We’re going to get back into the lists by returning to the ever-flowing well of counting down the best members of the rogues galleries of the great heroes of Marvel and DC Comics. We’ve done Spider-Man and Batman; now it’s time to move onto the Fastest Man Alive. You probably already know the top three if you’ve been following my site for a while, and I do apologize for that. The other seven will still hopefully be a surprise for you.
We won’t be counting Justice Society villains or rogues of Jay Garrick. For this, we’ll be looking strictly at the foes of Barry Allen and Wally West. We’ll probably spotlight Justice Society rogues at a later date.
Without further ado, let’s get started!
- The Weather Wizard
Marco Mardon received a pretty cool visual redesign in the New 52, and I dig his role as the less talkative powerhouse of the Central City Rogues. The ability to create and alter weather patterns is pretty freaking cool all around. I also like the backstory he was given by Buccellato and Manapul in his reappearance in the New 52 DC Universe. There’s honestly not much more to say about Weather Wizard. He’s just plain cool, and he is a loyal member of the Rogues.
- Captain Boomerang
Digger Harkness hasn’t really tangled with the Flash in a while, now being a regular member of the Suicide Squad with Deadshot and that one lady with the red and black clothes. That’s kind of why he’s so low on this list. That being said, he is a really fun and nutty villain. He throws trick boomerangs to fight. A lot of them explode. He also wears a trench coat and a toboggan. What’s not to love?
Geoff Johns also gave him a pretty heavy backstory not too long before the New 52 that was pretty cool too. He had an abusive father whom he ends up decapitating with a boomerang. I like the weird balance of goofiness and heavy themes that make up Boomer’s tale. I also have an affection for down-on-their luck losers like him, and all of these elements combined land Harkness a place on this list.
- Golden Glider
Yeah, she used to be a pretty lame villain, but Buccellato and Manapul conspired to make her a really compelling character during the New 52 relaunch. I like that she is an ethereal being trapped in a comatose body, and that she had to wrest control of the Rogues away from her brother, Captain Cold, when he started screwing things up. I also like the relationship she has with Mirror Master. It’s genuinely pretty cute. She’s pretty strong too, with the ability to attack from that intangible form. She’s dangerous and motivated, and that’s what earns her a place on this list.
Buccellato and Manapul really did a good job redesigning the Flash Rogues, and Heatwave was no exception. Becoming something of a living human furnace, Mick Rory became a malformed and dangerous being that challenged Captain Cold for his leadership on a regular basis. True to his powers, he’s quite a rage-filled hothead who hates the Flash as much as any other member of the Central City Rogues. His powers are also just plain awesome too. He even became a sacrifice for the other Rogues when they were being chased down by the Royal Flush Gang during the events of Forever Evil. He survived and was later found by the Riddler, which makes me glad. Central City is just that much better with a regular Heatwave.
It’s easy to write off Axel Walker as something of a discount Joker, but he is so much more than that. Where the Clown Prince of Crime has become notorious for his macabre and horrific tortures sessions and murders, the Trickster is a far more whimsical and fun iteration of the goofy jokester villain template. Of course, there’s room for both, and the Joker is closer to my heart, that frightening, grinning bastard.
Axel is a really fun rogue to watch. He’s fairly inept and would not be as successful without the support of his fellow rogues. However, there’s something so endearing about the innocence of the Trickster, which makes it a little more saddening when the Rogues have to deal with heavier problems.
- Gorilla Grodd
He’s a talking, telepathic, genius gorilla. Do I really need to say anymore? He was also voiced by the late, great Powers Boothe (who just passed) in Bruce Timm’s Justice League cartoon, which is just awesome too.
I’m not really a fan of the New 52 iteration of Grodd. He’s not as intelligence or conniving, and the eating brains detail was actually kind of a bit much.
I prefer sadistic, evil genius Grodd over animalistic, beastly Grodd. His scheming mind balances out his strength to make him a full-package supervillain. I love that, and I hope we get to see a return-to-form Grodd very soon.
- Mirror Master
One of the real strokes of genius of the legendary John Broome and Carmine Infantino, I think Sam Scudder is one of the most creative villains to have ever been designed. The fact that he can hop dimensions to baffle and challenge the Flash is really cool and shows true creative talent on behalf of his creators. He’s not an elemental villain like Weather Wizard and Heatwave. He’s not an ironic foe like Captain Cold. He’s not an “in a mirror, darkly” villain like Zoom and Reverse-Flash. He’s just someone who has a gun that allows him to jump worlds. That’s just awesome. His costume really good too, making him just an all-around great baddie.
I like that he’s become one of the more level-headed Rogues, balancing Snart’s ambition and Rory’s fury. As previously stated, I like that he has a relationship going with Golden Glider.
He’s been made to have confidence issues, which I think adds an interesting level of depth to the character. He’s a villain that represents the unabashed creativity at work in the superhero comics scene, and I love everything about him.
- Professor Zoom (Eobard Thawne)
Though I did discount Thawne in Mirror Master’s entry, there is something to be said about the pure, unbound sadism that exists in the twisted mind of Professor Zoom. He is pure evil, and all of his hate is directed towards Barry Allen.
Like Grodd, I greatly prefer the pre-New 52 iteration of this villain. As opposed to being a deposed warlord, he’s a dejected scientist who became obsessed with his city’s greatest hero and idol, the Flash. He has dedicated his life to making the Flash miserable, but, of cruel ironies, Barry Allen is his ancestor, so he cannot kill him in our timeline yet. He can only torment him in actions such as the murder of Nora Allen, Barry’s mother, during the childhood of the hero.
He’s a cruel monster, and I love him.
- Captain Cold
You have to love Captain Cold. He’s an evil guy who has ice powers and dresses like an Inuit. He’s a petty thief with a moral code. He, unlike Grodd and Thawne, is not cruel. He’s just greedy. He wants money, and the Flash gets in his way. He’s pretty simple, but there has been a lot written to explain that simplicity that I actually think makes the character engaging.
None of this is to say that Leonard Snart is without ambition, and this ambition led to a fracturing in the Rogues not too long ago when he found a device that could fuse the powers of the Rogues’ weapons to their bodies, giving them genuine super powers. This resulted in Mirror Master being trapped temporarily in the Mirror Dimension and Heatwave being burned and malformed.
He has since lost his own powers and must rely on his ice gun once again. You just have to love Captain Cold though. I almost want to see him get a win over on the Flash sometimes. Almost.
- Reverse-Flash (Daniel West)
A rather new addition to the Flash mythos, Daniel West was a short-lived villain that left an impact on me nonetheless. He is one of the most sympathetic rogues ever designed. The brother of Iris West, the two had to deal with a hateful and abusive father which led Daniel down a bad path in his adult years. Learning of the Flash’s time-traveling powers, he attempted to attain and use those powers to go kill his father and fix he and his sister’s lives. The Flash stopped this from happening of course.
His costume is also quite incredible. I love the red and black, and I like the addition of metal shards he can fire with the static electricity produced by his speed. He looks just plain awesome.
He had a short stint on the Suicide Squad which ended with him possibly being killed while disposing of a bomb at sea. I hope he makes a return soon, because I think he was an excellent recreation of the Reverse-Flash by the aforementioned Buccellato and Manapul. Who doesn’t wish they could go back and fix that moment where their life took a turn for the worse?