Next week’s episode of The Flash promises a Reverse Flash origin as Eobard Thawne returns to the lives of Team Flash.
Next Tuesday, The Flash will push full force into the back end of the second season. The episode, titled “The Reverse-Flash Returns,” brings (no surprise) Barry’s season one nemesis Reverse-Flash back to Central City and into the lives of Team Flash again. In season one, Barry and the S.T.A.R. Labs team, with the help of Eddie Thawne, defeated Reverse-Flash by effectively erasing him from existence.
Or so we thought. Now that Eobard Thawne is officially returning not only to the lives of our heroes but to his identity as Reverse-Flash it might be time to look back at what we really know about the villain.
While Eobard Thawne was essentially the puppet master behind everything that went on in season one, we are never really given a sizable backstory. We know that he hates Barry Allen enough to try to kill him, and when unable to do so, to kill his mother instead. We also know that he is a speedster from about one hundred years in the future. That’s basically it.
So it makes perfect sense that the promo for next week’s episode sets up a chance for Reverse-Flash’s origin. And while we might not know much about Eobard yet, if we look to the comics there might be a few needed answers before the villain returns.
He’s called Professor Zoom for a Reason
In the comics, Eobard Thawne was devoted to the study of the Speed Force, to the point were he discovered how to travel in time. He actually used his time travel ability to advance his academic career. Specifically, he killed several people who got in his way on his climb up the collegiate ladder.
In The Flash, we know Thawne (when posing as Dr. Wells) was certainly a genius scientist as he helped Barry become The Flash and continued extensive work at Star Labs. It’s clear that even though Eobard is not “Zoom” as the series is concerned, he still warrants the “Professor” part of his comic book moniker.
Since much of his motivation in the comics is based around people impeding his ability to further learn of the Speed Force, it’s possible that Barry and his team come into conflict with Reverse-Flash on an academic level as well as a physical one.
Eobard is a Die-Hard Flash Fan
The original comic book Reverse-Flash, being a citizen of a distant future (actually the 25th century in the comics instead of the 22nd like in The Flash), knew of The Flash as a major historical figure. In Eobard Thawne’s time, Barry was a figure of the past that was looked on by many as the ultimate hero and inspiration, and by none more than Eobard himself.
Thawne was such a major fan that he actually used his knowledge of the Speed Force to travel back to Barry’s time to meet his hero. But Eobard’s calculations missed the mark and he came back in time just after Barry had died in the DC continuity. He was driven mad by his miscalculation and not getting to meet his hero, so Eobard Thawne decided to become Barry Allen, going as far as having reconstructive surgery to look like his dead idol.
I would personally (confidently) say that none of that is what will come to be on The Flash, so maybe the second comic origin might shed some light on the TV series. In a later iteration Eobard Thawne still idolized Barry Allen as a speedster and historic figure. But this version of Thawne resented Barry for using his incredible powers to uphold the law and fight for justice in Central City. Essentially, Reverse-Flash took the “reverse” title to an extreme point.