He is the reverse of the Scarlet Speedster and one of the smartest villains alive.
He is the Professor you won't see coming, he is Eobard Thawne, The Reverse Flash.
Eobard Thawne had many appearances in many DC media including animated series like Batman the Brave and the Bold (voiced by John Weasly Shipp), animated movies like, Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox, a live action reference in the 1990 The Flash TV show and a live action performance in the 2014 The Flash TV show starring Tom Cavanagh and Matt Letscher.
But there is still a lot to learn about the man in the Yellow Suit, so let's dive into the 10 facts you might not know about Eobard Thawne:
10. He is a descendant of the Allen Line
On a stormy night of May 13, two women came to the office a doctor in Fallville, Iowa, Nora Allen and Charlene Thawne. Both were pregnant and were about to give birth. But the doctor was drunk and was unable to assist the births properly. This of course led to the Thawne child strangled itself with it's umbilical cord and the doctor unable to save it. Instead of acknowledging his own misdoings, the doctor set sights on the other couple which gave birth to twins. In his great wisdom, the Doctor chose to give one of the twins to the Thawnes, lying to the Allens that their second child was stillborn. The kid that was given to the Thawnes was to become Malcolm Thawne, a speedster that hated Barry Allen, the Flash, as he blamed him for stealing his life and his family. He was defeated by Barry, but was the one to found the Thawne line that hated the Flash. Eobard Thawne, is his descendant.
Come to think of it, Eobard Thawne, murdered his own great-great-great grandma.
9. He had a brother, which he erased from existance
Nora Allen was not the first relatives that Eobard Thawne killed.
Back in the future(pun intended), Eobard was a troubled and a angry child. To make him more amicable his parents decided to have another child, tending for his brother would soften his heart and make him happier. Initially, it worked, Eobard spent a lot of time with his brother, helping him grow up. Eventually Robern (Eobard's brother) became a member of the Science Police, a body charged with protecting science and stopping any criminal science activities.
One such crime was to research the Speed Force, outside of the Flash Museum, which obviously Eobard did. Eobard blamed his brother for his failure to research the Speed Force and his incarceration. To make things right, by Eobard Thawne's standard, a future version of Eobard, went back in time and stopped his brother from existing effectively freeing his younger self and continuing his research.
8. He was the Flash's biggest fan
In contrary to what the Flash TV series suggests, Eobard idolized the Flash.
He spent all his life studying the Speed Force, and dreaming to one day become the Flash, or at least what the Flash was for Central City. He became a professor at the Flash Museum, had plastic surgery to make himself look like the Flash, bought the old cosmic treadmill, and tried to recreate the lab accident to become the Flash or at least meet his idol in the past.
He started hating the Flash, after he went mad from the residual speed force from his time travels and him realising that he was always meant to be the Flash's greatest enemy.
7. He became the Flash, albeit briefly.
When Eobard Thawne went back to the past to meet his mentor, he used the cosmic treadmill and Barry's old costume, that had some residual Speed Force, to do that. But because the treadmill was old, it malfunctioned and instead sent Eobard Thawne, a few years after Barry's death in the Crisis on Infinite Earths. Realising that his idol was already dead, Eobard decided to use his looks and impersonate Barry Allen, effectively becoming the Flash. For a few moments he fought crime alongside Wally West until his violent nature and psychological instability surfaced. His denial as the Flash and his recent realisation of him being a villain led him to become the exact thing he was meant to be, The Reverse Flash.
6. He is one of the smartest villains ever
When someone hears about a smart villain, the first thing that come to mind is people like Lex Luthor, Gorilla Grodd or Maxwell Lord. But who should come to mind, is Eobard Thawne. Eobard Thawne is immensly smart. He was a scientist in the 25th century, a century far more advanced both scientifically and technologically, and even there he was considered a genius. He was able to recreate the whole Flash accident and travel back in time to the right century with minimal information, and when reaching that timeline, he strategically outsmarted the whole Flash family and other members of the Justice League. He was even able to outsmart supervillains like the Rogues and even Gorilla Grodd
But that is not all.
5. He is a master of manipulation
If being smart was not enough, Eobard Thawne is also, extremely good at manipulating people. He managed to manipulate the Flash Family into thinking he is the Flash, he manipulated the Rogues to help him kill Barry, he manipulated Barry himself into shattering the timeline in the Flashpoint storyline, he manipulated Henry Allen into going to prison and he manipulated five really strong metahumans into believing that the Flash is a menace and should be killed. He also manipulated and forced Dr. Alchemy to become a villain again, and he even manipulated Barry Allen to come back to life through the speed force.
When you get to manipulate someone back to life, that's some hardcore manipulation.
4. He had his powers taken and given many times
When Eobard first travelled in time, he didn't have Speed Force abilities. Instead he acquired his powers from his suit that enabled him to gain Speed Force abilities. After his suit was taken from him, he tried to find a new way of gaining Speed Force powers, and the one he found was through an substance called Element Z. That was not enough for the Evil Speedster, so he instead tried to recreate Barry's lab accident. He was succesful in doing that, creating the reverse Speed Force. He used these powers for a while, until he was removed from the timeline from a sword that passed through his chest. He eventually returned gaining new powers again, this time moving fast through the manipulation of time, instead of movement or the Speed Force, as before.
3. He died, twice
Barry Allen is a boy scout superhero. But when you face Eobard Thawne even you reach your limits. And the first time that happened, was when Eobard Thawne tried to kill Fiona Webb at their wedding. Barry Allen trying to save Fiona from Eobard, Barry clotheslined Eobard, snapping his neck with his stop in the process. He was then ressurrected by the white light and went back to travel in time. He soon fought Barry again though, but this time he realised, that if he killed the flash he would erase his own existence, therefore he wanted to make the Flash miserable and find a way to kill the Flash without erasing himself. He finally did that with the Flashpoint Paradox event. As Barry shattered the timeline, Eobard travelled from time, removing himself from every timeline. That didn't last long as Thomas Wayne, the Batman of the Flashpoint Timeline, stabbed him through the back with a sword (In the comic, he shot him in the head in the movie) killing him. After Barry re-established the original timeline, which resulted in the New 52, Eobard was considered dead, until recently when he emerged again.
2. We don't know what time he really comes from
It is usually said by Thawne himself, that he is from the 25th Century. But is that really true?
His date of birth is 2633 which is actually the 27th Century. The thing with this inaccuracy is the fact that both his 25th century and 27th century origin dates were both stated in the same storyline, only a panel apart. Meaning that this confusion in dates was not an accident, but was done on purpose. It is also implied that he has meant the Time Masters and the Legion of Superheroes, that are both based in the 30th Century.
1. He lived in the past for hundreds of years waiting for the coming of the Flash
If there is something that Eobard Thawne has, that's patience.
In his last attempt to kill the Flash we see Eobard Thawne old, in the 1520 a.c. recruiting an Aztec priestess to kill the Flash. For 500 years Eobard waited, amassing his powers and manipulating metahumans he found to help him kill the Flash. He created a team of metahumans consisting of a woman that can make people old or young by touching them in 1520, an slave that could change his molecular structure in 1883, a maori woman that has molecules so close to each other she is thicker than a wall in 1957 , and a kid that creates vortexes in 1982.
In the end they all realise that he manipulated them, and turned on him. But 500 years of manipulation only to defeat the Flash? This guy is dedicated.
This article is one of a series of articles about DC superheroes and supervillains:
- If you want to learn more about Deathstroke click here
- If you want to learn more about the Red Hood click here