Note: This page is for the Bronze/Modern Age heroine of DC's Earth-1 reality.
For the deceased Golden Age villainess of Earth-2 who also had a Rose/Thorn split personality, see: Rose Canton.
For the post-New 52 rebooted character with a Rose/Thorn split personality, see: Rose and Thorn.
Before the Crisis on Infinite Earths, Rhosyn "Rose" Forrest was the daughter of Metropolis police detective Sergeant Phillip Forrest. One night Forrest and his partner Danny Stone were hunting The 100, a formidable crime syndicate so-named because it had 100 members. Forrest and Stone became involved in a gunfight with hoods associated with The 100. After Stone was wounded and taken out of action, Forrest pursued the fleeing villains on his own. The chase ended at the waterfront, where Forrest rammed his car into the car driven by the criminals. The 100 had offered the hoods a bounty for the head of Forrest, so after another firefight the hoods killed Forrest and dumped his car and body into the river.
The next morning, Rose and Danny Stone arrived at the scene just as the car containing the corpse of Phillip Forrest was being pulled from the waters. Rose was severely traumatized by the sight and had to be hospitalized. She developed a split personality as a result of her obsession with avenging her father's death. Though incapable of violent action as Rose, she would fall asleep and sleepwalk in the new and vengeful personality. After her release from the hospital, Rose returned to the home she and her father had shared. Sleepwalking one night, she went through a secret door that she had discovered years ago as a child and entered an abandoned costume shop. There she found a daring green plant-like costume and weapons created years ago by a costumer named Albert Talbot as part of his aborted scheme to turn a woman he knew into a costumed criminal. Donning an auburn wig and taking the costume and weapons, Rose became the Thorn, whose primary motivation was to avenge her father's death by destroying The 100.
In 2004 the character's origin was rebooted in the Rose & Thorn miniseries. In the reboot both of Rose's parents were murdered by The 100 when Rose was only a young girl, and her father's name was Daniel, rather than Phillip. At the age of twelve the orphaned Rose fought back and mutilated her parents' murderer, Mr Quince, by cutting off his hand. She was then placed into a psychiatric care home, where she constantly flew into violent outbursts. Dr Chritlow, her psychiatrist, tried a questionable experimental procedure to help Rose, getting her to repress her anger. But the procedure was so traumatic that it caused Rose's personality to split into two parts. One part was seemingly normal and docile, while the other was full of unrepressed rage. After Rose's roommate Kimmy was burned to death by another patient, Rose became the Thorn for the first time. The Thorn personality usually manifested itself during the time that Rose was asleep, leaving Rose with no memory of her time as Thorn after awakening. As Thorn, she relentlessly went after Kimmy's killer and then The 100.
Rose & Thorn was created in 1970 by writer Robert Kanigher and artist Ross Andru and made her debut in Superman's Girlfriend, Lois Lane #105. In 2004, writer Gail Simone completely rebooted the character by giving her a modern and even darker origin story.
Rose Forrest was meant to be an update of a Golden Age character named Rose Canton, who also had a Rose and Thorn split personality. However, it was decided that Rose Forrest would be a tragic hero and not a villain, and no other connection with Rose Canton was established. The new Rose and Thorn bore a notable similarity to Bruce Wayne and Batman, in that her costumed crime-fighting alter-ego emerged after a parent was murdered by criminals. This similarity became even more pronounced in her rebooted origin: Like Bruce Wayne, both of Rose Forrest's parents were murdered when she was just a child.
Rose Forrest worked as a secretary for the Riverview Chapel under funeral director Vince Adams. Rose was unaware that her boss was involved with the sinister group The 100. Rose originally had blonde hair, which she usually kept cut short. Thorn's original costume was a revealing green brassiere and shorts, connected down the front by a strip of green but leaving the rest of her midriff bare. She also wore green gloves, thigh-high boots, and an auburn wig to further hide her Rose identity. This costume underwent several modifications during the 1970's. She switched to wearing two different style boots and two different style gloves, with the right glove and left boot being shorter than their counterparts. At some point she also wore some sort of metal brace on her left knee. Presumably she wore it to compensate for an injury sustained during her adventures, but its presence was never actually explained, nor was it revealed if her Rose identity ever knew about it.
When Thorn reappeared in the 1980's (after the Crisis on Infinite Earths), her costume was redesigned to be more modest. Her midriff was fully covered and she wore a pale green leotard that covered her arms and legs.
After the character was rebooted in 2004, Rose Forrest was no longer a blonde. Instead she had natural auburn hair, both as Rose and as Thorn. Her Thorn costume became even more revealing than the original design in order to reflect her aggressive and uninhibited personality. She wore a green bikini top, a sheer green miniskirt, long green gloves, and thigh-high green boots.
Major Story Arcs
Bronze Age Crime-Fighter
During the Bronze Age of the 1970's, Rose Forrest was romantically involved with her father's former partner, Danny Stone. As Thorn, she clashed regularly with The 100 and took them out one or two at a time, continually chipping away at the organization until it was all but extinct. Thorn's accomplishments as a crime-fighter brought her to the attention of other heroes, and she even gained the respect of renowned heroes like Batman and Superman. Batman befriended her both as Rose Forrest and as the costumed Thorn, but even the world's greatest detective was unable to determine that the two women were one and the same, despite having Thorn undergo hypnosis.
Rose's relationship with Danny Stone eventually petered out, and he never learned that she was the Thorn. In fact, Rose herself was still unaware of her other identity. Towards the end of the Bronze Age, both Rose and Thorn dropped out of sight for some time.
In 1986, Rose and Thorn resurfaced shortly after the Crisis on Infinite Earths as a supporting character in the ongoing series Booster Gold. As Rose Forrest, she landed a job as a creative director at McClellan & Johnson, an advertising agency that worked with the superhero Booster Gold at the launch of Booster's crime-fighting career. Meanwhile, The 100 had regrouped and formed a new crime organization called The 1000. Once Rose learned of this, her vengeful Thorn personality returned in order to go after The 1000. Booster Gold befriended both Rose and her alter ego Thorn, but like Batman, Booster never figured out that the two women were the same person. Booster and Thorn ended up working together on the same case as they fought The 1000, which was no longer merely a mafia-style gang. They now possessed more advanced weaponry and even had supervillains in their employ, making them a more formidable enemy than The 100. Booster and Thorn fought many battles with The 1000, and the conflict was inconclusive at the time of the series' cancellation. (In a future reality Booster finally destroyed the gang, just as Thorn did when it was called The 100.)
In the 1990's, Rose and Thorn appeared as a supporting character in a Green Arrow storyline. Thorn attempted to kill a prominent Metropolis crime lord but failed. While fleeing the scene, she was ambushed and knocked out by the mercenary Eddie Fyers, who bound and gagged her and then locked her in a supply closet. By the time she regained consciousness, she had reverted back to her docile Rose personality. Since the last thing Rose remembered was going to sleep in her apartment, she was terrified and bewildered by her predicament and began sobbing. Her cries were heard by Connor Hawke (the second Green Arrow) who found and freed her. Connor later teamed with Thorn on her second attempt to take down the crime lord, and with his help she succeeded.
Harley and Ivy
In the early 2000's, Thorn appeared as an adversary in the ongoing Harley Quinn series. She did not fare particularly well, being reduced to a helpless captive through much of her story arc. Female partners in crime Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy relocated from Gotham City to Metropolis in order to avoid persecution from their mutual enemy, Batman. As soon as the pair entered Metropolis they were recognized by Thorn, who immediately attacked them both. But Thorn underestimated her opponents and was defeated. Harley and Ivy publicly humiliated Thorn by binding and gagging her and suspending her from a Superman statue in a local park. After being freed, Thorn tracked down and attacked Harley and Ivy a second time, but was again defeated and taken captive. This time the two villainesses decided to keep Thorn tied up in their private garden so she could cause them no further trouble. Harley drugged Thorn and forced her to reveal secrets about her split personality. Ivy then amused herself by torturing Thorn in order to break down her resolve, and left her in the 'care' of the villain Bizarro when she decided to take a break. But Ivy made a mistake by instructing him to never untie Thorn. Since Bizarro's mind interprets everything backwards, he untied Thorn and she escaped. Thorn finally gained a measure of revenge for her ordeal by ambushing and defeating Ivy and turning her over to the police. However, Harley eluded her grasp.
Rose and Thorn was finally given her own miniseries in 2004, where her origin story was completely rebooted (see Modern Age Origin above) and she received an updated costume. The miniseries was her darkest story to date and brought another level of seriousness to the character. During the series it was revealed that Rose and Thorn were not the only personalities inhabiting Rhosyn Forrest's mind. A third personality ("Mom") based on Rhosyn's memories of her mother emerged, and was a caring and maternal figure. A frightening fourth personality also emerged: "Wild Rose," a distinctly Irish vigilante who was even more vicious and violent than Thorn. After destroying the leaders of The 100 at the conclusion of the miniseries, the multiple personalities seemingly ended and for a time she was able to resume living a relatively normal life as Rose Forrest.
Birds of Prey
The Thorn personality eventually re-emerged to fight crime. Thorn teamed up with the all-female crime-fighting team Birds of Prey (which was being written by Gail Simone, the author of the Rose & Thorn miniseries), where she battled criminals alongside the heroines Oracle, Black Canary, and Huntress. She was initially injured during her first encounter with the heroines, but managed to evade both the Birds as well as some crooked Metropolis police officers by tying up and gagging a nurse and disguising herself in the nurse's outfit.
Later, Rhosyn Forrest was hired to work at Black Canary's flower shop, the Sherwood Florist II. Thorn also assisted the Birds of Prey in confronting and intimidating the government agent known as Spy Smasher.
At the end of 2011, the DC Universe was rebooted with the New 52 event and many DC characters were seemingly replaced with entirely different versions, Thorn included. The new Rose and Thorn character has the name of Rose Canton (like the original Golden Age Flash villain) and was given a completely modernized origin. It is likely that the Rhosyn Forrest version of Thorn, though not dead, is now on indefinite hiatus. But with comic book realities constantly in flux, Thorn may still reappear sometime in the future.
- Height: 5' 8"
- Weight: 125 lbs (57 kg)
- Eyes: Original version: Green. Rebooted version: Blue (as Rose), Green (as Thorn).
- Hair: Original version: Blonde (usually kept cut short); wore an auburn wig as Thorn. Rebooted version: Auburn (both as Rose and as Thorn).
- Unusual Features: Original version: None. Rebooted version: For unknown reasons, her eyes change color depending on which personality is dominant at the time. As Rose Forrest, her natural eye color is blue, but as Thorn, her eyes are green. Her frightening fourth personality, Wild Rose, has red eyes.
- Citizenship: American
- Place of Birth: Metropolis
- Marital Status: Single
- Occupations: Vigilante, creative director, florist
- Known Relatives: Original version: Phillip "Phil" Forrest (father, deceased). Rebooted version: Daniel Forrest (father, deceased), Elizabeth Forrest (mother, deceased), Curtis Leland (uncle, deceased).
Powers and Abilities
Though Thorn has no known superpowers, she is a superb athlete in top physical condition. She was taught extensive martial arts by her father and excels at hand-to-hand combat. When provoked, her anger can increase her physical strength in the much same manner as that of a berserker. She uses her rage to her advantage in battle, attacking with a gleeful and unbridled ferocity that especially unnerves the criminals that she hunts.
Thorn often employs a variety of weapons in her battles, which she can use to deadly effect. They have included daggers and other thorn-based weapons, barbed whips, explosives, smoke bombs, and magnesium flares. Her rebooted incarnation favors using curved scythe-like blades.