The Thorn


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The Thorn

(pop culture)
The Thorn—not to be confused with the Modern Age anti-hero of the same name—was one of the most bristly babes to shake up the pages of Golden Age (1938–1954) superhero comics. Penned by Robert Kanigher and rendered by Joe Kubert, she first blossomed in Flash Comics #89 (1947) as Rose Canton, a botanist student with a latent split personality. While studying the flora of Tashmi Island, Rose discovers that the toxins produced by an indigenous thorn alter her physiology, granting her toughened skin and a limited form of superspeed. The revelation ignites her dormant schizophrenia, sprouting two distinct personalities: the docile Rose (a blonde) and the thunderous Thorn (a redhead). As a chief antagonist of the Flash, the villainess became the proverbial thorn in the superspeedster's side, often appearing in a whirlwind of green smoke or a tornado of thorns. While wreaking havoc with her plant-based weapons arsenal of explosive and poisonous thorns and her thornladen plane or roadster, the Thorn's diabolical plottings were interspersed with the innocent proclamations of Rose—ever convincing the Flash that she was Thorn's “sister” and gaining his trust. The Thorn proved as fickle as she was prickly: after a period of incarceration she lost interest in the Flash and became obsessed with the Golden Age Green Lantern, while Rose, in her new identity of Alyx Florin, developed a crush on the hero's alter ego, Alan Scott. They eventually wed, but when the Thorn reemerged, Rose faked her own demise to spare her husband from her dangerous dual personality. It was disclosed in Infinity, Inc. Annual #1 (1985) that at the time of her “death” Rose was pregnant with twins, whom she secreted from the Thorn by putting them up for adoption. Her children— Jennie Lynn Hayden-Scott (Jade of Infinity, Inc., who in 2006 fights with the Outsiders) and Todd Rice-Scott (the living, three-dimensional shadow, Obsidian)—were the villainess' downfall, as Rose committed suicide to prevent Thorn from killing them.
The Supervillain Book: The Evil Side of Comics and Hollywood © 2006 Visible Ink Press®. All rights reserved.
References in classic literature ?
All night long you must sing to me, and the thorn must pierce your heart, and your life-blood must flow into my veins, and become mine."
And when the Moon shone in the heavens the Nightingale flew to the Rose-tree, and set her breast against the thorn. All night long she sang with her breast against the thorn, and the cold crystal Moon leaned down and listened.
Now he made haste thence before the lions returned, and came back to the thorn fence where we lay just as dawn as breaking.
there, on the farther side of the thorn fence, looking large in the grey mist, stood the lad Umslopogaas, laughing.
He pulled out the thorn and bound up the paw of the Lion, who was soon able to rise and lick the hand of Androcles like a dog.
The feel of the long spear shaft in his hand and the sight of the tree beyond the lion gave the lad an idea--a preposterous idea--a ridiculous, forlorn hope of an idea; but there was no time now to weigh chances--there was but a single chance, and that was the thorn tree.
The pony behaved well, sir, and showed no vice; but at last he just threw up his heels and tipped the young gentleman into the thorn hedge.
And she pressed the thorn-bush to her breast, so firmly, that it might be thoroughly warmed, and the thorns went right into her flesh, and her blood flowed in large drops, but the thornbush shot forth fresh green leaves, and there came flowers on it in the cold winter night, the heart of the afflicted mother was so warm; and the thorn-bush told her the way she should go.
This, however, none of them could ever do; for the thorns and bushes laid hold of them, as it were with hands; and there they stuck fast, and died wretchedly.
His eyelids closed, and his head sank on his shoulders, but the thorns ran into him and were so painful that he awoke at once.
And some fell among thorns, and the thorns sprung up and choked them."
Thenceforth the Annos had feared the thorns too greatly to dare again, although ever their vindictiveness smouldered and they lived in hope of the day when Nalasu's head should adorn their ridgepole.