deserted, the heroes planned a quiet vacation, a vacation that was rudely interrupted when their presence evoked an appearance of the Thorn (Infinity Inc. #13). Realizing who the children must be, the Thorn left Tashmi and attempted to capture them but was thwarted by the Harlequin, a Golden Age adversary of the Green Lantern who had been keeping track of the children since their adoption. In a climactic confrontation, the Harlequin, Jade, Obsidian and Alan Scott faced off again the Thorn, who had sworn to kill them all. Before she could execute her intentions, the personality of Rose emerged with maternal fury and rather than allow the Thorn to continue, killed herself, removing the Thorn in the process. In the aftermath, the Harlequin revealed to the astonished heroes and their common bond with the Thorn (Infinity Inc. Annual #1).. Whether the legacy of the Thorn's madness affects her children remains to be seen.
Power and Skills
The Thorn's principle abilities derive from the toxins of rare flora known only to Tashmi Island. These toxins have given her the ability to spin and possibly move in other ways and high levels of speed, though certainly not as fast as The Flash. She has a toughed epidermis that makes her immune to minor injury such as pricks from the thorns. She has also has developed a number of weapons based on thorns, including explosive thorns, poisoned thorns and thorns with attachments such as rope. She maintains an operation of several criminal agents which have designed her specialized planes, boats and automobiles with a thorn motif.
While she has some minor powers, the Thorn has essentially the same limitation as most mortals. Her major Achilles Heel is the warring factions within her own mind. Her submissive side, Rose Canton, often asserts itself under stress to undo the criminal ambitions of the Thorn.
Golden Age Appearances
Flash Comics #89
Flash Comics #96
Flash Comics #107 (unpublished)
Silver Age Plus Appearances
All-Star Comics #72-73
Infinity Inc. #13
Infinity Inc. Annual #1
Lois Lane #113 - partial reprint of Flash Comics #107
Robyn Snyder's The Comics - vol. 6 #10 - reprint of Flash Comics #107 in B&W
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