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The Order of the Crimson Crystal

Personal information

Residence: Usually Mobile around Gotham City
Occupation: Criminal Organization
First Appearance (Golden Age): Flash Comics #93 (March 1948)

Character History

The true origins of the Order of the Crimson Crystal are shrouded in Mystery.  Whether it was a true cult of legend or simply the manufacture of criminals is unclear.

A modern group claiming to be the Order appeared in Gotham in the Spring of 1948.  Following a tip on a recent series of crimes, Larry Lance was regaling girlfriend Dinah Drake about the case when his informant arrived, a young woman who has been stabbed.  She collapsed dead on the floor when several austere women cloaked in red demanded the return of a “Crimson Crystal”.  Lance engaged them while Lance slipped back to assume her identity as Black Canary but found nothing but the corpse of the informant when she returned.  She finds a large crimson crystal that she assumes the women had been seeking but they had taken Lance instead.  The police, hearing the noise, arrive and accuse Black Canary of murdering the informant.  After a brief scuffle, the Canary escapes and uses the Crystal in a classified ad to lure the Cultists out and learn the location of Larry Lance.

Waiting on the Marleek Bridge, Canary is approached by the cultists but rather than hand over the Crystal, attacks them.  She is overcome and taken to the Cult’s lair hidden in Eagle Rock Mountain outside of the city.  There she find Lance died up as a human sacrifice by the Cult’s leader, the Swami.  The Swami tells the assembled women, all of whom have sacrificed their worldly possession to the Order, the witnessing the sacrifice of Lance and Black Canary will lift them to the highest Order of the Crimson Crystal.  As they are prepared for death, the Canary tucks her chin to release a smoke screen from her choker and in the hidden billows, escapes her bonds.  She flings the Swami aside and the assembled women rush to his defense.  The Canary stops them with the pronouncement that she can reveal the Swami’s deceit and opens the crystal to reveal a battery-powered light giving it its unearthly glow.   The Swami recovers and wings Larry Lance but the Canary subdues him, casting aside his disguise to reveal “Bullet” Benn, a notorious racketeer.  Benn is this turned over the to authorities and the women released having been the victims as much as the contirbutors (Flash Comics #93).

Whether there is a real Order of the Crimson Crystal and how Benn might have learned of them is unknown.

black canary vs the cult of the crimson inks zoon in colos resize

Powers and Abilities

The order was a typical cult like structure in which there is a strong central leader and well-conditioned collection of followers.  The methods of indoctrination and the full size of the Order is unknown.  The Order was well-supplied and sufficiently committed to carry our a variety of crimes in the name of the supposed rewards of obtaining advancement within the order.

Weaknesses and Limitations

The structure of the order was based on fraud and once revealed, easily dispersed.  The supposedly magical crystal was also fraudlent.

Multiversity Villains


Whether the Order of the Crimson Crystal exists in any other timeline is not revealed




Reprinted in

Flash Comics #93

1st appearance,  vs. the Black Canary

World’s Finest #225, The Black Canary Archives #1, The Black Canary: Bird of Prey