One of the main driving points behind The Flash (both the character and TV series) is the looming mystery surrounding the murder of Barry Allen's mother, Nora. For Barry, it was a traumatic event from childhood that has stayed with him ever since. All he knows about her death is that there was "yellow lightning with a man inside," and then suddenly he was transported 20 blocks away from the scene of the crime, his father framed for the murder he clearly didn't commit. For anyone who's a fan of The Flash comics, you know that this event isn't as crazy as it seems — it's the work of Reverse-Flash, a villain hell-bent on destroying Barry. So just why did Reverse-Flash kill Barry's mom in the comics?
In full disclosure, it could take a while to go through all the nooks and crannies of Reverse-Flash's time-traveling backstory. The CW could make an entire origin series just about him rising to power, and the resulting evil villainy. Actually, that would be pretty great, and something the network should consider as a mid-season replacement, or even something to run over the summer, because I promise all comic fans would tune in.
In short, Reverse-Flash is Eobard Thawne and he is from the future. He's happily living in the twenty-fifth century, and Thawne (maybe a relative of Eddie? Time will tell!) is a huge fan of The Flash. He knows all about The Flash, and is nothing short of obsessed with him. And, like anyone with their idol/obsession, Thawne has the crazy idea that he needs to meet Barry himself.
Since he's in the future, Thawne hijacks the Cosmic Treadmill and travels back in time. That's when things really take a turn for the worse. Since the Cosmic Treadmill is in need of a tune up, he accidentally doesn't travel far enough back, and ends up traveling to a period of time after Barry's death. There's actually a museum dedicated to The Flash, so that turns into Thawne's first stop, naturally. However, it's at the museum that Thawne learns he turns out to be Barry's greatest enemy (just, go with it. It's more about time travel and alternate realities, and if The Flash ever starts with those timelines, they better release a CliffNotes version of the show so it makes sense for everyone).
Learning that he's the greatest enemy of his hero kind of drives Thawne insane — even more insane than he already is. That's what starts him on the path towards destruction, and now mad at The Flash for turning them into enemies, he manages to travel back in time, this time to Barry's childhood, where he kills Nora. And in doing so he basically creates a brand new Flash timeline, where Thawne — as Reverse-Flash — really does become The Flash's greatest enemy. If only Thawne had left everything alone.
Is that very confusing? OK, I'll be the first to admit it really is. But what you need to know is that Reverse-Flash is basically driven by hero worship and jealousy of The Flash, which is what drives him mad. I'm dying to know how The Flash will handle all of this time-traveling stuff, and who ends up turning out to be Thawne/Reverse-Flash, because they'll have a lot of explaining to do.
Images: Diyah Pera/The CW; theflashgifs/Tumblr (2)