DC Comics Rebirth revamps the Reverse-Flash (AGAIN)

by JC Alvarez
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He’s one of the Flash’s most dangerous adversaries, the REVERSE-FLASH gets a “Rebirth” of his own, returning to cause all-kinds of havoc for everyone’s favorite Scarlet Speedster!

Like a bad penny, there’s just no keeping the Reverse-Flash from reigning down chaos on the life of Barry Allen! The Scarlet Speedster’s most dangerous arch-nemesis returns in the latest arc “Running Scared” Part One featured in The Flash comics beginning with an extra-sized anniversary issue #25. The villain’s gotten a more thorough look at his origins even as the “Rebirth” continuity continues to unravel across the entire DC Comics publishing-line of comics.

At the time “The New 52” may have appeared as a great opportunity for DC Comics creatives to take fresh, new looks at its cast of characters that had relatively gone “unchanged” for nearly 75 years. This is untrue of course, especially since DC has often looked at ways of often breathing new life into many of its more established line of favorites. Inspired by the 1985 success of the Crisis on Infinite Earths, the publishing team took another crack at seismic changes to stories.

Some stuck, others appeared just to go to far into left field that fans were turned off, and a “Rebirth” — a return to the basic core of what made the DC heroes so popular — was immediately demanded! At the center of many of these reboots it is likely you’ll find Barry Allen, the Flash making waves or causing flashpoint events — and never too far behind you’ll find his evil twin Eobard Thawne chasing our hero down.

Making his first appearance in The Flash #139 publishing in 1963, Eobard has seemingly plagued the Scarlet Speedster ever since his first appearance as a foil to the Silver Age of comics incarnation of the hero (a very interesting footnote: most versions of the Flash, including the Golden Age version Jay Garrick have all similar fought opposite or “reverse” versions of themselves).

The villain’s backstory has always been irrevocably tied to Barry Allen, but it wasn’t until the Modern Age of comics that the character underwent his most dramatic plot twist, admitting to the murder of Nora Allen leading a 10-year old Barry Allen to embark on a lifelong quest to solving the mystery of perhaps the most traumatic moment of his life. In an effort to stop Thawne once and for all, the Flash is able to stop him from killing Nora but causes “FlashPoint”!

The rest has been a topsy-turvy ride as Eobard (as well as other versions of the Reverse-Flash) appeared in contemporary arcs, though the villainy of Thawne’s Reverse-Flash has always remained unique. The baddest hombre this side of the Speed Force was nefariously resurrected as Professor Zoom for his reintegration into “The New 52” chronology, but it wouldn’t be long before Thawne resumed his proper identity as Reverse-Flash and escape his imprisonment!

Reverse-Flash has now resurfaced as one of the cornerstone villains in the Flash’s gallery of rogues and has even assumed a very important role in “Rebirth” recently as both Batman and the Flash teamed-up to uncover the conundrum that is “The Button”. Thawne apparently died just as that mystery unfolded, only to be resurrected by its end. A character out of time, the bad guy has returned to his corrupted hero-worshipping idolization of The Flash as his origin is reexamined.

In the most recent arc playing out in The Flash written by Joshua Williamson the Reverse-Flash is determined to destroy all his false idols, most specifically Barry Allen. Kidnapping Iris West he’s taken her back to the scene of the crime — his home in the 25th Century — where he first met Barry Allen, and longed to become just like his hero, so much that he would jeopardize lives in order to create scenarios for him to emerge the hero!

This lead to a life-long obsession with destroying his enemy, and Thawne returned again and again, eventually traveling back in time to murder Nora Allen, appear at the nexus of the “FlashPoint” and finally to this very moment — in a final effort to best his enemy, Reverse_Flash unmasks Barry Allen as the Flash before a bewildered Iris West! This is only the beginning of his plot to end Barry, so brace yourselves — for what is certain to end up a race to the finish!

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