'The Flash': Who Is Brainstorm?

Tonight's midseason finale of The Flash introduced another of the "bus metas" that Barry and The Thinker are both so interested in finding: Dominic Lanse aka Brainstorm.

Spoilers for "Don't Run," the midseason finale for The Flash's fourth season, below.

In the episode, Dominic Lanse (played by How to Get Away with Murder actor Kendrick Sampson) is a TSA agent who, because he happened to be on that Central City bus when Barry (Grant Gustin) exited the Speed Force, now has the metahuman power of being able to read people's minds -- even if he doesn't want to.

While Lanse is a new character for fans of The Flash, DC Comics fans may recognize him as Brainstorm, a villain most commonly connected to the hero Mister Terrific (a version of whom appears on Arrow.) In comics, Brainstorm's mind-reading powers have terrifying applications. The villain is able to increase his own intellect by copying that of others, as well as control the minds of others. That particular trick has a rather nasty side effect for the person being mind-controlled: the spike in intelligence used to control their mind is fatal for the victim. And of those weren't enough, copying the intelligence of others gives Brainstorm a beyond genius level intellect -- a power that no doubt makes him very interesting to Clifford DeVoe/The Thinker (Neil Sandilands,) the self-declared Fastest Mind Alive.

But while the comic book Brainstorm, who was created by Eric Wallace and Gianluca Gugliotta, sounds like a particularly difficult bad guy, The Thinker is the real big bad this episode. Here's to hoping that Brainstorm doesn't end up having a complete meeting of the minds with The Thinker.

The Flash airs on Tuesday nights at 8/7c on The CW. New episodes will return on January 16, 2018.