It’s been a while since we’ve seen an interesting supervillain origin – especially with the Flash, who consistently falls back on his common rogues.
In this issue of The Flash, we are introduced to a family man, Chris. He seems like your typical dad, with imaginative children jumping off sh*t in the background. And like most dads, he has a private office – but this office is covered in posters and news clippings about all of the strange happenings in the DC Universe: aliens, caped bats in Gotham City, and time travel.
Turns out Daddy Chris is actually a big conspiracy theorist, and his thought process is that time is changing around them, but nobody is noticing. He believes the multiverse exists. As the comic book reader, we have been well-trained to identify the multiverse, but let’s go along with this and see how it plays out.
Chris’s whole world changes when a lightning bolt crashes through his window, hitting both his equipment and him. People getting struck by stray lightning is a common occurrence here in The Flash comics. In that moment, Chris sees the multiverse and can feel it running inside of him. He becomes recluse studying the multiverse, ignoring his family and the outside world – including The Flash, who we are supposed to believe he didn’t see or hear had been running around for an entire year.
An interesting note here is when Chris says “Whenever time changed, it HURT me.”
This is a new concept. I like this. We have heard of villains being able to time travel and alter time, but not one who would be hurt by the altercation of time itself.
During one of Flash’s heroic rescues, Chris notices that the timeline is changing once again. His close proximity to The Flash in that moment blasts him off into the time stream where he meets three others who had also been sucked into their timeless Hell.
Chris goes from good to bitter as time passes in the timestream (heh). He builds a lab with a tower connected to its roof, which allows him to travel through the multiverse. He reveals that the people he was stranded with weren’t pulled into the timestream because of the Flash, but rather because of their close proximity to him. Together, they somehow all develop lightning powers (oh, and they’ve mutated, too. Just go with it.) – and Chris essentially turns into a spark a la Super Mario Odyssey, and jumps into the timestream to get back to his family.
Unfortunately, he overshoots this and winds up further down the line of the 21st century, which more or less looks like New New York from Futurama. Considering we live in the 21st century now, I want to know why our cities don’t look like this. I demand answers!
Fed up with his situation, Chris discovers he also has the power to blast people into oblivion (because why not), and decides he is just going to live in the future where he can take what he wants to be on top. Unfortunately for him, the people of that universe still worship The Flash, including the rogues, in this alternate future.
And as all superhero origins go, Chris monologues and screams that his new supervillain name is “Paradox.”
This is an interesting take on a new supervillain. Rarely do we get to see a new and fresh idea: a character who is suffering excruciating pain every time the universe shifts – and for DC comics, that is a constant problem. It’s almost as if the writer is mocking DC’s inconsistency in its own timelines, but what comes out of it is an interesting supervillain. Or maybe a superhero? Depends on whether or not he chooses to put the DC universe back to normal.