Tag Archives: Professor Zoom

The Enduring Appeal Of Flash Villains

Why do people like Flash villains so much? They’re arguably just as beloved as the Flashes themselves, and even many comics creators rank them as being among the best rogues galleries in comics.

There are many reasons for this, some of which simply come down to them being very memorable and entertaining characters, and in some cases even lovable (your mileage on the latter may vary, however). You might be surprised by how many dedicated fans there are of the Rogues and/or the Reverse Flashes. But there are other reasons for their popularity as well.

Firstly there are the villains’ powers or gimmicks, most of which complement or neutralize the Flashes’ speed. The Reverse Flashes obviously match the speed of their nemeses, allowing for some extraordinarily epic races and forcing the heroes to get faster or more creative with their powers. The Flash television series has shown this quite well, with Barry Allen being pushed to go ever faster to combat the superior speed of Eobard Thawne and Zoom. And many of the Rogues’ powers combat speed in some way by slowing down motion, such as Captain Cold’s cold gun and the Turtle’s kinetic black hole. Still others have devised inventive ways around the Flashes’ speed, such as Mirror Master’s near-magic mirror tech, the Top’s vertigo power, and the Pied Piper’s hypnosis. They’re all extremely well-suited to fighting the Flash, and are very good at what they do. Several of the Rogues have noted that fighting other heroes almost seems like it’s happening in slow motion because they’re so accustomed to combat with speedsters.

Another reason for the villains’ popularity is that they’re an excellent contrast for the Flashes’ heroism. The Reverse Flashes — particularly the obsessive Professor Zoom, who’s alternately been a tremendous fan of Barry Allen and at other times wanted to take his place — show us just how terrifying and awful the Flashes could be if they were bad people (or in Zoom’s case, deranged). The Reverse Flashes are a dark mirror to demonstrate the noble qualities of the heroes. This was especially hammered home when Professor Zoom murdered Barry’s mother and we saw that tragedy didn’t twist him as it did Hunter Zolomon.

In the same vein, the similarly poor upbringings of the Rogues and Wally West showcase the differences between them; Wally came from a broken home and still became a hero, while the Rogues became anti-social criminals and at least some attributed it to their dysfunctional early lives. Wally said of Double Down “Like most Rogues he blames his predicament on someone else”, and that seems to be the key difference between him and them.

Flash 132 And finally, a major reason for the popularity of at least some Flash villains is the ‘gentleman thief’ aspect many of them embody. Not all of them are like this, of course, but the Rogues have held that appeal since the Silver Age (at left is a letter published in Flash v1 #132, circa 1962) and it’s only become more pronounced in the modern era with the establishment of Captain Cold’s Rogue Rules. Many fans like them for their principles even if they don’t always live up to them, but the Rogues are just as human and fallible as the rest of us. The fact that they even care about rules sets them apart from many other villains, and makes them distinctive and easier to root for. Readers can genuinely care about Captain Cold and want him to succeed when he has a set of ethics and refuses to cross certain boundaries.

So there are good reasons for the enduring popularity of Flash villains amongst readers and creators, and their success is no accident. They’ve been well-crafted over the years to highlight the strengths and weaknesses of the Flashes, and are interesting characters in their own right. It’s been wonderful to see some of them finally appear in live action television over the past two years, and hopefully they’ll continue to be showcased and introduced to an entirely new audience in the years to come.

The Battle With Professor Zoom! Review of THE FLASH #47

Flash 47 Final2015 may be coming to a close, but not without the BIG battle we’ve been waiting for – Barry Allen versus Eobard Thawne, aka Professor Zoom! This issue has much more than a great fight scene, though. We learn a lot more about Thawne’s backstory in the DCYou – what made him the messed-up bad guy that he is today. And, the key to winning the battle brings a theme full circle for Barry Allen in this post-FLASHPOINT world. All of this, and more, will be explained after the jump…

SOME SPOILERS AHEAD

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“End of the Hunt” – Review of THE FLASH #46

This is what we’ve been waiting for…for Professor Zoom to show his hand. The hunt is over and the battle begins on several fronts. The police blame Barry for the recent destruction in Central City, and Professor Zoom blames Barry for…well, just about everything bad in history. Things are stacked up against the Flash in just about every Avway possible, which is where we pick up in “End of the Hunt”, THE FLASH #46!

SOME SPOILERS AHEAD

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“Thunderdome” – Review of THE FLASH #45

Flash 45The Central City Police Department is trapped underneath a dome made by one of Zoom’s group, along with a bomb that appears to power up with the Flash uses his speed. How can anyone hope to get out safe? And, what else does Professor Zoom have planned for Barry and company? That’s where we pick up THE FLASH #45, out today at a comic shop near you! Click below for more after the jump…

SOME SPOILERS AHEAD

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Review of THE FLASH #44 – A Plan Is Coming Together

Flash 44In this issue of THE FLASH, we see Professor Zoom’s plan coming together – designed to destroy Barry’s reputation along with his life! Robert Venditti and Van Jensen have been pulling key members of the cast together for this moment, in an over-the-top series of moments for Eobard Thawne and company as we move through THE FLASH #44. We won’t spoil too much here…but you can learn more after the jump!

SOME SPOILERS AHEAD!

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Flash #47: Prof. Zoom’s Endgame in December

Flash #47

DC Comics’ December 2015 solicitations are rolling out, including…

THE FLASH #47
Written by ROBERT VENDITTI and VAN JENSEN
Art and cover by BRETT BOOTH and NORM RAPMUND
Variant covers by TERRY DODSON
On sale DECEMBER 30 • 32 pg, FC, $3.99 US • RATED T

Professor Zoom’s endgame goes into effect as we learn the dark truth behind Nora Allen’s murder!