- Well, excuse the &*@% out of me for not wanting to be a zombie-slave.
- — Black Alice src
Black Alice was a young magical leech: she could borrow the powers of other magic users. She was inexperienced and quick to anger, and in desperate search of herself and a place to belong.
One day, overwhelmed by shame, Mrs. Zechlin commits suicide by overdosing and drowning herself in her pool. Lori discovers the body when she comes home from school. Lori also discovers, later that same night, that she has a mystical ability: she could "borrow" the magical powers of other superheroes or supervillains. She did not have the same control over the powers as their owners and had little control over when she could take them or how long she could use them. Despite this, Lori (taking the name Black Alice) formulates a plan to avenge her mother's death and punish the prescription drug traffickers whom she saw as above the law.
Lori's father, shattered and slipping into depression, becomes a recluse. He tries to pretend for Lori's sake that nothing was wrong. Her mother's death also distressed Lori, but she was aware of the change in her father and assigned herself the role of caregiver. Her grades began to slip, and she became alienated from her peers. Her primary social group, a Wiccan circle, expelled her because she was emitting "black energy" after her mother's death (in actuality, the circle's leader - Lori's best friend, Dawn - was jealous of Lori's real and growing powers).
Having recently left Gotham City following the destruction of their clock tower headquarters, the superhero team the Birds of Prey are traveling the country by jet in order to identify and help previously unknown metahumans. Oracle had become aware of Lori's power, but not her specific abilities. She sends Huntress, disguised as a school teacher, to keep an eye on Lori and offer counseling, while Black Canary was tasked with keeping surveillance on all of Lori's activities. The goal was to determine the specific nature and strength of Lori's powers.
While Black Canary watches, Lori abruptly left her boyfriend, Kyle, when Doctor Fate's powers manifest. She decides to use it before its subsidence, and seeks out a trio of suspected drug dealers. When Lori seemed intent to use lethal force, Black Canary intervenes to save the lives of the three men. Doctor Fate's power fades, and Lori flees the scene, tailed by Black Canary. Suddenly manifesting Zatanna's powers, Lori waylays Canary and escapes.
Black Canary and Huntress unite to tail Kyle in the hopes of rediscovering Lori, and instead found that Kyle is two-timing Lori with Dawn. Lori discovers the same thing shortly afterwards and prepared to destroy a shopping mall (having now manifested the powers of Black Adam) in her efforts to avenge herself on Kyle. Black Canary is able to bring her down in an all-out brawl, but it was Huntress who brings a stop to Lori's rampage by presenting a contrite Dawn.
Oracle turns Lori over to the care of the real Doctor Fate, where she would receive guidance in the use of her powers.
Day of Vengeance
The Shadowpact asks for her aid in confronting the Spectre and Eclipso. Over her father's objections and reservations, she goes with the team. Despite her power and efforts, she, along with the Shadowpact and the Phantom Stranger, does little more than delay the Spectre. Alice does manage to temporarily take the Spectre's powers. Since he is host-less, all this does is make the Spectre an intangible phantom, immune to harm. After witnessing both the death of the wizard Shazam and the destruction of the Rock of Eternity at the hands of the Spectre, she sees the destruction this wreaks on Gotham City and elsewhere. She declines an offer to join the team, choosing instead to return to her father and her hometown.
Later, she helps to combat the global prison break that Alexander Luthor, Jr. orchestrates.
Post-Day of Vengeance
Lori is approached by Talia al Ghul, Felix Faust, and Cheetah. They attempt to get her to join the Society, offering both training and the resurrection of her mother. They had gained influence in mystical circles by having exchanged the souls of many Society members to the demon Neron. The Birds of Prey attempt to intervene. A frustrated and enraged Black Alice (who almost hangs Black Canary to death using a channeled Wonder Girl golden lasso) teleports everyone to the outskirts of Dayton and states that she just wishes to be left alone. She returns home with her parents, her mother apparently fully resurrected, but living in a constant-shock state (she barely speaks, mechanically doing house chores).
Her life still goes downhill, with her father turning alcoholic again due to his wife's condition, popular boys and girls bullying her and mocking her lifestyle, until she summons the traveling helmet of Doctor Fate, in an attempt to tame its powers. It is only when the helmet starts to punish everyone who wrongs her, even her loved ones, that Lori realizes that she doesn't need more power to attain happiness and sets the Helmet free, spending more time to help rehabilitate her father. Her realization however is short lived, as her difficult life finally takes a toll on her sanity: when Oracle summons her to help again, Black Alice apparently forgives the Birds lending Oracle her help, then snaps again against her revealing that her mood swings are a side effects of the anti-depressants she's forced to take to restrain herself, ironically as addicted as her mother was.
Her addiction to antidepressants saves her when she's kidnapped by Darkseid's henchmen, dosed with will-suppressing drugs and pitted against other metahumans, the antidepressants interfere with the drugs. Finding Misfit similarly trapped, but almost completely brainwashed and vulnerable, she briefly contemplates the idea of stealing her teleport abilities to flee alone, in retaliation for taking "her place" in the Birds of Prey. After a discovery by Bernadeth that she may be a blood relative of Misfit, she has a change of heart, and helps the girl escape. She leaves behind a letter, explaining her discoveries, but claiming that her feud with the young teleporter is not over.
Later, she joins up with the team of villains and anti-heroes known as the Secret Six, where she manages to convince them to let her join by not batting an eye at the kind of actions they engage in after seeing some particularly brutal examples. She soon develops a crush on Rag Doll, something found disturbing by several other team members including Bane and Catman.
Powers and Abilities
- Magic Usurpation: The ability to temporarily usurp the magical powers of any being, even ones as powerful as the Spectre, gaining all its skills and power and leaving it powerless in turn. The limit to the distance at which she can steal power of a target being is limitless. She has even shown the ability to steal the powers of two beings simultaneously.
- Power Limitation: The more powerful magic she takes control of, be it from one or multiple sources, the shorter she can hold on to it, and she doesn't know exactly how long powers will stay before they go away. Power sufficiently beyond her comprehension can render her catatonic, such as when she attempted to absorb the powers of Lord Satanus.
- Black Alice is potentially the most powerful (and dangerous) teenager on the planet.
- When she steals a being's power, her clothing and physical appearance partially transforms to somewhat resemble that of her target.
- Black Alice once had a limitation to her powers which reduced her ability to those only within her line of sight. Her powers have since grown and she no longer has this limitation.
- Black Alice has used the powers of: Alan Scott, Blue Devil, Cheetah, Circe, Lord Deimos, Dr. Fate, Dr. Occult, Etrigan, Felix Faust, Giganta,Yz the Thunderbolt, Jeannette, one of the Marvel Family, Misfit, Nightshade, Raven, The Spectre, Traci 13, Wonder Girl, Zatanna as well as others.
- 47 Appearances of Lori Zechlin (New Earth)
- 15 Images featuring Lori Zechlin (New Earth)
- 4 Quotations by or about Lori Zechlin (New Earth)
- Character Gallery: Lori Zechlin (New Earth)