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DC Comics

Up to date as of February 01, 2010

From DC Database

Character Template Character Template
Real Name
Current Alias


Identity


Relatives
Malcolm Thawne (distant ancestor), President Thawne, Meloni Thawne, Bart Allen, Owen Mercer (distant descendents) - see Allen Family for complete family tree

Universe

Base Of Operations

Characteristics
Gender

Height
5' 11"

Weight
179 lbs (81 kg)

Eyes


Unusual Features
made himself look like Barry Allen by using facial surgery

Status
Citizenship

Marital Status

Occupation
Science Teacher


First appearance
Appearance of Death

Image:Quote1.png It started the second he ran through these streets. There was a flash of a lightning from beyond, followed by a thousand thunderous footsteps. His strides ushered in a new age of those that would shatter the speed of sound, light and time. Those that would race down the same road he did, enforcing his archaic sense of justice. This man refused to believe the line between good and evil blurred like the scarlet and gold he wore. It was a simple fact to Barry Allen. You were guilty -- or you were not guilty. You were wrong about many things, Barry. Guilty or not guilty? Everyone is guilty. Death is never the end. And lightning always strikes twice. Image:Quote2.png
-- Professor Zoom

Contents

History

Professor Zoom, also known as Reverse-Flash is the arch-nemesis of the Flash. He is a twisted sociopathic criminal with a brilliant mind and super-speed. Eobard Thawne was born in the 25th Century and travels through time to do battle with his most hated enemy. He has also been a member of the Secret Society of Super-Villains.

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Origins

Eobard Thawne was a wealthy young man and science teacher[1] living in the 2460s. He longed for the heroic age of the 20th century. Foremost among the super-heroes, in his mind, was Barry Allen, the second Flash. He worshipped him as a hero and as a friend. He knew everything about Barry, keeping a collection of memorabilia about his hero. At the center was Barry's biography, The Life Story of the Flash by Iris Allen. Barry's life became as real to Eobard as did his own. He underwent a Plastomorph operation to make himself look like Barry. One day, he came across Barry's cosmic treadmill in an antique store. He killed the cashier in order to acquire this Holy Grail of Flash collectibles. Now, Eobard had the means to meet his idol. All he had to do then was to somehow duplicate the reaction that gave Barry his superspeed. The ordeal cost him his fortune and shaved years off his life, but he know had the chance to become Barry's friend and partner. Grabbing the biography for an autograph, Eobard set off to the 20th century on the treadmill.

However, the treadmill's calibration had been affected by the centuries of not being used. It miscalculated his arrival, and Eobard appeared several years after Barry's death, when Wally West was the Flash. His journey had been pointless, or so he thought. Eobard visited the Flash Museum. There, he learned that he was destined to become the Flash's greatest villain: Professor Zoom.

This drove Eobard mad. He began to honestly believe he was Barry Allen.[2] He showed up at Wally's door on Christmas Eve dressed as Barry.[3] For several months, he patrolled the streets of Central and Keystone Cities with Wally as the Flash. Everything went well and everyone was happy until he began to go mad again. During one battle with the Combine, a Combine agent started to brag that he had killed the Flash after blasting Wally with a cannon. Eobard began to beat him up, saying, "I'm the Flash!" This is when Wally realized that something was wrong, that he was not Barry.[4]

After leaving Wally to die in a Combine trap,[5] Thawne began to completely turn around, fighting Green Lantern[6], Jay Garrick, Max Mercury, and Johnny Quick[7]. Finally, after finding the biography that Eobard had brought with him in an alley, Wally deduced the villain's true identity.[8] In a showdown at the Flash Museum, Thawne switched to the predominantly yellow costume of his future self, Professor Zoom. Finally, Wally managed to trick Zoom into returning to his own era on the cosmic treadmill. Now powerless, Thawne retained no memories of this journey--but he was left with a deep and bitter hatred for Barry Allen.[2]

Silver Age Career

Thawne began a career as a criminal in his home era. The police department and his fellow crooks knew him as the "Professor" due to his scientific leanings. The Flash remained one of his favorite characters of history, but now he hated him because the hero stood for law and justice and he stood for the reverse.

One day in 2463, a time capsule materialized out of the air. Inside were many relics from the 20th century, including a genuine costume used by the Flash. He amplified the super-speed wave patterns contained in the suit using a simple 25th century technique, giving him super-speed when he put in on. He dyed the costume the reverse in color of its original hues. Naming himself Professor Zoom, he decided to become the greatest criminal in human history. His first crime was to steal the famous Cribi sculptures. However, Barry Allen, on a rescue mission to destroy an atomic clock that was also in the time capsule and had become an atomic bomb during time travel, stopped Zoom.[9]

First Costume

Zoom escaped prison and was determined to regain his powers, since the Flash had taken his suit from him. He discovered a new element, Element Z, which granted him superspeed when he wore a locket containing the substance around his neck. However, the element was not stable, and he lost his powers after a short amount of time. Determine to fix this flaw, Zoom sent his astral image backward in time and contacted Al Desmond, the reformed Flash villain once known as Mr. Element and Dr. Alchemy and one of the most knowledgeable scholars on elements in history. Here, he forced Desmond to mix a radioactive substance which would send Zoom's physical body to the 20th Century as well. The malevolent speedster then forced Desmond, against his will, to reprise his old Mr. Element persona and commit several crimes, so that he would be willing to help Zoom out by purifying Element Z. Once this was complete, Zoom used the Cosmic Treadmill to return to his own era, where he attempted to blackmail the government by threatening to release dangerous prisoners from jail with his newfound superspeed unless he received vast sums of money. However, the Flash followed him to the 25th Century, where Zoom was defeated. He was sent back to prison and his locket taken away.[10]

Reverse-Flash

While in prison, Zoom did a great deal of research in the field of ultra-speed, developing radiation which could compel others to do evil, enable him to read and control the minds of others, as well as granting and taking away superspeed. After he had served his sentence for a year, he was subjected to a test which determined his level of rehabilitation. Because he had previously tampered with the device that was used to administer this test, he passed with the highest possible rating and was released from jail. Building his own Cosmic Treadmill and using his new ultra-speed science to regain his powers, he traveled back to the 20th Century to test his evildoing radiation on Al Desmond, with whom he had become fascinated after their previous encounter. While in this era, Zoom used his mind control radiation to cause the city officials of Central City to ban superspeed within city limits, thereby creating a great amount of difficulty for his law-abiding foe, the Flash. The Scarlet Speedster was captured, and Zoom summoned Desmond, who had resumed his identity as Mr. Element, to kill their common enemy. However, Element had given himself a post-hypnotic suggestion to save the speedster, which he did by destroying the device which was keeping the Flash hostage. Zoom was shocked at this betrayal, and the Flash took this opportunity to land a mighty punch, knocking him out. As this caused the vibrations which kept him in the 20th Century to cease, Zoom returned to his own era, where the authorities found him, unconscious.[1]

Zoom was placed in a prison enclosed by invincible radiation, even feeding him radiation, so that no one would ever need to go in his cell. However, he used the radiation of the cell to increase his mental capacity, to the point where he could actually follow through with his most recent twisted plan. Wanting to enjoy the double life of Barry Allen, he used his enhanced brain power to switch places with the Flash, sending him to the 20th century and Barry into his own cell in the future. Changing Barry's electric shaver into a matter distributor, Zoom changes his face to make it look like Barry's. Of all nights, this happened to be the night before Barry's wedding to Iris West. However, in the future, the real Barry escaped the radiation cell by using his costume ring's chemical formula to have a shrinking effect on the energy wall, and then vibrated through it. He traveled back to the 20th century, where he broke up his own wedding, which was in progress, and took Zoom outside, where they battled. After the Flash defeated Zoom, the authorities from the future whisked Zoom back to his own era for conviction.[11]

At some point, the authorities temporarily released Zoom from prison to help fight Cobalt Blue. However, during this battle, he came in contact with the villain's gem, causing the Thawne family hatred of the Allen family to boil to the surface. He then focused his attention on attacking a nearby police officer, Simogyn Allen. However, Zoom was stopped by a time traveling Wally West, but made a getaway and ran to the Flash Museum. Here, he used the Cosmic Treadmill to travel to the 30th Century, where he hoped to claim the gem for himself.[12] However, Zoom was followed by Wally, who quickly defeated him and returned him to prison in his home era.[13]

Murder of Iris Allen

Eventually, Zoom escaped prison and came back to the 20th century. Here, using the alias "Mr. Zyx" and appearing invisible by vibrating his molecules at superspeed, he contacted Central City's corrupt police chief Matthew Paulson, who he convinced to steal heroin that had been confiscated by the police.[14] He then planned to stabilize the drug, packaging it with powdered milk manufactured at a factory he was using as a hideout, with the ultimate goal of creating a vast number of addicts who would do his bidding.

Zoom's ultimatum

Zoom fell in love with Barry's wife, Iris. One day, he came to her and asked her to either leave Barry for him or die. At a costume party the next day, Zoom asked Iris what she had decided. She slapped him, saying that even if she didn't love Barry so much, she would never let him lay a hand on her. Zoom had one of his henchman drug Barry with "angel-dust." Barry felt dazed and Iris went to get him a glass of water. She entered a room where the deranged convict, Clive Yorkin was hiding out. Here, Zoom vibrated to invisibility and slipped his vibrating hand through Iris' skull, fatally damaging the molecules in her brain. Obviously, all the evidence pointed to Yorkin.[15]

Murder of Iris Allen

Zoom finally revealed himself to Barry, claiming to know the identity of Iris's killer and leading him on a chase across the world. Ultimately, the villain fitted the Flash with pair of heavy matter boots and left him to sink to his death in the Earth's molten core.[16] The speedster escaped, however, and went to Zoom's home era to learn who killed his wife using 25th Century historical records. In his nemesis's absence, Zoom posed as the Flash and brought Paulson to the police, wanting to take full control of his heroin ring, and briefly fought the Green Lantern. He also booby-trapped the Cosmic Treadmill, hoping to kill the Flash when he returned to the present.[14]

However, Barry survived. Although his trip to the future had been unsuccessful, based on security video of Iris's murder, he determined that Zoom was the killer, as only a person with super-speed could commit a murder invisibly. He chased Zoom through the ocean to Zoom's cosmic-powered time-tripper. They went backwards through time, and Barry left Zoom to face doom alone.[15]

Death

Neck snapped

Zoom eventually returned, however. He showed up at what was supposed to be Barry Allen's second wedding, to Fiona Webb, threatening to kill the bride. At this moment, he was snatched up by his successor from the future, the second Zoom, and brought several years into the future. Since the newer Zoom's powers left him unable to operate the Cosmic Treadmill, he requested that the Professor operate it for him so that they could force Wally West to watch the attack on his wife that resulted in the deaths of their unborn twins over and over again. Thawne, with vague memories of his first encounter with Wally, was happy to comply.[17] However, Barry soon showed up, bringing Thawne back to his own time.[18] Soon after, Barry, desperate to save Fiona's life, clotheslined Zoom at super-speed. The sudden stop snapped Zoom's neck, killing him instantly.

Afterwards, five Rogues, Captain Boomerang, Captain Cold, Pied Piper, Weather Wizard, and Trickster, stole Zoom's corpse from the morgue and held a special ceremony atop an isolated column of rock thirty miles north of Central City. They destroyed his coffin in rage, cursing him for having been killed by their nemesis.[19]

Legacy

Zoom has been impersonated at least twice after his death. Once by Abra Kadabra during Barry Allen's trial,[20] and later by Wally West in a ploy to trick Kadabra and Replicant.[21] Several years later, police profiler Hunter Zolomon adopted Zoom's costume and became the second Zoom, dropping the "Professor" title from his name.[22]

Blackest Night

Main article: Blackest Night

During Blackest Night, Thawne's corpse returns as a member of the Black Lantern Corps, resurrected by a power ring. This version calls himself the new Black Flash. He immediately seeks out the Flash and begins tormenting him to feed on his emotions. This version is only the reanimated corpse of Zoom, and does not have any memories from after its own death. It is not aware that an alternate version of Zoom has since reappeared, or that the Flash died and came back. Although he calls Barry out for murdering him and compromising the morals that make him a hero, the Flash calms himself down from the encounter, and evades him.[23]

Return

Main article: Flash: Rebirth
Eobard Thawne is later resurrected at some point in the future. He learns that his old nemesis Barry Allen had died, sacrificing himself heroically to save the universe during the Crisis on Infinite Earths.[24] In actuality, the Flash had been absorbed into the Speed Force.[25] Enraged that his enemy had died with such dignity, Professor Zoom engineered his return during Final Crisis.[26] This time around, Thawne has duplicated the chemical accident that gave Barry his powers, and draws his energy from an equivalent source.[27] But Thawne emits a negative source of energy, resulting in the Speed Force slowly being destroyed and Barry becoming the new Black Flash, as the old one has "died".

Powers and Abilities

Powers

  • Super-Speed: Professor Zoom is able to move and travel at super human speeds. He can travel up to speeds of 7,500,000 m.p.h., deliver hundreds of blows a second, walk on water, create cyclones and vibrate his molecules super fast to pass through solid objects.
  • Negative Speed Force Conduit: Eobard created his own Speed Force the same way Barry created the normal Speed Force. By duplicating the incident that granted the latter his powers, Professor Zoom was able to create his own Negative Speed Force by generating it through kinetic energy. Eobard can tap into it as normal speedsters can with the normal Speed Force and can apparently shut off their connection to the latter by "contaminating" it with negative energy. Through this, he has the ability to create multiple after images like Hunter Zolomon, the modern day Zoom, and can travel through and alter time (a feat which most speedsters were never capable of achieving).

    Abilities

Paraphernalia

Equipment

  • An assortment of advanced 25th Century technology.
  • Costume once belonging to the Flash with the super-speed wave patterns amplified -- once used to grant Zoom superspeed.
  • Locket containing Element Z -- once used to grant Zoom superspeed.

Notes

  • Although this character was originally introduced during DC's Earth-One era of publication, their existence following the events of the 1985-86 limited series Crisis on Infinite Earths remains intact. However, some elements of the character's Pre-Crisis history may have been altered or removed for Post-Crisis New Earth continuity, and should be considered apocryphal.
  • Zoom's last name has also appeared as Thayne[28] and Thine.[29] Interestingly, in Flash #350, his birth date is given as 2633, just one panel after it is mentioned that he hails from the 25th Century.

Trivia

  • Reverse-Flash was rated #31 by IGN in their 100 Greatest Comic Book Villains of All Time.[30]

See Also

Links and References

Footnotes

Flash
Characters Flash | Jay Garrick | Barry Allen | Wally West | Bart Allen | Iris West | Linda Park | Tornado Twins | Jesse Chambers | Max Mercury
Rogues Abra KadabraBlacksmithCaptain BoomerangCaptain Boomerang, Jr.Captain ColdCicadaClive YorkinDoctor AlchemyDouble DownFiddlerFolded ManGirderGolden GliderGorilla GroddHeat WaveInertiaMagentaManfred MotaMirror Master 1Mirror Master 2MurmurPied PiperPlunderProfessor ZoomRag DollRainbow RaiderRazerRivalRogues GalleryTar PitThinkerThornTopTrickster 1Trickster 2TurtleWeather WizardZoom
Miscellanea Flash Publication History | Keystone City | Central City | Speed Force | Flash's Costume Ring | Alternate Versions of Flash
Creators Gardner Fox | Harry Lampert | Robert Kanigher | Carmine Infantino | John Broome | Mark Waid | Geoff Johns
Comics Flash Comics | All-Flash | Flash Vol 1 | Flash Vol 2 | Flash: The Fastest Man Alive
Storylines Flash of Two Worlds | Trial of the Flash | Rogue War | Full Throttle | Final Crisis | Rebirth
Other media Flash (TV Series)Justice LeagueJustice League Unlimited
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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."


This article uses material from the "Eobard Thawne (New Earth)" article on the DC Comics wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.

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