It looks like the Flash and his bitter rival, the Reverse-Flash, have a deeper connection than fans thought. The Flash #46 reveals what truly connects Barry Allen and Eobard Thawne other than their heated relationship.
The dynamic between a hero and their archenemy is often one full of pain and anger. This is no less true of the pair of the modern-day hero Flash and his enemy from the 25th century, the Reverse-Flash. At one point, Thawne idolized the Scarlet Speedster, and desperately wanted to be just like him, even recreating the experiment that gave the Flash his speed powers. However, Thawne snapped when he decided to travel through time and meet his hero, only to discover that he was destined to be the Flash’s greatest nemesis. Christening himself the Reverse-Flash, the villain began studying his powers so he could find new ways to make his newfound enemy suffer.
But despite the similarities between Thawne and Allen’s power sets, they differ in one key manner. In The Flash #46 by Robert Venditti, Van Jensen, and Brett Booth, the Fastest Man Alive is facing off against his classic rival for the first time in the New 52’s timeline. The Reverse-Flash is armed with a glove that will allow him to steal the powers of metahumans like the Flash and other powerful people blessed by the Speed Force. Barry tries to evade Thawne, but the villain manages to catch him thanks to the Reverse-Flash’s acolytes. Flash tries to land a punch on the evil speedster, but the Reverse-Flash is too fast for him. Thawne reminds Barry that speed is a measurement of distance over time. Flash is a master of covering great distances, but Thawne is a master of time.
Flash and Reverse-Flash Are The Two Halves Of Speed
This sort of distinction between the two villains really helps justify the name ‘Reverse-Flash’. On the surface, there doesn’t appear to too many differences between the two aside from their moralities and color schemes. Eobard Thawne isn’t slow, nor does he race backwards, so it seems a bit odd for him to call himself the reverse when he’s pretty much just another speedster. But this connection explains the difference between Barry and Thawne by having them be the two halves of the speed equation.
There’s no doubt that Barry and Thawne have an interesting history with one another, but this twist on their powers makes their dynamic much more satisfying. It relates Flash and the Reverse-Flash’s powers to their source and gives them each a unique spin on it. As a master of distance, it reinforces the idea that Barry is the fastest hero that’s ever been. And bending time to his will is something that Thawne has been utilizing for years. Giving the two a specific domain as it relates to speed reaffirms that the Flash and the Reverse-Flash are different kinds of speedsters with abilities unique to them.