Detective Eddie Thawne is the infamous Reverse Flash.
Many fan theories have been circulating about the true identity of this iconic villain ever since he was first introduced into The Flash's Pilot episode. The two most popular candidates to take up the Yellow Speedster's costume are Doctor Harrison Wells and Detective Eddie Thawne.
While Dr Wells is a character brimming with mystery and intrigue, it seems that the identity of The Man in Yellow is Thawne. That is not to say, of course, that Dr Wells is not involved in the overarching plot of things but he is not the speedster himself.
Below are the top 3 reasons why Detective Eddie Thawne is The Reverse Flash.
Number one: his name, Eddie Thawne. As they say, "it's all in the name." In the original Flash Comics The Reverse Flash, then known as Professor Zoom, was a man named Eobard Thawne. Thawne hasn't been altered but Eddie, or Edward, looks like a modernised version of the name Eobard. Could simply be a call back to the comic books for the most die hard fans or could it mean something more literal.?
Here is a very brief summary of Eobard Thawne. He began as a Flash Super-Fan from the 25th century. Eobard's obsession with the Fastest Man Alive caused him to have plastic surgery so that he appeared identical to Barry Allen. If that wasn't enough, he also replicated the experiment which bestowed Barry with his powers, in order to become a Speedster himself. Thawne then traveled back in time using a Cosmic Treadmill, desperate to meet and befriend his idol. However, Thawne arrived in the wrong year, instead meeting The Flash when he was Wally West. In a museum dedicated to The Flash, Thawne learned that he was destined to become the villain known as The Reverse Flash. Driven insane by this vision of the future, Thawne fought crime alongside West for a short period of time, masquerading as Barry Allen, before turning on him in a fit of rage, beating him up while crying "I'm the Flash!" West realised that Thawne was not the real Flash, and a battle ensued at the Flash Museum, where Eobard dawned the Reverse Flash costume, accepting his destiny.
Number two: there is a very obvious "moment" between The Reverse Flash and Eddie, when The Man in Yellow unleashes a brutal attack on police, leaving Eddie relatively unharmed in comparison.
Here begins a theory which stretches across all beliefs of The Reverse Flash's identity: time travel. It is believed that whoever he is, he traveled backwards in time to reach this moment.
Time travel and alternate universes are something which occur very frequently in the comic book world yet they are something which the Arrow/Flash universe has not delved into...yet!
There is very strong evidence for the use of time travel in The Flash. For starters, when watching Barry and The Reverse Flash battle at super speeds, Joe observes that the night Nora Allen was murdered, Barry had described both a trail of red and a trail of yellow lightning. What does this mean? There were two speedsters there that night!
We know 100% that The Reverse Flash was there that evening. The only question remaining is the identity of the other speedster. The show is heavily hinting on the idea of it being Barry, a theory which completely makes sense. Upon the discovery of time travel, Barry will follow The Reverse Flash into the past to make an ultimately doomed attempt to save his mother.
This also answers a question that has been plaguing me since the pilot: why did The Reverse Flash remove Barry from the house rather than simply killing him, or allowing him to watch? Now the more likely option is that Barry removes his younger self from the room so that he does not have to witness the brutal murder of his mother.
Another strong source of evidence that time travel will be used in The Flash comes in the form of Tachyon Particles. Harrison Wells tells Barry that if these were to be stolen, the possessor would be able to travel at immense speeds. Of course, at the end of the episode we discover that Wells has the Tachyon Particles and he bonds them to The Reverse Flash's suit which he has locked in his "future room." If a speedster were to then wear this suit, their speeds would be unparalleled.
Scientifically speaking, if someone was to travel faster than light then they could bend the time around them...time travel. So with The Reverse Flash in possession of the Tachyon particles, it becomes ever more likely that he is a time traveller.
If The Reverse Flash is Eddie Thawne, then that would explain why he does not kill him at STAR Labs. If future Eddie were to kill past Eddie then there would be no future Eddie in the first place, and he would cease to exist.
Phew...all that time travel business can become confusing. Wibbly wobbly, timey wimey!
For the third reason as to why Eddie Thawne is The Reverse Flash we will look more at the why? After all he is a do-good Detective who seems only to want to help people. I don't believe that is a cover, I think that all we have seen of him so far is genuine. Soon, though, he will begin to decline.
The first hint of this was Eddie's jealousy toward Barry and Iris' relationship. While Iris sees Barry as a brotherly figure, Barry has loved Iris since he was a young boy. Eddie proposes this to Iris, but she dismisses the theory with a laugh. However, she now knows Barry's true feelings after he reveals them on Christmas.
It is unlikely that Iris will tell Eddie he was right. So when he ultimately finds out the truth, this will fill him with jealousy. Maybe even anger. How will he find out though? Will he discover it from something Iris accidentally says? Will Iris realise she does, in fact, have feelings for Barry? Either way, this is a sure way to turn our good cop into someone more angry and twisted. This is a good first step on the path of villainy.
Another "why" comes from the hatred Thawne has toward The Flash. It is not uncommon for a show of this genre to have a cop hating the new hero/vigilante in town. Thawne's hatred is furthered when The Flash brutally attacks him while under the influence of a rage inducing metahuman. While Barry wasn't himself in these moments, it was enough to solidify Eddie's hatred.
To make matters worse, Iris has, or had, an obsession with The Flash. She wrote a blog on all the heroics he performed, worshiping him as a hero and a guardian of Central City. I would say she had a borderline crush on the hero but to tell the truth, she was completely smitten for him.
Knowing that the girl he loves has feelings for the man he wants brought to "justice" must cause Eddie to have a more personal vendetta towards The Flash.
Now, lets imagine that Iris discovers Barry is The Flash. Will seeing Barry in this new light cause her to think of him as more than a brother? If this is the case, it seems guaranteed that Eddie will feel resentful and angry toward them both. This could push him closer and closer to the edge.
Those are the reasons why Eddie Thawne is The Reverse Flash. Still, many of our questions remain unanswered and really all we can do is speculate until his identity is revealed.
One of my big questions is how does The Reverse Flash get his power? Time traveler or not, somehow the speedster has to gain his speed. Perhaps, like the comics, Eddie will replicate the experiment. Perhaps the presence of the Tachyon Particles in the suit means that the wearer does not need to have innate powers to begin with?
For those who are interested I will be writing an article soon on why Harrison Wells is NOT The Reverse Flash. I can't simply tell you all it is Eddie Thawne without having some form of rebuttal to my argument.
So, do you think Eddie Thawne is Professor Zoom? Do you think time travel is going to play a pivotal role in The Flash's story arc? Is Harrison Wells actually The Reverse Flash? Let me know your thoughts and feelings below!