Beginnings (THE FLASH #139, 1963)
The original version of Eobard Thawne was a 25th-century mastermind who’d found the Flash’s costume in a time capsule. Using the technology of the future, he was able to absorb the Flash’s powers by wearing the costume, the colors of which he reversed. After committing a series of crimes (for which he dubbed himself “Professor Zoom”), he was apprehended by the Flash when the hero traveled into the future. He later exacted a terrible revenge by killing the Flash’s wife, Iris, as revealed in THE FLASH #283 (1980). In THE FLASH #324, Barry killed Thawne before he could kill another woman to whom Barry had become engaged, Fiona Webb.
In the wake of 1994’s five-issue limited series ZERO HOUR: CRISIS IN TIME, Barry Allen was revealed to be this version of Thawne’s great-uncle.
FLASHPOINT: REVERSE-FLASH #1 (2011)
Following 2009’s reimagining of Thawne in THE FLASH: REBIRTH, 2011’s FLASHPOINT tie-in FLASHPOINT: REVERSE-FLASH #1 (“My Revenge”) traces the roots of Thawne’s obsession with the Flash. At first Eobard dreamt of being just like the Super Hero. But when they met in the future, Eobard realized they were destined to be enemies. Eobard vowed to destroy the Flash, so he traveled back to the day of the accident that imbued the Flash with the power of superhuman speed. The Reverse-Flash planned on killing the Flash, but he realized they were forever linked; the Reverse-Flash cannot exist if the Flash dies. Instead of destroying the Flash, the Reverse-Flash vowed to make the Flash’s life a living hell. He traveled back to the Flash’s childhood and stole his best friend—and then killed the Flash’s mother.
New 52 (2012-2016)
The origin of the New 52’s Reverse-Flash was revealed in THE FLASH #23.2 (2013), “Reverse-Flash.” Daniel West was driving a getaway car when he crashed into a monorail and the power of a Speed Force battery poured into his body. Daniel discovered he could move at lightning speed and travel through time. He went on a rampage, stealing the Speed Force from others like him and plotting a return to his childhood to kill his father. This, Daniel believed, would make everything right between him and his beloved sister, Iris, and give him a second chance at happiness. But when he returned to his past, he was confronted by his younger self and the Flash.
In Rebirth, the Reverse-Flash kidnapped Iris West and brought her to the 25th century. The Flash followed and found them in the Flash Museum. Eobard revealed to Iris that the Flash’s true identity was Barry Allen. Stunned, Iris felt betrayed by Barry. The Reverse-Flash then showed them a glimpse of a future in which their children were so angry at Barry for not being there for them that they turned evil. The Reverse-Flash then trapped Barry within the powerful Negative Speed Force, and the Flash morphed into Negative Flash. But he attacked the Reverse-Flash and ripped the Speed Force from Eobard’s body while Iris shot the villain with a black hole gun, warping him away.