This is my 50th post on this blog, so I've decided to celebrate with a brief glimpse of 25 villains the Flash has met so far. For the sake of variety and convenience, I've put the baddies in alphabetical order.
We don't know much about Amazo, except that he is a giant robot created by Professor Ivo, who worked with Cyborg's dad at STAR Labs. Professor Ivo was carried away by parademons during the Darkseid invasion, and it remains unclear if and how he returned. The Justice League defeated Amazo largely off screen, and Green Arrow provided the valiant contribution of shooting an arrow in his butt. The Justice League took the robot back to STAR Labs, where it was decommissioned.
It seems like most of the pre-52 continuity holds up with Bane, as he mentions having previously broken Batman's back. In his first New 52 appearance, Bane developed a new and improved venom with the help of Scarecrow and Poison Ivy. He used several high-profile test subjects to battle Batman, including Two-Face, Clayface and Deathstroke. Batman called in Flash to help him on the case, but Flash spent most of the time running around the globe to get the toxin out of his bloodstream. When he finally sorted that out, he arrived just in time to help Batman defeat Bane by giving him an antidote to the new venom and then pushing him off a cliff.
Leonard Snart was the founder and original leader of the Rogues — a group of super villains with a code of conduct. Tired with constantly losing to the Flash, Cold traded in his freeze guns for actual superpowers, courtesy of Dr. Darwin Elias. The transformation resulted in an explosion that put Cold's sister, Lisa, in a coma. Cold then was somehow caught and taken to Iron Heights Prison, but probably not by the Flash, who didn't discover Cold's new powers until later. Cold escaped Iron Heights during the blackout from the Mob Rule storyline, but soon found out the blackout made it impossible for doctors to operate on Lisa's brain tumor. Believing Flash caused the blackout, Captain Cold took his revenge out on the speedster, and during the fight, a vortex to the Speed Force opened that sucked up Iris, three others, and presumably Barry Allen. Flash defeated Cold and helped saved Lisa, but she blamed Len for accident that gave them powers.
Captain Cold later escaped from Iron Heights again, probably thanks to David Graves, who was releasing and interrogating Justice League villains. Cold then went to a bar to drown his sorrows, when Heatwave showed up, blaming him for his gruesome and painful transformation. Luckily, Barry Allen happened to be working at that bar, and was able to turn into the Flash and defeat the two Rogues. On their way to Iron Heights, Lisa, now Glider, saved Heatwave, but left her brother to die in the crashing police van. Cold was saved/captured by the Pied Piper, then saved by Trickster. He then teamed up with Flash to take down the Rogues, but he quickly double-crossed him and tried to reclaim his position as leader of the Rogues. But then the gorillas invaded Central City, so Cold and the Rogues had to fight them off. Once that was all said and done, Cold retreated back to Mirror World with the Rogues, who harshly reminded him that he is no longer their leader.
Barbara Minerva was one of Wonder Woman's first friends, but she was always a criminal in disguise. She worked in ARGUS's secret Black Room of enchanted artifacts when she stole a ceremonial dagger that possessed her with the goddess of the hunt — the Cheetah. The Justice League helped Wonder Woman track down her former friend, and she bit Superman, briefly turning him into a cheetah-man. She also got a couple of good hits in on the Flash, even slicing up his calf clean to the bone. But she was eventually captured and taken to Belle Reve Prison, which is exactly where she wanted to end up.
He's not really a super villain — at least not yet — but he was the getaway driver in a bank robbery that was one of the Flash's first adventures. Daniel tried to escape while being taken into jail, but Barry happened to be right there visiting his dad, and was able to stop him. Daniel received 5 to 10 years for his crime, and he tried to get his sister Iris to work with Barry to help reduce his sentence. But Barry felt Iris was using him, so he broke off their relationship. Daniel was released 5 years later for good behavior, but found himself in the middle of the gorilla invasion. Luckily, he was saved by the Rogues. His ultimate role in the Flash story has yet to be revealed.
The ruler of Apokolips launched an invasion on Earth apparently to search for his daughter. Seven of Earth's mightiest heroes teamed up for the first time to defeat him and send him back to his own planet. Those heroes, including the Flash, decided to form the Justice League to battle other massive threats to Earth. Darkseid is still out there, and has sworn to return one day.
Dr. Darwin Elias
Darwin Elias is a scientist with often perplexing motives. He gave the Rogues superpowers "just to see what happens," but also helped the Flash learn to think at super speed and tried to help the Mob Rule clones keep from dying. He failed with this last endeavor, and inadvertently caused a citywide blackout. He pulled the Gem Cities out of the blackout, though, by creating a machine that could collect the Flash's excess Speed Force energy into battery cells. Elias then took full credit for the battery cells and started to host anti-Flash rallies. He built a big monorail for the city, but was attacked by Glider at the ceremony. He did survive, but probably believes it was the Flash who attacked him and has now vowed revenge. Although Gorilla Grodd drained most of the battery cells, Elias does have a small secret stash of Speed Force energy to himself.
David Graves was an accomplished author who specialized in the paranormal and mythical. He happened to be in Metropolis with his family when Darkseid attacked, and they were saved by the Justice League. He wrote an instant best-seller about the team, but he and his family became terminally ill after breathing in ashes from Darkseid's omega beams. After his children and wife died, Graves journeyed to a mystical temple to make a deal with fallen gods. He came into contact with spiritual parasites that disguised themselves as his family and gave him superpowers. He set out to turn the public against the Justice League, and then release the spirits to reunite the world with their lost loved ones. He also tried to kill Steven Trevor, believing Wonder Woman hadn't experienced enough pain. The League ultimately defeated him after they learned the truth about the "spirits" and they sent Graves to Belle Reve Prison, where Amanda Waller tasked him with writing a book on how to defeat the Justice League.
Not much is known about him beside his name and 2-dimensional appearance. He was apparently caught by the Flash before and was in Iron Heights when the blackout happened. He, Girder and Tar Pit tried to take Iris West hostage before making their escape, but they were quickly defeated by Flash.
Grodd's right-hand man ... er, ape, shared his king's violent dreams of world domination. He killed some disloyal elders, rescued Grodd after the temple collapsed on him and helped lead the invasion of Central City. Although it wasn't explicitly stated, I like to believe he was the gorilla Patty Spivot shot and killed to save Darryl Frye.
As with Folded Man, we don't know much about Girder — just that he was an enemy of the Flash and most likely remains in Iron Heights.
Lisa Snart is the sister of Captain Cold and the girlfriend of the Mirror Master. Although she wasn't a Rogue at the time, she was present when Elias' genome recoder exploded, giving the criminals all superpowers. She gained the ability to send an astral projection out of her crippled body and interact with the physical world for a few seconds at a time. She united the Rogues through their shared hatred of Captain Cold, and she became their new leader. She attempted to murder Elias and stole his monorail, but then soon had to deal with the gorilla invasion. She helped save a bunch of people and took some of the gorillas' machines into the Mirror World. She is now plotting her next move with her new toys.
Grodd became king of Gorilla City after killing his father and eating his brain. But then the Flash showed up and threatened his belief of being the Speed Force's chosen one. Grodd tried to kill Flash, but accidentally caused an ancient temple to collapse on himself. General Silverback rescued him, and Grodd killed all who opposed him. He rallied together an army and launched a full-scale invasion of Central City. Grodd quickly found Elias' battery cells and drank the Speed Force energy to acquire super speed. He almost killed the Flash, but began to lose his newly acquired powers and had to return to Elias' lab. The Flash then met him there and took him to the Speed Force. With the assistance of a rampaging wooly mammoth, Flash trapped Grodd in the Speed Force while he saved Iris West and three others. Although Flash believes he's the only one with a key to the Speed Force, Grodd remains a constant threat to return.
Mick Rory was a member of the Rogues who decided to turn in his fire gun for superpowers. But the transformation left him badly burned and gave him a perpetual fire in his chest. Cursed with a bad temper, Heatwave has a bad habit of burning down buildings. He eventually found Captain Cold in a bar and tried to take his revenge on him, but the Flash quickly put a stop to it. Heatwave was then saved by Glider and helped her steal the monorail and fight the gorillas. He was last seen in the Mirror World, plotting the Rogues' next move.
No, he's really not a villain, but he did once get into a fight with the Justice League and apparently defeated them all single-handed. We don't know exactly what caused this fight, but it is likely the League will be seeing him again soon.
Sam Scudder was a member of the Rogues with a mirror gun that allowed him to transport things and people to the Mirror World. When he tried to gain superpowers, he became permanently trapped in the Mirror World. He teamed up with his girlfriend, Glider, to steal the monorail and battle the invading gorillas. He used his powers to entice Turbine to join the team, and he is currently looking to Glider to plan their next move.
Manuel Lago was Barry Allen's best friend in college. When Manuel's dad was killed by the terrorist group Basilisk, he joined the CIA and began hunting them down. At one point, he lost his hand, but the CIA gave him an experimental treatment that gave him the ability to regenerate lost body parts. He was then captured by Basilisk, and while torturing him, they discovered his regenerative powers, so they began to repeatedly hack off his limbs and pile them in a room. Eventually, clones of Manuel formed from his discarded limbs and they helped him escape. For a while, Manuel and his clones waged war against Basilisk, but then the clones began to die suddenly. Manuel then abandoned the clones, but they tracked him down to use him and Elias' genome recoder to fix their premature death problem. Elias' machine actually killed all the clones, though, and caused a massive blackout. Manuel then ran away to an unknown location and began creating more clones for an unknown purpose.
Hartley Rathaway was once a member of the Rogues with his flutes that can control rats and pigeons. But at some point, he decided to leave them and pursue a life of good. He became conductor of the Central City Symphony and started going out with Barry's boss, Director David Singh. Against David's wishes, he became the Pied Piper again in the Flash' absence and tried to help him fight the Rogues, but was quickly taken down by Weather Wizard. It remains to be seen whether Hartley will continue acting as the Pied Piper or if David will allow their relationship to go public.
So far, nothing is known about this villain. He was first seen after the Gorilla Warfare story, and he apparently wants to kill the Flash and take out others who've been touched by the Speed Force. We'll just have to wait and see who or what this bad guy is.
Dr. Samuel Street was an abusive husband, who was an Army biological warfare specialist. He was delivering the "spore" virus to ARGUS, when he ran into a mysterious intruder and was exposed to the virus, which turned him into a monster that could create miniature versions of himself. He tried to take back his ex-wife, but the Justice League stopped him off panel. It is unclear whether they cured him of his condition or if we'll see him again.
Not much is known about this man apparently made of lava, but he somehow earned a spot in Iron Heights, where he presumably remains to this day.
Axel Walker was once a member of the Rogues, but was kicked off the team for ignoring orders and botching robberies. He also insulted Lisa Snart, which didn't help his relationship with Captain Cold or Mirror Master. He left the Rogues before they acquired their superpowers, so he continues to rely on his bag of tricks and gadgets. Axel eventually found acceptance with the Outlanders, and they corroborated with Mob Rule for a little bit. He later saved Captain Cold from the Pied Piper, hoping to earn some favors down the road. When Grodd invaded Central City, Axel sought to offer his services to the gorilla, but got his arm ripped off by the enormous ape. Trickster was then involved in another adventure that I haven't reviewed yet, so I won't spoil anything here.
Rosco Hynes was a World War II-era fighter pilot who accidentally got sucked into the Speed Force. He spent decades alone there, learning its mysteries and acquiring powers. He watched Barry Allen's life unfold and learned all his secrets. Occasionally, portals would open up in the Speed Force, and Turbine would try to spin through them to return to his home, but he always ended up pulling other objects and people in, disrupting the flow of space and time. This caused several objects to show up in random places at random moments in history. It also led to Iris, Marissa, Gomez and Albert being sucked into the Speed Force. Flash went there to save them, but instead found Turbine, who wanted to force Flash to help him return home. Flash wouldn't consider traveling back in time, so he pulled Turbine out to the present day. During the gorilla invasion, Turbine saved Patty and Darryl, and took Patty to find Solovar, the founder of gorilla city who had journeyed to the future to help the Flash. Turbine then helped Darryl fight the gorillas and rescue the human hostages, but Turbine soon found himself in Mirror World, where the Rogues began recruiting him to join their team.
Not much is known about this villain, but he was released from Iron Heights by David Graves, who was gathering information on the Justice League. Green Lantern and Flash captured Weapons Master, but their fight caused a bit of damage. They tried to interrogate him, but this time Flash wanted to try being the bad cop. It failed miserably, so Wonder Woman came in and used her lasso of truth. Weapons Master is presumably safely back in Iron Heights.
Marco Mardon was born into one of South America's most powerful mob families, but he decided to make his fortune in the states as a member of the Rogues. He acquired superpowers with the others, but they became linked to his emotions, sending him into a deep depression when he uses them too much. When Marco's brother was killed, he returned to family business in Guatemala. Patty Spivot went down their to investigate the murder, but was captured by Marco's sister-in-law. This brought the Flash down there, and when Marco learned his sister-in-law had killed his brother, he decided to kill her and himself with a bolt of lightning. He survived, however, and was recruited by Glider to rejoin the Rogues. He returned to Central City to help steal the monorail and fight the gorillas. He's now with the rest of the Rogues in the Mirror World, planning their next big job.
So yeah, that's basically everybody the Flash has fought so far. It's been a fun 50 posts on this blog, and hopefully I'll have another 50 out before too long.
Next time: I'll finally begin the epic Superman crossover H'el on Earth!