Note: This page is for the original Rose/Thorn split personality character from the Golden Age.
For the Bronze-Modern Age heroine with a Rose/Thorn split personality, see: Thorn.
For the post-New 52 rebooted character with a Rose/Thorn split personality, see: Rose and Thorn.
As a little girl, Rose Canton would blame an imaginary friend for anything she herself did wrong. Rose's imaginary scapegoat became so real to her as she grew older that one day she believed she saw her "other self," whom she called the Thorn, in a mirror. To escape from her "Thorn" persona, Rose went to assist the famed botanist Professor Hollis in his research on the island of Tashmi. There Rose discovered a jungle root whose sap gave her superhuman powers. The virtuous blonde Rose physically transformed into the evil red-haired Thorn, who murdered Hollis. Rose could not prevent herself from becoming the Thorn, nor could she control the Thorn's actions. Donning a revealing green costume, the Thorn became a professional criminal and soon became an enemy of the original Flash (Jay Garrick).
Rose Canton was created by writer John Broome and artist Carmine Infantino in 1947 and first appeared in Flash Comics #89. As the evil Thorn, she became the first female villain of the Golden Age Flash.
Major Story Arcs
Tragic Relationship with Green Lantern
Rose told the Flash that the Thorn was her sister, but he eventually realized that the two women were the same person. Wonder Woman had the original Green Lantern (Alan Scott) take Rose to the Amazon Island of Transformation to be cured of her split personality. Rose fell in love with Green Lantern and discovered his secret identity.
After it appeared she was cured, Rose returned to America where she assumed a new identity, Alyx Florin, and married Scott, who did not know who she really was. But on their honeymoon, Rose tried on Green Lantern's mystical ring and again became the Thorn. Rose managed to restrain her Thorn self from killing Scott. She threw the ring into the fireplace causing the cabin to erupt in flames. Rose fled, and Scott believed her dead. She later gave birth to their twin children, but Rose left them to be adopted and never returned to Scott, fearing that Thorn might kill them.
The Thorn persona took over, but eventually Rose's self resumed control. She later met her children, Jennie-Lynn Hayden (Jade) and Todd Rice (Obsidian). Finally, when her Thorn self was about to kill Green Lantern and her children, Rose's persona forced the Thorn to stab herself fatally (Infinity, Inc. Annual #1, 1985). She died as Rose, and the Harlequin revealed to Scott, Jade and Obsidian what the Rose's true relationship to them was.
It was later revealed that Rose had a third child out of wedlock named Mayflower, who inherited her mother's plant control powers and joined the super-team called the Force of July. The identity of Mayflower's father has never been revealed, though it was made clear that he was not Alan Scott. Mayflower was eventually killed in a battle with Ravan, a member of Suicide Squad.
Powers and Abilities
Rose Canton was an expert botanist with extensive knowledge of plants and plant-based toxins. After being exposed to the sap of the rare tropical plant her evil Thorn personality manifested itself, changing her hair color from blonde to red and giving her super-powers. She gained limited control over plant life, especially those with thorny stalks, and used them to attack and ensnare her opponents. She also gained a limited form of super-speed, being able to spin like a whirlwind at high velocities, making herself difficult to see or strike. She retained Rose's botanical expertise and employed large thorns as weapons, often coating them with plant-based toxins to make them more lethal. Her most deadly combat tactic was to hurl her poisoned thorns with great velocity while spinning at super-speed.