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Quote1 It's a shame, but I doubt that I'll ever meet the Flash to tell him how I feel. That even though I had no one in my life, his sense of hope was a light in the darkness of my future. And as long as I had that... ...I was never alone. Quote2
-- Eobard Thawne src

Professor Eobard Thawne, otherwise known as the Reverse-Flash and Professor Zoom (or simply Zoom), is a scientist and criminal from the 25th Century who was obsessed with The Flash. Having given himself similar powers to him, he travels through time to battle his greatest enemy.[1]

New 52

Origin

In the year 2463, when he was a child, Eobard Thawne saw his father kill his mother. Later, he became connected to the Speed Force after being struck by a bolt of lightning and attempted to take over the Gem Cities, Central and Keystone City. However, it didn't work because the 21st Century superhero known as The Flash was revered as a legend, which caused the people to rebel against Thawne and fight in the Flash's name. Thawne found it unfair that despite their similar powers, Flash got a happy family life and that the people of the Gem Cities treated him like a god. He would then forcefully take over the cities and burn down the Flash Museum.[2]

Destroying the Allen family

Finding the lost journals of Rip Hunter, he created the Cosmic Treadmill over the course of several years and crafted a plan to go back in time and tarnish the Flash's history and legacy.[2] Jealous of how Barry's parents adored him and how much they loved each other, Thawne proceeded to destroy the Allen family exactly like his own one was, so that he'd have an "equal start" with the future Flash. He started his plan by destroying his father Henry and mother Nora's relationship. He would fund Henry's hematology lab with large sums of money, causing him to become more engrossed in his work to cure the deadliest blood-born diseases. This would put a strain on his marriage with Nora, leading to her having an extramarital affair with police officer Darryl Frye. On the day Henry received divorce papers from Nora and confronted her about them, Thawne murdered her and, with Henry's refusal to join him, threatened him with Barry's life unless he took the blame for the crime, leaving the boy who would one day become the Flash without his parents and in Darryl's care.[2]

Creation Myths

The Acolytes of Zoom

The Acolytes of Zoom

Having destroyed the Allen family's history, Thawne now desired to destroy the Flash's image. He would gather allies, with distinct Speed Force-derived abilities, throughout time by putting them in near death situations and then saving them. Once he gained their trust, he told them that they were "chosen" by the Speed Force and needed to kill a "demon" known as the Flash.[3]

The End of the Road

Thawne and his follower Block found William Selkirk in the Speed Force, paralyzed following a battle with two Flashes. He promises to teach the new Speed Force conduit how to use his power.[4]

Zoom

With his "acolytes" by his side, Thawne then began to put his plans in motion by arriving at a point in time when the Flash was an established hero, several years into his career. Finding ways to torment the Flash, Professor Zoom's first move in this time period was initiating for Henry to break out of jail, while also framing him for killing a guard in the escape. While the Flash was forced to deal with the police manhunt for his father, the Reverse-Flash continued his plot to ruin the Flash's history by framing him for putting a bomb in the Central City Police Department headquarters.[5]

Flash vs Zoom

Flash vs Zoom

Face-to-face with the Flash,[6] Thawne and his acolytes battled the scarlet speedster while he simultaneously attempted to use a power-stealing glove, which he had forced Henry to make, to take away the Flash's speed. However, his plan fell to pieces when his team betrayed him, having discovered their leader's true motives after Magali, his former acolyte whose age manipulation power he had previously stolen, exposed him.[7] Running faster than he'd ever run before, Barry learned he had the power to actually speed up time, allowing him to arrest Thawne and have him imprisoned at Iron Heights.[2]

Rebirth

Origin

The Future Flash

The Future Flash

Eobard Thawne was an only child when his parents were killed in a tragic accident. In his loneliness, he became obsessed with the Flash, Barry Allen, a heroic speedster from the 21st Century. Eobard would dedicate his life to studying the Flash and researching his power source - the Speed Force.[8]

During his adulthood, Thawne miraculously received a time capsule containing the Flash's old costume. He managed to harness residual traces of the Speed Force to give himself powers just like his idol's. Dissatisfied, Thawne would seek to see how Flash lived by becoming a hero just like him. However, due to him living in a future without many opportunities for heroics, Thawne "created" his own by endangering, and in the process hurting, people to make himself look a hero - The Flash of his century.[8]

One day, Thawne's dream would come true when Allen traveled to his future using the Cosmic Treadmill. Barry taught Eobard new ways to use his powers, how understanding and experiencing the Speed Force were very different matters, and the two Flashes bonded over their shared belief that "every second is a gift".[8] Unfortunately for Eobard, Barry became aware of the truth behind his "heroics", and would turn him in to the authorities after defeating the rogue speedster. Desperate to prove himself to his hero, Thawne vowed to become a better man. He underwent psychotherapy, shared his scientific and historical knowledge, and dedicated his life to helping others. He convinced the authorities that society wouldn't benefit from him being behind bars, but educating others as a professor, and worked hard from being a tour guide at the Flash Museum to becoming its curator.[8]

Becoming Reverse-Flash

Wanting to show Barry how far he'd come, to be accepted once again by his "best friend", Thawne traveled back in time to the 21st Century. Deeming it arrogant to think he was ready to become the Flash, he changed his costume to yellow, because of how it was the color that all the hero's partners wore. However, after witnessing Barry gift Wally West a watch with the same advice he gave Eobard years ago inscribed, Thawne snapped. He became overwhelmed with hate and jealousy upon realizing that he wasn't as special or dear to Barry as he thought, seeing the man he once adored as a liar and a traitor. Running back to the Flash Museum, it was there that Thawne realized his destiny. Creating his own "negative" version of the Flash's power source and switching his emblem, Thawne made it his life's mission to make Barry's hell, to make him realize how much he truly matters to him, how he is his "real friend" - as the Reverse-Flash.[8]

The earliest form of meddling Thawne had in ruining the Flash's life was murdering his mother Nora. Barry's father Henry was falsely accused and sentenced for the crime, leaving the boy who would one day become the Flash without his parents.[1] For years, the Flash and the Reverse-Flash would battle each other again and again, with Thawne always being faster than his foe,[9] leaving Barry worried that he'd kill someone else close to him.[1] Multiple times, Thawne outran even death itself.[8] Daniel West, the brother of Iris West, later succeeds Eobard in taking on the mantle of the Reverse-Flash - though Thawne wouldn't consider him one, viewing Daniel as an insult.[2][9]

Sins of the Father

Thawne, still in his cell at Iron Heights, was mysteriously struck by a bolt of lightning that restored memories of his previous life, including the events of Flashpoint.[10]

The Button

Reverse-Flash attacking Batman

Reverse-Flash attacking Batman

Fleeing Iron Heights, the Reverse-Flash made his way to the Batcave, where he began beating and taunting Batman, explaining that he now remembered Flashpoint and his death at the hands of that timeline's Batman.[11] After beating Bruce to a pulp, Thawne went to examine the mysterious button that Batman had been investigating and, interacting with the residual power, was teleported into the timestream, where he apparently discovered the button's true owner.

While heading to confront the owner in the timestream, Thawne encountered the Flash and Batman, travelling through time from the near future, pursuing him on the Cosmic Treadmill.[12]

Planning to undo Barry's life once again by turning him into his son and acolyte, Thawne outran the two and eventually made his way to where the button's radiation had led him. He demands the button's true owner to reveal himself, and when he does, Thawne becomes frightened for his life. Thawne then starts to become disintegrated by this being, and is teleported back into the batcave, burning in blue flames and claiming that he had seen "God." The Reverse-Flash then collapsed, seemingly dead.[13]

The Color of Fear

However, Thawne was able to survive his run in with death via regeneration from his negative energy. He then returns to his home in the future, only to find it radically changed. Desiring to uncover the changes made to history, he then returns back to the past.[8] He is present at Iris West's house when she arrives with her nephew following Multiplex's attack at Barry's birthday party, shocking and terrifying the pair.[9]

Thawne interrogates the clueless pair over the alterations to the timeline, mentioning New Earth events. Wally attempts to fight him off, but is savagely beaten while Thawne tells him he is not Kid Flash or even the real Wally West. Upon realizing that Iris isn't aware of Barry's secret identity in this timeline, he kidnaps and takes her to the 25th century, in order to force her to remember her past life from before Flashpoint, specifically when he killed her.[14]

Running Scared

Thawne giving Barry his own advice

Thawne giving Barry his own advice

Thawne trapped Iris at the Flash Museum and lured Barry into a trap. After taunting Barry over how he hurts everyone in his life, just like how he hurt him, Eobard proceeds to savagely beat Barry and unmask him in front of Iris.[8]

He then takes Barry and Iris to a future where their children, the twins Dawn and Don, have become rogues that are laying waste to Central City, due to how the toll of being the Flash led to their father not spending enough time with them - causing them to feel neglected. After manipulating Flash over the pain and lies that follow him, he tricks him by making him run right into the Negative Speed Force alongside him, seemingly trapping his nemesis. He promptly returns back to the Flash Museum, where he immediately breaks his 'promise' to leave Iris alone. However, before Thawne can do anything, a 'negative' Flash returns and attacks a shocked Thawne, who becomes amazed over how 'beautiful' his foe has become.[15]

They then proceed to fight throughout all of time, culminating in Barry taking the Negative Speed Force from his foe. Thawne, undeterred, states that he will return as he always has, over and over again. In response, Iris disintegrates him with a ray gun from a nearby exhibit, killing him.[16]

The Society

Thawne has somehow returned. Whether he has been resurrected yet again or this is merely his past-self is unknown. It's revealed that at one point in his life, Eobard was a member of the Secret Society of Super-Villains that kidnaps Deathstroke, who is held in trial based on his noble actions. The villains would have a philosophical debate, with Thawne viewing himself as not "evil", but "efficient".[17][18]

Powers

  • Negative Speed Force Generation: Thawne created his own negative version of the Flash's Speed Force, with its own unique energy signature, which he can tap into as normal speedsters do with the positive Speed Force. The Negative Speed Force grants him the ability to move at incredible speeds, among many other superhuman powers.[1]
    • Superhuman Speed: Thawne is capable of moving at vast superhuman speeds.[12] His immense speed allows him to generate superhuman force, which allows him to deal devastating blows to opponents, as well as effortlessly hurl them with great force.[11] He is described as faster than both Barry Allen and Wally West, by the Flash himself.[9]
    • Superhuman Reflexes: Thawne possesses reflexes far greater than a normal human being. This allows him to easily react to danger and events, and perceive the world in slow motion.[11]
    • Superhuman Stamina: Thawne's body can handle the stress of moving at superhuman speeds for long periods of time without getting tired or weak.[11]
    • Superhuman Agility: Thawne's agility, balance, and bodily coordination are enhanced to superhuman levels. This allows him to easily maneuver while moving at superhuman speed.[11]
    • Superhuman Strength: Thawne possesses sufficiently enhanced strength, as he was able to effortlessly lift and dangle the Flash with one hand, high above his head. He is also strong enough to easily carry a full grown man with one arm while running,[19] as well as send a man flying several feet with a backhand.[5]
    • Negative Speed Force Aura: The Negative Speed Force manifests a protective aura around Thawne's entire body that shields him from the negative effects of moving at super-speed, such as air friction and kinetic impacts.
      • Superhuman Durability: Thawne can resist tremendous kinetic impact forces with ease. He was able to withstand hits from the Flash, while moving at intense speeds.
    • Chronokinesis: Thawne could control the flow of time by slowing it down, while still moving at a normal velocity.[5] His lightning apparently turns black when he uses this ability.[8]
    • Cosmic Awareness: Thawne was able to "feel" the presence of who the power of the button belongs to, "like a wave of static electricity", and is aware of their alterations to time and reality.
    • Dimensional Travel: Thawne is able to travel in and out of the timestream, allowing him to travel to other planes of reality.[1] He is also able to travel in and out of the Negative Speed Force.[20]
    • Electrokinesis: As a conduit of the Negative Speed Force, Thawne generates his own unique energy signature. This lightning emanates off of him as red electrical arcs from all around his body, and from his eyes as streaks, especially when he moves at super speed.[11] Thawne's lightning can interfere with, and fry electronics.[1]
      • Electromagnetism: Due to the electricity generated from his body, Thawne possesses some level of magnetic manipulation, which he uses to control his suit's armor. Every time he releases his suit from his ring, the pieces of it are conducted by his lightning to form the suit around him.[21]
      • Fatal Touch: Thawne can use his negative energy to rapidly drain a person's life-force, by creating an electrical field around their head and focusing it with his hands.[9]
    • Enhanced Senses: The Negative Speed Force grants Thawne enhanced senses that allow him to perceive the world at a rate attuned his reaction speed.
    • Molecular Acceleration: Thawne can vibrate his own molecular structure at varying degrees for a number of purposes, by adjusting to different frequencies.
      • Intangibility: By vibrating his molecules on an atomic level, and by doing so at just the right frequency, Thawne can allow himself to become intangible, allowing people or objects to pass right through him.[11]
      • Phasing: By vibrating his molecules on an atomic level, and by doing so at just the right frequency, he can allow himself to become momentarily intangible, and phase through objects.[11]
    • Regeneration: Thawne can regenerate from injury much faster than any normal human, and is able to regrow whole body parts.[9]
      • Immortality: Thawne's regenerative capabilities effectively make him unkillable, granting him a potentially perpetual lifespan.
      • Resurrection: Even after being disintegrated by "God", Thawne's ability to regenerate whole body parts allowed him to be resurrected from his run-in with death.[9][8] This ability may have allowed him to resurface as a member of "The Society" after being killed by Iris West.
    • Shock Wave Projection: Thawne possess the ability to create very powerful sonic booms and shock waves with just the clap of his hands.[11]
    • Time Travel: Thawne can use his speed to freely travel throughout time, and does not need assistance from the Cosmic Treadmill, like Barry Allen and Wally West.[1]
      • Reality Alteration: Thawne's ability to travel throughout the timestream allows him to manipulate events at will to satisfy his own needs.[1]
  • Paradoxical Existence: Thawne was transformed into a living paradox when Barry Allen created the Flashpoint timeline, as he was running through the timestream when this happened.[22] This makes Thawne immune to alterations to his personal timeline, making him the sole constant in any timeline. It is also impossible to erase him from existence.[22]
  • Retrocognition: After being hit by lightning in his cell at Iron Heights, Thawne gained the memories of his New Earth life, including his death at the hands of Thomas Wayne in the Flashpoint timeline, despite having never lived through those events himself.[10]

Abilities

  • Deception: Thawne organized each of his acolytes' origin stories, forcing them to trust him as the malevolent speedster came to "save" all of them at just the right time.[3]
  • Genius Level Intellect/Science: Thawne's brilliant mind and broad science acumen enabled him to harness residual energy traces off Flash's old costume and create a "negative" version of the Speed Force in order to fuel his own powers.[1]
  • Hand-to-Hand Combat (Advanced): Utilizing his speed, Thawne created an effective fighting style to combat all types of material opponents.[2]
  • Historiography: Thawne is very knowledgeable on world history and culture, spanning from the Flash's 21st century all the way to Magali's ancient times.[3]
  • Intimidation: Thawne's intimidating presence can be attributed to his immense power and sociopathic mentality.
  • Leadership: Thawne led a team of his own "acolytes", dedicated to taking down the "demon" Flash.[3]
  • Mechanical Engineering: After discovering Rip Hunter's lost journals, Thawne was capable of building a Cosmic Treadmill, similar to the Flash's original one.[2]
  • Multilingualism: Thawne speaks English, Nahuatl, Spanish, and Zulu.[3]
  • Pedagogy: As a professor, Thawne shared his vast knowledge regarding the Flash and the Speed Force with others.[8] As the leader of his acolytes, Thawne was concerned with teaching them how to best use their metahuman abilities, as well as other knowledge they would need to combat the Flash.[3]
  • Tactical Analysis: Thawne has been teaching tactics to his acolytes for centuries, preparing them for the battle against the Flash.[7]
  • Temporal Mechanics: Thawne holds expertise in the study and theory of time, being aware of and able to identify the "strange" nature of alterations to the timeline.

Equipment

  • Costume: Thawne's costume is an exact duplicate of Barry's, but with the colors and emblem reversed (red and yellow are swapped, white is black).
  • Costume Ring: Thawne possesses a ring, similar to (or the same as) the one owned by Flash, which he uses to store his costume in.
  • Power-Theft Glove (formerly): Thawne briefly held a glove, created by Henry Allen, to steal the powers of others connected to the Speed Force.

Related


Footnotes


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Flash Family member

This character is or was an incarnation of or an ally of The Flash, and a member of the Flash Family of speedsters. This template will automatically categorize articles that include it into the "Flash Family members" category.

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Flash Villain(s)
This character, team, or organization, is or was primarily an enemy of any or all of the various incarnations of the Flash. This template will categorize articles that include it into the category "Flash Villains."

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Secret Society of Super-Villains member
This character is or was a member of the Secret Society of Super-Villains, a cadre of super-villains who band together to accomplish feats no one super-villain can do alone, in any of its various incarnations. This template will categorize articles that include it into the "Secret Society of Super-Villains members" category.