Flash deals with plenty of villains who are pure evil, but one ‘bad guy’ is actually fighting his own quest to make the world better for humanity.
While the Flash has fought dozens of villains in his time fighting crime in the DC Universe, one of his stranger foes is actually a hero in a freaky twist that still doesn’t make them allies. Flash is used to dealing with purely evil criminals, like Gorilla Grodd or Eobard Thawne, but a villain that’s a hero in his own way is unique for the Scarlet Speedster.
The Flash has some of the most iconic and, in some cases, terrifying villains in all comic book history. While there’s no denying that Batman has the best rogues’ gallery ever made, Flash’s isn’t that far behind with such villains as the Rogues, Killer Frost, and Reverse Flash. One of Flash’s oldest villains is a man named Abra Kadabra – a ‘magician’ who uses tech from the future to simulate magic. Abra Kadabra fought Flash many times, but Flash eventually discovered that he isn’t as villainous as he seems.
Abra Kadabra is a man from the future – someone who wants attention and to assert his own individuality. This, obviously, leads him into many conflicts with the Flash, the two would fight constantly, with their first ever fight actually being because Abra insulted Flash’s ego. However, it turns out this isn’t just a personal obsession, but a genuine quest. When Flash ends up going to the future that Abra comes from, the Speedster is startled to realize that this chaotic criminal may actually be the hero of his own time, as seen by readers way back in Mark Waid and Greg LaRocque’s Flash #67 (1987).
Abra Kadabra Is a Hero In His Own Time
In the time that Abra Kadabra comes from, all of humanity has been subjugated by the Chronarch, a being that programs humans to fulfill specific duties and has also wiped out all forms of individuality. Abra is one of the few who disagreed with this, and he tried to lead a rebellion to restore individuality to humanity. The ‘wizard’ is still an egotist and a menace according to life in the modern day, but it’s as part of his rebellion against the fascistic future that could still befall Earth. Flash actually helps Abra Kadabra stir up a rebellion but – knowing he can’t be trusted with the power of leadership – makes sure to force him to return to the modern day where he can be imprisoned once again.
Eventually, other Flash villains would prove to be heroes, like the time Captain Cold was invited to the Justice League, but way back in 1987, this was one of the first examples of a Flash villain being more than just a criminal. Mark Waid’s work on Wally West went a long way to humanize and propel this version of the Flash to superstardom, and the book’s creative team gave that same care and treatment to the villains as well.