Friday, March 18, 2011

Friday Night Fights: The Green Gauntlet - Every Rose Has Its Thorn!

In honor of St. Patrick's Day, Spacebooger has called a special round called "The Green Gauntlet", in which a green character is featured. So you'd think I'd go with Hal, Guy, John, Kyle, or one of the other Green Lanterns for this round. You'd be wrong.

Tonight, I'm going with Rose and the Thorn. For those unfamiliar with the character(s), Rose Forrest is the daughter of policeman Phil Forrest, who was killed by the criminal organization known as The 100. After his death, Rose develops a split personality which manifests while she's sleeping at night. This second persona dresses up in a long red wig, forest (Forrest?) green undies, thigh-high boots, and a whip and fights crime as...The Thorn. She had a regular backup feature in the early 70's LOIS LANE comics.

Tonight's emerald throwdown comes to us from  from Lois Lane#108 (November 1970) in a backup story titled "Mourn For The Thorn!", illustrated by Spider-Man/Metal Men/Wonder Woman team supreme Ross Andru and Mike Esposito and written by crazy old Robert Kanigher. Synopsis: The 100 has hired a team of hit men to kill The Thorn. They appear to succeed. Their method? Trapping Thorn in a blind alley and gunning their car engine, killing her with the carbon monoxide in the exhaust fumes.

(It's Bob Kanigher. Just go with it!)

Is she really dead? Apparently dead enough to convince this guy.

Yes, Superman, a man with super-hearing, x-ray and microscopic vision, and a vast array of super-scientific knowledge, believes Thorn is really dead. Keep this in mind for later.

Anyway, before our mournful Man of Steel can arrange a special JLA funeral, Thorn's body is claimed by an outside party and transported to a special location.

What is the "Mansion of Mourning"? Allow this nameless 100 goon to explain.

Yes, you read that right: Her emergency protocol in case she's trapped by The 100 overdose on heart medication. Who the hell devised this ingenius master strategem? Roy Harper? (Sorry, Shelly!)

Apparently, Thorn's deathlike coma recovery skills rival Wolverine's, as she tears into the 100's thugs.

And remember how her "deathlike coma" fooled Superman into thinking she was dead?

Yep, that's right, she wasn't even autopsied or embalmed. Nice due diligence there, Superdick!

BONUS:  In the Silver Age, many superheroes had their own special nicknames. Superman's was The Man of Steel, Batman and Robin's were the Dynamic Duo, Wonder Woman's was the Amazing Amazon. What was The Thorn's nickname?

"The Nymph of Night".  No, really!

Still, all jokes aside, The Thorn did kick some major ass back in the day. She enjoyed some occasional resurgences since then, first in the 90's Superman books (in a much more practical outfit) and then later when Gail Simone revamped her in her own mini and in Birds Of Prey. Hopefully, Gail can use her again in some future Birds or Secret Six stories. Or maybe Greg Rucka or Ed Brubaker can take a crack at writing her someday.

Our fight music for tonight? What else?

For more thorny battles, click here.