Julien Neaves – Editor
Two weeks ago I did an article on the firing of Flash actor Hartley Sawyer aka Ralph Dibny aka The Elongated Man. Well today, thankfully, I have a much more pleasant topic, as we will be talking Flash villains.
Now every hero needs a villain and every season needs a big bad, but not all big bads are created equal. Today we will be ranking the big bads on who is the best at being the worst. With a Speed Force-sized SPOILER ALERT let’s get to it:
#7 Savitar aka Alternate Timeline Barry Allen
This pick was easy as Savitar was just the worst. Firstly his costume looked like a cross between a Decepticon and a Power Rangers henchman. Secondly he was a one note generic bad guy. Thirdly he was another speedster after TWO seasons of speedster big bads. Fourthly the threat of him killing Iris was lessened by the fact that Season 3 was the nadir of the writing quality for her character. And finally the reveal that he was actually evil alternate timeline Barry could have been seen A MILE AWAY. And it also didn’t help that he featured in the weakest season of the show as well. Transform and get out Savitar.
#6 Mother aka Eva McCulloch
Our latest big bad lands near the bottom of the list but it is more the fault of the writing than anything to do with actress Efrat Dor’s performance (which I thought was decent enough). On the positive side she had some cool mirror abilities and when she was in full bad
guy girl mode she had a certain menace about her. And she did win in the end, so she has to get points for that.
But for some inexplicable reason she spent most of the time pretending to be a damsel in distress with Iris, though this seemed to provide zero tactical advantage. And then her whole motivation was just revenge on her husband that abandoned her. I mean it was a new motivation in terms of Flash main villains, but it was not the most interesting one. Hopefully the character will really shine come Season 7.
#5 Zoom aka Hunter Zolomon
Is it just me or does nobody talk about Zoom aka Hunter Zolomon? It’s not just me? Thanks, I thought it was just me. And maybe no one talks about him because he was something of a poor man’s Reverse Flash. He repeated the whole “pretend-to be-an-ally-but-really-a-villain-and-get-close-to-a-character-and-then-betray-them shtick”. And just as Reverse Flash killed Barry’s mother, Zoom killed Barry’s father. What are you? Copy Man?
I actually liked his pretend version of Jay Garrick more than the dull actual Zoom. And the whole Time Remnant explanation for him being in two places at once was beyond my ability to suspend disbelief. At least he had a cool costume.
#4 Bloodwork aka Dr Ramsey Rosso
Actor Sendhil Ramamurthy certainly likes playing scientists-turned-monsters. You all remember in Heroes when his scientist character did an impression of Jeff Goldblum in The Fly? No? You all stopped watching by then? Can’t really blame you.
Anywho I thought Bloodwork was a refreshing change as a villain. I liked his people-controlling ability and the visual effects of his powers were pretty sweet. And Ramamurthy was just chilling in the role, almost approaching a horror villain sphere. I do have to take off points for that ridiculous monster form though. That was just ugly, and not in the way that was intended.
#3 Cicada I&II aka Orlin Dwyer and Grace Gibbons
Orlin Dwyer, aka Cicada I, was a simple man with a simple plan – kill all metas. And in this case simple worked. His costuming looked cool, that cicada-like sound effect was wonderfully unnerving, and his power-suppressing dagger was a unique ability. Sure Chris Klein chewed the scenery every now and then, but he never went full camp. And his redemption arc actually worked.
And then, surprise surprise, we got Cicada II with Dwyer’s niece Grace Gibbons. They grow up so fast, and how evil they get. She was less interesting than her old uncle, but still did the Cicada name justice.
#2 The Thinker aka Clifford DeVoe
After three seasons of speedster big bads Clifford DeVoe aka The Thinker just sat back in his fancy chair and gave Barry and company hell. If you can’t outrun The Flash, why not outthink him? This guy looked like RoboCop’s evil big brother, talked like a university English professor, and commanded every room without even altering the inflection of his voice. Now that is power. When he wasn’t framing Barry for murder, or making Team Flash look like super noobs, he was body swapping and power stealing like nobody’s business. Not since the (very obvious) number one on this list has a big bad felt like this much of a threat. And it didn’t hurt that his wife, Marlize, was pretty easy on the eyes. What? She was. I’m just saying what we were all thinking.
#1 Reverse Flash aka Eobard Thawne
So even before you started this list you probably guessed that Reverse Flash aka Eobard Thawne aka bad time travelling super speeding mother-shut your mouth would have been number one. But can we take a moment to gush over how brilliant a big bad he is? As the man who killed Barry’s mom and created The Flash he is integral in terms of the show’s canon. Then add to that the fact that he is super intelligent, cunning and in full mastery of his speedster powers, death by hand vibration his signature killing move. Right Cisco? Cisco knows what I’m talking about.
Then you have the mind-blowing performance by Tom Cavanagh who is easily the most versatile actor on the show and the Arrowverse in general. There is a reason he keeps returning as different parallel Wells(es) (pre-Crisis that is) and there is a reason that his version of the Reverse Flash keeps returning to terrorise Barry and friends in new and interesting ways.
Matt Letscher’s version was cool and all but Tom IS Reverse Flash, whether he is fake Harrison Wells or all out evil Eobard. Every line, every movement, every flash of those red eyes and you know the Speed Force is about to hit the fan. Reverse Flash easily zooms past the competition to take the dark crown of ultimate Flash big bad.
So that’s my list. How would you rank the seven Flash big bads? For All 8 Arrow Big Bads Ranked you can click here.
Julien Neaves is a TARDIS-flying, Force-using Trekkie whose bedroom stories were by Freddy Krueger, learned to be a superhero from Marvel, but dreams of being Batman. Also loves promoting Caribbean film, creating board games and is an aspiring author. Says things like “12 flavours of awesome sauce”. Can also be found talking about TV and movie stuff on Instagram as redmanwriter and on Facebook at Movieville