Eobard Thawne, also known by his alter ego as the villainous speedster, Reverse-Flash is a character that was created by Carmine Infantino and John Broome in DC Comics. He is widely known as the arch-nemesis of Barry Allen/The Flash and the murderer of Barry's mother, Nora Thompson and the reason why Barry's father, Henry was in prison. He was portrayed by Tom Cavanagh and Matt Letscher in the Arrowverse shows, The Flash and Legends of Tomorrow.
After learning the Flash's secret identity, Eobard traveled back in time to kill Barry as a child to erase his foe from existence but was thwarted by the Flash of 2024 who brought the younger Barry to safety. The enraged Eobard then killed Nora Allen and framed Henry Allen for the crime instead, being known as the Man in Yellow after the incident. However, Eobard's connection to the Speed Force began fluctuating, trapping him in the early twenty-first century. Realizing that Barry was the only way to return to his time, Eobard killed a man in order to assume the identity of Harrison Wells as the director of S.T.A.R. Labs, and to push through for the creation of a particle accelerator to ensure that Barry would become the Flash. Posing as Wells, Eobard mentored the Flash and became the leader of a team that he assembled to stop the meta-human threats, to increase his protégé's speed so that Eobard could use the hero's connection to the Speed Force to return to his own time. During this time, he also developed a bond with Cisco Ramon as another protégé. After his plan was exposed and subsequently foiled, Eobard was erased from existence after his ancestor Eddie killed himself to stop him.
One year after Eobard was erased from existence, Barry prevented Eobard from murdering Nora, creating the Flashpoint timeline and holding him captive for months. After realizing this mistake, Barry released Eobard, allowing him to kill Nora again; as a result of being pulled out of the timeline Eobard was spared from his fate and continued to exist as a time remnant, while his original actions remained intact. Due to his own nullified state of existence; he was hunted by the Black Flash, forcing him to seek out the Spear of Destiny in order to restore his natural existence. Unable to find the object and outrun the enforcer at the same time, Eobard formed a supervillain alliance. Eobard and his co-conspirators eventually retrieved the Spear of Destiny, which they used to rewrite reality to their whims. Despite its initial success, Eobard's plan was foiled by the Legends' de-powering the object, and Eobard was vaporized by the Black Flash.
Later, Eobard mysteriously resurfaced as an ally of the New Reich of Earth-X. He originally tried to carry out the Fuhrer's request to perform heart surgery on Overgirl. However, when the Reich's defeat eventually became inevitable, he abandoned his allies to their deaths at the hands of Team Flash, Team Arrow, the Legends, and Supergirl.
He was a great character and enemy to Barry and the Legends in the earlier seasons (1-3) of the Flash and the second season of Legends of Tomorrow but in later seasons of the Flash, he ultimately was overused and flanderized. This version will only talk about the character in seasons 4-8.
Why He Deserved to Be Erased from the Timeline
- He used to be a good, intimidating villain with great writing, but as the later seasons came, he became an overused villain and was flanderized from being an terrifying, intimidating, manipulative speedster who gets what he wants by force into an whining, envious, egoistic psychopath who wants to kill the Flash but fails at doing it so many times.
- It literally makes no sense as to how he's still alive because if you can recall in the season 2 finale of Legends of Tomorrow, he was killed by the Black Flash (the zombified Hunter Zolomon after the Flash defeated him and the Speed demons infecting him and taking him to the speed force), thus fading out of existence but somehow, he's back in the Crisis on Earth-X crossover working with the Nazis as Dark Flash (which the name doesn’t make any sense if he has “dark” speed powers)
- The showrunners only did this because initially they had a Earth-X version of Barry Allen named Blitzkrieg shown in the Freedom Fighters: The Ray animated movie, which supposedly was canon to the crossover, but they couldn't put him in the crossover because they recently had another evil version of Barry in the then-recent Season 3. So they had a dumb excuse to bring Reverse-Flash in with no explanation as to how he is even alive. They easily could've avoided this by just bringing Blitzkrieg to live-action instead of bringing Thawne back with no explanation.
- He is shoehorned into every season. There are some seasons where he ultimately ends as a major antagonist, making him a Creator's Pet.
- His dialogue feels rather generic whenever he says “kill” or “ruin”.
- Almost every attempt of trying to ruin Barry's life or kill him has failed miserably. Only one attempt was successful and even that attempt failed.
- His character development is one-dimensional throughout the rest of the show. Every time he and Barry meet, he tries to kill him. Even when they teamed up, he went back to his old ways and tried to murder him. And Thawne's reason on why he wants to kill Barry is even worse...
- In the early seasons (and in the comics), his origin story is that he was a big fan of the original Flash. He wanted to be like him, so he recreated the accident that gave the Flash his speed. As a result, he has super speed like his idol, so he uses his powers to become the new Flash of his century. Unfortunately, this is short-lived when he learns that he is not meant to be the Flash, but to be the total opposite. He goes insane, and becomes the very person that he is today (but in the New 52, there are some motivations where his mother was killed by his father as a child and had to do that when he kills the Flash’s mother).
- In short terms, he hates Barry because he couldn't be like him, and was even rejected by Barry himself because Thawne's ways of being seen as a hero were not very heroic.
- But in season 8, his origin was changed. This time, he hates Barry because the latter saved a crowd of people (that Eobard put in harm's way to stage the incident and act like he was saving them) from their deaths. As a result, Thawne becomes furious that Barry saved the people that he was supposed to save, even though he was the one that put them in that situation. To quote Barry Allen when he heard this absolute lackluster excuse, "Only a sociopath would react to something so small with that kind of rage."
- He is practically the reason why Armageddon exists as he caused all of the events such as...
- Messing with the wiring in STAR Labs which eventually turns on the particle accelerator to the point where STAR Labs becomes a quarantine zone due to high radiation signals, leading to Barry and the team losing their headquarters.
- He gets Barry suspended from CCPD due him botching police evidence, which led suspects to believe that Barry was a mole for the Black Hole group.
- To make it even worse, Thawne starts attacking citizens in downtown Central City, as the Flash to frame Barry for the attacks which not only causes Barry to get Jefferson Pierce/Black Lightning to drain his power to a low amount but causes Despero (a pink-skinned extraterrestrial humanoid with psychic powers) to hunt down Barry and attempt to kill him because of his beliefs that Barry will destroy the world in 2030.
- And it gets even worse from here, he creates an Flashpoint of his own where Thawne is the Flash, Barry's friends, family, and wife turning on him as he is the Reverse-Flash in this Reverse-Flashpoint reality.
- To add the final nail in the coffin, Thawne killed Barry as a child, even though it is implied that he can't kill Barry as a child or he will cease to exist. Doing this means that Barry doesn't have much time until he is erased from existence at midnight.
- Immediately after Barry restored the timeline to how it was before, Thawne was instead the one who would be erased from existence at midnight. Barry and Team Flash would decide to save him by severing his connection to the Negative Speed Force. Just another excuse to use him again and again. When will he finally die?
- After his speed is taken from him, Thawne whines about Barry taking his speed from him, claiming that it was his "life." Wow. And you thought it couldn't get any worse. Just wait.
- He is at his absolute worst towards the end of the season,
- To start it off, his jealousy is at its peak when Barry informs him of a new speedster, and taunts him about him being replaced which makes Thawne really furious as he says that no one will never replace him as The Flash's number #1 enemy.
- It is also revealed that there are two Eobard Thawnes (I will refer the Tom Cavanagh one as Thawne and the Matt Letscher one as Eobard), the Thawne in prison and the original Eobard Thawne before he becomes the Reverse-Flash. "Deon," who is later to be revealed as the Negative Still Force kills the main Thawne by aging him a thousand years until he turns into a withered skeleton. You'd think Thawne's story would end but NO! It doesn't end there.
- After the Negative Forces basically made Barry kill his wife on accident, Eobard is the next one to go as he is sacrificed to bring back Thawne. They literally wasted Matt Letscher's version of Eobard Thawne just so they could bring back Cavanagh's version? Eric Wallace really is going to be the downfall of this show. What's even worse is that the next season, Season 9, will be the final season. No more after that. It's a shame.
- He then taunts and torments Barry about his mother and wife, leading to Barry to unleash his sheer fury on Thawne, which he deserves. Good job Barry! Unfortunately, XS and Impulse (his kids), show up and stop him from finishing the job due to the plot. Like, why are you stopping him? After all he has done to break up your family, why are you trying to stop Barry from finally getting his revenge? Due to this, Barry spares Thawne once again. Thawne threatens Barry by telling him that his kids are next, then he disappears into the Negative Speed Force.
- Moments towards the end, he arrives in Central City as Negative Reverse Flash (which is a black suit), telling everyone that they are going to die. He isn't lying as it is revealed that he already killed dozens of people before his fight with the Flash in their final, final, final, final showdown. The Flash, now with the power of the Positive Forces, clashes with Thawne in the final battle of their rivalry, starting the real Armageddon in the process. After seeing that fighting with Thawne is going to cause Armageddon, Barry ends the fight by mediating. Then, Thawne unleases a wave of negative energy that kills a bunch a people, but due to Barry's mediating, time is reversed and all the energy comes back at Thawne, killing him.
- Tom Cavanagh at least did a good job portraying this character.
- He was a much, much better character in the earlier seasons and Legends of Tomorrow.
- The storyline of Thawne manipulating time to ruin Barry's life physically and mentally is good, but it could have been better.
- He gets his comeuppance and eventually permanent death in the eighth season, though it will probably be short-lived.
- Characters from 2010s media
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- Overreactive characters
- Creator's pet
- Egotistic characters
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- DC Comics characters
- Bad characters from good media
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