The Flash has recently resumed their second season, and with it came the recent episode which featured the Flash's polar opposite: The Reverse Flash. This villain completely gripped our attention back in season 1, with his incredibly intimidating appearance and skills, and with apparent lack of humanity. He was the complete opposite of Barry Allen, and made the perfect Ying to Barry's Yang, standing as the complete opposite of him, his perfect reverse. He made an incredibly great villain, once again reminding audiences around the world that Batman is not the only hero with amazing villains.
With the premiere of season 2, we were introduced to the next big bad in Barry's World: Zoom. Zoom was made to be an incredibly intimidating speed demon, one who seemed to not be human at all, with the show even stating that 'Zoom is human, or at least, he was.' This left the question as to whether Zoom is human or not up in the air, and added an even more menacing tone to Zoom. Zoom has already promised to be a great threat, with his abilities far surpassing Barry's, and with recent episodes proving that there is no line that Zoom will not cross.
Although Zoom makes a very compelling villain, he falls short of generating as much interest as the Reverse Flash did. This is due to a combination of factors, some of which may be due to the fact that we don't exactly know much about Zoom. Zoom may be a name that is uttered with complete dread by the inhabitants of Earth-2, but to everyone in Earth-1, he seems to be a myth that is uttered by the superstitious. His name may be uttered every episode, and Barry's only purpose right now is to become as fast as Zoom in order to combat him. But to the audience, he cannot be nearly as terrifying as the Reverse-Flash was. Yes Zoom has had some truly horrifying moments, such as when he crippled Barry, or dragged Barry around the streets of the city, but they pale in comparison to what we have seen the Reverse-Flash do.
The Reverse-Flash was introduced to us in the pilot as the one who murdered Barry's mother, immediately setting the tone for the villain. The Reverse-Flash then murdered anyone who could have a negative effect on Barry's life, and murdered several cops on screen, showing that he is a complete psychopath with no regard for life. The Reverse-Flash has also fought several times with Barry, always taunting him, showing how unbalanced the fight was. He enjoyed his fights with The Flash, not seeing them as truly a fight, but rather as a game to be enjoyed.
It was later revealed that The Reverse-Flash killed Barry's mom out of pure spite, when his true intention was to kill the child version of Barry Allen. He then murdered Harrison Wells and took his place. During the final fight in the last episode of Season 1, he stated that after he killed Barry, he would kill his friends at Star Labs, then kill his father.
The Reverse-Flash stood to destroy everything the Flash was, to prove he was better than the Flash. And that may be the reason why he makes a more compelling villain than Zoom. Zoom may be the all-powerful speedster that Barry has no chance against, but in the end, Zoom's agenda is distastefully simple: He wants to be the fastest man in the whole multiverse, and there is no length he will not go to in order to achieve it. He does not care for Barry Allen; Barry is just the means to an end for Zoom. Although that may add an even more threatening tone to Zoom, but it cannot compare to the motivation that the Reverse-Flash had to do what he did: he wanted to be the Flash. But, he couldn't, so he stands as his opposite, as his reverse. He wants to destroy everything the Flash is, what he stands for, and his motivation becomes more compelling as such.
In the end, Zoom would easily beat the Reverse-Flash in a fight. But that's not what being a villain is about. A villain is not only his hero's equal, but he stands as his opposite. Batman's greatest villain is not Bane, even though Bane broke the Bat. It is the Joker. Superman's greatest villain is not Doomsday, even though he managed to kill the Man of Steel. It is Doomsday. The villain defines the hero, and makes the hero who he is.
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