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Professor Zoom / Reverse-Flash I (Eobard Thawne)

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Click here to see his post-Rebirth appearance 
You will never find love. You will never be the Flash. Barry Allen destroyed my future. It's time I destroyed his.

AKA: Professor Eobard Thawne
First appearance: The Flash vol. 1 #139 (September 1963)
Hair color: Red/silver
Eye color: Yellow
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A completely psychopathic speedster from the 25th century out to destroy everything the Flash family stands for. While his reasons and origin have changed heavily throughout his existence, the one thing that remains is his obsession and hatred of the Flash legacy, and Barry Allen, the Flash II, in particular. Possessing all the powers of the Flashes (and sometimes more), he abuses his powers for his own self-interest, which usually comes down to how much he can hurt the Flashes. Funnily enough, Thawne himself is an ancestor of Bart Allen's, the second Kid Flash and fourth Flash, a fact he doesn't take kindly to.


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     A-C 
  • Abusive Parents: The pre-Flashpoint version of his parents were emotionally distant at best to the point of total detachment, with no indication they ever really saw Eobard as anything more than a required necessity. Even more glaringly, they blatantly favored his younger brother Robern, to the point of punishing Eobard for getting angry at one of Robern's tantrums.
  • Accidental Murder: The recipient: Barry infamously broke his neck by accident when trying to stop the Reverse-Flash murdering his fiance. The murder trial resulting from this lasted over two years of comics.
  • Adaptational Superpower Change: Subverted. Before Rebirth, his New 52 incarnation was a Time Master instead of a speedster (albeit one still connected to the Speed Force). As of The Button he's back to his The Flash: Rebirth status as a classic speedster, albeit one powered by the Negative Speed Force.
  • Admiring the Abomination: When Barry returns to save Iris, now powered by the Negative Speed Force, he's initially disbelieving, then delighted, dubbing the now-monstrous-Flash "beautiful".
  • A God Am I: Has mentioned having ambitions of using his ability to time-travel to become humanity's "ultimate keeper of knowledge and power". Of course, Barry has thrown a wrench into his plans so many times that all that matters to Thawne is revenge.
  • Ambiguously Gay / Ambiguously Bi: Modern versions of the character heavily skirt this line and the Rebirth version is probably the closest yet. He dedicated his entire being to Barry, wanting to be acknowledged and loved by him but Barry's return was less than satisfying to his needs. His reaction to Barry's lack of interest in him can be compared to any Yandere character and The Color of Fear prologue arc had Barry outright comparing Thawne to Multiplex, a villain who attacked Barry's birthday party to get revenge from the girl who rejected him. The issue titles of the Running Scared storyline are all obsessive love songs note , which adds more to suspicions. Unfortunately though these implications fall into more negative stereotypes.
    Barry: Why, Thawne? Why won't you stop? Why do you keep invading my life?!
    Eobard: Because...It's the only time you'll spend with me.
  • Arch-Enemy: Has been this for Barry since The Bronze Age of Comic Books. In The Flash: Rebirth, Barry specifically compares his and Thawne's rivalry to that of Batman and The Joker.
  • Ascended Fanboy:
    • In "The Return of Barry Allen" it was revealed he used to be a huge fan of the Flash, to the point where he copied his powers and altered his appearance to look like Barry Allen. Then he time traveled to the past and found he would become the Flash's greatest villain. He took it poorly, to say the least.
    • His new origin in Rebirth is basically this again with a few twists; he gets to meet Barry as 25th century's Flash and they bond over their belief of every second being a gift. After being exposed as a fraud, Thawne genuinely attempts to rehabilitate, becomes the curator of Flash museum and gets to be known as a Professor. He decides to go back in time to show his hero how far he came, only to see Barry give the same advice to Wally West. Hurt that he wasn't as special as he initially thought, he swears to destroy Barry's future.
  • Ax-Crazy: He is perfectly willing to destroy anyone if he can gain something from it.
  • Back from the Dead: Did this after a 26-year absence just prior to Final Crisis courtesy of the White Lantern. In the Rebirth comics he's this again thanks to Dr Manhattan — and even manages to pull it again after Manhattan practically incinerates him in The Button.
  • Big Bad: Of several arcs, including The Flash: Rebirth and Flashpoint, though he's not entirely responsible for the events of the latter.
  • Big Bad Duumvirate:
    • Not at the beginning but close to the end of the Rogue War once Hunter brings him in from the timestream to torture Wally, the two momentarily become a tag-team against Wally and Barry.
    • After Flash: Rebirth (2009), he teams up with Zolomon again to improve both Flashes, which leads to "Flash War" years later.
  • Born in the Wrong Century: Despite gloating about how advanced the time-period he comes from is and how everything in DC's "present" is history to him, Thawne has admitted on a couple occasions that he finds the "past" a far more interesting and exciting place compared to his era in the 25th century, where crime is rare and superheroes are a thing of the past.
  • Bright Is Not Good: His bright yellow suit and red lightning cannot hide his vile nature.
  • Broken Pedestal: "Running Scared" reveals Barry is this to him in a huge way, to the point it formed Eobard's initial basis for his immense hatred of Barry and thus spurred his becoming the Reverse-Flash.
    • Gets a bit more complex with the reveal in the same story he's the curator of the Flash museum and responsible for all its exhibits — including one claiming Flash and Reverse-Flash were partners and best friends. The implication from this note  seems to be that there's some part of Eobard that still yearns for Barry's respect and approval.
  • The Bus Came Back: Barry's return in Final Crisis led to Thawne's coming back in The Flash: Rebirth, becoming Barry's principal speedster antagonist once more. Post New 52, the success of Thawne as the Big Bad of the first season of the 2014 Flash TV series led to him returning ahead of schedule to the New 52 Flash comic, displacing the Daniel West incarnation of Reverse-Flash as the prime evil speedster.
  • Cain and Abel: Killed and completely erased his younger brother for holding him back, and for ruining his life's work. The fact that their parents favoured Robern over Eobard may well have helped, as did Robern's bratty behaviour as a child.
  • Characterization Marches On:
    • His Silver Age appearances had him be a little more menacing than Flash's other Rogues, but over time his obsession with and advances towards Iris, his eventual murder of her, and attempted murder of Fiona Webb gradually solidified him as THE Arch-Enemy of Barry Allen.
    • An interesting variant in the Rebirth comics — while this trope usually features ill-defined characters becoming more fully fleshed out later on, here an earlier characterisation of Thawne (The New 52 Professor Zoom) was fully replaced by the earliest and best-developed version (the pre-Flashpoint Reverse-Flash) thanks to Dr. Manhattan.
  • Classic Villain: Envy with a big helping of Wrath. Where Barry is defined by his hopeful, selfless and inspirational nature the Reverse-Flash is utterly ruthless, self-obsessed and completely sociopathic. Eobard's striking costume, with the bright colours so different from Barry's red outfit, further lends itself to this trope. That he's the archenemy of the Silver Age hero says a lot about him.
  • Composite Character: The New 52 version of Thawne was half-Thawne and half-Hunter Zolomon. He retained Thawne's full name, a grudge against Barry and involvement in the murder of Nora Allen. However, his design was reminiscent of Hunter's, with black and red eyes while in costume, as well as Hunter's distinction of lacking Super Speed and instead being able to alter the speed at which he moves along a timeline. This version of him later combined with the pre-Flashpoint Thawne, bringing the latter back into continuity as Barry's ArchEnemy.
  • Continuity Snarl: He's seemingly a living one. Aside from his origin changing in every DC era, his New 52 self was still acknowledged as Eobard Thawne...then he wasn't when the "real" Eobard overtook his body. Yet the stories with the New 52 Eobard are still canon...but then everything about them conflicts with his Rebirth origin and history, which acknowledge the New 52 stories.
  • Costume Evolution: His costume was originally just Barry's with a different colour scheme, with no reversed symbol. Once he truly returned in Blackest Night, the direction of the lightning bolt was also reversed, similar to Hunter Zolomon's design. Once he returns in Rebirth, he's also adopted the more modern belt, again, similar to Hunter.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle:
    • Issues #78-79 of The Flash (vol.2) basically see him running roughshod over Wally West (see the Lightning Bruiser entry), Jay Garrick, Max Mercury, Johnny Quick and even Hal Jordan as Green Lantern until Wally gets his act together. All the more impressive as he wasn't even that experienced at this point in his timeline.
    • When he comes for Batman in The Button, Eobard hammers him mercilessly. While Bruce gets some hits in through quick thinking, his self-admitted strategy is simply to survive until Flash shows up.
    • Reverse-Flash vs. Kid Flash (Wally II) in #24 is horrendously one-sided, with Wally only surviving so he could give Flash a message on Iris' whereabouts. Once the Flash catches up to him the following issue that fight doesn't go any better for Barry.

     D-H 
  • Death Is Cheap: Originally played with — while his death was meant to be permanent (and stuck for 26 years until The Flash: Rebirth), subsequent writers would use Time Travel to bring him back for brief appearances, invoking this trope without actually overturning his death at Barry's hands. Played deadly straight in the Rebirth-era comics, as despite Eobard getting killed by a being powerful enough to rewrite reality itself Barry is utterly certain he'll somehow still come Back from the Dead. He's right.
  • Decomposite Character: Overlapping with Status Quo Is God; the New 52 version of Thawne was a combination of himself and Hunter Zolomon, but Rebirth undid this, and Thawne is back to his classic self, thanks to Dr. Manhattan.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Has practically weaponised this — one issue had him using his powers to erase from history anyone who even remotely antagonised his younger self. And that's not even going into his reasoning for trying to ruin Barry's life...
  • Driven by Envy: His desire to be Barry Allen is a large part of his motivation for his villainy.
  • Do Not Call Me "Paul":
    • One pre-Crisis story featuring Superman indicated he absolutely loathed the Reverse-Flash name, seeing it as his being defined by his greatest enemy. In all pre-New 52 comics he usually (though not exclusively) refers to himself as Professor Zoom, with other DC heroic characters generally calling him the Reverse-Flash, and the Flash Family using the two interchangeably.
    • In the New 52 he went solely by Professor Zoom (usually just Zoom) as at that point Daniel West was Reverse-Flash. Since Rebirth brought back the original version of Thawne he's started referring to himself as Reverse-Flash more, as with Daniel dead Eobard is the sole holder of the name.
  • The Dreaded: Due to his near-murder of Batman and seeming inability to stay dead, Barry has a waking nightmare of Thawne killing Iris, Wally and everyone else at his birthday party in #23 and being powerless to stop it.
  • Due to the Dead: Subverted — the Rogues stole his body, set it on fire and yelled at him as they did it, as they were appalled he'd embarrassed them all by getting killed by Barry.
  • Dystopia Justifies the Means: In the New 52 he becomes the dictator of the 25th century Central City but his people rebel against him due to Flash's legacy. Thus Thawne swears to ruin Flash's legacy at all costs.
  • Early-Bird Cameo:
    • For the New 52, the Flash Annual #3 has a future Grodd chowing down on his brains after gaining Speed Force powers from Reverse-Flash, enabling him to travel to the 25th century. This was nearly a year before Professor Zoom's first New 52 appearance.
    • The pre-Flashpoint Professor Zoom (identifiable through his costume and red lightning) has two prior to his return in The Button: the Rebirth one-shot preceding the 2016 series sees him appear as part of a series of visions (also featuring Wally and Godspeed) culminating in Barry's snapping his neck. Issue #9 sees him appear in another Speed Force vision after Barry freaks out, telling him that he'd seen Barry's future and that he's destined to run alone forever.
  • Einstein Hair: When unmasked in The Flash: Rebirth and the the New 52 "Zoom" storyline.
  • Evil Costume Switch: In his Rebirth origin, his second costume was a Flash suit, but with the colours of his Reverse-Flash suit. The story depicts the reversed symbol as something he implemented once he decided to become Barry's enemy.
  • Evil Counterpart:
    • To Barry, complete with a uniform that, unsurprisingly, features a reverse color-scheme (red lightning motif and boots, yellow costume) to the Flash.
    • Interestingly, he is also one for the third Flash, Wally West. Both characters hailed Barry as their idol and dedicated themselves to honoring Barry's heroic ways, which is something even Eobard points out in "The Return of Barry Allen", calling Wally "sorta like a brother". "Running Scared" (a Rebirth-era story) takes it to a new level, depicting Thawne's costume as being inspired by the similar colour scheme of the various Kid Flashes. His hair colour changed from strawberry-blonde to complete redhead just like Wally's too. On top of it all what makes Eobard snap? Seeing Wally take his desired place in Barry's life when he sees Barry telling him the very same thing he told Eobard when they met in the 25th century. Eobard Thawne is basically what would happen if Wally's dedication to the Flash took an extremely dark turn.
      • This comparison is now explicitly stated by Hunter Zolomon at the beginning of "Flash War". He becomes friends with Thawne partly due to similarities.
    Hunter: I would never tell Eobard this, but he has so much in common with Wally West.
  • Evil Genius: He's considered to be incredibly brilliant even by 25th century standards.
  • Evil Gloating: Constantly. His gleeful description of the ways he's messed up Barry's life in The Flash: Rebirth is a perfect example.
  • Evil Is Petty: Incredibly so. Thawne's primary M.O. is just to screw with Barry's life out of sheer spite, and he tends to react to anyone so much as slightly inconveniencing him by pulling a Ret Gone on them, including his own brother.
  • Evil Redhead: Used to be strawberry blond before his resurrection, which caused his hair to go silver. He's back to redhead again in the Rebirth comics and this time his hair color is wine red.
  • Evil Teacher: While one of his identities is Professor Zoom, he does surprisingly little to invoke this trope until he confronts Barry in the 25th century in the Rebirth comics, initially dressing as what looks like-an old-school college professor while handing Barry a Curb-Stomp Battle and lecturing him about Thawne's bizarre outlook on their rivalry.
  • Evil vs. Evil: Implied: when Captain Boomerang freed him from jail just prior to Flashpoint (to get answers about his own resurrection as a Black Lantern) he noted the Rogues had been at war with the Reverse-Flash almost as long as they'd been battling the Flash.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Very much NOT his usual demeanour, but in "Running Scared" he comes across as this, treating Iris as an old acquaintance and bemoaning how they, and Wally, are all victims of Barry's deceit. Given that he's beating Wally halfway to death at the same time, it comes across exactly how you'd expect.
  • Fallen Hero: Thanks to his own manipulation of his timeline, Eobard was very briefly the Flash of the 25th century, until he went insane and turned evil anyway.
    Past!Eobard: And from this day forward, I'm the Flash of the 25th Century!
  • For Science!: A few of the most heinous acts Thawne has committed, including ageing children to death and flat-out erasing people from history, are done as experiments to see what exactly the Speed Force can allow him to do.
  • For the Evulz: When Zoom recruits his assistance to help ruin Wally's life in Rogue War, he happily admits that while Zoom might want to "teach" Wally that Misery Builds Character, Thawne is just there to make him suffer. All the more notable as from his perspective he's never even met Wally before.
  • Fountain of Youth: Just before Flashpoint he displayed the ability to use the Speed Force to alter his own age, managing to de-age himself to appear as a child. Once he returns in Rebirth he looks significantly younger unmasked than he did in The Flash: Rebirth, though it's not clear whether he's used this trick again or Dr. Manhattan de-aged him when he brought him back the way he did the rest of the DC Universe when he altered it.
  • A God Am I: The New 52 Professor Zoom was fond of bragging that once he'd absorbed Flash's powers (and, secretly, those of his acolytes) he'd become a god.
  • Hate Sink: He is murderous, petty, smug, and selfish. He goes out of his way to be responsible for every single misfortune in Barry's life in Flashpoint, such as the death of his dog, the loss of his house, and his failure to pitch a baseball. He has a 0% Approval Rating in-universe, and the Rogues went out of their way to desecrate his corpse after Barry finally killed him.
  • He’s Back: The Rebirth comics have served as a large-scale case of this for the pre-Flashpoint Reverse-Flash. Not only has he been portrayed as an even more dire threat than before — he absolutely batters Batman, Kid Flash and Barry at various points, and easily returns from getting killed by a being powerful enough to rewrite reality itself — but he's received his highest level of characterisation so far, revealing more about his origins and why his eternal rivalry with Barry has spiralled so far out of control, adding new layers of depth to the Flash's most iconic Arch-Enemy.

     I-L 
  • I Control My Minions Through...: Manipulation and distortion of the truth. In the New 52, he has a team he manipulated and trained against Barry Allen, leading them to believe Flash was an evil force that needed to be destroyed.
  • I Have Many Names: He's been called the Reverse-Flash, Professor Zoom, Adrian Zoom, and Eobard Thawne, among other names.
  • Identity Amnesia: In "The Return of Barry Allen" he thought he was Barry Allen because of this.
  • If I Can't Have You...: Does this to Iris when she rejects his advances. He's later revealed to have lobotomized another woman who refused him via time-travel.
  • I Just Want to Be Loved: Eobard was never loved by anyone, including his parents, which led him to find solace in Barry's bright legacy. He made being loved and respected by Barry his life's goal, which turned into obsession later on.
  • I Lied: Promises Barry he'll take Iris back to her own time once he's sealed Barry away from causing any more harm — then invokes this trope towards Iris almost instantly once Barry is out of the picture.
  • Immune to Fate: When he comes Back from the Dead he displays the ability to not only alter the past via Time Travel, but remember the events of prior timelines before he changed things. In The Button, he tries to use this as a weapon against Dr.Manhattan. It doesn't end well for him.
    Eobard: But I'm not like them. My existence is the only constant in the sea of possibilities. I can not be erased. By you. By anyone.
  • Irony:
    • Eobard has dedicated his life to ruining and destroying Barry Allen...and yet his powers rely on the Speed Force Barry generates to even exist. This only further motivates him to unravel every facet of Barry's life.
    Eobard: The man I most want dead. The man I'd give anything to kill! Has to live... or I die.
    • How Batman (Thomas Wayne) kills him when he runs a sword through Eobard. The one opening that Batman had was when Eobard stopped. One of the fastest individuals in fiction, and he dies when he stops moving. Lampshaded by Wayne himself :
    Batman/Thomas Wayne: Doctor's advice: when you're in the middle of a war...don't stand still.
  • It's All About Me: Thawne will get what he wants irrespective of who he has to hurt in the process.
  • Kick the Dog:
    • Virtually the entirety of his early messing with Barry's past, of which erasing his best friend from existence so Barry would be lonely as a child would be the best example.
    • When he assaults Batman in The Button, he finds Flashpoint Thomas Wayne's letter to his son — and shreds it, just to screw with Bruce.
    • He gives a No Holds Barred Beat Down to Wally II, continuously breaking his kneecaps right before they start healing while mocking his situation compared to other Kid Flashes.
    • Possibly his ultimate moment of this comes in "Running Scared" — he reveals Barry's identity as the Flash to Iris out of pure spite.
  • Kill and Replace: A unique variant — in The Button Dr. Manhattan revives the pre-Flashpoint Professor Zoom and merges him with the New 52 incarnation — except the former's memories and powers have overwritten the latter's, essentially meaning Eobard unwittingly manages to pull this with himself.
  • Killed Off for Real: One of the most famous villainous examples, when Barry snapped his neck as the only way to stop the Reverse-Flash from killing his fiance. Due to Barry's disappearance in Crisis on Infinite Earths and Wally's subsequent ascension to being the Flash, it actually stuck for over two decades (barring the occasional Time Travel appearance), but was ultimately undone in The Flash: Rebirth when he was resurrected by the White Lantern to (ironically) bring back Barry.
  • Knight of Cerebus: Very few villains have the ability to darken the story like the Reverse-Flash.
  • Lack of Empathy: Even by the low standards of DC villains, he's well known for having no empathy whatsoever, in stark contrast to the (somewhat) more principled Rogues or even the (admittedly often incomprehensible) code of his successor Zoom.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: When Dr. Manhattan brings him back in his New 52 self's body, he forgets everything since Thomas Wayne killed him. However, he does remember quite a bit of pre-Flashpoint history...until he travels back to the future, which seemingly rewrote his memories with new ones.
  • Legacy Implosion: Subverted, eventually. The New 52 reset the DCU, stripping Thawne of his status as both the original Reverse-Flash and as Barry's Arch-Enemy, giving both to Daniel West. Thawne would be introduced later, reclaiming the title of Barry's main nemesis, but even with West being moved to the New Suicide Squad comics he was known only as Professor Zoom (usually just Zoom in-story). This changed dramatically in the later stages of the New 52 and then DC Rebirth; Daniel was Killed Off for Real, while the post-Crisis Eobard Thawne would return in in place of the New 52 Professor Zoom, reclaiming his mantle as the Reverse-Flash.
  • Lightning Bruiser: To quote Wally West in "The Return of Barry Allen":
    All around me I hear cracking noises. It takes a moment to place them. They're the sounds of Thawne's fists breaking the sound barrier. He hits like a jackhammer. I can't even think about tagging him back. By the time I swing, he's long gone. He moves so fast, he's invisible. His punches are blurs of yellow followed by explosions of red.
  • Loony Fan: He was obsessed with Flash to the point of recreating his powers and trying to be him before he was completely taken over by his obsession.
  • Love Makes You Evil: His obsession and admiration for Barry turned him into the monster he is today.

     M-O 
  • Mad Scientist: He studied the Flash and the Speed Force to the point that it drove him mad.
  • Major Injury Underreaction: Try major death underreaction. At one point he time travels to the point where Barry kills him — his reaction to seeing Barry standing over his corpse is dispassionately noting he had to learn "the hard way" not to try and kill the Flash's love.
  • Make Wrong What Once Went Right: His modus operandi, screwing over Barry Allen's entire life in the name of petty revenge, and conveniently giving him an updated, Darker and Edgier backstory. And if not Barry, then anyone who ever remotely annoyed him.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Among his first few appearances, he relentlessly tried to manipulate recovering villain Dr. Alchemy into going back to a life of crime, playing into the man's weaknesses and vulnerability. The New 52 version had a team he'd assembled against Flash via saving them from various personal tragedies — tragedies that he used his powers to secretly cause for just that purpose.
  • Multiple-Choice Past: There are five versions of Thawne's origin story, spanning over the various eras of DC:
    • In his pre-Crisis origin, he was a crook with a scientific background who discovered Barry Allen's Flash suit in a time capsule sent from the past to his home 25th century. Succeeding in using it to replicate Barry's powers, he then committed crimes with them before Barry arrived in his era and defeated him. Now enraged at Barry, Thawne decided to become the Flash's worst enemy, thus the whole time travel thing. He also developed a desire to replace Barry as Iris' husband and as the Flash.
    • In his post-Crisis origin, written by Mark Waid in the famous "The Return of Barry Allen" storyline, it was changed so that his reason for hating Barry before he met him was that Thawne was a Flash fanboy who even had surgery to look like Barry Allen, along with recreating Barry's accident to give himself powers. He became the Flash of the 25th Century. Thawne traveled back in time to run alongside his hero, but missed the date and instead landed in the Wally West Flash era. He then discovers that he would become the Flash's worst villain, and all of this combined with the trauma of time travel made him snap. He impersonates Barry for a while, but is eventually defeated by Wally and sent back through time. The experience is erased from his memory, but he holds onto an instinctual hatred of the Flash as well as his Reverse-Flash costume, and it just so happens that he meets Barry "first". This explains how his extensive knowledge of Barry Allen and his desire to replace him came about.
    • His post-The Flash: Rebirth origin is a combination of the above two. Here Eobard was still from the 25th century and was also genetically engineered to be intelligent. He formed an obsession with the heroes of the past, specifically the Flashes. He became his world's foremost leading expert on the Speed Force and head of the Flash Museum. Because of this, he was dubbed "Professor Zoom". Eventually, Thawne figured out how to replicate Flash's powers from a costume from a time capsule, and aimed to become a hero like his idol — but in the super-safe 25th century resorted to causing accidents himself that he'd then save people from. He eventually encountered Barry Allen as the Flash, and after Barry "ruined his life", he resolved to ruin Barry's.
    • In the post-Flashpoint, New 52 retelling of his origin, Thawne came from a 25th century that idolized the Flash as a god. After witnessing his mother murdered by his father as a child and later gaining time alteration powers, Thawne attempts to conquer Central City but is opposed by the populace who fight against him in the Flash's name, motivating him to travel back in time, gather a group of similarly powered acolytes, and kill the Flash so that he goes down in history as a failure, not as a hero. He also notably never used the name "Reverse-Flash", instead going exclusively by Professor Zoom. This version was undone in The Button, which merged this Thawne with the post-Flash: Rebirth Thawne, with the latter's memories — and his previous origin — now dominant.
    • The Rebirth version of Thawne's origin is essentially the post-The Flash: Rebirth origin, but it's expanded upon and there are some changes. Eobard is a child who grew up loving the Flash. Finding Barry's suit in a time capsule, he uses it to replicate Barry's powers in himself, becoming the Flash of the 25th Century. This time, he goes about causing accidents that he can save people from (it's not established if accidents are illegal like in the post The Flash: Rebirth origin). Encountering a time-travelling Barry Allen, the two bonded over their belief that time is valuable, and Thawne considers Barry telling him that "every second is a gift" the happiest day of his life. However, when Barry discovered Thawne's unethical ways of being a hero, he defeated him and turned him over to the authorities. Thawne genuinely repented, becoming curator of the Flash Museum (being dubbed a professor) and eventually donning a new costume based on Kid Flash's (it's basically his Rebirth suit but with the lightning bolt's direction the same as Barry's). However, when he travelled back in time to be with his hero once more, he discovered Barry was already mentoring Wally West. Seeing Barry tell Wally that "every second is a gift" and giving Wally his grandfather's watch with said quote engraved on it, Thawne was heartbroken. An enraged Thawne now believes his "bond" with Barry had all been lies on Barry's part and thus decided to fill Barry's life with the pain he was experiencing and make sure everyone knew what kind of person Barry really was.
  • Murder the Hypotenuse: Manipulates time to erase his crush's husband (and later every man she has ever dated) from existence.
  • Neck Snap: How Barry (accidentally) kills him when the Reverse-Flash threatens to murder his fiance Fiona Webb the same way he did Iris West.
  • New Powers as the Plot Demands: Oh, and how. After his resurrection in The Flash: Rebirth, Thawne learned to effortlessly time travel (previously he'd always needed the Cosmic Treadmill), create a Negative Speed Force, strip away Speed Force powers, and de-age and re-age himself at will. The New 52 version had a device created by Henry Allen he could use to steal other superpowers, giving this trope an in-story explanation, at least for that version of him.
  • Never My Fault:
    • The post-The Flash: Rebirth Thawne blamed Barry for the failure of his being the 25th century Flash, despite that being due to his instability and tendency to Ret Gone any minor inconvenience.
    • The New 52 version takes this Up to Eleven, with Thawne blaming the memory of Barry for causing the people of Central City to rebel against his rule in the 25th century — despite that happening because of his being a brutal and capricious tyrant who murdered everyone that opposed him. Issue #47 of the New 52 series features an extended rant where he extensively blames Barry and his legacy for everything that went wrong in his life — alongside a series of (appropriately) reverse-chronological flash-forwards showing what actually happened. The disconnect between the two is so great one suspects this Thawne might be genuinely delusional.
    • Thawne really likes to rub it in that Barry was the one responsible for Flashpoint. Barry only went back in time to save his mother from being murdered by a time-travelling Thawne.
  • Non-Linear Character: A user and abuser of Time Travel, so his appearances are not necessarily in chronological order. This is especially apparent in "The Return of Barry Allen" and "The Button".
  • Not Me This Time: Barry and Batman (Thomas Wayne) spend most of Flashpoint under the impression the new timeline is a result of Thawne's meddling — but when confronted he gleefully tells Barry it isn't his doing, and is actually a result of Flash's actions.
  • Not So Different: Tries to invoke this with Wally West in "The Return of Barry Allen", pointing out that they're both inspired by and desperate to emulate Barry. Wally does NOT agree — but as noted in the Evil Counterpart entry, more recent comics have established there actually is an uncomfortable level of similarity between Thawne and West in many areas.
  • Obviously Evil: Where the Rogues have a set of moral guidelines they follow (most of the time) and characters like Lex Luthor or Grodd can at least hide their nature behind a veneer of civility Professor Zoom never makes any bones about being anything other than a sadistic, sociopathic monster out to ruin Barry's life any way he can.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • Very rare for any incarnation of Thawne, due to his Smug Snake tendencies and superiority complex — but he probably gets his greatest moment of this in "The Return of Barry Allen" when Wally gets over his fears of replacing Barry and matches Thawne in speed; the moment they get the equal ground, Thawne knows that he has no chance against Wally anymore and he drops the cocky attitude instantly.
    Wally: At last, we're evenly matched—and the look of surprise on Thawne's face is priceless. He wasn't prepared for a fair fight.
    • The New 52 version had a major moment of this when Barry worked out how to use his own connection to time (speeding it up instead of Thawne's slowing it down) to counter Thawne's Time Master powers, evening the playing field and ultimately leading to Professor Zoom's defeat.
    • When he uses the Comedian's button to meet the one who altered the DC universe to its current New 52/Rebirth state in The Button, he's supremely confident, stating he can't be erased — then Dr. Manhattan actually shows up and he's immediately reduced to begging for his life before Manhattan blasts half his body away.
  • One Steve Limit: His return to the comics has twice led to other characters with the Reverse-Flash/Zoom moniker being Put on a Bus:
    • His return in The Flash: Rebirth was immediately preceded by his successor Zoom (Hunter Zolomon) being depowered in Final Crisis: Rogues' Revenge (as well as Zolomon's self-appointed successor Kid Zoom being blasted to death by the Rogues).
    • Professor Zoom's return in the New 52 led to the Daniel West version of Reverse-Flash being moved to the New Suicide Squad comic — eventually pulling a Heroic Sacrifice that has (seemingly) killed him for good).

     P-T 
  • Palette Swap: Professor Zoom wears a color-flipped version of Flash's costume.
  • Paradox Person: He turned into one thanks to his connection with Negative Speed Force in The Flash: Rebirth, able to alter history and be the only one to remember the way things were before. In Flashpoint he becomes a paradox in that universe due to being from the prior timeline, which allows him to try and kill Barry without fear of losing his powers (though he's killed by Thomas Wayne before he can go through with it). In Rebirth, his return to life gives him the idea to use this as a weapon against Dr.Manhattan, reasoning he can use it to steal his reality-altering power for himself. He's wrong. Very, very wrong.
  • Parental Neglect: The pre-Flashpoint version of his parents gave birth to Eobard out of obligation. Their robotic parenthood (as well as blatantly favoring his brother) definitely contributed to Eobard's lack of empathy later on.
  • Put on a Bus: Despite his status as Barry's Arch-Enemy this has happened a few times. A combination of his being Killed Off for Real pre-Crisis and Wally's becoming The Flash meant that he only made a few surprise appearances due to Time Travel from 1983-2009 (in "The Return of Barry Allen" and "Rogue War" most famously), though he was still very important to the mythology — eventually inspiring a new Reverse-Flash in Hunter Zolomon's Zoom. In the New 52 he was absent for the first few years, and replaced entirely as Reverse-Flash by Daniel West. But in both cases he managed to come back...
  • Pretender Diss: Has done this to Daniel West twice, even though the two have never met — and spread across two different versions of the character to boot. He's also not a fan of the new Kid Flash.
    • The New 52 version calls Daniel "an insult to our kind" ("our" being himself and Barry) in his debut "Zoom" storyline. It should be noted that at this stage Thawne was only known as Professor Zoom, so it's not 'exactly' a diss to Daniel's Reverse-Flash title but his claim to Barry's Arch-Enemy status.
    • Later, in the Rebirth series, the post-Crisis Thawne outright dismisses Daniel, stating there is only one Reverse-Flash when Iris and Wally bring him up.
    • He sneeringly dismisses Wally II as "a fake Kid Flash" and "not even the real Wally West" when the two do battle in #24.
  • Red Baron: He's every bit as well-known and notorious as either the Reverse-Flash or Professor Zoom. In an interesting twist the latter was actually a fairly benign nickname bestowed on him in his home time-period for his knowledge of the Speed Force.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: From The Flash: Rebirth onward his eyes were frequently seen to glow red whenever he was using his powers, as can be seen in the above image.
  • Replacement Goldfish: Hunter clinges onto Eobard as a friend after Wally and notes the similarities between two men.
  • Retgone: After coming back from the dead, Eobard learned how to weaponize this, getting rid of people who stood in his way, or refused him, or even annoyed him. His first victim was his younger brother.
  • Revenge by Proxy:
    • As much as he hates Barry he's stuck operating this way when trying to ruin his life — as Barry generates the Speed Force Thawne uses to fuel his own speed, killing him would render Thawne powerless. As a result, he uses time travel to kill Barry's mother and frame his father for it decades before Barry ever became the Flash. Subsequent attempts on Iris and the rest of the Flash Family were also motivated by this,
    • When Dr Manhattan revives him in The Button, he remembers being killed in Flashpoint by Batman/Thomas Wayne — and immediately tries to kill his son Bruce in retaliation.
  • Ripple Effect-Proof Memory: Zig-zagged. As a time traveller he's a living paradox and he is aware of how things were before he changed them himself. While the New 52 Thawne (a Time Master who needed a Cosmic Treadmill to time travel) never really did this enough for this trope to take effect, the pre-Flashpoint Thawne was brought back in The Button, and was shown to retain his full memories of Flashpoint and the preceding post-Crisis era, despite Dr Manhattan altering the DC universe into the New 52/Rebirth reality — properly invoking this trope. Issue #24 of the Rebirth series plays with the effects of this a little, with Thawne bemoaning his expertise on the Flash has been rendered moot now that the New 52/Rebirth universe has altered so much of the Flash's history. Also, once he travels "back" to the future, it's clear that some aspects of his history have changed, as have his memories of the post-Crisis universe.
  • Sadist: While he's beyond doubt The Sociopath, he also fits this trope pretty well in relation to his hatred of Barry Allen. He absolutely revels in inflicting as much pain as possible on Barry any way he can — killing his wife, going back in time to murder his mother, pulling a Ret Gone on Barry's childhood best friend — even if he's the only one that remembers doing it due to his Time Travel antics. "Rogue War" showed he was willing to extend this to anyone in a Flash uniform he encountered.
  • Sadistic Choice: The New 52 version offers a subtly nasty one to Henry Allen — telling him he can help him create a weapon to kill the Flash via stealing his speed, or watch as he murders Allen's son Barry. What's particularly cruel here is that Henry has no idea Barry is the Flash (though Eobard does), so he's basically signing his son's death warrant either way...
  • Self-Made Orphan: The post-The Flash: Rebirth version was revealed to have killed his parents via time-travel for preventing his study of the Speed Force.
  • Shadow Archetype: The "Reverse" of the Flash for a reason. He's completely evil without any redeeming qualities, extremely selfish and obsessed with ruining people's lives — in stark contrast to Barry's pure and genuine heart, selflessness and humble nature.
  • Shockwave Clap: A trick he learned from Hunter Zolomon.
  • Slasher Smile: Often sports a truly unnerving one, usually when he's done something to really screw up Barry's life. The New 52 version practically has this as his default expression when in costume — in fact, embodying this trope perfectly, he's wearing one of these as he stabs Barry's mother to death.
  • Smug Snake: Has a monumental superiority complex, not just regarding the Flash but pretty much every DC hero he encounters.
  • Smug Super: Imagine someone with the Flash's power set crossed with Lex Luthor's total disdain for/imagined superiority to everyone around him, then throw in massive doses of Evil Is Petty and Ax-Crazy, and you'd sum up Professor Zoom perfectly.
  • The Sociopath: And how. Where even major DC villains like Lex Luthor or Ra's Al-Ghul have the occasional humanizing moment, Thawne has consistently failed to display any kind of empathy for any other living being in close to 60 years of appearances through various eras of DC.
  • Spanner in the Works: For Dr. Manhattan. It's implied Manhattan resurrected him to kill Batman and the Flash after they begin to investigate his altering of the DC Universe — except Thawne then attempts to take that power for himself. Manhattan has to step in and personally kill Thawne, leaving Bruce and Barry with more questions than before.
  • Splash of Color: When the New 52 Professor Zoom uses his powers, he remains in color while everything else around him appears in monochrome gray.
  • Stalker with a Crush:
    • To Iris Allen. His obsession with Barry didn't end with wanting to be The Flash — but to have everything The Flash had, including his wife. This eventually culminated in his murdering her (though she got better).
    • He later demonstrates a similar attitude towards a reporter who was interviewing him, using his powers to Ret Gone all her past boyfriends — then, when she rejected him, used Time Travel to traumatise her so thoroughly as a child she was rendered catatonic in a mental institution in the present.
  • Stalker Without a Crush: To Barry. Taken Up to Eleven — he stalks Barry throughout his entire childhood solely to find ways to make him suffer. In the Rebirth (2016) comics Barry outright calls him a stalker.
  • Status Quo Is God: Rebirth basically acted as a giant reset button for Thawne. The New 52 Thawne shared some of the classic version's backstory and hatred of Barry, but was otherwise a very different character with a new powerset. In addition, he wasn't even the original New 52 Reverse-Flash (that honor going to Daniel West), being solely called Professor Zoom. Then in Rebirth Wally West reawakened Barry's pre-Flashpoint memories, leading him to not only openly call Eobard the Reverse-Flash, but the first one in place of Daniel. The Button went further and actually brought back the post-Crisis Thawne in place of the New 52 Thawne. Subsequent dialogue from him and Barry confirm this is indeed the original Thawne, bringing everything about the pre-Crisis Eobard into the Rebirth continuity and invoking this trope full-force over the now-overwritten New 52 version.
  • Supernatural Gold Eyes: Jaundiced yellow.
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     U-Z 
  • Time Master: Before Rebirth, the New 52 Thawne, like the pre-reboot Zoom, had no Super Speed, but his ability to alter his personal flow of time made him look considerably faster than Barry. Interestingly, this incarnation's powers seemed to still had elements of his pre-New 52 speedster self — he had shown to be able to both go intangible and to time travel using a Cosmic Treadmill, things the pre-Flashpoint Zoom was never able to do. As of The Button, Thawne is back to using classic superspeed again.
  • Time Traveller: A frequent time traveller, Thawne abuses the time stream in ways that no other DC villain can, regularly altering the past to make Barry Allen's life more miserable.
  • Timey-Wimey Ball: As a frequent time-traveller, gets hit with this a lot — his famous appearance in "The Return of Barry Allen" is particularly notable. While he's infamous to Wally and the rest of Barry's allies as The Flash's ultimate Arch-Enemy, he comes from a point in his timeline where he hasn't even met Barry yet, and as such is desperate to avoid returning to his own time, as that way he can avoid his neck-snapping fate at Barry's hands.
  • Unexplained Recovery: Twice in the Rebirth era. First, when he suddenly reforms himself from a charred skeleton after Dr. Manhattan kills him, and second, after Iris West kills him, he's shown in the present as a member of the Secret Society of Super Villains in Deathstroke (Rebirth). The fact that he uses and abuses Time Travel makes the latter a bit complicated, however.
  • The Un-Favourite: His parents favored his brother Robern over him, which lead to Eobard going back in time and erase him out of existence. Later on his life, he was rejected by his crush for someone else and killing all of his rivals in love didn't get him to anywhere. The tipping point was watching Barry to share the advice he gave to Thawne with Wally, a moment Thawne cherished until that point.
  • The Unfettered: No matter what it takes, Thawne will do anything to get what he wants.
  • Unreliable Narrator: Because he's from the future and is a Flash fanboy, he has extensive knowledge of the Flashes and their families' lives. Of course, he also lies quite a bit, and is also mentally unstable, so everything he says has to be taken with a grain of salt. One example would be the Flash Museum (of his time) saying that Eobard Thawne was Barry's best friend... this is blatant lies, as his actions as the Reverse-Flash are publicly known, and he's an outlaw in his own time. Yes, his narration is so unreliable that it extends to his own museum displays, meaning everything in that museum is unreliable! Later still, it was established that said museum was changing because of alterations to the timeline, so even if he thinks he's telling the truth, he may not be.
  • Vibro Weapon: Can vibrate his hand so fast he can phase it through people, stopping their heart or disrupting their brain. This was famously how he killed Iris Allen, and became so associated with him it became the Reverse-Flash's preferred murder method in the 2014 TV series. The New 52 Professor Zoom could do it too, despite being a Time Master.
  • Villain Issue: Both issue 8 of the 2010 series and his Flashpoint tie-in issue are from Eobard's POV and shed a lot of light on his origins, motivations and history with Barry.
  • Villainous Crush: On Iris Allen. Possibly towards Barry too.
  • Villainous Friendship: "Flash War" reveals he had one with Hunter Zolomon (his successor Zoom), breaking him out of jail after Zolomon offered to help improve them both and helping him walk again. Ultimately though, their differing philosophies on the Flashes led to Eobard abandoning Zolomon in favour of returning to the 21st century to make Barry pay directly.
  • Villainous Legacy:
    • Even after his death, the memory of what he did and his impact on Barry is enough to inspire Hunter Zolomon to become Zoom once he gets powers, so that Wally will have a villain to drive him to the same lengths Professor Zoom drove Barry.
    • His actions in "Running Scared" lead directly to Barry's becoming empowered by the Negative Speed Force, which in turn leads to a host of effects for Barry: Flash becomes more violent and less in control of his powers, Barry's angrier attitude leads to his getting fired from the police and eventually Barry loses the Negative Speed Force to Meena, creating a new villain in Negative Flash. In addition, Thawne's outing of Barry as the Flash to Iris (as well as her killing him) creates a major rift between Barry and Iris.
    • Later, it's revealed his death at Iris' hands was the catalyst for Hunter Zolomon finally abandoning his obsession with "improving" the Flashes through tragedy in favour of having them wage war instead.
  • Villain Takes an Interest: His desire to become Barry's closest ally triggers basically everything in Barry's life, starting with his mother's murder.
  • White Hair, Black Heart: After his resurrection and later in the New 52. It's gone by the time of Rebirth.
  • Why Don't You Just Shoot Him?: Justified; Thawne can't kill Barry, much as he'd really love to, since Barry generates the Speed Force, and Thawne uses that to fuel his own powers. Otherwise, it'd be easy enough for him — when he discovers Hot Pursuit is an alternate-universe version of Barry just prior to Flashpoint, he immediately uses his powers to age him to death. During Flashpoint, once Barry has severed the connection between them, Thawne takes full advantage of the opportunity to try, and would've succeeded if Thomas Wayne hadn't been there.
    • Played with in the New 52 "Zoom" storyline — he could kill Barry at a lot of points in the story, but feels the need to completely discredit and humiliate him in front of all of Central City to ruin his legacy, ensuring that Professor Zoom's rule of the Gem Cities won't be wrecked by Flash's legacy. While this all sounds logical (kind of), the actual story makes it clear Professor Zoom's massive psychosis and sheer sadism play a big part in his not killing Barry when he has the chance.
    • Eobard in Injustice 2 is stuck in a Temporal Paradox since one of the Regime members killed one of his ancestors. His rage is focused on The Flash, since now he can kill him freely.
  • Worthy Opponent: He tells Wally "You run one hell of a race" in "The Return of Barry Allen" — the closest he's ever come to showing outright respect for any Flash.
  • Would Hit a Girl: Killed Iris Allen by vibrating his hand through her head, tried to kill Fiona Webb the same way, tries to kill Iris again in The Flash: Rebirth and traumatises a woman who rejects him into catatonia. He's also only too happy to try and kill Jesse Quick and Irey West during the events of The Flash: Rebirth.
  • Would Hurt a Child:
    • During Legion of Three Worlds, it's mentioned he tried to kill a young Jenni Ognats solely for being Barry Allen's granddaughter.
    • When a reporter he is interested in spurns his advances, Thawne travels back to her childhood and traumatises her, leaving her effectively brain-dead as an adult.
    • During The Flash: Rebirth he attacks Jai and Irey, manipulating their connection to the Speed Force in an effort to kill them.
    • Gives Kid Flash (Wally West II) — who cannot be any more than 13 or 14 — an utterly brutal beating in the Rebirth comics, including breaking his leg twice in the space of about a minute.
  • Yandere: To both Iris and The Flash.
  • You Can't Fight Fate: He tries to in "The Return of Barry Allen" — when he travels back in time and discovers that not only is he destined to become Barry's Arch-Enemy but also due to die at his idol's hands, he resolves to stay in the past, as if he never goes back to the 25th century, this timeline can't happen. However, it's eventually played straight when Wally tricks him into returning to the future sans memories, ensuring that the timeline plays itself out correctly.
  • You Killed My Mother: In both The Flash: Rebirth and The New 52 he travels back in time to kill Barry's mother and frame his father for it, drastically altering Barry's life in the process.
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