(Disclaimer: Spoilers for The Flash Season 3 Episode 12 below. Continue at your own risk!)
The Flash Season 3 Episode 12, titled 'Untouchable', introduced a new villain named Clive Yorkin. For those of you who aren’t familiar with Clive Yorkin, don’t worry: he is one of the most obscure villains in The Flash’s rogues' gallery. However, he is one of the more interesting villains, as he has an ability that uniquely offsets The Speed Force. So, who is Clive Yorkin? And does his powerset hold the key to defeating Savitar on The Flash Season 3?
Clive Yorkin only ran amock in Central City for one day before being captured by Barry Allen — but, in this short span of time, he had a profound impact on Barry Allen, and is associated with one of the most horrific deaths in Barry’s life. Let's take a look at Clive Yorkin's comic book origins, to get better idea of how he plays into The Flash mythos.
Clive Yorkin's Comic Book Origin
Clive Yorkin made his first appearance in The Flash #270 in 1979. Yorkin was a career criminal, and was charged with almost every crime you could think of, including murder. Yorkin's crimes had finally caught up with him, and he was imprisoned with no hope of release.
After several incidents inside the prison, Yorkin was place in solitary confinement, and the walls slowly started to close in on him. He became extremely desperate, and eventually agreed to be a part of an experiment named The Nephron Process.
The Nephron Process was supposed to rid Yorkin of all his pain and violent tendencies, but something went terribly wrong, and it drove him insane. Insanity was only a parting gift of the process, because it also granted him the ability to drain the life-force from people. Having been imbued with amazing power, Yorkin escaped prison and began a one day crime-spree that devastated Central City.
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During the time Yokrin was lose in the city, Reverse Flash killed Iris West. Yorkin happened to come across Iris’s body, and was blamed for killing her. Barry became enraged and frantically began hunting him down. Barry eventually resorted to asking a young psychic woman for help, and they manage to find Yorkin. Because of Yorkin’s abilities, Flash couldn’t physically attack him, but Flash managed to trap him in a sink-hole. Yorkin was then placed in Iron Heights Prison, where he remained indefinitely.
Clive Yorkin On 'The Flash'
In 'Untouchable', Clive Yorkin is one of the husk meta-humans that were created by Doctor Alchemy. His backstory is rather unclear on #TheFlash, but he is from the infamous Flashpoint timeline, and he can kill with a touch. For this reason, Team Flash has an extremely difficult time dealing with him — and they almost lose Iris in the process.
Clive Yorkin is hunting down members of the CCPD from Flashpoint, who are responsible for humiliating him. He manages to kill a chef at Luigi’s Restaurant – which coincides with one of the news headlines Barry and Cisco vibed in the future. Yorkin then goes after Julio Mendez – who is a character from the Flash TV show from the ‘90s – and kills him with ease.
Yorkin continues his war-path by attempting to kill Joe West, but is stopped by Kid Flash. Instead of going after Joe West again, Yorkin decides to go after Iris and manages to touch her. Her body begins to decay, but the process is slowed by Catilin’s Killer Frost abilities. Team Flash devises a plan to stop Yorkin, and they finally succeed after Kid Flash phases through him, which allows Wally’s Speed Force-enriched blood to counteract Yorkin’s powers.
Where The Lines Overlap
Clive Yorkin’s transition from comics to television is virtually unchanged. The only major difference is that his specific motives are tied to Flashpoint. The Flash hit on all of Yorkin’s greatest hits, and even changed the death of Iris West storyline a bit. He only terrorized Central City for a short time, and in end he was defeated by a clever plan rather than brute force.
We don’t yet know if Yorkin will make another appearance on The Flash. His powers have been neutralized for the moment; however, that doesn’t mean they are gone for good. It is worth noting that Yorkin’s attachment to Iris’s death made makes him a very compelling character, and his abilities may play a key role in saving Iris from Savitar. Make sure you tune in to The Flash on Tuesdays at 8PM/ET on The CW.
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