After three seasons in a row featuring evil speedsters as The Flash's major villains, many fans felt The CW's fleet-footed superhero show was overdo for a shake-up in the big bad department. The series' producers apparently agreed, and so, in order to keep things fresh, they're shaking things up for the show's fourth season, introducing a new and different kind of villain in the form of the more cerebral-based bad guy, the Thinker.
The Thinker has never been the biggest villain in the Flash's rogues gallery and yet, the powers-that-be saw him as worthy to be featured as the show's latest principal antagonist. This is mostly due to the fact that the bad guy's hacking and telekinetic powers will pose a much different threat for the usual metahuman powers the Flash is used to dealing with, which, frankly, makes a lot of sense. But there's something that's been stuck in the back of our brains since he debuted two weeks back. Something that's been stuck in a number of DC Comics fans' minds, actually.
There have been as many as four different versions of the Thinker at various times in the DC Universe. This means that the mostly inconsequential character was so malleable that, when he was introduced in Season 4's premiere episode "The Flash Reborn," it wasn't really that much of a surprise to see he was almost entirely unrecognizable to longtime comic book fans. However, while he doesn't look much like any version of the Thinker readers are familiar with, he does bear a striking resemblance to another DC Comics character -- one who may not be often associated with the Flash, but who is much, much more important to the wider DC Universe: the New God known as Metron.
As soon as we saw him on the screen, the Thinker's design practically screamed Metron. From the ethereal, almost Jack Kirby-esque blue glows that pepper the screen whenever he appears, to his use of a floating chair reminiscent of Metron's own all-powerful Mobius Chair, to his propensity to have plans within plans as he maneuvers there people like chess pieces, this Thinker looks nothing like his comic book counterpart. Instead, his look, plans and gadgets are almost dead ringers for those of the New God of Knowledge. Now, the real question is, did the producers do so on purpose, or is it all just a big coincidence?
While it is unlikely that the Thinker is a god from New Genesis, we cat simply write it off out of hand. The Thinker is such a low-level villain in the comic books, he seems an odd choice to construct an entire season around. So, could he just be a misdirect? We've taken the producers at their word when they said that the Thinker was the show's new big bad, but his name hasn't yet been uttered in the two episodes he has appeared in. What if the reason we haven't heard his name isn't because Cisco simply hasn't gotten around to it, but because he isn't the Thinker at all?
It this is the case, then The Flash would be heading into uncharted territory. The series' creators have already proven they have the propensity to mix two comic book characters into one new one; Jay Garrick secretly being Zoom, for example, or Savitar as the alter-ego of another Barry Allen. Maybe the series is up to its old tricks again, making us think the villain is one person, when he's actually someone else entirely.
What if the second half of The Flash's fourth season deals with the fallout of the revelation that the Thinker is, in fact, Metron from New Genesis? His plan could be to try and find his fellow brethren who have fallen to Earth, depowered and unaware of their true nature -- something that has happened in the comics before. Such a story would fall squarely into The Flash's wheelhouse, and Barry, Cisco et al. would be more than up to the challenge of helping -- or fighting -- them.
With this November's Justice League movie bringing the evil forces of Apokolips and Darkseid to Earth, many casual fans will start being accustomed to the lore of the New Gods. Maybe the Flash producers are using that idea as a touchstone of sorts. While the League battled Darkseid's minions in theaters, could Apokolips' better-natured counterparts from New Genesis appear, of all places, on the small screen, in the Arrowverse?
If any television series can pull of the New Gods, and all the sci-fi craziness that comes along with them, it's The Flash. And, if we have Metron on the show, that would mean there is something much darker at work here, possibly another even bigger villain we haven't seen yet which could have massive ramifications for every show in the Arrowverse -- and wouldn't that be a ton of fun?