The most dangerous villain the Flash has ever faced in his career is Reverse-Flash, also known as Eobard Thawne. This supervillain comes from the future and is deemed one of the fastest speedsters in the DC Universe. Thawne is Barry Allen’s biggest supervillain in ‘The Flash’ series as well, and the one who pushes him to the edge multiple times in the series. But why is the evil speedster so transfixed on Barry Allen and his life? Why would he travel the multiverse and different timelines to find a way to kill him? Why does Eobard Thawne hate Barry?
Eobard Thawne (Reverse Flash) hates Barry Allen in ‘The Flash’ because the superhero himself upstaged him in the biggest moment of his life. Thawne idolized Barry Allen of the 21st century and wanted to become just like him, and he did it by experimenting with Speed Force and managing to be as fast as the Flash. However, just as he is about to become a hero, the Flash comes out of nowhere and saves the day. Thawne is humiliated by his idol, and when he learns that he is destined to become Flash’s greatest enemy, he goes insane and vows to catch Barry Allen and destroy his life. The same goes for his counterpart in the DC comics.
Reverse-Flash was always Barry Allen’s most important supervillain in the series since he was the one who truly pushed the superhero over the edge. Yes, other speedsters were involved, but Thawne is significant in Barry Allen’s life because he destroyed his family and years later provoked Barry to cause the Flashpoint. ‘The Flash’ series did many things “iffy,” but Reverse-Flash was always a formidable opponent to Flash, which is what we will discuss in this article.
What did Barry Allen do to Eobard Thawne?
Eobard Thawne is Barry Allen’s most formidable opponent in the DC comics. Since his first appearance in the 1960s, Reverse-Flash was one supervillain that pushed Barry Allen to the edge – consistently.
His origin story has similarities to his Arrowverse counterpart, but let’s remind ourselves who Eobard Thawne/Reverse-Flash is to Flash in DC comics. The original background for Eobard Thawne goes something like this.
In the 25th century, there were not many threats to humankind, thanks to the Flash, a legend of the future. When Eobard Thawne starts idolizing the heroic superhero, he begins developing a way to become like his idol. Thawne discovers a time capsule containing the Flash suit and a Tachyon device with amplified speed force, which gives the regular man speedster powers.
Thawne even developed his own suit by simply reversing colors and putting yellow as the dominant color of his superhero uniform – inspired by that, Thawne calls himself Reverse-Flash. A new speedster calls himself “Professor Zoom the Reverse-Flash,” and starts doing crime.
However, the time capsule that Thawne found contained an atomic clock that turned into an atomic bomb, which prompted Flash to appear and save the day. Barry defeated Zoom and proceeded to destroy his suit. Thawne goes ballistic and vows to hunt down Flash and destroy him and his loved ones. Of course, that included taking everything Flash desired and even trying to seduce Barry’s wife, Iris West, who promptly rejected the evil speedster.
That Flash run was ruthless because we saw Reverse-Flash killing Iris West, and when Barry found love again, he decided to stop Thawne once and for all; he murdered him by snapping his neck.
Reverse-Flash’s origins story has been retconned a few times in the DC comics, so we will also mention his character after DC Rebirth’s origin, which occurred in 2016.
This version of Reverse-Flash is more similar to ‘The Flash’ series since in this particular storyline (‘The Flash, vol. 5 #27’), we see Eobard Thawne idolizing the Flash. DC Rebirth tells us a story of a young orphan from the 25th century who becomes obsessed with Flash.
Thawne eventually discovers a time capsule with traces of Speed Force and turns himself into Flash. There are not that many threats in the 25th century, so the new speedster creates his own crimes and scenarios and fuels his need for heroism.
Barry Allen eventually travels to the future, meets Thawne, and teaches him some of his speedster tricks. However, the Flash realizes what Thawne really did with his powers and then proceeds to fight him. The Flash easily defeats Thawne, who is arrested but makes a promise and compromises that he will be better.
Eobard Thawne becomes a professor and even a curator of the Flash museum, which prompts the fan to go to the past and showcase his redemption to Barry Allen. However, he stumbles upon Barry talking with Wally, telling him the advice he gave Thawne during his teachings, which tips the evil speedster over the edge.
Reverse-Flash is born and vows to make Barry Allen’s life miserable until the Flash learns to make time for him. Let’s just say that Thawne snapped after feeling rejected by the Flash, which leads us to the Arrowverse version of the character, which is quite similar to the DC Rebirth version of the origin story.
The Arrowverse version of Eobard Thawne has a similar origin story to the one from DC Rebirth
Eobard Thawne from ‘The Flash’ series is quite interesting since he was also a fan of the Flash in the 25th century. However, unlike his comic book counterpart, this version of Thawne developed the Speed Force without the time capsule but through his scientific findings and experiments. Thawne was a genius in this universe who wanted to help and protect people like the Flash. He replicated Speed Force by creating a biometric lightning oscillation chamber through which he gains speed powers.
Just as he is about to save the day, Flash arrives and takes the spotlight away from Thawne. Of course, the fact that he felt humiliated by the Flash, and his true destiny as Barry’s archnemesis, Eobard Thawne, goes insane and vows to destroy Flash once and for all.
The rage for his former idol and anger attracts the Negative Speed Force, for which he becomes the avatar and becomes the true Reverse-Flash. The whole journey of Reverse-Flash trying to make Flash miserable is showcased really well in ‘The Flash’ series, which stems for almost nine seasons.
The most iconic scene of the series is when Reverse-Flash realizes Flash’s true identity, returns to the year 2000, and accidentally kills Barry’s mother, Nora. In season nine, we finally got that “full circle” moment for that scene where we discovered that the Flash from 2023 saved young Barry.
A really cool scene that occurred in the first part of the four-part finale of ‘The Flash,‘ but the best scenes go back to season one onwards. Despite having so many villains, Reverse-Flash is still the most iconic and formidable villain of the Flash, and every version of the character confirms that notion.
What is your favorite version of Eobard Thawne, and did you like the Arrowverse version of the character? Let us know in the comments below!