Nearly every comic character, whether hero or villain, relies on the anonymity an alter ego provides. You’ve got Bruce Wayne/Batman, Clark Kent/Superman, Norman Osborn/Green Goblin, and Doctor Victor Von Doom/Doctor Doom to name a few. But for one character in the DC Universe, having multiple identities came as less of a choice. Do you know who this is?
The original Rose Canton, created by John Broome and Carmine Infantino, made her first in appearance in Flash Comics #89 in 1947. Growing up, Rose was constantly getting into trouble and blaming her imaginary friend for the resulting damages. One day, Rose’s imaginary friend took on a life of its own in the form of a reflection in the mirror. This “other self” whom she called Thorn proved to be increasingly volatile. In order to rid herself of the Thorn persona, Rose sought help from famed botanist Professor Hollis. Unfortunately, while there Rose came in contact with a jungle root whose sap gave her superhuman powers. These included control over plant life, super-speed, being able to spin like a whirlwind at high velocities, as well as botanical expertise.
The sap also transformed Rose from a virtuous blonde into the evil red-haired Thorn. Rose was unable to prevent herself from transforming into Thorn or stop her evil actions. As a result, Thorn became a supervillain and an enemy of the Golden Age Flash Jay Garrick. Later on, Rose was seemingly cured of her Thorn persona and married Alan Scott, a/k/a Green Lantern. The pair had two children together, but following the return of her Thorn madness, Rose committed suicide in order to protect her family. An updated version of the character was introduced in Superman's Girl Friend, Lois Lane #105 in 1970. In this version, when Rhosyn “Rose” Forrest would fall asleep, Thorn would emerge as a vigilante. While this Thorn lacked superpowers, she was a skilled martial artist.
DC’s New 52 line introduced a rebooted Rose and Thorn, created by Tom Taylor and Neil Googe. This series follows a once-normal teenage girl who develops a second, darker personality following the traumatic death of her father.