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The Rival, the first Reverse-Flash, by Carlo Barberi and Terry Austin.
|First appearance||Flash Comics #104 (February 1949)|
|Created by||John Broome|
Edward Clariss first appeared in Jay Garrick's final appearance in Flash Comics #104 (February 1949), and was created by John Broome and Joe Kubert as an evil counterpart of Jay Garrick during the Golden Age of Comic Books. He would be revived by Geoff Johns and David Goyer in a story called "Injustice Be Done" from the Justice Society of America comic books through the Modern Age of Comic Books.
Fictional character biography
Although not called Reverse-Flash, Dr. Edward Clariss was a professor at the university attended by the Golden Age Flash, and had recreated the formula which was behind Jay Garrick's speed. He hears Joan Williams (Garrick's girlfriend) talking about how the Flash's own speed was given to another student, which helped him develop the formula. Bitter at the scientific community's rejection of his claims, Clariss becomes a criminal. A darker version of the Flash with a mask over his head, he gives the formula to other criminals. The Rival's version of the formula is temporary, and he is captured and jailed. (Later stories have indicated a possible link between the Clariss formula and the Velocity 9 created by Vandal Savage, but thus far no such link has been conclusively proven.)
JSA #16 (November 2000) contains a flashback to a battle between the Rival and the Flash several months after the former's first appearance. Now that he has inexplicably regained super speed, Clariss reaches light speed during the fight and vanishes into the Speed Force. After the Justice Society of America's reformation 50 years later, Johnny Sorrow retrieves Clariss from the Speed Force and invites him to join the Injustice Society. Driven insane in the Speed Force, the Rival races across the country on a killing spree. The Flash realizes that the Rival's path across the country spells out Clariss's name and the final murder victim will be Joan; Jay absorbs the Rival's speed before he can kill Joan.
The Rival returns in Impulse #88 (September 2002), posing as Joan's doctor. Now pure speed energy, he possesses fellow Golden Age speedster Max Mercury. After battling Jay and Impulse, Max time-travels to an unknown destination. In The Flash: Rebirth #4, Max escapes from the Speed Force and is rejuvenated by Wally West's energy; this allows him to return to Earth in a new body. Another Golden Age Reverse-Flash is a robot whose only appearance was in one panel of The Flash #134 (February 1998), where he is defeated by Garrick.
Professor Eobard Thawne first appeared in The Flash #139 (September 1963). The archenemy of Barry Allen, he is the second major supervillain and is the famous supervillian character as the name Reverse Flash or Professor Zoom
Hunter Zolomon (also known as Zoom) first appeared in The Flash: Secret Files & Origins #3 (November 2001). The archenemy of Wally West, he is the third supervillain to be called Reverse-Flash. Unlike all other Reverse-Flashes, he did not gain his superspeed from the Speed Force; due to an accident with the Cosmic Treadmill, Zolomon was essentially 'derailed' from the timeline, allowing him to control the rate at which he moved in time that can make him faster than any speedster.
Thaddeus Thawne (aka Inertia and later Kid Zoom) first appeared in Impulse #51 (August 1999), and was created by Todd DeZago and Mike Wieringo. Another character not called Reverse-Flash, he is a clone of Bart Allen. Inertia first fought Impulse. When Bart aged five years after Infinite Crisis and became the Flash, Inertia fought his genetic template again. Inertia was responsible for Allen's death; Wally West returned, taking revenge by paralyzing Inertia and installing him in the Flash Museum. In Final Crisis: Rogues' Revenge, he was used by Libra and Zoom to try to get the Rogues to join the Secret Society. Inertia stole Zoom's powers, called himself Kid Zoom and was killed by the Rogues who blamed him for making them kill Bart.
Asked who created Inertia, Ethan van Sciver wrote that he could only accept five percent of the credit; the remaining credit belonged to Mike Wieringo (20 percent), Grant Morrison (25 percent) and Todd DeZago (50 percent). According to van Sciver, Inertia's appearance is an inverted depiction of Impulse.
Inertia initially appeared came in Impulse #50: "First Fool's" (July 1999), followed by #51: "It's All Relative" (August 1999). His greatest character development was in #53: "Threats" (October 1999). Inertia was not featured again until Impulse #62 and #66: "Mercury Falling" (July, November 2000), and again for another five years.
He then began making regular appearances, primarily due to Bart being the Flash. Inertia appeared in The Flash: The Fastest Man Alive #5: "Lightning in a Bottle, Part 5" (December 2006). In addition to his Flash appearances, he appeared in Teen Titans (vol. 3) as part of Titans East, an enemy team, beginning in Teen Titans #43 (January 2007). The storyline concluded with #46 (April 2007). Gathering the Rogues, he attempted to drain Bart's powers for himself; the plan backfired when Wally returned when Inertia's equipment drained the Speed Force, making the Rogues accidentally beat Bart to death. As Inertia tried to escape, he was captured by Wally who steals his speed leaving him immobile.
Inertia is primarily a speedster, remaining disconnected from the Speed Force after Infinite Crisis and injecting himself with Velocity 9. Although Velocity 9 has been unstable, Deathstroke's new variety seems to have no negative side effects. Inertia briefly shares his powers before his death with Zoom who lends him his speed to pressure him into being a new Kid Flash. As the maddened Kid Zoom, he masters human time streams and reverts Zoom to the powerless Hunter Zolomon before he is killed by the Rogues.
Daniel "Danny" West first appeared in The Flash #0 (November 2012). The younger brother of Iris West and the apparent uncle (biological father) of Wallace West, he is the most recent character to take up the Reverse-Flash mantle.
In DC's Tangent Comics, Reverse Flash is an evil, holographic duplicate of Lia Nelson (the Flash) created by a sinister government agency. She was charged with negative ionic energy to disperse Flash's photon-based form. The Flash's light-wave powers outmatched Reverse-Flash's, and she was destroyed. This Reverse Flash appeared in one issue: Tangent Comics: The Flash (December 1997).
In other media
- Tom Cavanagh and Matt Letscher portray Eobard Thawne / Reverse-Flash in The CW's live-action Arrowverse in the form of Dr. Harrison Wells and in his original likeness respectively. The character is introduced on The Flash as season one's main antagonist, and has been featured in subsequent seasons as well. Letscher has also played Thawne's time remnant in season two of Legends of Tomorrow, while Cavanagh has reprised his role in the 2017 crossover "Crisis on Earth-X" and the 2018 crossover "Elseworlds".
- Teddy Sears portrays Hunter Zolomon / Zoom on The Flash, where he serves as season two's main antagonist. Tony Todd provides the character's disguised voice, Ryan Handley plays Zoom when masked, and Octavian Kaul plays Hunter as a child in flashbacks. This version is depicted as a black-clad demonic speedster from Earth-2 who produces blue lightning while running. He is ultimately transformed into the Black Flash, and subsequently appears in this form in season two of Legends of Tomorrow and season three of The Flash.
- Todd Lasance portrays Edward Clariss / The Rival in season three of The Flash. He first appears in an alternate reality. Clariss later regains his speed in the reset timeline, though he is ultimately killed by Savitar.
- Zoom (Hunter Zolomon) is alluded to in Justice League Unlimited, by an android replica of the Flash created by Brainiac (voiced by Michael Rosenbaum) that resembles Zoom.
- Professor Zoom (Eobard Thawne) appears in Batman: The Brave and the Bold, voiced by John Wesley Shipp.
- Professor Zoom (Eobard Thawne) appears as the main antagonist in Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox and Suicide Squad: Hell to Pay, voiced by C. Thomas Howell.
- The Eobard Thawne version of Reverse-Flash appears as the main antagonist in Lego DC Comics Super Heroes: The Flash, voiced by Dwight Schultz.
The subsequent characters to use Reverse-Flash moniker appear in various video games.
- Zoom (Hunter Zolomon) appears in the Game Boy Advance game Justice League Heroes: The Flash as the fourth-level boss.
- Professor Zoom (Eobard Thawne) appears as a mini-boss in DC Universe Online in the Gorilla Grodd duos and as a world boss roaming Central City in the "Lightning Strikes" DLC.
- The Eobard Thawne version of Reverse-Flash appears a playable character in Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham
- The Eobard Thawne version of Reverse-Flash appears as a DLC skin in Injustice 2.
- The Eobard Thawne version of Reverse-Flash appears as a playable character in Lego DC Super-Villains, and The Flash version of Zoom appears in the DC TV Super-Villains DLC pack.
- Blur, a White Martian/human hybrid who appeared in the Son of Vulcan mini-series.
- Johnny Quick, the Flash's evil counterpart from Earth-3, where the Justice League is replaced with the Crime Syndicate.
- List of Flash enemies
- "The Flash's 10 Fastest Villains, Ranked". CBR. 22 April 2019. Retrieved 1 May 2019.
- "The Flash Season 3: Who is The Rival?". Den of Geek. Retrieved 1 May 2019.
- Shiach, Kieran. "Dark Reflections: The History Of Zoom And The Reverse Flash". ComicsAlliance. Retrieved 2 May 2019.
- "Inertia . . . ! - Page 4 - The Comic Bloc Forums". Comicbloc.com. Archived from the original on 2011-07-18. Retrieved 2011-04-25.
- Holmes, Adam (2015). "The Flash: Dr. Wells Just Revealed His Biggest Secrets". Cinemablend.
- Dyce, Andrew (2015). "Eobard Thawne: 'The Flash's Best Twist, or Its Worst?". Screenrant.
- Bucksbaum, Sydney (July 23, 2016). "Comic-Con: 'Legends of Tomorrow' to Tackle Legion of Doom Villain Team In Season 2". The Hollywood Reporter.
- Schneider, Michael (September 9, 2016). "Greg Berlanti Interview: How TV's Superhero Guru is Managing Crossovers, 'Supergirl's Move and New Inspirations". Indiewire. Archived from the original on November 17, 2016. Retrieved November 10, 2016.
- Abrams, Natalie (February 23, 2016). "The Flash reveals Zoom's identity!". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved February 23, 2016.
- Burlingame, Russ. "Teddy Sears On What Makes The Flash Great, The Zoom Twist, and This Week's Big Episode". Comicbook.com. Retrieved September 12, 2016.
- Abrams, Natalie (January 26, 2016). "Did The Flash just reveal Zoom's identity?". EW.com. Retrieved April 26, 2016.
- Schremph, Kelly (February 2, 2016). "Is Hunter Zolomon Zoom On 'The Flash'? Jay Garrick's Earth-1 Doppelgänger Has A Meaningful Name". Bustle. Retrieved November 25, 2016.
- "Zoom Confirmed As Flash Season Two's Villain". ComicBook.com. July 12, 2015. Retrieved August 24, 2015.
- Ching, Albert (August 31, 2015). ""The Flash" Casts the Voice of Zoom for Season 2". Comic Book Resources. Retrieved August 31, 2015.
- The Many Faces of Zoom featurette. Warner Bros. Home Entertainment.
- "Versus Zoom on New 'The Flash' Tonight". Entertainment Alley. Retrieved September 12, 2016.
- Andrew Dyce (January 28, 2016). "The Flash's Twist Explained: Who is Hunter Zolomon?". Screen Rant. Retrieved April 15, 2017.
- "SDCC: "The Flash" Reveals "Zoom" as Season Two Villain, Comic-Con Reel Released". Comic Book Resources. May 11, 2015. Retrieved February 25, 2016.
- Crystal Bell (January 19, 2016). "The Inside Story Of How 'The Flash' Created TV's Most Terrifying Villain". MTV News. Retrieved February 12, 2018.
- "Flashback S3 Ep.1: Exclusive Interview with Teddy Sears". YouTube. April 24, 2017.
- "15 CW Speedsters Ranked From Slowest To Fastest". CBR. 4 January 2018. Retrieved 2 May 2019.
- Young, Sage. "Clariss Is An Old-School 'Flash' Bad Guy". Bustle. Retrieved 2 May 2019.
- Allstetter, Rob (January 27, 2010). "Kate Jewell interviews Michael Jelenic". Comics Continuum. Retrieved 2011-04-25.
- "The Flashpoint Paradox spins an alternative tale". IGN. Retrieved February 15, 2017.
- Crimson Lightning – An online index to the comic book adventures of the Flash.
- Justice League Unlimited on IMDb
- The Flash on IMDb
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