Thawne Is Set Up To Become Arrowverse’s TRUE Flash

Thawne Is Set Up To Become Arrowverse's TRUE Flash

Warning! SPOILERS for The Flash season 8, episode 19 and The Flash: Death and the Speed Force graphic novel.

The first half of The Flash season 8 finale gave rise to a reborn Eobard Thawne, who seems poised to control more than the Negative Speed Force as the cosmic being called the True Flash. While the name of the True Flash was not mentioned in The Flash season 8, episode 19 “Negative, Part 1,” parallels can be drawn between the events of the episode and several plot elements from The Flash comics that have been adapted for the Arrowverse. This could make Thawne more dangerous than ever and the greatest threat to Earth-Prime since the Crisis on Infinite Earths event.


Eobard Thawne has been a continual presence in Barry Allen’s life since the pilot episode of The Flash. Born in the year 2151, Thawne attempted to gain the powers of The Flash by creating his own artificial Speed Force, which may have warped his mind and turned Thawne evil. In any case, Thawne came to hate The Flash and swore to dedicate himself to making Barry Allen miserable until he could find a way to kill him, adopting the alias of the Reverse-Flash.

Related: The Problem With Iris’ Twist In The Flash Season 8

In the original The Flash comics, Thawne was a superhero fanboy from the future who went insane after learning that he was destined to become his idol’s archenemy, ironically devoting himself to killing The Flash so that he would not have wasted his life on revenge. Thawne’s reasons for hating Barry Allen in the Arrowverse have never been explained, but that vendetta pushed Thawne to defy the laws of reality and countless paradoxes to continue existing even after the death of his ancestor Eddie Thawne dictated he should have never existed. The events of The Flash Armageddon event saw Thawne depowered, cut off from the Negative Speed Force that he had created. Yet, you can’t keep a good (or bad) villain down and the events of The Flash season 8 set the stage for Eobard Thawne to be reborn not once, but twice.

The Flash Episode Negative, Part 1 Explained

The Flash Negative Part 1 Finale Reverse-Flash Returns

As The Flash season 8, episode 19 “Negative, Part 1” opened, Barry Allen (Grant Gustin) was overseeing the training of Dr. Meena Dhawan (Kausar Mohammed), a local scientist who had acquired superspeed powers and followed in his footsteps as a superhero. Barry learned that Dr. Dhawan had been assisted in her creation of an artificial Speed Force by an amnesiac scientist named Eobard Thawne (Matt Letscher), who was the spitting image of his archenemy. However, Barry became convinced that this Thawne was a changed man, who had been redeemed by the power of his love for Dr. Dhawan and given up a chance at the superspeed he craved to save her life.

Complications arose when the depowered Reverse-Flash (Tom Cavanagh) was apparently killed by the Still Force host Deon Owens (Christian Magby). It soon became apparent, however, that this “Deon” was a manifestation of the Negative Still Force and that he was working with similar dark hosts of the Negative Sage Force and Negative Still Force. Their plan was to kill every time remnant of Eobard Thawne across the timeline, confirming in the process that the one in Central City 2022 was the last time remnant anywhere. Why they were doing this was unclear, beyond their statement that the new Thawne was “not the Avatar” and that his being there made them weak.

The Negative Force Hosts also sought to punish Barry Allen for cutting the Reverse-Flash off from the Negative Speed Force during the Armageddon event. They did this quite effectively by arranging for Barry Allen to kill his own wife, Iris West-Allen, by placing her in the way of a lightning bolt he had aimed at the Negative Force Hosts. This somehow facilitated the rebirth of the Reverse-Flash, who literally ripped his way out of the body of the reformed Eobard Thawne, in the cliffhanger ending of The Flash season 8, episode 19 “Negative, Part 1.”

Related: Thawne’s Cosmic Speech In The Flash Explained: All References & Teases

Who Is The True Flash In The Comics?

The Flash Comics True Flash and Forever Force Explained

The new cosmic forces balancing the Speed Force were originally introduced during The Flash comics run of writer Joshua Williamson. He was also responsible for co-creating Dr. Meena Dhawan, the Black Hole crime syndicate and the villain Bloodwork, who were all a part of The Flash television series in its later seasons. One idea the show did not adapt, however, was Williamson’s idea for the True Flash.

The True Flash was revealed at the end of the “Flash War” storyline, which pit several heroes who had used the Flash name against each other in a conflict regarding the sanctity of the timeline. This was ultimately revealed to be the work of Hunter “Zoom” Zolomon, who had manipulated the heroes into freeing the cosmic forces he theorized had been trapped within the Speed Force. With the new Sage Force, Strength Force and Still Force now ready to be tapped, Zolmon was able to enhance his already considerable power, declaring himself to be “the TRUE Flash.”

Theory: Thawne Has Become The True Flash

It was shown during The Flash Armageddon event that the Reverse-Flash had created a Negative Still-Force that gave him the power to manipulate the timeline in a way that Barry Allen couldn’t detect. This led to his creating an alternate timeline, dubbed the Reverse-Flashpoint, where Thawne had become The Flash and Barry Allen was the Reverse-Flash, until the timeline was restored in The Flash’s final chapter of Armageddon. The existence of the Negative Sage Force and Negative Strength Force confirmed through the Negative Forces Hosts in The Flash season 8, episode 19 “Negative, Part 1” suggests that Thawne also created these negative forces as well – or at least found a way to tap into them and place their hosts under his command.

As for why Thawne would put them to work killing his time remnants, it seems clear that he wanted his final victory over Barry Allen to be his and his alone. Given the depth of Thawne’s insanity and the lengths through which he has already gone in his efforts to either replace Barry Allen or make him miserable in the Arrowverse, it is unbelievable that he would not try to tap all the forces he created in a bid to prove himself more powerful. With Barry Allen having finally proven himself to be the Fastest Man Alive as of The Flash season 7 finale, it makes sense that Thawne would try to upgrade his powers in other ways, proving himself to be the True Flash by mastering multiple forces.

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About The Author

Matt Morrison
(1886 Articles Published)

Matt Morrison has been writing about comics since before the word
“blogging” was coined. He got his start writing for the
legendary DC Comics digital fanzine Fanzing,
before receiving his own column, The Mount. Since then he has gone on
to write for over a dozen websites, including 411
Mania, Comics
Nexus and The Cult of Nobody. He holds both an MS in Information
Science from the University of North Texas and a BFA from the
University of Texas at Arlington. Known as a font of comic book
history trivia, he has delivered lectures on the history of American
Comic Books, Japanese Manga, Doctor Who, and Cosplay at over a dozen conventions
and served as an Expert In-Residence for a course on Graphic Novels
for Librarians at the University of North Texas. In addition to his
work for Screen Rant, Matt is currently the Editor In Chief of and writes reviews for No
Flying, No Tights – a graphic literature and anime review site
aimed at teachers and librarians. He also maintains a personal blog –
My Geeky Geeky Ways –
which hosts his extensive episode guide for the television series
making up The Arrowverse as well as his
comedic Let’s Play videos. What little spare time he has is
devoted towards acting, role-playing, movie-riffing and sarcasm. You
can follow his adventures on Twitter, @GeekyGeekyWays.

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