Many people would call Batman the hero with the greatest villains. Some would argue that it's Spider-Man. I would disagree completely. If I'm picking one hero with incredible villains, if I'm picking one rogues gallery that I'd call my personal favorite, I'd go with the Flash Rogues, no doubt. Hands down, no contest, the villains of Central and Keystone City have my heart firmly in their grasp. I mean, knowing them, they probably stole it, but still. And so, without any further ado, here are the top fifteen best Flash Villains. Don't blink, or you'll miss "˜em.
15. The Trickster II
Most DC mantles are passed down from the current hero or villain to a handpicked successor. Not Trickster. James Jesse did not pass his mantle down to Axel; Axel just stole all of James' gear and struck out on his own as the new Trickster. At the time he took over, James had reformed and was working for the FBI, leaving the villainous Trickster mantle open for the taking.
However, even if he still had been a villain, he never would've handed down the mantle to someone like Axel. Axel is violent and dangerous and does not play by the same set of rules as the other Rogues. Although he has successfully taken his predecessor's place among the Rogues, the team has never truly let him off the leash.
Because he's a jerk.
14. Weather Wizard
Also, I hope you understand that I'm not looking up any of these secret identities, I'm just a huge nerdypants loser who loves the Flash.
So Marky-Mark Mardon was a career criminal on the run from Johnny Law when he decided to run to one of the only people he knew: his brother Clyde. When he arrived, he found that Clyde had died (or, depending on later implications, it was possible that Mark murdered him). Either way, the end result is the same: the surviving Mardon brother discovered Clyde's secret invention: a technological wand that controls the weather. Mark stole it and became the Weather Wizard, joining up very quickly with the other Flash villains as The Rogues.
The dude even fought Batman at one point! And presumably learned that Batman was a lot less nice about beating the hell out of you than Barry Allen is. He also had a kid! Had a kid. Yeah, that's not a fun story.
Oh look, a new one! I really wanted to throw a newer villain on this list, but for the five years or so of the New 52, we really didn't get any great new Flash villains. Turbine and Mob Rule are ehh, the new Reverse Flash is unnecessary…but with Rebirth, we got a really solid new foe for the Scarlet Speedster.
Meet Godspeed. He's a superfast serial killer. MAJOR SPOILERS FOR THE FIRST ARC OF THE FLASH AFTER REBIRTH AHEAD. Okay, there we go. Because "Who is Godspeed?" is the big mystery of the first arc and I don't wanna ruin the answer without a warning. But it's Detective August Heart.
Heart's brother was murdered, leaving him with a desire for vengeance rather than justice. When he was given super speed by the Speed Force Storm, he took a role as The Flash's new partner"¦until it was revealed he was also meting out street justice as the masked murderer Godspeed.
Flash fought him and locked him in Iron Heights, but his future remains unseen.
Inertia was a clone of Bart, who faced him during Bart's time as Impulse, taking on a suitably inverted name as Inertia. Following Infinite Crisis, Inertia was disconnected from the speed force for a time, forcing him to use Velocity 9 to give himself artificial speed. Get it? A drug that is notable for "speed". Anyway, around this time, Bart Allen became the Flash and Inertia started planning. Inertia tricked The Rogues into killing Bart, while attempting to steal his speed for himself.
Wally West froze the punk in a horribly frozen state for years, until he eventually broke himself out. When he did, he found Hunter Zolomon (Zoom) and manipulated him into restoring Inertia's connection to natural super speed. Calling himself Kid Zoom, the punk kid was pretty immediately killed by the Rogues in revenge for tricking them.
A fitting end to a piece of garbage.
11. Captain Boomerang
George "Digger" Harkness was skilled with boomerangs. He got a job working for a toy company as a mascot for their attempt to bring back the boomerang. You know, every child's favorite toy. He decided he could use his boomerang-ing skills to commit crimes very efficiently, but he ran afoul of the Flash.
He never really did very well on that front. I mean, if you can't see why strapping the Flash to a giant boomerang and shooting it skyward is a bad idea, you might wanna stop supervillaining completely. You just aren't good at it.
He was enlisted in the Suicide Squad shortly thereafter, and he actually did some good there. Boomer returned to villainy, died, came back, all sortsa stuff. I like Boomer, and because of his role as one of the only Rogues to do some genuine hero stuff, he most certainly deserves a place on this list.
10. Mirror Master
If I'm picking a favorite, I'd go with McCulloch. Evan was a Scottish merc with a coke habit who took on the Mirror Master persona as cover for his activities as a hired assassin for a group of U.S. government personnel and big businessmen. Evan killed his birth father, whom he'd never met, which plummeted him into a depression. He wound up facing off against his first superhero"¦Animal Man.
He eventually went toe to toe with the Wally West Flash, and proved himself a worthy successor to the Mirror Master mantle. With the Rogues, he tagged along on numerous adventures, leading him to accidentally kill Bart Allen and get shot into space. He also managed to convince Dr. Light not to sexually assault the defeated heroes after the opening battle of Final Crisis so, like, good work doing the most basically decent thing there, McCulloch.
He's like if Trainspotting was a supervillain.
9. Rainbow Raider
A-hem"¦ GET IT??????!!!!!!!!!
Bivolo wanted to be a professional artist, but he was unfortunately colorblind, so he could never be o"”what's that? There are numerous colorblind artists? Huh. But anyhoozles, Bivolo's caring father, an optometrist, made him a pair of goggles that would allow him to see solid blocks of rainbow colors. Not quite perfect, but still pretty good. So he made art! But people didn't like it, so he made crime. He made a lot of crime. He also fought the Flash a couple times, even teaming up with The Shade once.
He fought Booster Gold, too. Also, he once tried to sell his soul to the devil, but the devil said he was too pathetic and he didn't want Roy's soul. Wow, harsh. Roy was eventually stabbed to death with one of his own artworks by Blacksmith. Ugh, everyone's a critic.
8. The Top
Roscoe loved tops growing up. God, if your child is obsessed with an outmoded toy technology, get him some help, because he's gonna be a supervillain. He also taught himself to spin around fast enough to deflect bullets. How he did this, I have absolutely no friggin' clue, but he did it! He also made a buncha weaponized tops because sure, why not. Eventually, he joined the Rogues, and even struck up a romance with Captain Cold's sister, the Golden Glider.
So around this time, Dillon's practice of spinning around real fast rearranged his brain and gave him psionic powers. Now, scientifically, the way this works is"¦uh"¦*shrugs*…Roscoe died, but he was able to take possession of multiple people to keep himself alive. He grew more and more dangerous, until Barry Allen asked Zatanna to mindwipe Top, and make him a good guy. This worked, and Top used his own mental powers to forcibly reform multiple other Rogues. When Top's programming was undone, he did the same to the reformed Rogues, until Captain Cold froze and shattered him.
And thus ended the story of The Top.
Michael Amar was a creepy spindly serial killer who incriminated himself in a serious crime. As a result, he sewed his mouth shut. Seems like overkill to me, but I don't want to be a Judge-y Jason about it. He took the name Murmur, in reference to his newfound inability to speak clearly. Presumably because "What? Speak up!!" and "Do you have marbles in your mouth or something?" didn't make for great supervillain names.
Murmur is also immune to many toxins and poisons, which is a nice plus. Look, Ragdoll creeps me out, and Ragdoll didn't SEW HIS FRIGGIN' MOUTH SHUT. Jeezum Crow, that's messed up. That's messed up for realzies.
Unfortunately, Murmur doesn't really come up that often. In fact, in all my research, I couldn't find an instance of him being used after the end of the Geoff Johns run. Well, he showed up on Arrow, but that's about it.
6. Abra Kadabra
Abra was a magician from the 64th century, where science was so amazing, stage magic was no longer impressive at all. So Abra was out of a job at children's birthday parties or whatever. Losing gigs to those goshdarn future clowns. So Kadabra stole a time machine and went back in time to the 20th century to find a captive audience. And by captive I mean kidnapped. Because he was also a criminal.
Kadabra menaced the Flash quite a bit, even turned him into a puppet once. That's a great cover and issue, by the way. All the Abra Kadabra ones are. Seriously, no old school Flash villain is the source of as many great silver age Flash stories as Abra Kadabra.
And he's back now!!!!!!!!! Yeah, he popped up in the DC Rebirth Titans series (which is pretty good, by the way). Because he menaces Wally West just like the olden times! Good to have you back, Kadabra.
Hunter Zolomon was the brand new Rogue profiler for the Keystone City Police Department but during a prison break, he was crippled from the waist down. Hunter begged the Flash to go back in time and stop him from being injured, but Wally refused for the sanctity of the timeline. Hunter broke into the Flash museum and tried to use the cosmic treadmill himself. He made a huge mistake, but the resulting explosion gave him the ability to walk again and unstuck him in time, giving him super speed through time manipulation.
Hunter became convinced that Wally West needed to undergo a personal tragedy to become a better hero, and took on the identity of Zoom to "help" him with that. After a long fight, he caused West's wife Linda to experience a miscarriage. He also went back in time to team up with his idol, the original Professor Zoom, although both were defeated by the team up of Barry Allen and Wally West.
Zoom is a massive jerk-psycho and I'm upset to share a name with him.
4. Heat Wave
Mick Rory was a real"¦hothead. He was a bit"¦hot under the collar. He didn't have a very"¦warm personalit"”okay, I'll stop.
Rory was a strange child, always obsessed with being hot. He'd wear heavy winter parkas in the summer to stay hot. He was bullied by other children, obviously, including an incident where he was locked in a meat freezer. Rory responding by escalating to full-blown pyromania, eventually burning down his parents' house with them inside. He fled to the circus, where he thrived as a fire eater. Until he burned the circus down too. You"¦you should be noticing a pattern by this point.
He eventually noticed the Rogues in Central City, more specifically Captain Cold. Realizing he could mask his sickness as a supervillain gimmick, he joined up with the Rogues, where he often came into conflict with Captain Cold. But he's usually the sickest of the Rogues.
He truly is"¦hot stuff.
3. Gorilla Grodd
Deep in the heart of Africa resided Gorilla City, a city entirely made up of superintelligent gorillas. But not all of these apes were good. One, Grodd, was a malevolent monster who desired world domination. Using his uniquely gifted mind, Grodd gained the ability to mind control those around him and became a true menace.
He once ran for Mayor of Central City, because he was a psycho. Some incarnations portrayed him more animalistically, or as a devotee of the speed force, but one thing was always consistent: he was a friggin monster. Oh, and he was also always a gorilla. That is also always consistent. So"¦two things. Two things are always consistent.
Grodd is that unique blend of super smart and ferally vicious that really makes for a memorable antagonist.
2. Captain Cold
As Captain Cold, Snart robbed Central City blind until Barry Allen stopped him. Snart didn't always work alone, and in fact preferred a group dynamic. He worked alongside several Legions of Doom and Injustice Leagues and also teamed up with his sister, Golden Glider, as well as the rest of the Rogues. He was typically depicted as the leader of the Rogues, and as such, usually espoused their moral code. No killing of innocents, play by the rules when fighting the Flash.
In fact, when Cold and his brethren were tricked by Inertia into killing Bart Allen, the Flash at that time, Cold tracked down the villainous child and revenge murdered him. Cold may be a bad guy, but he ain't all that bad a guy.
He's easily one of the best Flash villains and deserves this place on the list.
1. Reverse Flash
No one else could hold this place. Professor Zoom, the Reverse Flash.
Eobard Thawne (that sure is one hell of a name) was a professor in the 25th century who was a huge fan of The Flash. One day, he found a time capsule left by Allen to be discovered in the far future. The capsule contained a Flash outfit, which fueled Thawne's obsession. After years of work, he managed to give himself super speed, and decided to travel back in time. Unfortunately, this experience broke his mind, and he was driven even more insane.
Thawne, now calling himself Professor Zoom or the Reverse Flash, took on a life of crime and murder in Central City. This culminated when Zoom murdered Barry Allen's wife, Iris, driving Barry into a deep depression. When, years later, Zoom attempted to kill Barry's new fiancÃ©, Fiona Webb, on their wedding day, Barry stopped him the only way he could: by breaking his neck. Unfortunately, Zoom was resurrected at the end of Blackest Night, and immediately skipped off into the timestream to damage Barry Allen's past after streamlining his own.
Zoom is vicious, scarily intelligent, and coldly calculating. And he is far and away the Flash's greatest foe.
And there we go, my favorite villains from my favorite rogues gallery, all laid out for your entertainment. Just know that I love so many Flash villains that a lot of my favs didn't even make the list, so if your favorite got left out, that doesn't mean that I don't like him or her. So be safe on the streets of Central and Keystone tonight, The Rogues are out for blood.