Of the Arrowverse shows, The Flash is the one that embraces the most eclectic cast of villains. Arrow draws from more realistic interpretations of characters while Legends of Tomorrow incorporates historical figures as its antagonists (for the most part). Barry Allen constantly fights insane bad guys like living tar pits, guys with freeze rays, and a monstrous shark person.
Most of these villains were created by the Particle Accelerator explosion, meaning that there are many metahumans within Central City. However, with so many bad guys to choose from coupled with the limited production value of the CW, many of them are bound to be poorly handled while others are given some special treatment. Love or hate The Flash, we can all agree that there are some really good villains on the show as well as some really bad ones. The writers have some amazing source material to draw from, so it’s painful to sometimes see them handle it so poorly (but it feels great when they adapt these characters well). When it comes to villains, The Flash has a mixed track record. With that in mind, we’ll be counting down 8 villains they got right and 7 that they got horribly wrong.
15. GOT RIGHT: REVERSE-FLASH
Barry Allen’s biggest rival was the one character the Arrowverse had to get right going into season one of The Flash. He was the guy who defined Barry Allen’s entire character arc, being the one who killed Nora Allen. In the comics, he vowed to do everything he could to make sure that the Flash’s life was a living hell, and on many occasions, he succeeded.
Thankfully, Tom Cavanagh was brought into play the role of Harrison Wells, who was masquerading as the Reverse-Flash. Not only did he perfectly portray the evil speedster, but was given enough material to bring a sinister vibe to the mix. Even when he appeared later in Legends of Tomorrow, he was still the frightening villain we all loved to hate.
14. GOT WRONG: WEATHER WIZARD
For the pilot of The Flash, the writers knew they had to create a villain who would be fairly flashy, but not too recognizable so they didn’t have to focus on setting up a conflict. They chose Mark Mardon, otherwise known as the Weather Wizard who was seen working with the Rogues. In the comics, he was a smart individual who once built devices to cause extreme weather to occur all around the world.
In the show, Weather Wizard was reduced to a petty criminal who has hit with the Particle Accelerator Explosion. He was randomly granted the power to control the weather and created all kinds of meteorological aberrations. It wasn’t long before Barry discovered how to defeat him and he wasn’t heard from again after that (unless you count his brother).
13. GOT RIGHT: ZOOM
For The Flash season two, the writers decided to bring in Zoom — another speedster. In the comics, Zoom was a massive villain for Wally West’s incarnation of the Flash. Taking a similar costume to the Eobard Thawne Reverse-Flash, it’s easy to see why people would get these two characters confused.
Thankfully, Zoom was incorporated in a way that honored his comic origins while improving on them. He wasn’t linked to Thawne and was instead given his own arc and a completely different costume to boot. Furthermore, he was hidden for so long during the season in a black suit that made him appear like a Speed Force monster. He was threatening and seemingly unbeatable. Even after Barry came out victorious, Zoom was turned into the Black Flash.
12. GOT WRONG: TOP
While this may sound ridiculous, Roscoe Dillon was a man always interested in how tops worked. As he became older and turned to a life of crime, he developed devices based on the spinning of tops. He even learned how to make himself spin as well. Because of this, he grew in intelligence and became a decent villain for the Flash.
However, Top was severely nerfed in The Flash. Top was turned into a girl who simply pined after Mirror Master. Her power was being able to make people feel dizzy (like they had vertigo). Not only was this a far cry from the comics, but the name didn’t really fit her power set. Yet, they wouldn’t be able to get away with the name “Vertigo” for reasons explained on Arrow.
11. GOT RIGHT: CAPTAIN COLD
Captain Cold has always been one of the more obscure members of the Rogues, but being such an iconic villain, it was only a matter of time before he was brought into The Flash. Despite a lot of the concerns many of us had with his character, the Arrowverse arguably has the definitive interpretation of the ice-shooting thief.
Wentworth Miller was brought into play the character, with his previous work being Michael Scofield on Prison Break. As a Flash villain, he proved that he had the acting chops to portray a bad guy as well. Captain Cold was suave, interesting, yet snarky enough to get the audience ready to see more of him at every turn. It’s just a shame he had to die.
10. GOT WRONG: DR. ALCHEMY
Once season three of The Flash rolled around, there was a lot of speculation as to who the big bad would be. Many people thought that it was going to be Dr. Alchemy, who was the antagonist for the first few episodes. In the comics, this character had a split personality and was able to use his knowledge of chemistry to combat the Flash.
In the show, he was nothing more than a catalyst for the season’s big bad. On top of that, it was later revealed that Alchemy wasn’t acting of his own volition and was rather being manipulated. Once it was revealed who Alchemy was under the mask, nothing more was done with him other than crowding Team Flash even more.
9. GOT RIGHT: HEAT WAVE
After the positive reaction to Wentworth Miller’s Captain Cold, the writers decided to bring Heat Wave into the mix. He was another obscure member of the Rogues who was known for shooting fire instead of ice (hence the clever name). However, he had a ridiculous white costume that would’ve made him seem a little out of place in the show.
The Arrowverse avoided this in two ways: the first is that they gave him a more industrial costume that communicated what he did much more subtly. Secondly, they used Dominic Purcell to portray the partner to Captain Cold (he played Michael Scofield’s brother in Prison Break). These two not only played off of each other very well, but Purcell continues to do justice to the character, not fully being a hero, but never delving into full villainy.
8. GOT WRONG: GOLDEN GLIDER
Lisa Snart was never a huge character in the comics, but she did play a part after the death of Top. She swore that she would get revenge on Barry Allen as a result, and continuously became a thorn in the Scarlet Speedster’s side. Being the sister of Leonard Snart (Captain Cold), she also had various ties to the Rogues.
In The Flash, Lisa Snart was very poorly handled. She didn’t appear very much, and the writers lazily gave her a weapon to use. Instead of having an astral form and being able to manipulate her body, she was given a gun that somehow fired a continuous stream of molten gold. She also seemed to only be in the show to have romantic tension with Cisco.
7. GOT RIGHT: TRICKSTER
Once upon a time, there was another Flash TV show starring John Wesley Shipp. In it, the writers brought in the villain known as the Trickster. He might be a little bit of a Joker knock-off, but his antics were fun to watch. What makes it more interesting is that he was played by Mark Hamill, better known as the man behind Luke Skywalker and the animated voice of The Joker in Batman: The Animated Series.
When the Arrowverse incorporated the Trickster, they made one of the best decisions possible. They had Mark Hamill return to the role, albeit a much older version. Still, the Trickster maintains much of his crazy persona, having insane mechanisms and schemes for the Flash to destroy. He steals every episode that he’s in.
6. GOT WRONG: ATOM SMASHER
Atom Smasher isn’t a popular character, so for those of you don’t know, he was a powerful hero who had a spot on both the Justice League (International) and the Justice Society. Through his power of atomic manipulation, he could grow in size and increase his mass. Couple that with an insane level of strength and a rad costume, and you’ve got the makings of an excellent hero.
In The Flash, the writers chose to do a great disservice to the character by turning him into a villain who only appeared in one episode. He was little more than a barrier for Barry to overcome, which is a travesty for those of us who are familiar with the character. To make matters worse, he didn’t even have his trademark red and blue suit.
5. GOT RIGHT: KILLER FROST (EARTH 2)
Once it was revealed that Caitlin Snow would be one of the main members of Team Flash, audiences wondered when she would turn into the Killer Frost from the comics. There were multiple iterations of the character, so the writers had plenty of options to choose from in the show.
Likewise, there was more than one Killer Frost in the show. Between the two of them, we have to commend the version seen on Earth 2. Featuring a Caitlin Snow who had a bit more dramatic past than Earth 1, she went down a dark path and chose to become a supervillain. She had some redeemable qualities, but because she was forced to work for Zoom, her hands were completely tied. Once Zoom killed her husband, Deathstorm, things changed for her.
4. GOT WRONG: TRAJECTORY
Trajectory was a girl who wanted to become a hero and eventually be on the Teen Titans. Because of this, when she was offered speed powers by Lex Luthor, she jumped at the opportunity. However, Luthor essentially screwed her over and her powers didn’t work as well as they should have. Then, when things got really heated, he took them away, which resulted in her premature death.
In The Flash, Trajectory was a girl taking a speed drug so that she could go on committing crimes. Despite being a villain with similar powers to the protagonist, she was introduced and thrown away in the same episode (going along with the “Villain of the Week” formula). It’s also worth mentioning that her costume was simply reused for Jesse Quick.
3. GOT RIGHT: GORILLA GRODD
If we were to tell you that one of the biggest villains for the Flash was a psychic gorilla, how would you respond? You’d probably accept it as comic book logic, but would it come as a shock to find out that the gorilla became one of the more threatening foes for Barry Allen? It sure did for most of us.
Gorilla Grodd was altered mentally to become superior to humans in every way. He was conniving and manipulated his way to the top. But when things got physical, he could throw down with the best of them. Despite the fairly low budget on the CW, there were some good special effects used to bring Gorilla Grodd to life. He had a terrifying presence and served as one of the scarier bad guys on the show.
2. GOT WRONG: SAVITAR
The Flash had a great record of introducing terrifying big bads each season. When season three rolled around, they set themselves up for an exciting conflict between Barry and the God of Speed known as Savitar. After all, the comic version was fairly exciting and the writers already changed around his costume for the show to make him appear more menacing.
As Savitar’s presence grew throughout the season, he became less imposing as they built toward his reveal. Not only did his identity seem a little heavy-handed, but it presented a serious continuity error. On top of that, considering the fact that Savitar was built up to be such a powerful threat, the payoff simply wasn’t there. On a side note, his armor didn’t look great at times.
1. GOT RIGHT: KING SHARK
King Shark is a character that is both ridiculous and awesome. Born as an insane human mutation, King Shark was heavily inspired by the classic movie Jaws and was the cause for a lot of innocent people going missing. He was later revealed as this man-eating monster who would later be involved in teams like the Suicide Squad and Superman’s Regime.
If there were one villain who could give Gorilla Grodd’s effects a run for their money in The Flash, it would be the small screen version of King Shark. His appearances were always menacing and fighting a massive man shark always took some extra thought and precision on Barry’s end. If this character was ever showcased in a DC movie, we wouldn’t complain a single bit.
Which of these do you agree or disagree with? Let u s know in the comments!
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