Eugene “Flash” Thompson

flashthompsonfilmcasualgamer‘s list goes on, and we meet another secondary character (at least, he used to be) in the Marvel Universe: Flash Thompson, the bully who tormented Peter Parker in high school. His first live action appearance was in the first Spider-Man movie: portrayed by Joe Manganiello, he is the boyfriend of Mary Jane Watson, as well as the school’s bully, until he’s knocked out with a single punch by a now-superhuman Parker; Manganiello reprises the role in a brief appearance in Spider-Man 3, where Flash is seen attending Harry Osborn‘s funeral. The character appeared again in The Amazing Spider-Man, this time portrayed by Chris Zylka: in here, he plays basketball rather than football, and he’s obviously humiliated by his former victim Peter Parker after he gains spider-like powers; he also appears briefly in the extended cut of The Amazing Spider-Man 2, where it’s revealed that he’s now friends with Parker. In the comics, his role doesn’t differ much, being always the big bad bully who eventually turns out to be a pretty decent guy. Let’s see together.

Eugene Thompson was born in New York, in Forest HillsQueens. He was the son of police officer Harry Thompson and of his wife, Rosie; he grew up with his younger sister, Jesse, and had a normal and happy childhood… apparently. Harry, in fact, was an alcoholic, and every time he got drunk (something that happened pretty often) he used to beat his firstborn son. Eugene soon learnt to hate and fear his father, but all the rage he felt for him was something he simply could not vent on its cause, being his father so much stronger and bigger than him: to hide his pain and to release some of his anger, he became the living nightmare of his schoolmates, especially the weak and defenseless ones, people in which he saw himself, and who he released all his violent rage upon. A feared bully, Eugene was also an ace in sports, especially in football, and his talent, his prowess and speed earned him the nickname “Flash”. Flash Thompson attended Midtown High School, where he was revered as a god by flashthompsoncomics1the “cool guys”, and feared as a monster by all the others; his favorite target was Peter Parker or, as he called him, Puny Parker, a smart and scrawny boy whom he bullied on a daily basis… mostly because he was secretly envious of his intelligence, something he obviously would have never revealed to anybody. His usual friends were Tiny McEever, another bully who shared his same family history, Jason Ionello and Seymour O’Reilly, but he also had a crowd of worshiping girls following him, among which Sally Avril and Liz Allan, the most popular girl in school, who was his girlfriend for a while. When Flash realized that Liz kind of liked Parker, he even intensified his bullying, making him the nearly exclusive target of his beatings and his pranks. Only once Peter fought back, during an improvised boxing match in the school gym: in this occasion, surprisingly enough the skinny boy managed to dodge each and every punch from Flash, knocking him out with a single hit immediately after. Impressed, Flash and the others soon forgot the “incident”, especially considering that things came back to normal soon enough.

Some days after Parker’s unexpected victory, a new superhero appeared in New York, the one who immediately became Flash’s undisputed hero and role model: Spider-Man. Despite the popular opinion considered Spider-Man little more than the criminals he captured, and J. Jonah Jameson convinced many citizens with his Daily Bugle editorials that he was a menace for all the innocent people of New York, Flash never faltered in his admiration for the hero, going as far as to found the first Spider-Man Fan Club, inviting every single schoolmate (Parker excluded) to join him. He even sent Jameson’s reporters away when they were trying to discredit Spidey in Midtown High, and his faith won even over evidence, since he remained the only one to believe in Spider-Man’s innocence even after he was photographed while robbing a bank (it turned out Flash was right, as the culprit was actually the villain Mysterio impersonating the hero). The enthusiastic fanboy even tailored his own Spider-Man costume: he flashthompsoncomics2first wore it trying to scare Parker, but he ended up captured by Doctor Doom, who believed him to be the real deal; luckily enough, the real Spider-Man intervened to save him from the villainous monarch. The second time he dressed up as Spider-Man was when the hero was publicly deemed a coward after escaping a battle with the Green Goblin: Flash, in his costume, faced three car thieves, hoping that the real hero would have showed up like the last time; unfortunately, this time the boy was on his own, and the thieves ended up beating him badly. After this, Liz broke up with him, telling him she wanted nothing to do with a “muscle-bound goop”; obviously, Flash vented his frustration over Parker as always, but as the end of high school approached, the tension between the two started dampening, and Eugene’s admiration for Peter’s intelligence eventually overcame his unmotivated grudge against him. Flash and Peter met again in Empire State University, which they both attended, and they got closer thanks to a mutual friend, Harry Osborn. The two former rivals put away their former enmity for good, in a relation that would have eventually become a close and strong friendship.

Eugene “Flash” Thompson is essentially a scared kid who acts all tough and mighty to hide his private pain and fear. A violent bully and a boasting athlete, he’s actually pretty insecure, and most of the time he envies the very people he torments on a daily basis. Behind all his fake arrogance and his public role of “popular guy” there’s a good young man trying to emerge, a selfless and honest boy ready to take his own responsibilities, desperately trying to become a different man from his father.



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  5. […] first movie as Peter Parker‘s neighbor and everlasting crush, girlfriend of school bully Flash Thompson. She evolves throughout the movie, and first she stays with Harry Osborn, then she become […]

  6. […] who only cared for fun and beauty (and, of course, competition with other girls). She dated Flash Thompson, the most popular and handsome athlete in the school, and she enjoyed joining him in bullying the […]

  7. […] friends and his wife, so that Betty looked for comfort somewhere else, and started an affair with Flash Thompson. This cracked Ned’s sanity even more, and after staging things so that Flash was accused to […]

  8. […] a case after the other to investigate on, and Betty eventually cheated on him with her friend Flash Thompson, the one she confided with. Tragedy struck again, as Ned was framed by Hobgoblin and died with […]

  9. […] friends”…including Peter Parker, who was now the favourite target of bullies like Flash Thompson. Instead of defending her friend, Sally started dating Flash, and when Peter asked her out she […]

  10. […] scientist who was the perfect choice for becoming the new Science teacher; the second one was Eugene “Flash” Thompson, a decorated veteran who had just awakened from a coma, a former football star whom he hired as the […]

  11. […] High School: in here, Charlie was soon capture by the charisma of the local bully, Flash Thompson, and he totally turned his back on his old friend, not only stopping to see him or to talk to him, […]

  12. […] portrayed by Selenis Leyva. In the film, she interrogates the class on a problem, and remarks to Flash Thompson, always the first to answer, that being the quickest counts nothing if he gives the wrong answer. […]

  13. […] team: Abe Brown, portrayed by Abraham Attah. In the movie, he’s the one who complains when Flash boasts about having a date with Black Widow (it was meant to be a joke, but Abe doesn’t […]

  14. […] he did, laughing at everything he laughed at, liking whatever he liked. The guy in question was Flash Thompson, a muscular bully who had made Peter Parker his favourite target…and Jason played along, soon […]

  15. […] the easiest way to obtain it: to stick to the most popular, funny and energetic guy in school, Flash Thompson, and to become his “yes man”. When Flash chose the “bookworm” Parker as his […]

  16. […] from his lab. His suspicions unfortunately became true when a student from Midtown High School, Flash Thompson, informed Principal Davis and Counselor Flannigan that Peter Parker had been stealing things […]

  17. […] “top bully” in the food chain, but there was someone fitter than him for the position: Flash Thompson, a guy more handsome, more athletic and more charismatic than he was. In Flash, Tiny recognised a […]

  18. […] talented, but also scrawny and unpopular, constantly targeted by the local football star and bully Flash Thompson. Barry never defended Peter, of course, and he mostly spent time with his friend Clyde, minding his […]

  19. […] boyfriend Jake Dorman, a star athlete and the school’s bully (many teachers saw in him a new Flash Thompson, under many points of view). Despite being the girlfriend of the most popular guy in school, Ronda […]

  20. […] team: Abe Brown, portrayed by Abraham Attah. In the movie, he’s the one who complains when Flash boasts about having a date with Black Widow (it was meant to be a joke, but Abe doesn’t […]

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