Cornflower Blues, also sometimes known as Blue Bird is among the oldest human characters in the DC Universe, going by age.
Being over 200 years old, she still spent most of her life without any actual supernatural powers, though this has been a point of debate among fans since she is considered immortal and, as a result of the experiments conducted on her, presumably gained heightened senses and movement skills long before the arrival of the Exobytes.
She is also one of the few heroes without any specific allegiance, having initially been introduced as a villain in earlier issues, affiliated with various criminal organizations, namely those of the Joker and Edward Nigma.
Her life on the other side of the law provides her with a certain edge based on inside information but also keeps her in a somewhat isolated position among the "New Heroes".
Since the Rose Red Arc, she was forced to form a more binding relationship with the Justice League and has earned the trust of its senior members, even forming friendhsips along the way.
As an antihero she regularly provides comic relief, displaying a lack of social skills and a general grumpy and cynic demeanor. This can be credited both to her old age as well as her natural disposition and has led to various semi-amicable conflicts.
Fictional Character BiographyEdit
Family and youth
Since the Out Of Time Arc deals mainly with the origin stories of both Cornflower Blues and Little Prince, the details of her beginnings are rather well known as well as frequently referred to in later issues, being a main storyline in her entire Gotham Saga.
Cornflower Blues was born in Manchester in 1801 as Meghan Lark, the daughter of an engineer.
Her exceptional technical skills are usually credited to the time spent assisting in the workshop and her parental heritage, though it is also stated that she greatly improved her skills during her time under the Joker's command, adding a substantial knowledge about explosives and weaponry to her skillset.
She had younger a sister, Rose, who is the namesake and ancestor of her later companion Rose Red III.
Little is known about her mother, except her having died, supposedly at some point during Meghan's early childhood. It was because of her father's sickness that she eventually got to take his place, working for Sir Charles Sweet Sr., an English nobleman and factory owner. This is also where she first crossed paths with Charles Sweet Jr., who would later become the creator of her new identity and her arch nemesis Little Prince.
Despite her later annimosity towards the family, her initial relationship with them is written to be one of affection, especially with Charles Jr.'s sister Violet who is outlined as a frail girl, suffering from pneumonia.
Her eventual death kicked off the main storyline of Death And Rebirth.
Death and Rebirth
When she was 17, Meghan witnessed as Charles Sweet Jr. revealed his psychopathic personality, murdering both his parents in order to gain the freedom and resources needed to conduct human experiments and subsequently find way to bring back his sister.
In the 3rd chapter of the arc, The Sweet Sleep, after his first attempts using the corpses of his mother and father failed, he decided to make Meghan his 3rd test subject, locking her up and eventually killing her in his laboratory in oder to resurrect her.
For yet not completely clarifyed reasons Meghan became his first and (excluding himself) only successfully revived victim. As a side-effect of her rebirth, she is immortal, meaning that she can (not easily) be killed but does no longer physically age.
To make sure his success wasn't just a lucky coincidence, Charles Sweet Jr. then moved on to Meghan's sister Rose as his next choice, since she was closer to Violet's age. Knowing of his plan, Meghan shot him through the chest, fatally wounding him and leaving him to die.
Once alone, Charles injected himself with his serum, saving his own life and in the process giving himself immortaility as well as drastically increasing his strengh. (This last trait that distinguishes him from Cornflower Blues is guessed to be due to the fact that he was still alive when the chemicals hit his system.)
With Charles still alive and more dangerous than ever, Meghan decided to take her father and Rose and leave Manchester to ensure their safety. But when Charles's attempt to revive Violet failed, driving him into madness, she realized that, since she was the only other surviving test subject, he would always be looking for her to find a solution for his problem. This finally made her stay behind to have an eye on him from afar, sending her family away without her and making her father promise never to tell her where they went, so that Charles could never target them as leverage.
During the Victorian age, Meghan makes her living mostly as a rather prominent thief and con-artist going by the name of Blue Bird. She keeps her promise of watching over Charles Sweet who, just like her, has stopped aging the day of his rebirth. In order to escape the law, she frequently relocates, often living outfoors for long periods of time, stealing and hunting.
With every year spent like this, she seperates herself more from society, feeling isolated and abnormal and adjusting to her apparent immortality with great difficulty. Mostly out of necessity she eventually perfectes her archery skills as well as many other things that would later make up her classic skillset of stealth, melee weapon combat and technology.This era, named "The lonely years", are in all probability the time that first shaped Meghan's code of morals and survival style.
Living to survive day to day, she shows little to no hesitation to commit small crimes and move outside the law,
Though the entire Blue Victoria Saga portraits her mostly focused on self-preservation and already hints towards her later criminal exploits, she is never seen hurting people that she personally deems innocent. Although she kills two men in The Red Lights Of London, she technically does so in self-defence and takes no particular joy in taking lives.
Not much is known about her personal relationships, though she has a brief romance with a spy called John Morris during the Crimean war in Blue Coal and a few other fleeting encounters through the years.
Between war, famine and fast-evolving politics, she never actually takes much interest or action in the matters of Queen and country, both avoiding and feeling banished from society. All in all, since she sees her existence as a curse put upon her by Charles Sweet, and blames it for losing her family, she has sworn herself to solitude as a way to punish herself and avoid endangering others.
The Lost Years
The lost years are a rather long period of time between her life in England and the first chapters of the Gotham City Storyline during which little is known about Meghan's wherabouts and actions.
Few remarks are made in later chapters, stating only that she travelled the world, possibly in relation to the exploits of her arch enemy Charles Sweet Jr.
It also has to be assumed that her sister Rose died of old age at some point during that time.
Gotham City and life with The Joker and E. Nigma
At the beginning of the Immortal Jesters Saga, Meghan temporarily loses sight of Charles Sweet who has since re-named himself The Little Prince and has become one of the underworld's most feared crime lords.
She eventually tracks him down in Gotham City where he has thrown himself together with The Joker. Still looking to find a way to revive his sister, Sweet hopes to accomplish his goal with the help a his new partner in crime and fellow chemical engineer.
Unable to keep track of his actions from the outside, Meghan infiltrates the Joker's network under the alias of The Trickster.
Since the Joker's power is far-spread and to much to take on alone, Meghan reluctantly starts passing on inside information to members of the Justice League, namely Bruce Wayne, though she does so anonymously, not wanting to get involved. Still the intelligence leads to various interruptions in The Joker and Sweet's plans.
Her involvement with the underworld also makes her cross paths with E. Nigma, the Riddler, who employs her for various criminal undertakings in exchange for aditional information.
Over the course of ten years Meghan is completely swallowed up by her new identity, eventually losing track of her own moral compass, caught between fronts.
Though she is never seen committing murder herself, her freelance missions for various employers include tracking down people who supposedly may have been killed in consequence.
Oblivious to her providing secret information, the Justice League soon become aware of The Trickster's existence, naming her among the most dangerous villains of Gotham.
Generally during this time her character can be described as bitter, self-loathing and lost without direction. Now that the last people she knew are no longer alive, her motives have become vengeful rather than protective, while she claims in Laugh It Up Meg that she no longer knows her reason for life, except correcting her mistake of failing to kill Sweet when she had the chance.
While Sweet can now use his mental abilties to control those around him, Meghan finds that she can fly as well as call upon the powers of fire.
Her powers first manifest themselves in the third chapter Blue Little Phoenix when Meghan finds herself cornered by the Gotham PD and unvoluntarily sets the entire room on fire, killing many in the process.
Meghan is shown to be shocked and haunted by guilt over these uncontrollable new powers which seem to be fueled mostly by rage and is more than ever convinced that someone like her has no place in the world.
With an uncontrollable conflict now breaking out between hundreds of new heroes and villains, Gotham City sinks into complete chaos and is torn apart by the clashing interests of various criminal organizations.
Trying to keep afloat in the struggle, Meghan now parts with all moral causes except her own of killing Charles Sweet to repay him for what he did to her.
Rose Red Saga and work with the Justice League
Aproximately a year after Brainiac's arrival, Meghan gains knowledge that The Joker has helped Charles Sweet to locate the last living descendant of her sister, a young stripper called Rose, named after her ancestor.
Once she learns that Sweet is planning to target her in order to use her as bait or alternatively use her similar DNA to recreate the experiment, she falls into an inner conflict about whether or not to save a stranger simply because they are distantly related.
Not knowing who she is, the Joker sends The Trickster to apprehend Rose Red, as she calls herself professionally. Still not sure what to do, Meghan shadows her and is shocked to see that she is the spitting image of her late sister.
Unable to kill or capture her, she finally decides to take action and reluctantly turns herself in to the Justice League, asking them to help her protect Rose Red.
Batman agrees on the terms that she give them all the information about the Joker's network that she has and that she from now on work for their side only. He lets her walk free however, as he sees something of himself in her.
Wonder Woman supports Meghan's side, since Rose Red is a bearer of mystical powers and therefore also under her protection.
Together they manage to reach Rose before Sweet can get to her and transport her to a safe house where she is united with Meghan.
Though hesitant at first and extremely different in character, the two women start bonding and Rose eventually comes to see that Meghan simply has lost her way because she was alone all these years.
Having been alone herself, she decides to move into Meghan's home, The Birdsnest, an empty floor in one of Gotham's abandoned skyscrapers, and makes it her mission to become her friend.
Since they are both wanted by all of Gotham's underworld, they have no option but to stay together and over time form a sister-like relationship, though they regularly fight and bicker about their many differences.
It is Rose who finally helps Meghan create her new identity of Cornflower Blues in Blood and Flowers, suggesting a name that would reflect all the aspects of her new and old life.
Thus she carries the name of a Flower like Rose, a second name to remind her of her life as Blue Bird and the eternal sadness that comes with being alone as well as the Emblem of a bird on her coat as a symbol of her origin as Meghan Lark.
Rose also makes her see that fire is not only an instrument of chaos and destruction but also of warmth and light, making Meghan reach a new level of control over her powers.
As a rehabilitated criminal, Cornflower Blues struggles to be accepted by other members of the Justice League and, remaining somewhat bitter and not used to human contact, mostly goes her own way.
Although she does join them on various missions against The Joker and Brainiac and helps the Sentinels of Magic for Rose's sake, she can be compared to a freelancer or bounty-hunter, content with being called upon but not still fighting her own battle with occasional assistence from Batman.
Even in the latest issues, an element of darkness remains inside her causing internal struggle and reflecting on her sinister, morbid, hardened nature but also her sarcastic, deadpan humor.
She patrols the skies of Gotham at night, undermining The Joker's plans whenever possible and finds comfort in the darkness of what she now calls her city.
In Thorns of Metropolis we see her trainging Rose, who now calls herself Rose Red III in memory of Meghan's sister and has joined up with Wonder Woman.
Powers and AbilitiesEdit
As the daughter of an engineer as well as due to her extremely long life, Cornflower Blues is highly skilled when it comes to inventions and gadgets.
Through the storyline several hand-made devices are introduced that help her in her cause against her arch enemy Little Prince.
After the arrival of the Exobytes, she is shown experimenting and succeeding in forging upgrades for her weapons and gear.
Under the tutelage of The Joker and later Bruce Wayne, she continues her research with great results.
Archery and Fighting Skills
Cornflower Blues is an extremely accomplished archer and always uses a bow and arrows as her main weapon.
She is also an adept fighter in hand-to-hand combat and uses her bow as a melee weapon whenever necessary.
Her many years surviving as a thief and criminal taught her to move unseen and quiet like a shadow, which combined with her archery skills and flying ability make her an excellent sniper.
Thanks to Charles Sweet Cornflower Blues is supposedly immortal and over 200 years old.
Though she sees her eternal life as a curse, it also brought the benefits of enhanced healing and reflexes.
Due to the Exobytes she has gained the power of flight as well as control over fire.
During her transition from her identity of The Trickster to that of Cornflower Blues she briefly lost her fire abilities since her usual control was fueled by rage and chaos. Over time however she learned to draw from different emotions and increased her skills even further.