With Tom Cavanagh's Dr. Harrison Wells taking center stage on The Flash tonight, it seemed worth taking a look at the Reverse Flash, in the hopes of understanding just who Wells really is and what's driving him.
However...it's a bit tricky.
There's more than one character who's called himself the Reverse-Flash or Professor Zoom. The first, Eobard Thawne, is a time-traveling supervillain who drew his powers from the speed force like Barry Allen did, who had comparable speed and powers but who used them for evil.
He had a mean-on specifically for Barry and the two tangled dozens of times over the years, with some of the more notable examples being things like Thawne murdering Barry's wife (Iris) and Barry killing him in retaliation and then standing trial for Thawne's death.
The second Reverse Flash, Hunter Zolomon, was somebody who fancied himself a friend and aide to The Flash. Like the Reverse Flash on television, he incorporated some black into the outfit, he worked to make Barry "better" and he had the crazy red eyes.
It wasn't Zolomon who killed Barry's mom, though; that was Thawne.
In the Geoff Johns-penned Flash Rebirth, Thawne learned that Barry Allen had died, sacrificing himself to save the universe during the Crisis on Infinite Earths. Enraged that his enemy had died with dignity, Professor Zoom sent a subliminal message to Barry, who had briefly emerged from the Speed Force, he engineered Barry's return during Final Crisis.
Thawne then broke into the Central City crime lab, murdered two police scientists, and recreated the accident which originally had granted Barry his speed, creating the Negative Speed Force. Zoom then traveled through time on a personal vendetta against Barry Allen: He pushed a young Barry down the stairs, burned down his childhood home, left the door open so his dog was hit by a car, murdered his mother and attempted to stop his son's marriage in the 30th Century (thanks to the DC Wiki for that cheerful refresher).0comments
So...which one is TV's Reverse Flash?
...Well, we have no idea. Maybe we'll learn tonight.