Grace Balin was a dedicated marine biologist and humanitarian until a tragic accident drove her down a path of self-destruction in the quest to heal herself. She managed to cure her affliction, but at the cost of becoming a monstrous anthropomorphic orca hybrid who resorted to a life of crime.
Grace attended Gotham Gate College and quickly became fascinated with the ocean. She received a Ph.D in Marine Biology and Bio-Medicine, acquiring a job at the Gotham Aquarium. She was a very charitable person who funded an after-school program for underprivileged youths, as well as volunteering at a shelter for the homeless.
Sadly, Dr. Balin was involved in an accident that left her paralysed and dependent on a wheelchair for mobility. Despite her disability, Balin continued to work in Gotham Aquarium, while secretly conducting her own intensive research into a solution for her paralysis. She obsessively studied spinal cord regeneration using samples of orca tissue, funding her intensive research by diverting the Aquarium's assets, eventually forcing it to close. However, her experimentation yielded some results. She desperately used the chemical formula she developed, causing her to transform into a killer whale hybrid, naming herself Orca.
Orca began a crime spree in Gotham City by stealing a valuable diamond called the "Flame of Persia" from rogue millionaire, Camille Baden-Smythe, drawing the attention of Batman. Orca aimed to sell the diamond and use the proceeds to help fund several projects for the underprivileged. After her attempt to sell the diamond back to Camille Baden-Smythe failed, Orca tried to kill her. Camille's security forces shot Orca several times, seriously wounding her and initiating the transformation back into human form. She told Batman the only chance she had for survival was to take the rest of the chemical formula, to which Batman agreed. Upon ingesting the solution, she confided that the change would now be permanent, as would her criminal career. She swam away before Batman could apprehend her. The jewel was sold to its original owner and the money was used to build a new recreation centre near the aquarium, as well as "...gentrify a derelict waterfront tenement."
Orca was found dead in the sewers beneath Gotham. Evidence pointed to her having been shot in the head by Harvey Dent's gun, although Batman was convinced Dent was not the killer. Her body had also been partially eaten by Killer Croc. Orca's husband, Terry, was murdered by Tally Man while being questioned about the disappearance of his wife by private investigator, Jason Bard.
The investigation revealed that Orca was working for the Penguin, along with fellow deceased super-villains KGBeast, Magpie, and the Ventriloquist. Someone had contracted Orca and the others to turn on the Penguin, robbing one of his storage facilities. Two-Face caught the traitors but instructed them to stay loyal to Penguin, to act as informants. The entire operation had been orchestrated by the Great White Shark.
- 8 Appearances of Grace Balin (New Earth)
- 1 Images featuring Grace Balin (New Earth)
- Quotations by or about Grace Balin (New Earth)
- Character Gallery: Grace Balin (New Earth)