Who is the Thinker? 'The Flash' hints at Clifford DeVoe as season 4 villain


Season three of The Flash has introduced Barry Allen to perhaps his greatest enemy yet: Savitar. The self-proclaimed god of speed has been torturing Barry since he appeared, teasing the fastest man alive with his own destruction. To date, each season of The Flash has featured a speedster as Barry Allen's primary antagonist: Reverse-Flash, Zoom and now Savitar. But in season four, it appears that Team Flash will have to deal with a whole new kind of villain. 

While the focus of The Flash's third season is still very much on Savitar, Tuesday night's episode may have just revealed where things will be heading in subsequent seasons. In episode 18, Barry faces off against the futuristic villain Abra Kadabra. Since Abra Kadabra is from the 64th century, he just so happens to know the answer to the question we have all been asking: Who is Savitar? 

In keeping with the slow-burn nature of the big Savitar reveal, Abra Kadabra does not end up revealing the villain's identity. He does, however, tell Barry that Savitar will be his greatest enemy — greater than Thawne, Zoom and DeVoe. If you do not know who DeVoe is, that is because he has never appeared on The Flash

In that blink-and-you'd-miss-it moment, it appears that The Flash may have just let us all in on a little secret: Clifford DeVoe may be season four's primary antagonist. 

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Who will be The Flash season four's big bad?

Executive producer Andrew Kreisberg revealed at Los Angeles' PlayFest on Saturday that the season four villain will be different from villains of the past. "Next season we're not going to have a speedster [as the main villain]," said Kreisberg.

Before Tuesday night's episode, however, fans were only left to speculate who could be so dangerous that they could take Barry Allen on without any speed. And while it has not been officially revealed that Clifford DeVoe will be season four's big bad, the fact that Abra Kadabra mentioned him along with the prior three primary antagonists — Reverse-Flash, Zoom and Savitar — certainly makes him the frontrunner. 

Now, you may be thinking, "Who is Clifford DeVoe?" It's not an unreasonable question. Even those that are not avid comic readers may have recognized names like Reverse-Flash, Zoom, Captain Cold and Gorilla Grodd, before they made their appearances on The Flash. Clifford DeVoe definitely does not have the same name recognition. 

Who is Clifford DeVoe?

Clifford DeVoe is the civilian identity of the villain known as the Thinker. DeVoe was originally introduced in 1943, and took on not Barry Allen, but the Jay Garrick incarnation of the Flash. Unlike many of the Flash's villains, the Thinker is not a meta-human. Rather, he utilizes technological devices to get the upper hand on his enemies. 

DeVoe's most frequent use of technology comes in the form of his "thinking cap." The thinking cap grants DeVoe powers of mental projection and limited mind control. As a villain, he has spent some time as a member of both the Injustice Society as well as the Suicide Squad. While it is unclear exactly how DeVoe will show up on The Flash, assuming he will, it may have something to do with a character on Arrow

After DeVoe's death in the comics, Mister Terrific creates a form of artificial intelligence using his brain waves, and like all AI in fiction, things go terribly wrong. It is possible that if DeVoe is season four's big bad, he will show up not as a human, but as an AI à la the Avengers' villain Ultron. And if this is the case, could it be that Mister Terrific will be to blame? 

For now this is all conjecture, but thanks to Abra Kadabra, we don't need a thinking cap to presume that DeVoe will show up at some point on The Flash

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