The Professor Zoom spotlight in The Flash #8 (review coming soon) reminded me of something that’s been bugging me about the current version of the character. In Flash: Rebirth, it’s pointed out that while Eobard Thawne can change history to make Barry Allen’s life a living hell, he can’t prevent Barry from becoming the Flash. Without a Flash, there’s no Reverse-Flash, and without the positive speed force that Barry Allen generates, there’s no negative speed force for Thawne.
Somewhere along the line, it turned into the idea (stated in The Flash Secret Files 2010) that Thawne can’t kill Barry Allen because he needs Barry’s speed force to power his own.
They made a big point that the speed force, once generated, stretches out and touches all times, past and present. That’s why Jay Garrick, Johnny Quick and Max Mercury could have super-speed before Barry was even born. That’s why John Fox and Eobard Thawne could have super-speed centuries after Barry’s death. That’s why Wally West, Bart Allen, Jesse Quick, and the surviving older speedsters could all have super speed while Barry was gone.
Thawne can’t erase Barry Allen from history, but he can still kill Barry anytime he wants…after Barry becomes the Flash!