The Turtle

The TurtleWith the return of The Flash, we meet another villain taken directly from the comics’ pages…with some changes. In Potential Energy, in fact, Cisco has the idea of trying to steal Zoom‘s speed by using the powers of a metahuman he’s been hunting for…apparently since the very beginning of the series: The Turtle, portrayed by Aaron Douglas. In the show, Turtle’s real name is Russell Glosson, a thief with the ability to slow time, who steals the most precious things people have so to teach them not to take anything for given…as his wife did before dumping him. In the comics, nobody knows the Turtle’s real name, and he has quite a different background story…as well as completely different powers, since the original character doesn’t have superpowers at all (the show version takes the abilities of the Turtle’s successor). Let’s see together.

Nothing is known about the man known as The Turtle’s past: we can assume that he was a rich man living in Keystone City, an extremely smart person who, for a reason or another, got bored of his everyday life, and decided to take a brand new turn by challenging the city’s superhero, The Flash. The Turtle studied Flash for a while, and came to the conclusion that his amazing super speed was both his greatest strength and his major weakness: moving at such high speeds, it would have been nearly impossible for him to move slow enough to catch someone deliberately moving at incredibly slow speeds. Eager to prove this theory, he named himself The Turtle, the Slowest Man on Earth, and began robbing banks. At first, Turtle surely managed to catch Flash off guard, as the hero, as the thief had forseen, was at first uncapable of slowing down enough to lay a single finger on a man moving as slow theturtlecomics1as the Turtle did. During their very first clash, however, The Flash quickly managed to overcome this problem, adapting to his adversary’s movements and managing to arrest him. Moving slow wasn’t obviously enough to beat The Flash, and The Turtle resolve to use his great intellect to become a criminal mastermind, a strategist that planned every single move…in great advance, making of his slowness, again, a powerful weapon. The Turtle and The Flash clashed several other times, and each time the latter emerged victorious. Eventually, The Turtle apparently retired, allegedely tired of his many defeats…actually planning his greatest plan to date, which would have taken decades. Even The Flash, now old, retired, and let a new Scarlet Speedster take his place; surprisingly enough, along with the new Flash, also an imitator of the Turtle appeared, a fan who dubbed himself Turtle Man and who aspired to become the second Flash’s nemesis…with not many results.

Despite his defeats at the hands of the new Flash, The Turtle admired Turtle Man, his resourcefulness, his scientific and engineering skills, and his many turtle-themed gadgets. Of course, he even felt flattered in having an admirer despite his relatively brief career as a supervillain. Exploiting the first Flash’s absence, Turtle had built a secret base in an abandoned salt mine under Keystone City, and he invited Turtle Man to his lair: he told him that he deeply admired his work, and that he wanted to form a team with him, offering a lab in exchange of his cooperation. Simply enthusiast for meeting his idol, Turtle Man accepted without even thinking of it, and the two started working together. First, the Turtle needed an account book that Osgood Rathaway had, so he sent his henchmen Mr. Sloe, Mr. Steddy and Mr. Sprynt to take his wife Rachel hostage in order to force him to give the book to him; unfortunately, the Rathaways’ son, the reformed villain Pied Piper, teamed up with the third Flash and freed the theturtlecomics2Rathaways, thus foiling the Turtles’ plan. From that moment, The Turtle focused on destroying the new Flash: first, he hired an actress, who pretended that Flash had killed her beloved dog in order to shake the hero up. This was meant to be just a slow start for a psychological war that would have bent Flash, but Turtle had to stop when it seemed that The Joker had arrived in Keystone: such a psychothic lunathic could be dangerous for any plan he had in mind, and he preferred to stay in the shadows until everything was settled (it turned out that the “Joker” was actually one of his henchmen, Juice Mantee, who had stolen some Joker Venom and used it to kill Keystone cops). In the meanwhile, however, Mason Trollbridge was helping his friend Flash, and followed the woman Turtle had sent to the criminal’s lair, to warn the hero immediately after. The Flash rushed on the scene…only to find an ultrasound trap created by Turtle Man waiting for him. Finally, the Slowest Men on Earth had the chance to take their revenge on the Fastest Man Alive.

The Turtle is a brilliant yet sociopathic man, whose career in criminality is taken more as a challenge than as the result of need or greed. Despite being without superpowers, The Turtle is an incredibly cunning strategist and a long-time planner, whose traps and projects are able to defeat even some of the most powerful heroes on the planet, such as the first three Flash(es). Everything the Turtle does is characterised by extreme slowness, from his decades-long plans to his impossibly slow way of talking and moving. Apparently weird and eccentric, The Turtle is often underestimated by his adversaries, a mistake that not many are able to make twice…

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