Who is the New Reverse-Flash?

The Negative Flash

DC recently announced that a new Reverse-Flash will debut in Flash #17, the final chapter of “Gorilla Warfare,” and will feature in the story beginning in Flash #20. Writers Francis Manapul and Brian Buccellato wouldn’t reveal much this early, though the next story is going to focus on the question of “Who is the Reverse-Flash?”

Looking back at the interview, they don’t outright say that it won’t be Eobard Thawne or Hunter Zolomon, though that’s the way Comic Book Resources took it (and in the New 52, it makes sense to take that approach).

According to Manapul, the character “is going to be a complete re-imagining of him in the same way that we kind of tinkered with what the Speed Force is. We’re going to be explaining what the opposite side of that is.” Buccellato adds, “unlike previous Reverse-Flash iterations, we really take the ‘reverse’ part of it seriously.”

Of course, we’re comics fans, so it’s never too early to start speculating about the possibilities!

Dr. Darwin Elias. Initially an ally of the Flash, a scientist who has studied the speed force and the Flash’s powers. It turns out that he has a serious problem with ethics. He turned popular opinion against the Flash just to see what it would take, and gave the Rogues super-powers just to see what would happen. He and Barry Allen both being scientists could make for an interesting dynamic. Edit: On the downside, he’s already got potential in his current form, so folding him into an existing role takes what could be two villains and cuts them down to one.

Daniel West. Iris’ brother, recently released from jail after serving time for a job that was tharted by the Flash. He’s looking for his missing sister, who vanished during one of the Flash’s battles and is now trapped inside the speed force. It’s not hard to see motive, and if he somehow finds Iris, he could easily end up connected to the speed force in some way.

Iris West. The Flash could use some more female villains, she’s in the speed force right now, and it would be interesting to have the new Reverse Flash be someone with a romantic link to the Flash. That said, that angle has already been explored a lot with Batman, Catwoman and Talia Al Ghul; Iris doesn’t really have motivation to go villainous; and it would be a major change to a long-established character. On the other hand…

Patty Spivot. She’s mad at the Flash for “killing” Barry Allen. Unlike Iris, she’s actually dated Barry seriously in this timeline. She’s met someone (Turbine) who has been in the speed force, and could conceivably end up linked to it — in fact, in the last moments of the previous DCU timeline, she was linked to it, taking up Hot Pursuit’s outfit and speed force-powered motorcycle just before Flashpoint transformed the universe. She’s had enough page time for the audience to appreciate a switch, but not as much historical inertia as Iris.

Wally West. His fans have been clamoring for his return, and DC has been very coy: either they have no plans, or they’re saving him for something big. We don’t know what he’s up to in this timeline (if he even exists), but since Flashes have a history of dimension travel, we can imagine a pre-New 52 Wally West being trapped in this timeline, wanting to repair it, and blaming Barry for wiping his family out of existence. On the downside, DC has already gone down this road with Hal Jordan as Parallax and Superboy Prime (not that they’ve ever shied away from repetition). More importantly, perhaps, DC has been very insistent on not offering any “escape hatches” that might allow fans to think the old DCU could possibly come back, ever. Having a character explicitly from that old continuity sounds like something they’d want to stay away from. This option also didn’t fare well in the polls. 71% of Wally West fans and 64% of non-Wally fans, or 70% of the total responses, were opposed to the idea.* Update: Some additional thoughts on Wally West as a candidate.

Other possibilities: Bart Allen’s unlikely, as he’ll also be appearing in the same arc. There are other people at the crime lab, like Singh or Forrest. There’s Captain Frye or even Henry Allen. I’m fairly certain that Barry Allen’s literal evil twin, Cobalt Blue, has been long-since erased from history, but the science/magic dichotomy could still play out with another character.

My bet is either Dr. Elias or Daniel West, though I’d like to see what the book might do with Iris or Patty. What do you think?

Who do you think is going to be the new Reverse-Flash?

*The poll asked people to choose whether they were “a fan of Wally West” or “not particularly a fan of Wally West,” and whether they would be “OK with” the reveal. Of 106 votes: 67 fans opposed, 28 fans OK, 7 non-fans opposed, 4 non-fans OK.


30 thoughts on “Who is the New Reverse-Flash?

  1. CraigM

    I’d go with Iris. She’s got a connection to Barry, she’s been stuck in the Speed Force for god knows how long because of him and she’s a much more interesting character than Patty Spivot (who I hate).

    1. OwenKelly

      But they claimed that it was going to be a mystery, and if the solution to the mystery turns out to be “nobody you know” then I think I might feel cheated 🙂

      1. Nick!

        While anything is possible, the impression I got was that we were going to be introduced to the new Reverse Flash out of costume in #17, but we won’t know he/she is the Reverse Flash until issue 20. So, what they need to do is introduce several new characters in 17!

        1. Kelson Post author

          Certainly possible, though I read it as saying the new Reverse Flash would appear briefly in #17 as a tease for the upcoming storyline, but we wouldn’t find out who he was until later.

          1. Nick!

            Oh…I didn’t see it from that point of view. That makes sense. Hmm…with that in mind, I’d be surprised if it was anyone like Patty, Iris, Elias, or maybe even Singh mainly because these characters appeared have been staples of the title since issue one and that M&B previously stated they mapped out two years worth of stuff and are now saying that the Reverse Flash was a late edition. I’m guessing they already had a endgame plan for those characters. Anything, of course, could change

            If I were to guess on an already existing character, I would put money on Daniel West or Frye. I say that only because they first appeared in issue 0 which was stated to set things up for the coming year (and because of Turbine’s “I know who you really are” to Frye).

    1. Kelson Post author

      It wouldn’t be the first time DC tossed out the baby with the bathwater. But the more I think about it, new 52 Iris doesn’t have a strong enough connection to Barry, and while I wouldn’t put anything past today’s DC where Wally is concerned, I really don’t think they want to open the door to the pre-Flashpoint universe.

      1. Kyer

        I dunno. The more I think about it, the more I think it could be Iris. She’s a reporter…with a coffee addiction.

        Think about it.

        Iris, (caffeine addict) makes it out of The Speed Force and goes to grab a cup of java. What goes best with java? Why, Hostess! Only she can’t find any Hostess nowhere nohow. Hostess went out of business and all the cakes sold out while she was trapped because of…the Flash.

        Motive to hate the Flash with all her heart and cream-puffed soul. Gets together with Turbine (also po’d over this for the same reasons) and faster than you can say twinkies….a new yellow villain with no discernible expiration date.

        I know I’m right. It all makes sense.

  2. Savitar

    Based on what’s known so far, I would say Elias somehow gives Daniel speed powers. Elias knows of the Speed Force and if Daniel wants to find Iris or learns that she is trapped there, Elias gives Daniel the power to get there…..and then things go wrong ergo Reverse-Flash.

  3. OwenKelly

    What about Turbine himself? He doesn’t havre any apparent purpose in the current narrative, and he does have motivation. He is angry and upset about having been trapped in the Speed Force, and has no direction in his current existence.. All it needs is some development that leaves him blaming the Flash for eveything and/or a further interaction with the Speed Force that turns him bad…

    1. Kelson Post author

      I don’t think Turbine is likely because they just created a costume, power set and code name for him a few months ago. Again, not that it hasn’t happened before (Mr. Element became Dr. Alchemy in his second appearance, when the Flash was still an occasional feature in Showcase), but it seems unlikely that they’d go to that effort only to throw it out this soon.

  4. Kyer

    Well, my first impression of the picture was a reminder of Genie from Aladdin, but he’s a Disney character so that’s out. 😛

    I’m totally one of those people who would rather never see Wally West (by DC anyway) in new material if they make him a villain. Wasn’t all that comfortable with the first couple of issues with Walter, really. That idea would definitely blow up in their faces. Same with Bart.

    Beyond that I really don’t much care. Reverse Flash and Gorilla Grodd were never amongst my favorite bad guys (albeit Hunter Zolomon was one of my favorite Wally characters, but that was the WHOLE character and not just as Zoom.)

  5. liquidcross

    I’d love to see another RF who is NOT linked to the Speed Force, like Zoom. That’s what made him far more interesting, to me; instead of being just another speedster, his powers were based on something totally different, yet it was still incredibly effective.

    1. Kelson Post author

      I remember reading a fan essay about the Flash’s powers in the late 1990s arguing that in order to do what he does, the Flash’s powers have to be time-based rather than speed-based. I liked it enough that I thought it deserved a place in fanon, and sad to say my first reaction on reading the explanation of Zoom’s power in “Blitz” was not, “Cool, they used that awesome idea!” but annoyance that it could no longer apply to the Flash. I’ve mellowed quite a bit about this sort of thing.

      1. papa zero

        I’ve made this point before but because of the theory of special relativity there is no difference between time and space (speed-based) powers since time is simply an additional dimension in spacetime. Zoom’s powers annoyed me because they made a distinction as if spacetime is – not a thing. Chalk it up to the theory of relativity is non-existent in the physics of the DC universe.

  6. Wally East

    I’m going with Patty.

    I think her power will be related to time. She’ll be able to stop or dramatically slow down time, which would be the reverse of Flash.

    1. Perplexio

      And that would actually fit well with how Zolomon’s power worked. Zolomon couldn’t run fast so much as slow down time and run at normal speed to create the illusion that he was running fast.

  7. The irredeemable Shag

    If they are being literal, maybe it’s something like a new opposite – Allen Barry from an alternate Earth.

    Although I’d prefer Dr Elias


  8. Kyer

    Oh dear god no. (Yes, she’s come fresh from CBR Previews and noticed the latest The Flash preview there.)

    Without giving away spoilers, if this is in fact the New Reverse Flash I’m not happy at all. Never mind that we can have a Barry and a Bart and a Jay, but no Wally or Irey…..this to me would be (almost) worse than Wally as the Reverse Flash. I can see why they would go there, but, dang it, I really dislike the character and his newest zombie dining tendencies just don’t sit well with my anti-gore stance.

    Please say it aint so.

      1. Kyer

        I dunno, Kelson. In the past a spit curl and glasses….or a domino mask seemed to have been enough of a disguise for all body types.

  9. TheFlashisanascarfan

    As long as Wally is released in the New 52 as a hero, and not a villain, DC can do whatever they want to. I’ll buy it.

    And my call is Dr. Elias will be the Reverse Flash after a climactic experiment.

  10. Scott

    I think wally west would actually be great. Ignoring him sucks and it would tie in all the wally west flash series into the current storyline. I know people arent big on the idea but I think it would work. Thawne is my fav RF

  11. Perplexio

    TPTB at DC crack me up. No escape hatch to restore the old continuity? Really? If Superboy Prime can mess up the continuity with a punch, and Barry Allen can change the entire DC Continuity by preventing his mother’s murder at Thawne’s hands….It can be un-done quite easily… The escape hatch is Barry Allen, all it would take would be him preventing Thawne from messing with his life/past in the first place…. Undoing the whole continuity shift that Thawne started by undoing Eobard Thawne himself. Trouble is that would wipe Barry back out of existence because the events that brought about his resurrection would never have occurred.

    I don’t think DC will do this as they’ve already made a royal mess of things in this reboot… trying to undo it would just make a bigger mess of it.

  12. Perplexio

    PS: of all the scenarios you mentioned, I think the Wally West one seems most plausible. Given the changes to the continuity, Wally has a lot to be pissed off about.

    Another option could be Walter West, but I find that even more implausible than Iris being the new Reverse Flash. Although, I do think a Reverse Dark Flash costume would look awesome.

  13. Perplexio

    Here’s a left-field out of nowhere candidate for Reverse Flash… the almost Mrs. Barry Allen, Fiona Webb. Highly unlikely given the new 52 reboot, but it would make for an interesting tip of the hat to the “old 52”


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