Thorn (comics)

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Thorn on the cover of Superman's Girl Friend, Lois Lane #114. Art by Dick Giordano.
Publication information
PublisherDC Comics
First appearanceSuperman's Girl Friend, Lois Lane #105 (Oct. 1970)
Created byRobert Kanigher
Ross Andru
In-story information
Alter egoRhosyn Lynne "Rose" Forrest
AbilitiesMultiple personality, aggressive persona of the Thorn is a skilled fighter

Thorn is a fictional character in DC Comics, a superhero who has multiple personalities.

Publication history[edit]

The character was created by writer Robert Kanigher and artist Ross Andru in the 12-page Lois Lane story "Death House Honeymoon" in Superman's Girl Friend, Lois Lane #105 (Oct. 1970), with her own series, "Rose and the Thorn", debuting that issue as the title's backup feature.[1][2] This was a 1970s update of a Golden Age character of the same name.

A 2004 Rose & Thorn six issue miniseries was written by writer Gail Simone. A one-shot take on Rose and Thorn was published as part of the National Comics line of 2012, written by Tom Taylor and drawn by Neil Googe.[3]

Fictional character biography[edit]

Rhosyn "Rose" Forrest is the daughter of Metropolis police officer Phil Forrest, who was killed by a criminal gang named The 100. When Rose went to sleep, her Thorn personality would emerge and stalk the streets as a vigilante, attempting to bring The 100 to justice. When she succeeds in bringing The 100 to justice, the "Thorn" personality subsides. Eventually, however, the gang escapes and forms another group, called The 1000, and her alternate personality resurfaces. She has since worked with Superman and Booster Gold to try to put these criminals behind bars. She was briefly under the control of Lord Satanus.

Thorn has no actual superpowers, but she is highly athletic and learned martial arts from her father. She is known to carry a pair of combat daggers, a barbed whip, and a bandolier of tiny, thorn-shaped weapons, some of which contain explosives, miniature smoke bombs, or blinding magnesium flares.

In the 1990s, Thorn appeared in a Green Arrow storyline written by Chuck Dixon. After trying to defeat a Metropolis crime lord, Thorn was defeated by Eddie Fyers and taken prisoner. After being tied up and gagged in a supply closet, Thorn returned to her Rose persona and began to sob, frightened and confused about what was happening. Her sobs were heard by Green Arrow, who had rescued her earlier. They eventually teamed up to take down the crime lord after she returned to her Thorn persona.[4]

When Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy moved to Metropolis, Thorn immediately attacked them. After a fierce battle, the women left Thorn hanging bound and gagged from a Superman statue in a local park for all of the citizens to see.[5] During a later confrontation, Harley and Ivy defeat Thorn again, this time kidnapping her and keeping her tied up in their garden. After removing the vines from her mouth, Harley drugs Thorn into revealing the secrets about her multiple personality. Ivy then tortures Thorn in order to prove that she's weak, eventually leaving her in the care of Bizarro while she takes a break. Although, she is later rescued by Supergirl, who defeats Bizarro and unties Thorn. Supergirl later reveals that she just happened to stumble into the garden. Thorn and Supergirl later ambush and capture Ivy and turn her into the police.

A 2004 Rose & Thorn miniseries by Gail Simone provided a slightly different origin story. In this version, The 100 killed both her parents, but Rhosyn was now revealed to have, at age 12, fought back and mutilated their murderer, Mr. Quince, cutting his hand off. She was then placed into a psychiatric care home, where she constantly flew into violent outbursts. Rhosyn's multiple personality is a result of unethical experimental treatments by a psychiatrist named Dr. Chritlow. The experiments forced her to repress her more violent, base emotions; these emotions were then given to the buried "Thorn" personality, who emerged whenever the submissive Rose felt angry or threatened. Her Thorn personality finally broke out after Rose's roommate Kimmy was burned to death by another patient. Enraged, Thorn viciously mutilated the culprit. Once released into the public, Thorn began taking over more frequently, taking up a role as an ultra-violent vigilante in a quest to take down The 100 and avenge her parents. By the end of the miniseries, it was hinted that she had killed the head of The 100 while he was in the hospital.

In the miniseries, Gail Simone gave Rhosyn an uncle and godfather, Detective Curtis Leland, who was secretly taking bribes from The 100 and had been unable to stop them killing Rhosyn's parents. Wracked with guilt and determined to protect his goddaughter, he disposed of two 100 grunts that Thorn had dispatched. Curtis was killed while trying to prevent Quince from killing Rhosyn. In his final moments, he put a signed confession in his pocket so the police could arrest them.

It was also revealed that Rose and Thorn are not the only two personalities in Rhosyn's mind. The other two shown have been "Mom," a caring and maternal figure much like how Rose remembers their mother, and "Wild Rose", an Irish vigilante who is even more vicious and punitive than Thorn.

She encountered the Birds of Prey in the Hero Hunters storyline. As of Birds of Prey #98, she is employed at Dinah Lance's flower shop, Sherwood Florist II. Her most recent appearance was in Birds of Prey #108, where she makes an appearance as one of the heroines called in to confront and intimidate Spy Smasher.[6]

In other media[edit]


In Smallville, a fugitive from Phantom Zone called Gloria is based on Thorn and Poison Ivy.


Thorn appears in the DC Universe Annual #1.


  1. ^ "GCD :: Issue :: Superman's Girl Friend, Lois Lane #105". Retrieved 17 August 2018.
  2. ^ McAvennie, Michael; Dolan, Hannah, ed. (2010). "1970s". DC Comics Year By Year A Visual Chronicle. Dorling Kindersley. p. 141. ISBN 978-0-7566-6742-9. The second feature uncovered the roots of Rose Forrest/Thorn's identity, as told by writer Robert Kanigher and artist Ross Andru.CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link)
  3. ^ "New National Comics Series to Debut in July". 9 April 2012. Retrieved 17 August 2018.
  4. ^ Green Arrow (Volume 2) #108-109
  5. ^ Harley Quinn #14
  6. ^ Birds of Prey #108

External links[edit]