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Quote1 You hurt me. Like you hurt everyone, Flash. And I'm going to keep taking people from you until you learn... to make time for the people who matter in your life. Maybe then you'd finally see who your real friends are. Quote2
-- Eobard Thawne src

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]

Origin

Early Life

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.[2]

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.[2]

Meeting Flash

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, and the two Flashes bonded over their shared belied that "every second is a gift".[2]

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.[2]

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 realising 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 realised 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 realise how much he truly matters to him, how he is his "real friend" - as the Reverse-Flash.[2]

Destroying Flash's Life

Damaging Barry's Past

The earliest form of meddling Thawne had in ruining the Flash's life was, when Barry Allen was a child, Thawne broke into his house at night and killed the boy's mother before disappearing back in time. Without any proof that a time-travelling speedster had killed her, 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 and in the care of police officer Darryl Frye.[1]

Flash vs Reverse-Flash

For years, the Flash and the Reverse-Flash would battle each other again and again, with Thawne always being faster than his foe,[3] leaving Barry worried that he'd kill someone else close to him.[1] Multiple times, Eobard outran even death itself.[2] 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.[4][3]

Zoom

Creation Myths

Professor Zoom and his acolytes

Professor Zoom and his acolytes

Looking to further harass his nemesis, Eobard gathered allies throughout time by secretly ruining their lives as well, pretending to be a beacon of light during the very dark times he put them in. After gaining each ally's trust, Thawne would tell them he needed their help in defeating a "demon" in the future known as the Flash, to which they all agreed.[5]

Tarnishing Flash's Image

With his metahuman "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 Allen 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 police headquarters.[6]

Face-to-face with his "old friend" once again,[7] Zoom and his acolytes battled the scarlet speedster while Thawne simultaneously attempted to use a power-stealing glove to take away the Flash's speed. However, Thawne's plan began to come undone when his team betrayed him, having discovered their leader's true motives.[8] 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.[4]

Rebirth

The Button

Reverse-Flash attacking Batman

Reverse-Flash attacking Batman

Following Wally West's return from being stuck inside the Speed Force, Thawne, still in his cell in Iron Heights, was mysteriously struck by a bolt of lightning that restored memories of his previous life, including the events of Flashpoint.[9]

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.[10] 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.[11]

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.[12]

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.[2] 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.[3]

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.[13]

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 revealing his Prime Earth origin and 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.[2]

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.[14]

Thawne truthfully admits in his autobiography that he viewed the Flash as a light in the darkness of the future, and felt that even while he was fighting the Flash, he was never alone. Thawne also appears to show some genuine fear against his newly reborn nemesis, the "Negative Flash".[15]

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.[11] 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.[10] He is described as faster than both Barry Allen and Wally West, by the Flash himself.[3]
    • 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.[10]
    • Superhuman Stamina: Thawne's body can handle the stress of moving at superhuman speeds for long periods of time without getting tired or weak.[10]
    • 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.[10]
    • 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,[16] as well as send a man flying several feet with a backhand.[6]
    • Superhuman Durability: Thawne can resist tremendous kinetic impact forces with ease. He was able to strike Batman with multiple, torturous hits, all while sustaining no injuries nor feeling any pain.[10]
    • Absolute Existence: Thawne is immune to alterations to his personal timeline, due to Barry creating Flashpoint while his New Earth self was running through the timestream, turning him into a "living paradox." This means no matter what, he can not be erased from existence, making him the sole constant in a sea of potential timelines.
    • 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.[17]
    • 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.[10] 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.[18]
      • Fatal Touch: Thawne can use his negative energy to rapidly age a person to death, by creating an electrical field around their head and focusing it with his hands.[3]
    • 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.[10]
      • 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.[10]
    • Regeneration: Thawne can regenerate from injury much faster than any normal human, and is able to regrow whole body parts.[3]
      • 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 itself.[3][2]
    • Retrocognition: After being hit by lightning in his holding cell at Iron Heights, Thawne regained memories of his New Earth life and his death at the hands of Thomas Wayne in the alternate timeline, Flashpoint.[9]
    • Shock Wave Projection: Thawne possess the ability to create very powerful sonic booms and shock waves with just the clap of his hands.[10]
    • Time Deceleration: Thawne could control the flow of time by slowing it down, while still moving at a normal velocity.[6] His lightning apparently turns black when he uses this ability.[2]
    • 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]

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.[5]
  • 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.[4]
  • 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.[5]
  • 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.[5]
  • Mechanical Engineering: After discovering Rip Hunter's lost journals, Thawne was capable of building a Cosmic Treadmill, similar to the Flash's original one.[4]
  • Multilingualism: Thawne speaks English, Nahuatl, Spanish, and Zulu.[5]
  • Pedagogy: As a professor, Thawne shared his vast knowledge regarding the Flash and the Speed Force with others.[2] 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.[5]
  • Tactical Analysis: Thawne has been teaching tactics to his acolytes for centuries, preparing them for the battle against the Flash.[8]
  • 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). At one point, he wore a yellow and black costume with a diamond-shaped emblem.
  • 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.
  • Reverse-Flash was created by John Broome and Carmine Infantino, first appearing in The Flash #139. However, in the Prime Earth continuity Reverse-Flash first appeared as part of the New 52 DC Universe in Flash (Volume 4) #40 by Robert Venditti, Van Jensen, and Brett Booth.
  • In the New 52, Thawne was an amalgam of both New Earth Zooms. Like the previous Eobard Thawne, he comes from the 25th century, and like Hunter Zolomon, he was haunted by the trauma of his father killing his mother. His powers were also based on both his New Earth self's Speed Force connection and Zolomon's chronokinesis.
  • With DC Rebirth, Thawne is restored to his original status quo. His origin is retrospectively revised into a composite of his Silver Age, Return of Barry Allen, Reverse-Flash: Rebirth and Flashpoint: Reverse-Flash ones, and he also regains his New Earth memories. His powers are also retconned to be superspeed derived from his Negative Speed Force once again. However, the present day events of the "Zoom" arc are shown to have still occurred in some manner. His modus operandi also takes elements of Zolomon's, in that Thawne will keep taking people away from Barry until he learns to spend time with those that matter to him, and see Eobard as a true friend.
  • Thawne's electrokinesis allows him to glow his eyes red.

Related


Footnotes


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