Captain Cold. Mirror Master. Gorilla Grodd. The Reverse Flash. Yeah. Them you know. But do you know the most underappreciated Flash villain of all? I’ll give you a hint. His name’s in the title. That’s right! Cobalt Blue! What? Who’s that?! Well let me educate you…..
(By the way, I was tempted to list “The Turtle” above just for laughs, but I held back for you Unspokenites. See. I can be serious sometimes.)
The scene unfolds in a cemetery. Wally West, the third man to carry the heroic name of the Flash, lies in utter anguish. Every part of his body feels as if it’s been broken simultaneously. He had meant to use his super-speed to vibrate his very molecules, allowing him to pass harmlessly through the nearest headstone. Instead, his powers were torn from him while he was halfway through by the maniac that currently looms over his shattered body! This action also caused the tombstone to explode! The Flash looks to the name still present on the grave marker. This was his predecessor’s grave, Barry Allen! The man who now appears to be standing, quite alive, before him! (Damn! Talk about being in utter pain! I mean, that’s gotta be worse than hemorrhoids!)
Barely able to even crawl, Wally remarks that this can’t be the man that he admired. To this the villain replies, with a menacing sneer, that he isn’t Barry Allen at all. With a strange, blue energy flowing all over his body, he seems suddenly lost in thought as he thinks back. (Great! It’s monologue-style origin story time. Ugh! The most horrific power in a villain’s arsenal! That monster!) Flashback to many years earlier. He is a little boy named Malcolm Thawne and his father has just stopped near a house where an elderly woman works on her garden out front of her home. He tells his father that he doesn’t want to do what’s expected of him. The man mutters through gritted teeth to leave the car and go earn his keep. Malcolm approaches the lady and stops. He looks to her shakey hands and remarks that his dad could cure the arthritis she’s suffering from. His father then walks up. He scolds the child to leave this nice woman in peace. She replies that the boy was simply remarking about the pain in her hands. Malcolm begs his father to help her. With a sigh, he takes her hands in his and applies a strange salve that he carries upon his person. It glows with an eerie blue flame for a moment and, before you know it, the pain is nonexistent!
The father remarks that this was a power that he was granted from birth to help people who suffer. She will be without pain for a few days. Amazed, she asks in wonder if this power could possibly heal her pain permanently. The boy pauses and his dad shoots him a warning look. Malcolm then says that it can with a full jar of salve. He then pleads that his father give her a sample. He does so and she insists to pay for this miracle cure. At first he replies that he couldn’t possibly take payment for his gift. He finally relents when she persists. Soon, all of her elderly friends are purchasing jars. Later that night, in a motel room, Malcolm’s mother asks how the boy did. His father then says with obvious rage that the kid about missed his mark. Not to worry though, this won’t happen again. He pulls off his belt and approaches the terrified child! (Guys…..I’m sympathizing with the villain here! His plan is working! Help! Must…..resist……sad story!)
The Flash tries to taunt his attacker, buying himself time. Thawne simply kneels and pushes hard on the hero’s ribs, causing mind-blowing pain. He then continues. The secret of the healing was in the blue flame. The salve was a fake. The family all seemed to be able to conjure it at will. All except for Malcolm. (I’m guessing more Taco Bell is needed in his regular diet.) He would beg his father and siblings to teach him the power, but he was denied at every turn. Finally, his mother blurted out that the reason he couldn’t do it was because he was adopted! His dad struck her and scolded her that he was needed for the con as Malcolm ran away in tears.
Now obsessed to find his true family, his search would lead him at last to a Dr. Gilmore of a small town called Fallville. Gilmore turned as the young man entered his office door. He would exclaim, “Barry?” Malcolm immediately demands to know who this Barry is. Does this man know who he truly is? Gilmore would finally tell the truth. That night was the night of a dangerous storm. Two pregnant ladies would hastily come in his door that night, ready to give birth immediately. One had the last name Thawne, the other was Allen. The doctor had been drinking heavily that night. Using poor judgement, he would accept both patients. (Excellent idea, doc. Who could ever see this situation going wrong? It’s not like this can be done while drunk. It’s not like a prostate exam!)
First he attempted to birth the Thawne child. The birth was a tricky one, however, and with Gilmore intoxicated and the sudden power outage due to the storm, he couldn’t save the baby. He quickly ran in near-darkness to the Allens’ room. He birthed what ended being twin boys into the world. But before anyone noticed, he would cover one child’s mouth and carry him to the Thawne couple. The Allens were later told that one of their twins had been stillborn. As the loving couple clutched their newborn and sobbed quietly, the others would take their “child” and leave town that night. With the story now ended, an outraged, Thawne would raise his fists and beat the elderly doctor until the breath left his body for the final time! (That’s what I’d like to do when my doctor keeps me waiting for over an hour in the waiting room. What? So I’m a tad impatient.)
Wally continues to goad the villain, forcing him to speak onward while he flexes his muscles secretly, trying to heal and regain his super speed. It works famously. With blood-soaked hands, Malcolm Thawne made his way to the Allen home. He left streaks of crimson on the windows as he peered inward. Inside he saw his twin brother and his parents at dinner. They were laughing and smiling. They were happy. It was too much to bear. He ran back into the cold night. Years passed until Malcolm felt comfortable enough to approach his brother, Barry, again. He would confess the murder and all of the bad things he had done since. That’s when he saw that Barry had become a police officer. (Well, scratch that idea. Cops are notorious blabber-mouths. They could never keep a secret of murder to save their souls. Sad really.)
While Barry worked diligently as an officer of the law, Malcolm grew to secretly despise him. Why should his twin have so much in life when he had been given nothing but misery? He kept an eye on him nonetheless, even working maintenance within the police station. But on that fateful night, when lightning had struck the chemicals his brother was working with, Malcolm witnessed the incredible! Barry had been granted super speed! He had been reborn as the new Flash! That was enough! Thawne left the station and searched out his “father’s” mother. It was rumored within the family that she knew the secrets of the blue flame. (It’s on now! I sense that Cobalt Blue is about to be born! No need to thank me for pointing that out for you. I don’t mind helping out my numerous fans.)
The old woman had little love for her offspring it seemed, so she was happy to teach Malcolm. As it turned out, the flame did more than just heal. It gave you the power that you craved just as long as you had the passion within to wield it. Malcolm had plenty of passion. Unfortunately, that passion was in his hatred for his twin sibling. Under the old woman’s tutelage, his mastering of the blue flame became so strong, that he was given an amulet to contain it. It was a cobalt blue gem. (See! His name makes total sense now, huh? You already figured that out for yourselves? Well, you know what? I curse you all to be forced to watch the later seasons of “DC’s Legends of Tomorrow” on repeat forever! That’s right. I know you’re sorry.)
With the gem came a prophecy. The old woman said that the fire would burn for one thousand years and consume two Flashes before claiming the life of his enemy, Barry Allen! Thawne left the old woman behind as her house burned down around her that night, ready to make his dream of vengeance a reality! He fashioned a costume for himself and wasted no time in confronting the Flash and his young partner, Kid Flash. But when he knew he was about to face defeat, he made his enemies believe he had become the victim of the very fire he manipulated! In truth, he healed and waited.(I…..hehehe…..um…..love…..hahaha…..cough…..his first costume. Seriously! I do! HAHAHAHA! I apologize. Moving on…..snicker.)
Cobalt Blue looks off as he finishes his tale. He states that he’s already dealt with the first Flash, and now that he has Wally within his grasp….He’s interrupted as the Flash tells him that this was all for nothing, Barry Allen is already dead! As he looks down to his foe in disbelief, he notices that the Flash is no longer beneath his feet! That’s when an uppercut at blinding speed catches him under the chin, propelling him through the air! Almost before he lands, the super speedster pulls the blue gem from Cobalt Blue’s chest! The villain falls, defeated. He murmurs how this can’t be, the prophecy can’t be false. Wally replies that he never put much stock in prophecies. That’s when he looks down at the gem within his hand……and sees the dark future to come. A future engulfed in a blue inferno!