'The Flash': Who Is Cicada?

The Flash's latest season premiere just aired, and the series' latest villain made quite an entrance.

Spoilers for tonight's episode of The Flash, "Nora", below!

The final moments of the episode saw the villain of the week, Gridlock (Daniel Cudmore), being transported down a road in a high-security van. Quickly, the convoy was intercepted by a man in a hood, who proceeded to kill those guarding Gridlock with the help of a lightning bolt dagger. Before killing Gridlock, the man revealed that he is trying to take down all metahumans by all means necessary.

For the uninitiated, this is none other than David Hersch/Cicada (Chris Klein), the newest Big Bad to grace The Flash. With around twenty DC Comics appearances to his name, here's what you need to know about the villain.

Hersch debuted in Geoff Johns and Scott Kolins' The Flash Vol. 2 #170, an issue which gave him a pretty unique origin story. An architect and Catholic preacher in the early 1900s, Hersch had a tendency to get paranoid and violent, which led to him abusing his wife, Elizabeth. Hersch then murdered Elizabeth, something that filled him with deep regret and brought him to the brink of suicide. During his suicide attempt, Hersch was struck by a bolt of lightning, which gave him the power of immortality as long as he absorbed the life-forces of others.

Hersch was able to use his immortality for almost a century, before learning about the similarities between his and The Flash's accidents. This led to him working under the name Cicada, and amassing a cult of followers that became motivated to kill those saved by The Flash. Cicada was then able to kidnap the Wally West version of The Flash, which gave him enough power to be able to resurrect his wife. Elizabeth's resurrection was short-lived, as Cicada refused to believe he was the one who murdered her, and absorbed her life energy though a kiss. He then was stopped by Wally, shortly after passing some of his immortality powers on to Jared Morillo.

Soon after, Cicada was put onto death row at Iron Heights, where his immortality proved to be a bit of a problem. He then escaped from jail as part of the Flash: Iron Heights miniseries, briefly joined the Secret Society of Super-Villains as part of Infinite Crisis, and was ultimately banished to the villain planet Salvation.

While Cicada has only spent a few moments onscreen thus far, it sounds like The Flash will be taking his story into a new direction, re-imagining him as a working-class father with an anti-metahuman vendetta. But either way, it'll be interesting to see what elements of his comic canon do make their way into live-action.


What did you think of Cicada's The Flash debut? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

The Flash airs Tuesdays at 8/7c on The CW.