Real Name: Rufus Grendle
Identity/Class: Normal human (late 1940s era)
Group Membership: None
Affiliations: Martin (butler), two henchmen, Organizers
Enemies: Blackstone, Rhoda Brent, Tom Jenkins,
Roy Lytton, police (Chief Bailey, others)
Known Relatives: None
Base of Operations: Center City, USA
First Appearance: Blackstone the Magician#2/6
Powers/Abilities: Rufus Grendle was a wealthy
but greedy socialite. He wore a monocle over his left eye, indicating
partial visual impairment. As the costumed criminal the Orchid, he used
a canister of (combustible) orchid gas strapped to his back that he
could project via a hose to knock out
victims and wipe their recent memories.
Weight: 175 lbs. 9by approximation)
(Marvel Knights - Spider-Man#9 (fb)) - Soon after World War II, the Orchid was approached by a secret cabal called the Organizers, who feared the coming of masked superheroes derailing corrupt business practices. The Organizers met with notable criminals, including Asbestos Lady, the Orchid, Cobra plus several others, seeking to fund each of them to continue as a hero's prime adversary.
(Blackstone the Magician#2/6 (fb) -
BTS) - The Orchid (Rufus Grendle) established himself a fearsome
reputation in Center City as a masked thief, using a distinct gas to
overpower wealthy victims. He also altered local timepieces to 8:00 p.m. to distract police from accurately
identifying the time of a robbery. As socialite Rufus Grendle, he
hosted regular dinner parties at his mansion, serving specifically at 8:00 p.m. and
occasionally aided the police in Orchid investigations.
(Blackstone the Magician#2/6) - Elsewhere, Blackstone
the magician-detective and his assistant Rhoda Brent read of the
Orchid's crime spree and intended to investigate as their tour
would take them there. Meanwhile, the Orchid robbed the Center City
alongside his two henchmen (secretly his secretary and footman)
following his usual tactics. The next night, the Orchid attacked and
stole the the business payroll monies of Tom Jenkins and Roy Lytton.
Blackstone and Rhoda later accepted Grendle's invitation to dinner the
next night to perform a personal magic show, yet Grendle also claimed
that, as the wealthiest man in Center City, he was the last target of
the Orchid. Rhoda noted inaccurate clocks as the Orchid struck, but
Blackstone appeared and hurled a fire-bowl that ignited the orchid gas,
hitting the Orchid senseless. Blackstone then used magic tricks to
evade and knock out the henchmen before revealing the villains' true
identities and the futile motive to show the Orchid was separate to
Grendle. The police took Grendle away, ending his short criminal career.
Comments: Created by Walter Gibson & uncredited artist.
Revealing an apparent conspiracy, Mac Gargan indicated that "half the villains in the old days were just ex-GIs on a salary"; was a military background built on ill-gotten gains part of the Orchid's origin?
Thanks to Wolfram Bane for listing other criminals approached by the secret cabal, the Organizers. These were: Asbestos Lady, Cobra, Doctor Crime, Flaming Hate, Parrot and Viking.
Blackstone the Magician was published by Marvel for issues #2-4 (#1 was by EC) before Marvel lost the
rights, so I think any Blackstone profiles should be confined to those Marvel
issues. Is Blackstone now in the public domain? Could Marvel revive the
Profile by Grendel Prime.
The Orchid has no known connections to:
Blackstone the Magician#2/6, p3, pan4 (main image)
p2, pan6 (headshot)
p2, pan2 (in action)
Blackstone the Magician#2/6 (May, 1948) - Walter Gibson (writer), uncredited artist, Stan Lee (editor)
Marvel Knights: Spider-Man#9 (February, 2005) - Mark Millar (writer), Terry Dodson (pencils), Rachel Dodson (inks), Axel Alonso (editor)
Last updated: 09/12/2020
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
All other characters mentioned or pictured are ™ and © 1941-2099 Marvel Characters, Inc. All Rights Reserved. If you like this stuff, you should check out the real thing!
Please visit The Marvel Official Site at: http://www.marvel.com.
Special Thanks to www.g-mart.com for hosting the Appendix!
Back to Characters