Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Decent Comics: "Black Orchid" by Mayer and DeZuniga

What it is, Groove-ophiles! Today we're gonna take a loving look back at one of the most mysterious super-heroines ever--Black Orchid! With the powers of flight, super-strength, and invulnerability topped off with her skills as a master of disguise, Black Orchid's short-lived run as headliner in Adventure Comics (issues 428-430, April-August 1973) left us all scratching our heads wondering who she really was. Co-creators Sheldon Mayer and Tony DeZuniga seemed to enjoy leading us astray as to her true identity--and it was kinda fun--but they never told us who Black Orchid really was. Later, our mysterious heroine got a series of back-up stories in Phantom Stranger (issues 31-32, 35-36, and 38-41) with different creators taking turns teasing us about her true identity. It wouldn't be until 1988 that Black Orchid's origin and identity would be revealed--but that's a whole nuther story. Right now let's dig on Black Orchid's debut (but NOT her origin, no matter what that cover says)!
Cover art by Bob Oksner


  1. WOW! Thanks Groovster for posting this. I found some reason bought these issues back when they first hit my corner mom * pop corner store's wall rack. It must've been her far out costume & Tony Dezuniga's art that grabbed my 11 year old's attention. I liked WW,etc well enough. But I was still sort of ECCK girls. LOL I always wondered what happened to this character & to The Thorn also. I was mainly a Marvel/Spidey fan as a kid/teen. But from 1968-80 I was still a huge DC comics fan period. Please post her other two adventures ASAP! Miss Tony I never met him but we talked like three times for like 45 mins each time. He was a great guy as well as a super talented artist/inker & creator.

  2. Shame the initial run didn't last longer, definitely was an intriguing title.

  3. The best way to describe this series was lush. Tony DeZuniga's artwork oozed sensuality combined with the skills he had mastered from the mystery books. And Shelly Mayer always told a good tale with an undercurrent of wholesomeness. I was a little frustrated that after 3 issues there was still no clue about the Black Orchid, her powers or anything else about her. Maybe if the series had progressed there would have been development. Or maybe the powers that be felt that the tease of mysteriousness was the appeal of the character. The 3 appearances of Orchid in Adventure were very pleasant romps and left me hungering for more.



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Special thanks to Mike's Amazing World of Comics and Grand Comics Database for being such fantastic resources for covers, dates, creator info, etc. Thou art treasures true!

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