Reverse-Flash is a name used by several supervillains appearing in American comic books published by DC Comics. Each iteration of the character serves as a foil and an enemy of the Flash.


Edward ClarissEdit

Edward Clariss
The Rival, the first Reverse-Flash, by Carlo Barberi and Terry Austin.
Publication information
PublisherDC Comics
First appearanceFlash Comics #104 (February 1949)
Created byJohn Broome
Joe Kubert
In-story information
Notable aliasesRival

Edward Clariss (also known as the Rival[1] and the Rival Flash) first appeared in Flash Comics #104 (February 1949), and was created by John Broome and Joe Kubert.[2]

Publication historyEdit

Edward Clariss first appeared in Jay Garrick's final appearance in Flash Comics #104 (February 1949), and was created by John Broome and Joe Kubert as an evil counterpart of Jay Garrick during the Golden Age of Comic Books. He would be revived by Geoff Johns and David Goyer in a story called "Injustice Be Done" from the Justice Society of America comic books through the Modern Age of Comic Books.[3]

Fictional character biographyEdit

Although not called the Reverse-Flash, Dr. Edward Clariss was a professor at the university attended by the Golden Age Flash, and had recreated the formula which was behind Jay Garrick's speed. He hears Joan Williams (Garrick's girlfriend) talking about how the Flash's own speed was given to another student, which helped him develop the formula. Bitter at the scientific community's rejection of his claims, Clariss becomes a criminal. A darker version of the Flash with a mask over his head, he gives the formula to other criminals. The Rival's version of the formula is temporary, and he is captured and jailed (later stories have indicated a possible link between the Clariss formula and the Velocity 9 created by Vandal Savage, but thus far no such link has been conclusively proven).[3]

JSA #16 (November 2000) contains a flashback to a battle between the Rival and the Flash several months after the former's first appearance. Now that he has inexplicably regained super-speed, Clariss reaches light speed during the fight and vanishes into the Speed Force. After the Justice Society of America's reformation 50 years later, Johnny Sorrow retrieves Clariss from the Speed Force and invites him to join the Injustice Society. Driven insane in the Speed Force, the Rival races across the country on a killing spree. The Flash realizes that the Rival's path across the country spells out Clariss's name and the final murder victim will be Joan; Jay absorbs the Rival's speed before he can kill Joan.[3]

The Rival returns in Impulse #88 (September 2002), posing as Joan's doctor. Now pure speed energy, he possesses fellow Golden Age speedster Max Mercury. After battling Jay and Impulse, Max time-travels to an unknown destination. In The Flash: Rebirth #4, Max escapes from the Speed Force and is rejuvenated by Wally West's energy; this allows him to return to Earth in a new body. Another Golden Age Reverse-Flash is a robot whose only appearance was in one panel of The Flash #134 (February 1998), where he is defeated by Garrick.[4]

Eobard ThawneEdit

Professor Eobard Thawne first appeared in The Flash #139 (September 1963). The archenemy of Barry Allen, he is the first to take on the name Professor Zoom, and oftentimes the Reverse-Flash.[5]

Hunter ZolomonEdit

Hunter Zolomon (also known as Zoom) first appeared in The Flash: Secret Files & Origins #3 (November 2001). The archenemy of Wally West, he is the second supervillain to be called the Reverse-Flash. Unlike all other Reverse-Flashes, he did not gain his super-speed from the Speed Force; due to an accident with the Cosmic Treadmill, Zolomon was essentially 'derailed' from the timeline, allowing him to control the rate at which he moved in time that can make him faster than any speedster.

Thaddeus ThawneEdit

Thaddeus Thawne (a.k.a. Inertia and later Kid Zoom) first appeared in Impulse #51 (August 1999), and was created by Todd DeZago and Mike Wieringo. Another character not called the Reverse-Flash, he is a clone of Bart Allen. Inertia first fought Impulse. When Bart aged five years after Infinite Crisis and became the Flash, Inertia fought his genetic template again. Inertia was responsible for Allen's death; Wally West returned, taking revenge by paralyzing Inertia and installing him in the Flash Museum. In Final Crisis: Rogues' Revenge, he was used by Libra and Zoom to try to get the Rogues to join the Secret Society. Inertia stole Zoom's powers, called himself Kid Zoom and was killed by the Rogues, who blamed him for making them kill Bart.

Asked who created Inertia, Ethan van Sciver wrote that he could only accept five percent of the credit; the remaining credit belonged to Mike Wieringo (20 percent), Grant Morrison (25 percent) and Todd DeZago (50 percent). According to van Sciver, Inertia's appearance is an inverted depiction of Impulse.[6]

Inertia initially appeared in Impulse #50: "First Fool's" (July 1999), followed by #51: "It's All Relative" (August 1999). His greatest character development was in #53: "Threats" (October 1999). Inertia was not featured again until Impulse #62 and #66: "Mercury Falling" (July, November 2000), and again for another five years.

He then began making regular appearances, primarily due to Bart being the Flash. Inertia appeared in The Flash: The Fastest Man Alive #5: "Lightning in a Bottle, Part 5" (December 2006). In addition to his Flash appearances, he appeared in Teen Titans (vol. 3) as part of Titans East, an enemy team, beginning in Teen Titans (vol. 3) #43 (January 2007). The storyline concluded with (vol. 3) #46 (April 2007). Gathering the Rogues, he attempted to drain Bart's powers for himself; the plan backfired when Wally returned and Inertia's equipment drained the Speed Force, making the Rogues accidentally beat Bart to death. As Inertia tried to escape, he was captured by Wally who steals his speed, leaving him immobile.

Inertia is primarily a speedster, remaining disconnected from the Speed Force after Infinite Crisis and injecting himself with Velocity 9. Although Velocity 9 has been unstable, Deathstroke's new variety seems to have no negative side effects. Inertia briefly shares his powers before his death with Zoom, who lends him his speed to pressure him into becoming a new Kid Flash. As the maddened Kid Zoom, he masters human time streams and reverts Zoom to the powerless Hunter Zolomon before he is killed by the Rogues.

Daniel WestEdit

Daniel "Danny" West first appeared in The Flash #0 (November 2012). The younger brother of Iris West, the biological father of Wallace West and the uncle of Wally West, he is the most recent character to take up the Reverse-Flash mantle.

Tangent ComicsEdit

Reverse-Flash in Tangent Comics

In DC's Tangent Comics, the Reverse-Flash is an evil, holographic duplicate of Lia Nelson (the Flash) created by a sinister government agency. She was charged with negative ionic energy to disperse the Flash's photon-based form. The Flash's light-wave powers outmatched the Reverse-Flash's and she was destroyed. This Reverse-Flash appeared in only one issue: Tangent Comics: The Flash #1 (December 1997).

In other mediaEdit

Live actionEdit



Video gamesEdit

The subsequent characters to use the Reverse-Flash moniker appear in various video games.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "The Flash's 10 Fastest Villains, Ranked". CBR. 22 April 2019. Retrieved 1 May 2019.
  2. ^ Cowsill, Alan; Irvine, Alex; Korte, Steve; Manning, Matt; Wiacek, Win; Wilson, Sven (2016). The DC Comics Encyclopedia: The Definitive Guide to the Characters of the DC Universe. DK Publishing. p. 248. ISBN 978-1-4654-5357-0.
  3. ^ a b c "The Flash Season 3: Who is The Rival?". Den of Geek. Retrieved 1 May 2019.
  4. ^ Shiach, Kieran. "Dark Reflections: The History Of Zoom And The Reverse Flash". ComicsAlliance. Retrieved 2 May 2019.
  5. ^ Wells, John (2015). American Comic Book Chronicles: 1960-64. TwoMorrows Publishing. p. 125. ISBN 978-1605490458.
  6. ^ "Inertia . . . ! - Page 4 - The Comic Bloc Forums". Archived from the original on 2011-07-18. Retrieved 2011-04-25.
  7. ^ Holmes, Adam (2015). "The Flash: Dr. Wells Just Revealed His Biggest Secrets". Cinemablend.
  8. ^ Dyce, Andrew (2015). "Eobard Thawne: 'The Flash's Best Twist, or Its Worst?". Screenrant.
  9. ^ Bucksbaum, Sydney (July 23, 2016). "Comic-Con: 'Legends of Tomorrow' to Tackle Legion of Doom Villain Team In Season 2". The Hollywood Reporter.
  10. ^ Schneider, Michael (September 9, 2016). "Greg Berlanti Interview: How TV's Superhero Guru is Managing Crossovers, 'Supergirl's Move and New Inspirations". Indiewire. Archived from the original on November 17, 2016. Retrieved November 10, 2016.
  11. ^ Abrams, Natalie (February 23, 2016). "The Flash reveals Zoom's identity!". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved February 23, 2016.
  12. ^ Burlingame, Russ. "Teddy Sears On What Makes The Flash Great, The Zoom Twist, and This Week's Big Episode". Retrieved September 12, 2016.
  13. ^ Abrams, Natalie (January 26, 2016). "Did The Flash just reveal Zoom's identity?". Retrieved April 26, 2016.
  14. ^ Schremph, Kelly (February 2, 2016). "Is Hunter Zolomon Zoom On 'The Flash'? Jay Garrick's Earth-1 Doppelgänger Has A Meaningful Name". Bustle. Retrieved November 25, 2016.
  15. ^ "Zoom Confirmed As Flash Season Two's Villain". July 12, 2015. Retrieved August 24, 2015.
  16. ^ Ching, Albert (August 31, 2015). ""The Flash" Casts the Voice of Zoom for Season 2". Comic Book Resources. Retrieved August 31, 2015.
  17. ^ The Many Faces of Zoom featurette. Warner Bros. Home Entertainment.
  18. ^ "Versus Zoom on New 'The Flash' Tonight". Entertainment Alley. Retrieved September 12, 2016.
  19. ^ Andrew Dyce (January 28, 2016). "The Flash's Twist Explained: Who is Hunter Zolomon?". Screen Rant. Retrieved April 15, 2017.
  20. ^ "SDCC: "The Flash" Reveals "Zoom" as Season Two Villain, Comic-Con Reel Released". Comic Book Resources. May 11, 2015. Retrieved February 25, 2016.
  21. ^ Crystal Bell (January 19, 2016). "The Inside Story Of How 'The Flash' Created TV's Most Terrifying Villain". MTV News. Retrieved February 12, 2018.
  22. ^ "Flashback S3 Ep.1: Exclusive Interview with Teddy Sears". YouTube. April 24, 2017.
  23. ^ "15 CW Speedsters Ranked From Slowest To Fastest". CBR. 4 January 2018. Retrieved 2 May 2019.
  24. ^ Young, Sage. "Clariss Is An Old-School 'Flash' Bad Guy". Bustle. Retrieved 2 May 2019.
  25. ^ Allstetter, Rob (January 27, 2010). "Kate Jewell interviews Michael Jelenic". Comics Continuum. Retrieved 2011-04-25.
  26. ^ "The Flashpoint Paradox spins an alternative tale". IGN. Retrieved February 15, 2017.

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