The CW‘s The Flash may already have a nemesis in its cast. In addition to Cisco Ramon, the professional circle of Barry Allen (Grant Gustin) will include one Eddie Thawne. Most Flash fans would find the name excitingly reminiscent of Eobard Thawne, aka Professor Zoom, aka Reverse-Flash.
About Eobard Thawne/ Prof. Zoom:
Eobard Thawne, who has gone by the codenames “Professor Zoom” and “Reverse-Flash”, is a fictional character, a comic book supervillain in the DC Universe. Thawne is the Archenemy of the superhero Barry Allen, the second hero to be called the Flash. He is also the second of the Reverse-Flashes, as well as a maternal forefather of Bart Allen (the second Kid Flash and fourth Flash).
Created by John Broome and Carmine Infantino, Thawne first appeared in The Flash (vol. 1) #139 in 1963, and remained one of Barry Allen’s most formidable adversaries in comics over the next quarter century. In Flash #324, the character was apparently killed by the Flash in an effort to save his fiancée, and spare her the death that Thawne gave to Flash’s first wife, Iris. Largely unseen over the next 25 years except in sporadic appearances, Thawne was resurrected by writer Geoff Johns in 2009’s The Flash: Rebirth, and reimagined as a major villain in the DC Universe with his reintroduction.
Professor Zoom is able to move and travel at super-human speeds. Professor Zoom can travel up to speeds of 671,000,000 m.p.h. (the speed of light), deliver many different types of blows a second, run on water, create cyclones, and vibrate his molecules to pass through solid objects.
In The Flash: Rebirth, it is discovered that when Zoom duplicated the incident that granted Barry Allen his powers, he created a negative Speed Force by corrupting the positive version of it. Through this Speed Force, he also has the ability to create multiple after-images like Hunter Zolomon, the modern day Zoom, and can travel through and alter time. He also can erase people from existence.
In the events leading up to Flashpoint, Professor Zoom has developed numerous powers including the ability to absorb other people’s memories and experiences, change his age, and drastically alter time.
Suffice to say, the time travel component of the Flash (and his dealings with Zoom, in particular) makes for a “history” that is far too convoluted to get into, here. I can say that Eobard Thawne’s comic origins seem to fit the character of Eddie Thawne.
About Eddie Thawne:
Recently transferred to Central City Police Department from Keystone, Thawne is set to be loved within the precinct and takes the credit for a lot of things that Barry can’t. However, the most intriguing part about this character is that his past will be a complete mystery. No one knows where he comes from, and he “harbors a dark secret.”
Zoom plans to ruin Barry’s life. It is revealed he was unable to alter Barry becoming the Flash as that would erase him from existence, which he discovers when he nearly phases from existence when attempting to stop the chemicals spilling over Barry when he hopes to become the only Flash ever by making this his origin. Realising that he is unable to erase Barry without erasing himself, with his actions merely causing the lightning bolt to pass through him and strike the chemicals that triggered the transformation, Zoom decides to ruin Barry’s life during childhood, removing his best friend from existence to make Barry more introverted, stalking Barry and doing minor things to annoy him like making him miss ball-catches, and killing his mother.
There is much more to Barry, Zoom, and Barry’s back story, but spoilers abound. More than that, the Flashpoint angle might simply contain more collateral material than The Flash series is entitled to (or deserves, for that matter).
In the event that The Flash takes its cues from Arrow, there is also the matter of creative license. Simple name changes – providing not one, but two Merlyns – helped to conceal the identity of Arrow‘s first “big bad.” The last name Thawne does not guarantee the character of Prof. Zoom, and Eddie’s vacant past and dark secret would make for a very nice red herring.
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