DC Database

Black Orchid, real name Susan Linden, is a mysterious investigator with ties to the Green. She was a master of disguise.

Born and raised in the suburbs of Metropolis, Susan Linden developed a love for the plant kingdom from her school sweetheart, botanist Philip Sylvain. But that love was not stronger than her fear for her abusive father, so she ran away. She traveled the world, working oddjobs everywhere. She eventually became a blackjack dealer, making extra money skimming the house, when she met Carl Thorne, a smooth arms dealer working for Lex Luthor. They married, but things soon went sour when Thorne decided to rob from Luthor.

Susan ran away, back to Sylvain. She reported Thorne to the police, but he killed her. Sylvain, mourning the loss, decided to use his studies on her body, and made her a human/plant hybrid named Black Orchid. Using her incredible powers, she fought crime by disguising herself, and brought many criminals to justice.

In her first case, she saved a young, honest D.A. named Ken Ransom from criminals when his infiltration of their meeting went sour.[1] In her next case she stopped some maritime hijackers who used gas and decoys to hijack cargo shipments.[2] She then turned her attention to Nick Scrumm, a club owner and loan shark. Using her trademark disguises, she assisted the police in his downfall and arrest.[3]

She continued bringing criminals to justice and saving the innocent, from crooks such as the slaver Barstoe[4], jewel thief Pete Martin and his girlfriend Myrna (who disguised herself as Black Orchid to commit the theft)[5], dismantled "Frame-Up Incorporated"[6], and defeated the "Legion of Black Orchids," a group of criminals who disguised themselves and used scientific means to replicate her powers.[7]

She could not, however, get to Luthor. When they crossed paths, Luthor had her killed. Her consciousness fled back to Sylvain's laboratory, which caused a second orchid body to awaken. The consciousness itself made its way into a smaller hybrid body, which came to call itself "Suzy" and served as the second Black Orchid's companion, and when it reached maturity, became the third Black Orchid.[8]



  • Disguise: She often spent an entire investigation impersonating an insignificant background female, such as a maid, a secretary, someone's girlfriend, and the others only discovered her involvement later upon finding the abandoned disguise with her calling card, a black orchid.
  • Investigation


  • Although this character was originally introduced during DC's Earth-One era of publication, their existence following the events of the 1985–86 limited series Crisis on Infinite Earths remains intact. However, some elements of the character's Pre-Crisis history may have been altered or removed for Post-Crisis New Earth continuity, and should be considered apocryphal.


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