18 years ago - 27-year-old Flora Black is decanted when Philip Sylvain's greenhouses are destroyed. She saves Suzy Black from the fire and begins manipulating her memories of Susan Linden-Thorne to protect her.
15 years ago - 30-year-old Flora uses her pheromone powers to control the will of Elliot Weems & marry him.
10 years ago - 35-year-old Flora's pheromone powers cause an overdose in Eillot Weems. She is the sole inheritor of his fortune.
7 years ago - 38-year-old Flora is confronted by Suzy in the remains of Sylvain's greenhouses. In her madness she tries to kill Suzy, but in the end she sacrifices herself for her sister.
Neil Gaiman's Black Orchid is one of his earliest works with DC, and is a gorgeous piece of comic book fiction. But crafting tragedy that is central to who Black Orchid is, he took a classic but underutilized character and made her the central recurrent theme in a wonderfully melancholy poem that settled itself right into the central fabric of the DC universe. It's handled with such gentle dexterity that I happen to believe this is one of the central reasons DC chose to later create their entire Vertigo imprint.
For the purposes of our story Flora is, at least in some ways, similar to the way she appears in the comic. She is an adult copy of the original Black Orchid, left to fend for herself and care for her younger 'sister'. There is an element of possibility to Flora that eventually dissolves into tragedy, and we've chosen to use that to make her both a intensely protective mother / big sister figure to little Suzy while also eventually, tragically, losing herself to her own madness.
Part of what seems to give us the leverage to do this is the existence of Suzy. Knowing that the young character is there and can grow up into a new Black Orchid, it allows us to really explore the idea of Flora's attempt to forge a place for them, and her ultimate downfall.
It really is a delight to be able to pick apart wonderful stories like this and attempt to fit them into the larger tapestry of characters.