Auerbach (Spin)

One week late, we take a look at last week’s new villain featured in The Flash. If metahumans weren’t enough, News Flash sees the official debut of metatech, and the first example comes from Spencer Young, an ambitious blogger portrayed by Kiana Madeira whose phone is capable of hypnotizing people inducing them to do whatever she likes for her exclusive scoops. This is an original take on another known villain from the usual rogue gallery, and the name of Spencer’s blog, Spyn Zone, directly references him: we’re talking about Spin, a character who has similar abilities in the comics, and who triggers them through technology as well, albeit a different one. Only, the original Spin is a man, but this is certainly not the first gender swap we witness in the show. Let’s take a look.

Auerbach, first name unknown, was born in Keystone City, Kansas, and was the son of a local media mogul. Auerbach was interested in pursuing his father’s career and, as a young man, he chose to become a journalist, believing that it was better for him to work his way bottom-up in his father’s company rather than becoming the new CEO with hereditary privileges (not that the final result changed much). As a reporter he traveled much in and outside the country, and covering a certain report he found, in a hospital, a deformed metahuman with an uncontrollable ability: he was named Edwar Martinez, and he was able to sense people’s fears and anxieties, and to manifest them. Where most people saw a dangerous monster or a tragic story, Auerbach saw an unprecedented opportunity: if he was able to channel Martinez’s ability, he would have been able to actually create the news, reporting them before anyone else… and possibly, he would have also been able to do something more with a power like that. He secretly moved Edwar Martinez to the basement of KN News, his father’s main tv channel, and in the following years he developed a technology able to channel his powers. He connected Martinez 24/7 to the news channel, so that he could monitor and perceive the people’s fears based on what the tv told them, then he built a suit for himself to channel specifically selected fears, and move freely while everyone else lost their mind around him. He also had a helmet that was actually a tv monitor, so that he could target single individuals and force them to do what he told them manipulating them with Martinez’s powers. With such a power in his hands, first Auerbach became the new boss of KN News, next he became the supervillain Spin, in both cases using as a parasite the powers of Edwar Martinez.

Martinez’s secret influence soon made KN News the most viewed channel in the country, announcing scoops moments after they happened. Plus, also the debut of Spin was a total success: since people had been shocked by reports of a earthquake in Hub City, Spin summoned an earthquake in Keystone as well, exploiting the ensuing chaos to steal a FabergĂ© Egg from the city’s museum. Of course, the first thing a thief had to do in Keystone to have some future was to dispose of the local hero, and Spin did so without effort: since The Flash had mentioned some financial difficulties in a recent interview, Spin channeled people’s doubts about him and forced him to steal a number of valuables from the audience at the baseball stadium, during a match of the Keystone City Salamanders. From there, he led a double assault on the speedster: as Auerbach, he tried to convince viewers that the hero of Keystone City was clearly different from what everybody believed him to be, while as Spin he kept fueling the citizen’s anxiety towards the hero. As a coup de grace, he summoned the first Flash to battle his successor, making so that everyone witnessed the revered Golden Age hero reclaiming his blessing from an unworthy heir. The Flash, of course, soon realized that something was amiss, and he started investigating on his own. It didn’t take much to him to identify the source of the many “disturbances” in the KN News building, and this forced Spin to make an even bolder move to protect his secret. He had Martinez scan The Flash directly, and selected among his enemies the one that scared him the most. When he found what he was looking for, he summoned Gorilla Grodd to Keystone City. Grodd, however, wasn’t too happy to be forcibly teleported to Keystone, and didn’t want to cooperate: he started wreaking havoc in the city, causing massive damage that even separated Edwar Martinez from Spin’s machinery, making his powers go wild and affecting everybody in the city. Maybe, this time Spin had unbottled a genie far too hard to control…

Auerbach is an unscrupulous and immoral man, ready to do anything to obtain the maximum share with his channel, and capable of unleashing world-shaking catastrophes just to enrich himself. As Spin, he can summon his special suit just by spelling “Load theme”: with it, he can channel Edwar Martinez’s powers, thus scanning and materializing people’s fears and anxieties, causing events, teleporting things or people, or even forcing people to do what others fear they might do. Spin has no power nor special skills, but he has intelligence enough to exploit other people’s ones… even if he’s not exactly aware of the potential consequences of his actions.

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Block

New freak of the week in The Flash, and even this time it’s someone who’s hardly known even by comics readers. In Blocked, Flash trains his daughter XS on the field facing a new metahuman, Vanessa Jensen, a former weapons dealer portrayed by Erin Cummings, who just came back after four years locked up in Iron Heights and is not exactly happy with her former partners, the Moretti Brothers. Because of her powers, Cisco nicknames her Block: while there’s no Vanessa Jensen in the comics, we surely have a Block, who’s a secondary villain in the Flash comics. Let’s take a look at her.

The one who would have later been called Block was a young Maori woman who, in 1957, lived in Melbourne, Australia. She worked as a strong woman for a circus, but her show changed drastically after she got struck by a lightning, one night, and survived. The one that hit her actually wasn’t a normal lightning: it was a manifestation of the Speed Force, that imbued several individuals throughout time with abilities and powers related to speed, making them its avatars. The woman became able to slow down her atoms to the point of increasing her density beyond any imagination, becoming terribly heavy, and virtually invulnerable. The circus’ ringmaster immediately saw the potential in this, and he created a new show, challenging the viewers to move the one he called The Human Block, with a prize of $1000. Obviously, the game was impossible to win, and many men tried to move the Human Block, either by pushing her, by lifting her, even by hurting her: nobody managed to make her flinch. She soon became the star of the circus… until the day a drunken man climbed on the stage, and instead of using brute force started to mock Block’s Maori heritage. This made the woman lose control, and she rushed to the stranger. She lost the game, but it mattered little to her, as she now wanted the blood of the man who had offended her ancestors. Many tried to stop her and failed, some even shot at her, obtaining nothing. Finally, three people in weird dresses approached her, with an offer she couldn’t refuse.

The leader of the trio was Professor Zoom, and the ones with him were his first two Acolytes, the Folded Man (not Edwin Gauss, but rather an African thief named Xolani) and Magali. The Folded Man teleported them all outside the circus, and Zoom invited Block to join them: she would have been taught to use her abilities at their maximum extent, and she would have been revered as the goddess she was. Block immediately accepted, even after hearing the one condition Zoom demanded: they first had to kill an evil speedster who was using the Speed Force for his own purposes, a masked man from the future called The Flash. Block (she soon lost the “Human” part of the moniker) followed the Acolytes, and together with them she traveled through space and time, recruiting two other people who, like her and the others, had been struck by lightning: The Top and Selkirk. When the team was complete, Zoom personally trained them for centuries: every time they got too old, Magali used her powers to rejuvenate them all, and they started it back again. As Zoom possessed the same powers of their enemy, Block used him to perfect strategies to counter The Flash’s powers, and she mastered her abilities to a new level. Block, however, didn’t know the most important thing: Professor Zoom was the one who had paid the drunken man to mock her back in Australia, thus igniting her rage and ruining her career just so that she joined him. And this wasn’t the gravest thing Zoom was hiding from her…

The Human Block, or simply Block, is a strong-headed and volatile woman, extremely proud of her heritage and eager to reclaim the glory lost by her people. Empowered by the Speed Force, she has the ability to slow down her atoms and increase her density, becoming immensely strong and durable, virtually unmovable; she can also slow down anyone she touches, thus being able to negate the powers of a speedster, and she can transfer her power also to inanimate objects, like air itself, making it so dense that it becomes an impenetrable shield around her. Still measuring the extent of her powers, Block is so impulsive that she becomes terribly gullible, falling for the promises of strangers and letting people like Zoom manipulate her good will for their own wicked purposes…

Abner Girdler (Gridlock)

The tv series season is about to open again, so let’s take a look at what DC tv is preparing for us in the immediate future. The Flash is coming back with its fifth season, opening with an episode named Nora: after the shock of meeting his daughter from the future, The Flash will team up with her in order to take down another dangerous metahumanGridlock. This is quite an obscure villain, and the fact that he’ll be played by an actor like Daniel Cudmore doesn’t change the fact that it looks like CW is scraping the bottom of the barrel to find someone left from the comics to face the heroes week after week. Maybe they’ll manage to do something good with Gridlock nevertheless, but in the comics he was pretty lame, and he only appeared in one issue. And it wasn’t The Flash the speedster he faced: let’s see.

Abner Girdler was born in Manchester, Alabama, and he studied to become a skillful and inventive engineer. He was hired at Technodyne, a company that entrusted him with a series of important projects. As an expert of urban planning and new transportation technologies, Girdler developed a new, experimental monorail that would have reduced the expenses and increased the efficiency of public transportation. The mayor approved the project, and Technodyne invested quite a remarkable amount of money to realize it… but then Clifton Burdett, the county transportation commissioner, denied the construction permit, ignoring the previous approval from the mayor. With all the money invested in the project lost, Technodyne was close to bankruptcy: the CEO Leo Nordstrom decided to use Girdler as a scape goat to please the board of directors, and fired him, blaming him for everything that had occurred to the company. Abner Girdler was not a man to be taken lightly, as his former boss would have soon learnt. Using the technology he had developed for the monorail, he built a miniaturized kinetic control device small enough to be placed inside a pair of gauntlets. He tailored himself a costume, and stole a flying motorbike, the Konstruktor 3000, from his previous employers. Abner Girdler became Gridlock, and after months of work, he was finally ready to take his revenge on both Clifton Burdett and Leo Nordstrom.

The time was perfect, as Clifton Burdett was running to be elected the new mayor of Manchester. Gridlock decided to sabotage his campaign, and during his first public appearance he used his gauntlets to siphon kinetic energy from people, vehicles and equipment alike, freezing everything and everyone on place. During the havoc, the newest hero in town, Impulse, arrived and tried to stop him, but he was far too impulsive and didn’t study the situation, so he got immobilized as well. With half the city blocked, Gridlock had no problems in reaching Technodyne and kidnapping Leo Nordstrom, ready to reach the last stage of his plan… if it wasn’t for Impulse, who, being a speedster, had burnt the effects of his paralyzing tendrils much faster than anyone else. Gridlock thought he could get rid of the teen hero like the first time, but Impulse had learnt his lesson: first he ran at super-speed around Gridlock, creating after-images that confused the villain and made him lose time shooting the wrong target. Then, when the boy finally stopped, Gridlock shot him without realizing he was holding a piece of insulating metal: the kinetic siphon, not finding any heat nor kinetic energy, came back to its source, hitting Gridlock and immobilizing him instead. As the effects of his first attack wore off, Abner Girdler was arrested and, still blocked, he was brought to jail. He’s never been seen since…

Abner Girdler is an intelligent and resourceful man, but also a vindictive one, who’s ready to pay tenfold if scorned or humiliated. As Gridlock, his special equipment allows him to shoot black tendrils of energy that siphon kinetic energy from any physical body, with the result of immobilizing the target; he can also fly at remarkable speed on his Konstruktor 3000 bike. Definitely a man of wit, Gridlock is also a man who lost everything for an injustice, who’s now ready to pass to the wrong side of the law to right what has been done to him… or at least to enjoy an old-fashioned revenge.

Jenni Ognats (XS)

The other big news regarding the character of Nora Allen from The Flash is about her costumed identity. Jessica Parker Kennedy‘s time traveler, in fact, will don the suit and the code name of another speedster from the future, XS, who in the comics is not Barry‘s daughter, but rather his granddaughter. The suit will be the same Iris wore when she temporarily gained her husband’s speed, with a golden “XS” on the chest for a change. Whether this means that also XS’s group, the Legion of Super-Heroes that already made its presence felt in Supergirl, will make an appearance, remains to be seen, but that would be quite nice. In the meanwhile, let’s take a look at the original XS.

Time travel always makes quite a mess in events and relations, and this is no exception: Jenni Ognats was the daughter of Jeven Ognats, a politician from the XXX Century, and Dawn Allen, daughter of the second Flash and one of the Tornado Twins along with her bother Don. If uniting two eras in one child wasn’t enough, the family was soon reached by Professor Zoom, the time-traveling villain who was still fighting his bloody crusade against The Flash and all his descendants. The Tornado Twins used their father’s Cosmic Treadmill to escape into another dimension, but Zoom followed them, and was defeated only thanks to the combined effort of three Legions of Super-Heroes from just as many alternative timelines. Jenni was safe, but as a result of Zoom’s meddling she and her family were stranded on Earth-247, a possible XXX Century. She was raised here, in Aarok, with no idea of her true origins, and without showing any signs of super-speed during her childhood. This lasted until the Dominators attacked Earth once again: the Tornado Twins were killed during the resulting war, and even Jenni was targeted because of her bloodline, as well as her father Jeven for his political influence. As she was prisoner of the aliens, the sight of her father being tortured finally activated Jenni’s latent connection to the Speed Force, and she accessed all the powers of a speedster for the first time. She freed herself and her father and escaped from the Dominators, coming back to Earth just as the attackers’ base exploded. After this first manifestation of her powers, she obviously needed to control them, and she was introduced to a laboratory in which she was taught to coordinate her movements at super-speed, avoiding to constantly trip on her own feet, and to cause unwanted damage while moving. She spent some months training, until she finally mastered her powers with ease. As soon as she was ready, even if she was still young, she was requested by a representative of the United Planets, and drafted into the Legion of Super-Heroes, having for the first time the occasion to follow into her family’s heroic footsteps.

She was just an enthusiastic kid when she joined the Legion, and she was constantly nervous in measuring herself with the legends of her time. She developed an adolescent crush for Cosmic Boy and, later, for Mon-El, and always acting like the scared child who had to be guided through any mission, step by step. It took her some time to adjust, but finally managed to prove her value when she single-handedly saved the entire team from a fiery attack of Kid Quantum, earning also the respect and the consideration of her idols. While she built her name with the Legion, she also became an amateur archaeologist, digging up buildings and findings from her original time, XX Century. She, of course, also travel back to the XX Century in a couple of occasions, but during one of these she got separated from the rest of the Legion and became stranded in the past. Here she met Impulse, her cousin, who had been brought back in time after Professor Zoom’s attack for his own safety. The two became fast friends (pun intended), and they even teamed up for a while. While she was in the past, she joined that time’s speedsters and fought against the self-proclaimed god of speed Savitar. During that occasion, the Flash from the XXVII Century, John Fox, managed to repair the Cosmic Treadmill, allowing her to come back home in the XXX Century. As she resumed her usual life in the future, she found in the building she was excavating a note, left by Impulse in the past, a way to say goodbye and to make her feel him close despite the centuries separating them. She also started to flirt and date with a teammate, Magno, who she had been unwillingly rejecting for a while, all lost for Cosmic Boy as she was. Just as the two started to become closer, though, the Legion disbanded, decimated by the invasion of the Blight. XS was one of the few Legionnaires left in the XXX Century, but this didn’t mean her heroic career was over, quite the opposite: now that there was but a bunch of heroes, she had to double her efforts to protect the universe, starting with a certain emergency on planet Xanthu

Jenni Ognats is an enthusiastic and very emotional young woman, often insecure about her own abilities, but always happy about nearly everything in her extraordinary life. As XS, she’s able to move at near-light speed, enough to run on water or on vertical surfaces, and she’s also able to vibrate fast enough to phase through solid matter; after a training from her grandfather Barry, she’s able to alter her molecular vibration frequencies to travel through time and across dimensions without any tool; her Legion Flight Ring allows her to fly, to communicate in every known language, and to survive in any hostile environment, void space included. Born in the past, but totally belonging to the future, XS is a girl who lived through a lot of pain and loss, but managed to turn them into energy for a bright future, always donning a smile that doesn’t hide but rather reinvents the traumas and insecurities from her past.

Nora Allen (Cruise)

I waited to write anything about the “surprise character” (yes, everybody knew who she was) from last season’s finale, and it turned out to be a good move, as for the next season of The Flash we have some new intel about her. First appeared in Crisis on Earth X as “Mystery Girl“, the recurring lady portrayed by Jessica Parker Kennedy revealed herself to be Nora Allen, Barry‘s and Iris‘ future daughter, in the finale We Are The Flash. She also told everyone she made quite a mess with the timeline traveling back in time, and she needs help to fix it. What a surprise. Anyway, the character is an amalgamation of two other speedsters from the comics (and no, none of them is Dawn Allen as many had imagined), the first being obviously Nora Allen from Prime Earth, a recent time traveler who made her debut last year with the name Cruise. Let’s see together.

Nora Allen came from a possible future, not exactly the happiest one possible. She was the daughter of Barry “The Flash” Allen and of Jessica “Green Lantern” Cruz, two of the greatest heroes from the Justice League. She was born in Keystone City, and raised with her little twin siblings, Jason and Jenny. While the twins had taken from their mother, and were able to tap to the entire Emotional Spectrum without the need of a Power Ring, Nora had inherited her father’s connection to the Speed Force, and was quite a powerful speedster. She spent her childhood running with her dad, her absolute favorite moments, and she also visited the Justice League Satellite to play with the other kids: George Marvin “Cube” Stone, son of Cyborg, Hunter Prince, the son of Wonder Woman adopted by Superman and Lois Lane, and Eldoris “Serenity” Curry, daughter of Aquaman and Mera. As soon as she started to master her powers, Nora was called Cruise. Her childhood was filled with amazing moments… but it all came to an end, as the Darkness started to engulf the earth. The Darkness, the physical embodiment of all the hatred and the rage in the world, awakened years before by the song of the Kindred, had infected people all around the world, forcing them to kill one another in interminable wars. The moment it infected superhumans as well, things became to look really scary. The Justice League answered the call to confront the Darkness, but just before that the heroes brought their children to Mount Olympus, to keep them safe as long as they were away. They never came back. Nora and the others waited for them, but it soon became clear that they were lost just like all the others. They spent years training together, becoming powerful enough to surpass the dimensional barrier around Olympus and come back to their world to look for their parents… or to avenge them, if the worst had come to be. Cruise became faster, even faster than her father, and she even started something like a romantic relation with Hunter. But the mission was more important.

Once on Earth, it became clear that all the heroes had died, but the world still needed them. Cruise and the others organized into a new Justice League, and traveled the world trying to bring hope and comfort to the survivors of the war… but it wasn’t over yet. A sorceress who apparently appeared out of nowhere, a powerful warrior who called herself Sovereign, attacked the Olympus, slaughtered the gods and took possession of the mount, making it her throne world and teleporting it on Earth. From Olympus, she started a death campaign, hellbent on murdering anyone she could find, apparently with no reason nor purpose. The new group, this Justice League Legacy, couldn’t do much against her, especially after Aquaman, who had apparently went mad and killed Mera, joined her. There wasn’t much they could do, until Hunter had an idea: they would have traveled back in time, and stopped the Darkness and Sovereign before they destroyed the world, acting together with their parents. With nothing to lose, the JLL reached Olympus, looking for the tech they needed to time travel, but they were greeted by Aquaman, ready for them. Cruise attacked him head on, but the former hero was prepared, and detonated a Timeless Grenade, that slowed time to a near stop, with the effect of making Nora move at normal speed… slow enough for Aquaman to knock her out with no effort. Wounded but alive, Cruise was saved by the twins, and thanks to Cube the group managed to reach Olympus, where she was finally able to recover her connection to the Speed Force. Here, the JLL broke into what remained of the Infinity Corporation Building, where Cube was still sensing the presence of Vincent. Vincent, actually, was dead by a long time, but his conscience, downloaded in the computer, still guided the heroes, and led them to the last remaining Stones of Forever. Using them, Cruise and the others finally reached the past, appearing right in front of the Justice League, contemplating a massacre occurred in Midway City. Overwhelmed by emotion in seeing her parents after so many years, Cruise embraced Green Lantern Cruz, and later followed the JLA, asking for clarifications, to the Satellite… but she and the others had failed to notice that the Darkness had followed them in the past, and was ready to fuse with and empower its past self becoming unstoppable…

Nora Allen is a girl who had to suffer a lot for her young age, but who’s still able to maintain an easy-going and cheerful attitude despite everything. As Cruise, she’s connected to the Speed Force, and as a result she can move at extremely fast speed, even faster than her late father Flash; she didn’t demonstrate other abilities connected to the Speed Force, but she’ll almost certainly develop them in time. Brave to the point of bordering with recklessness, committed to the death to the one family she knows, her friends from the Justice League Legacy, Cruise is a survivor who fights to save what remains of her world, and a heir who feels all the pressure of living up to names like the one of her parents, two of the greatest heroes ever lived… and she’s making quite an excellent job in honoring them.

David Hersch (Cicada)

Other news from the Arrowverse, as the main villain of The Flash Season 5 has been announced in the SDCC trailer. As problems with the timeline (again…) are being faced by The Flash and his team, a new threat plots from the shadows, wielding a lightning-shaped dagger that the comic readers know well: that’s Cicada, portrayed by Chris Klein. In Season 3, Tracy Brand referred to David Hersch as to one of the professors who made her fail her doctoral dissertation, and now is ready to be introduced as an obsessed man whose family has been wiped out by metahumans, and who’s ready for a big payback by killing each and every one of them as if they were a plague. This is quite a leap from the comics, where Hersch’s relation to his family wasn’t exactly idyllic, and where he rather starts a cult worshiping metahumans rather than hating them. Let’s see together.

David Hersch was born in Keystone City, but in 1890. He was an architect, but also worked as a preacher, helping the local priest in St. John’s Catholic Church. He was married to Elizabeth, a woman he was convinced to love with all his heart… but apparently there was something wrong with his idea of love, or maybe he didn’t get something from the Gospel he preached every Sunday: paranoid and bent on rage bursts, he frequently abused his wife, beating her everytime he saw something wrong in the world, an occasion that repeated itself quite often. Eventually, one night, he beat his wife so hard that he killed her. After the murder, going mad with grief, he tried to kill himself, but moments before committing suicide he was struck by a bolt of lightning, that hit the dagger he wanted to use for the act. Miraculously, he survived the experience, and not only that: he had also had a vision of himself, destined to an immortal life and accompanied by his beloved Elizabeth, risen from the dead by his side. Hersch believed this to be a message from God, and he was convinced even more so the moment he realized that he had also acquired supernatural abilities that allowed him to absorb people’s life force, to be transferred to others, himself included. He had been given a purpose, and the means to achieve it. He put his wife’s body into a metal coffin, hidden deep under what would have become years later Keystone Motors, and then used his experience as a preacher to start his own cult, promising everlasting life to his followers. He named himself Cicada, as the insect who was said to be able to hibernate itself for centuries and then be reborn anew, and his cult, the Children of Cicada, became a constant yet hidden presence in Keystone City’s history. Unfortunately, God wasn’t speaking to him anymore. Not until many, many years later.

For more than a century, Cicada used his powers to absorb the life force of his followers, gaining the immortality he wanted, but he still lacked the higher purpose he had been promised. Then, finally, he learnt that the heroic Flash had gained his powers from a lightning bolt, just as he had: he believed The Flash to be his “brother”, and presented him to his Children as the promised savior. Cicada instructed his followers to pay attention to The Flash’s daily deeds, as the ones he saved were the ones destined to be sacrificed to achieve immortality. He gave his Children a lightning-shaped dagger, that he imbued with his power so that they were able to absorb life force just like he did, and then sent them in every street, road and alley of the city, letting them murder every person who had been previously saved by The Flash. This turned out to be a success, as Cicada amounted an unprecedented quantity of life force… but it also brought an unwanted attention from the authorities. Wanting to prevent the hero, Cicada enlisted the help of Magenta, and had her kidnap Flash and bring him to his lair. Here, he told the “savior” that they were one and the same, as he himself had been hit by lightning just after his wife had been killed (apparently, age and insanity had made him rewrite some parts of his own story). Finally, using the energy he had collected from the “sacrifices” and from Flash himself, he was able to resurrect Elizabeth… but the woman wasn’t exactly happy to see him, and she revealed to everyone that it was David the one who had killed her in the first place. Enraged, denying the truth, Cicada attacked Elizabeth, and killed her once again by draining her of her life force with one last kiss. Then he was finally stopped by Flash, who had been freed by detectives Jared Morillo and Fred Chyre. He was sentenced to death and put in Iron Heights in death row… but first S.T.A.R. Labs had to determine if he was able to die at all, with all the energy he had stored. Cicada lifted them of this doubt, as he escaped from prison exploiting the commotion created by Gorilla Grodd some time later…

David Hersch is a maniac, a deranged man driven mad by guilt, paranoia and religious fanaticism; despite being totally crazy, he’s still charismatic and magnetic, able to fascinate hundreds of people in his cult. As Cicada, he’s a “lightning rod for souls”, able to absorb other people’s life force to expand his life span indefinitely, to heal from any possible wound, even lethal ones, and to resurrect the dead by redistributing the life force he’s stolen; he wields twin Lightning Daggers, weapons imbued with his power that can steal or release life force acting as catalysts of his power. A beloved leader followed by a group of fanatics who believed his promises of immortality and who hang off his words, Cicada is a dark, secret shadow looming over Keystone City’s history, an immortal threat driven by a mad righteousness that makes him all the more dangerous.

Edwin Gauss (Folded Man)

Apart from seeing the debut of Null, the last episode of The Flash also offered us a look at the last bus-meta. In Null and Annoyed, in fact, Harry Wells managed to identify the last occupiers of the fated bus, and obtained pictures of them, the last one being Edwin Gauss, portrayed by Arturo Del Puerto. Apparently, Gauss can’t be found as he “vanished in thing air”… and that comes as no surprise, considering how in the comics he possesses one of the weirdest (and coolest) powers ever, that makes him kind of impossible to track. Let’s see together.

Edwin Gauss was an obviously different boy since his childhood: extremely intelligent and gifted, his intellect and knowledge were always far beyond his age, and he finished school much earlier. He enrolled at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he became renowned as America‘s smartest man alive, the greatest genius from the times of Mister Terrific. He was the youngest graduate from MIT ever, but he was also a very ambitious young man: his top goal was to best Albert Einstein and complete his unfinished Unified Field Theory. To do so, however, Gauss needed ground-breaking technology property of Devlin Bridges, an electronics mogul… tech that Gauss, who considered himself superior to others because of his intelligence, didn’t have any problem to steal. Edwin escaped with what he needed, and took shelter in a small apartment in Central City, where he hoped to ultimate his work, uniting his theory on dimensions with Bridges’ technology. Bridges, however, wasn’t someone who would just let somebody steal from him unpunished, and had the cops of the whole country hunt Gauss down. Some agents from CCPD found Edwin’s refuge and proceeded to arrest him… but they arrived just when the thief had finished his ultimate creation: a suit that allowed him to travel between at least four dimensions, making him virtually unstoppable. Wearing his suit, Gauss effortlessly got rid of the cops, killing one of them in the process. Due to his unique abilities, he became known as the Folded Man, but to himself, he had just become a god, able to move anywhere between dimensions, proving in practice what Einstein failed to prove in theory. Of course, as inferior as the others may have been, there were consequences for his crime.

The cop he had killed was a close friend of CSI Angela Margolin, who in turn was the love interest of the new Flash. Because of her, Flash got interested in the case, and tracked Gauss’ tech back to Devlin Bridges just as the Folded Man was about to kill him in revenge. The Flash barely understood what the Folded Man was able to do, before the latter took him to the fourth dimension with him, stranding the hero there. Then, Gauss came back to the third dimension, where he proceeded the hunt for Bridges, who this time was protected by Margolin. The woman tried to shoot the Folded Man, but in his 2-D form he was intangible. Just as he was about to get rid of Margolis as well, The Flash managed to come back by vibrating through Gauss’ suit, and took Bridges and Margolies to a construction site. The Folded Man immediately reached them, but this time the hero knew who he was dealing with, and took precautions. He used some of the construction materials to pin him to a single dimension, the third one, where he was completely vulnerable, then proceeded to knock him out. Arrested, Edwin Gauss was entrusted to Devlin Bridges and his scientists, and brought to his labs to have his suit removed. Despite their best effort, Gauss had secured the suit to his own flesh, so they were unable to remove it. As soon as the Folded Man came back to his senses, he escaped, and eventually joined Blacksmith‘s Network, and later the Rogues. He was somehow arrested once again, and this time he ended up in Iron Heights, only to be freed by Gorilla Grodd during a mass breakout. He joined the biggest alliance of criminals ever seen in Central City, ready to wreak havoc.

Edwin Gauss is a genius born, a man characterized by a massive intelligence, as well as by a total lack of humanity. As the Folded Man, his suit allows him to travel freely between dimensions: when he’s 2-D, he’s intangible, and invisible if seen from the sides, and he can cut through matter as a sharp razor blade; in his 4-D form, he’s able to reach any place he can think of, he sees everything in any time and from every direction at once, and he interacts with the 3-D world as if it was 2-D, thus being extremely powerful. Ambitious and greedy, he considers other people inferior to him just because they’re not as smart as he is, and he acts on consequence, taking whatever he likes and killing whoever he doesn’t. Such a brain, and no heart at all.