Geoff Johns’ New Flash Villains

In his post on re-using old characters, David Brothers mentions that in 6 years writing the Avengers, Brian Michael Bendis created only one new villain. That started me thinking about Geoff Johns’ original run on The Flash (2000–2005). Johns created a wealth of new enemies for the Flash during the first part of his run, particularly in Iron Heights, but I couldn’t think of any from later.

It turns out, that’s because there basically aren’t any.

This run can easily be divided into two main pieces: Flash #164–200, from Wonderland to Blitz, and then Flash #201–225, from Ignition through Rogue War. The dividing line: the moment when the Spectre erases everyone’s memory of Wally West’s and Barry Allen’s identities as the Flash.

Here’s a list of the new villains who were introduced before that moment:

Ten entirely new enemies, and two new versions of old villains. Not bad for a roughly 50-issue run!

Now, here’s a list of new villains introduced after that moment:

Just one legacy villain, in the very first story, and he died at the end. OK, maybe you can count the Rainbow Raiders, but they never made more than a single cameo appearance in the book.

As much as I love Geoff Johns’ writing on the classic Rogues, I’ve got to admit I miss seeing new villains. The Renegades sort of count, but I’m definitely looking forward to the new villain Francis Manapul mentioned will debut in the second story arc on the new series.

7 thoughts on “Geoff Johns’ New Flash Villains

  1. Ryan

    I was actually thinking about Cicada since he worshiped Wally as the Flash. He might see Barry as an impostor. Murmur shares of course a connection with Barry from when he was first captured and then Blacksmith would work fantastic with Barry’s current status.

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  2. Ken O

    I’m looking forward to Barry’s first meeting with Murmur. Also years ago I was told there is a huge back story for Double Down. I think it was going to be in the Iron Heights sequel that never happened.

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  3. Perplexio

    The one original rogue I’d like to see Barry face is Vandal Savage. I’ve always seen him as Barry and Wally’s answer to Batman’s Ra’s Al Ghul. It was Savage facing Wally in his run of the Flash (around issues 47 or 48-50 or 51) in which Wally started to win me over as The Flash.

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  4. rowdyoctopus

    The idea of creating new villains is a good one and should definitely be utilized. At the same time, characters facing their recurring villains is almost just as enjoyable. The problem with Bendis’ run on Avengers wasn’t that he didn’t create new Villains, it was that he reused the same (old) villain(s) for most of his tenure. Anyway, about the Flash.

    I’ve only been reading comics for a little over a year. While reading all of Flash vol. 2 (thank you ebay), everyone was new to me. I really liked some of the brand new villains, and would love to see them reused. I thought it was great when Tar Pit showed up in Blackest Night: Flash. I think my favorite part of Johns’ run was how all the villains interacted. So often we see hero X fight villain Y then move on to villain Z. I loved that the Rogues not only worked together, but faced off against other up and coming villains.

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