As a boy, Roscoe Dillon found an old top in an attic. He became fascinated with it, preferring to play with it rather than playing sports with other children.
As an adult, Dillon fell into a life of crime. He had limited success and was imprisoned twice. During his second sentence, he decided to use his love of tops to better his criminal career. Upon his release, he studied the scientific principals of tops, building a wide array of top-inspired weapons and learning to spin himself like a top, which had the added advantage of increasing his brain power. He became the costumed villain the Top.
The Top's first two crimes were robbing a department store and an armored car. During this second robbery, he even managed to defeat the Flash. After this, his plans became much more ambitious, as he announced on television that unless he was declared the ruler of Earth, he would destroy half the planet. The Flash managed to track the Top to his secret lair, but was captured and placed inside the spinning atomic grenade which the villain had set to explode. The speedster was able to escape, however, and, after sending the grenade into space, tracked the Top to Africa, where he had fled. The villain was defeated and sent to prison.
The Top stole a vial of aging serum from a university laboratory, intending to use its contents on the Flash, thereby forcing the speedster into retirement because of old age. He began a string of robberies. During the second one, at the Flash Museum, he encountered the Scarlet Speedster, where he used a grenade top, laced with the aging serum, on his foe. However, it had been a ruse, as the Flash, with the help of Flash Museum curator and former actor Dexter Myles, had changed his appearance at superspeed to look old. In their next encounter, at an art gallery, the speedster changed back into his youthful self and tricked the Top into believing he had gained more advanced powers. Now under the impression that the serum in fact sped up the evolutionary process, the villain became anxious to use some himself. The Flash then followed him to the vial's hiding place, taking it back and taking the Top to the police.
At some point, the Top launched a top-shaped satellite into space. Here, he kept his stash of stolen loot.
During one of his stays in prison, the Top's cellmate was Mirror Master. Mirror Master made a bet, for one million dollars, that he could switch places with the Flash in a mere twelve hours. He then teleported out using the reflections from a polished pair of shoes and proceeded to bring the Top's satellite down to Earth. The Flash arrived on the scene, but was lured back to the Top's cell, where he was forced to stay, as otherwise Mirror Master would detonate a bomb, destroying the prison and killing everyone inside. Having won their bet, Mirror Master claimed the content of the satellite as his prize. The Top reluctantly agreed to help the speedster stop Mirror Master.
The Top attended a Rogues Gallery convention with four other Rogues on the outskirts of town. Here, they reenacted their memorable skirmishes with the Flash. However, the speedster had learned of the convention and infiltrated it, disguised as a heretofore unknown Rogue, the Dude. Believing that their foe had been defeated by the Dude, the Rogues were caught unaware when the Flash showed up and took them all to the police.
In addition to his criminal life, the Top also served as an ice skating coach to Lisa Snart, the younger sister of Captain Cold. He taught her how to spin at amazing speeds like himself, causing her to achieve international fame. They also shared a romance.
The Top eventually died.
The Top's astral self persisted however. When the Flash's father, Henry Allen, was in a serious car accident and his heart stopped, the Top's spirit possessed him. During this time, the speedster, thinking he was talking to his father, confided his double identity as the Flash and Barry Allen to the Top.
The Top reunited with Lisa, now a Rogue known as the Golden Glider, and they concocted a plan to transfer the Top's essence into a younger, more fit body — that of the Flash. Their first attempt to capture the speedster was foiled, and the Golden Glider was sent to jail. However, after booby-trapping Barry's apartment, the Top broke her out. They proceeded to lure the speedster into a trap, planning to weaken his heart to the point where the Top would be able to jump to his new host. However, the Flash feigned a heart attack, causing the Top's spirit to try, unsuccessfully, to switch bodies. In this moment, the spirit of Henry Allen was able to reclaim his own body, and the Top returned to his incorporeal state.
He did not stay this way for long, as a week later, he possessed yet another body, that of a young man who had been injured in a boating accident. The Top then set his sights on going after Barry Allen. He attacked the police scientist's lab assistant, his parents, and even desecrated the grave of his deceased wife. Having had enough, the Flash took the Top to Zatanna and had her magically turn him into a hero.
One of the Top's acts during this time was to use his powers to cause the other Rogues to reform, to varying levels of success.
After several weeks of fighting crime alongside the Flash, the Top started to feel a great deal of regret for all the horrible things he had done in his past. This drove him mad to the point where he began to brutally attack the Rogues. When the Flash finally found him, the Top's spirit exited his body.
The Top's spirit eventually possessed the body of senator Thomas O'Neil. He later became a vice presidential candidate, the running mate of C. Jacob Cartwright, an independent candidate who was leading in all the polls. On the eve of election night, he sent a top to the Pied Piper, threatening to introduce policy targeting homosexuals once elected. Piper was arrested following an attack on a Cartwright rally. However, the Top broke him out using an arsenal of Rogues' weapon stolens from the Trickster. Then, masquerading as Piper, the Top set off to assassinate Cartwright, thereby guaranteeing himself the presidency. However, he was foiled by the Flash. While attempting to make a getaway, the Top was attacked by the ghostly forms of several Rogues. The police eventually found him wandering around incoherently and he was arrested.
The Top was sent to Iron Heights, where he often complained of painful headaches. He made his escape when a group of gorillas broke in to free Gorilla Grodd. He next appeared, apparently quite insane, at an event honoring Keystone Motors, threatening to kill the mayor. However, he was quickly stopped by the Flash.
Some time later, he escaped from Iron Heights again, this time apparently unaided. He approached the Rogues about rejoining their ranks, but they turned him away, concerned about his mental state.
When the Flash learned what Zatanna had done to the Top, he summoned her to undo the spell. As a result, the villain's mind cleared up, and he informed the speedster of how he had caused the Rogues to reform. He threatened to take this back, making them all turn to crime once again.
The Top carried out his plan during a battled between a group of Rogues led by Captain Cold and a group of reformed Rogues led by the Trickster, turning all the reformed Rogues back on their original paths of wrongdoing. Angered at the Top for what he had done, Cold froze him and shattered his body, killing him.