Clive Yorkin

cliveyorkinfilmTonight in The Flash we’re going to meet a brand new (obviously villainous) metahuman, and we already got a first look of him in the promo. In Untouchable, the apparently doomed Iris is caught in the crossfire between her father Joe and serial killer Clive Yorkin, portrayed by Matthew Kevin Anderson…and that’s not good at all, since Yorkin possesses the power to make everything he touches decay at an incredible speed. Iris is touched very briefly, so the process seems to be slowed on her…but things don’t look too good nevertheless. It’s curious to see Yorkin appear at this point in the story, especially considering what role he has in the comics in a particular storyline, telling the death of Iris herself… Let’s see together.

Clive Yorkin had never been what you’d call a “good man”. Born in Central CityMissouri, Yorkin was a natural psychopath, and became pretty famous in his city for his many deeds, which included arson, murder and some robberies from time to time to make a little money. Finally, CCPD managed to arrest the maniac, and Yorkin was obviously condemned to a life sentence, which threatened to take away from him the thing he enjoyed the most of all: killing people. Luckily (?), in those days in Iron Heights there was a new scientist working with/on the inmates, Doctor Nephron, who had probably watched A Clockwork Orange one time too many, and he had devised a machine which could, theoretically, force a criminal’s brain to associate crime with pain. Not really interested in the process, but catchin the one occasion he had to leave prison, Yorkin volunteered, and Nephron happily accepted him as a subject: if his Nephron Process worked on someone like Yorkin, it could work on anybody. The experiment proceeded as planned, but there was something Nephron didn’t realise: Yorkin’s pain and pleasure centers were reversed in his brain, and that’s why he enjoyed cliveyorkincomics1violence so much; the Nephron Process seriously hurt him, and was slowly driving him insane. Having heard of the experiment, The Flash came to Iron Heights to watch, but as soon as he saw the killer in pain, her told Nephron to interrupt the experiment…something that he didn’t. The process failed horribly, and not only Yorkin didn’t become a law abiding citizen in a moment, he got even madder than before…and he gained the ability to absorb energy from whoever he touched, gaining strength from their emotions and life-force. As a beginning, Yorkin freed himself from the device, and strapped Nephron to it, changing the settings so that the machine fried the scientist’s brain. Then, he escaped from prison, having the entire city as his personal hunting preserve. A whole new level killing spree was about to begin.

Clive Yorkin resumed his favourite activity, and killed many by draining them of their energy, becoming incredibly strong. When he approached a woman dressed as Batgirl (actually Iris West, coming back from a masquerade), he was quite surprised to see the woman drop dead before him before he could even touch her. The Flash, however, found him standing over Iris’ dead body, and he believed he had killed her. Yorkin managed to get away just because The Flash had been previously poisoned. In the following days, Yorkin didn’t exactly keep a low profile, continuing with his murderous spree, but his newfound ability to detect emotions allowed him to escape capture over and over again. He battled The Flash once again, attacking him when he was interrogating Heat Wave, believing him to be the poisoner: after draining some energy from the arsonist, leaving him unconscious, Yorkin did the same with the hero, but when he was about to finish him, The Flash thought of his dead wife Iris, overwhelming Clive with positive emotions…which he found disgusting, to the point that he let him go and fled. The murderer was soon after found in his hideout by a young psychic, Melanie, who had traced him with her powers…but when she tried to tame him with her psychic abilities she found out she couldn’t reach the brute’s mind, being totally at his mercy. Yorkin started to drain Melanie as well, but The Flash cliveyorkincomics2arrived, telepathically called by the girl. Unable to restrain herself, Melanie poured all her fear and panic on the hero, who was overwhelmed by these emotions…and became quite a tasty snack for Yorkin, who left the girl and attacked him instead. The Flash’s fear was as sweet as honey for Yorkin…but Melanie projected a vision of Iris in the hero’s mind, thus filling him with positive emotions that strenghtened him, and weakened the brute. With his power fading away, Clive Yorkin was no match for the Scarlet Speedster, who locked him in a sink hole, ready to be taken back to Iron Heights. The Flash believed he had caught his wife’s killer, not knowing yet that, of that murder at least, Yorkin was innocent…

Clive Yorkin is a deranged maniac, who takes an incredible pleasure from violence and murder. Thanks to a failed experiment, he possesses the power to drain energy from any living being, thus increasing his own strength and durability; he also possesses some kind of empathic telepathy, as he’s able to detect emotions, and to absorb them as well, enjoying particulary fear and anger, while positive ones weaken him. The Nephron Process took away what little sanity Yorkin still had, so now he’s a hulkling brute who lives for the carnage, a being of pure instinct who only hunts and kills.

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