In practice, Flash’s villains are not a loose group of villains; They are a deadly, multi-headed hydra that strikes as one.
Warning: Spoilers Ahead for The Flash #788!Of all the heroes in the DC Universe, The Lightning is unique when it comes to nemesis: his greatest enemy isn’t a single nemesis, it’s the rogue, an organization of villains all united in their hatred of The Flash. At first glance, it might seem odd that the Rogues could pose a threat to the Fastest Man Alive given how odd their abilities seem to be. But when you look at the Rogues as an individual entity, a single villain with myriad powers, it’s a wonder the Flash even stands a chance against them.
Perhaps more than any other villain in the DC Universe, the Rogues are known for their unique code of conduct, which serves as the backbone of their relationship with The Flash and each other. By maintaining strict limits on lethal force and regulating membership, the villains are able to run a thriving criminal network in a city guarded by a man who, when pushed, can move at the speed of light. While the membership is wide and rotates regularly, the villains Captain Cold, Mirror Master, Weather Wizard, Heat Wave, Captain Boomerang, and Trickster tend to make up the core roster.
Perhaps the clearest example of the Rogues’ full capabilities is seen in Jeremy Adams, Fernando Pasarin, Matt Ryan, and Matt Herms. The Flash #788. Recently represented by corrupt Mayor Wolfe, the villains use their newfound authority to attempt to arrest the Flash. When Barry heats Wave at his apartment for answers, Mickey shoots him out the window into the villains’ waiting hands. It’s only thanks to the meddling of the Pied Piper that the lightning doesn’t catch on the spot.
The villains’ perfect teamwork in one long take.
The teamwork on display really shows how coordinated the villains are. Heat Wave blasts the Flash out the window and into the open; Once unmasked, Weather Wizard can drive the Flash into an ice field that Captain Cold laid to negate his speed. and as the Flash races out of control across the ice, it’s easy to guide it into the Mirror Master’s waiting portal. The level of teamwork is near absolute, with each member knowing exactly when and how to use their powers to completely neutralize the world’s fastest man.
Because of this level of collaboration, it makes more sense to think of the villains as a multi-faceted entity rather than as a team. As individuals, their powers are typically low and easily exploited by the Flash. However, because they have worked together for so long, they are able to seamlessly combine their powers as if they were a single creature with a single mind. It’s that impossible level of coordination that makes it so rogue the biggest villain (singular) that The Lightning faced in the DC Universe.
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The Flash #788 is available now from DC Comics.