Who the Clix? is a series of articles featuring information on comic book characters that have been made into figures for the popular tabletop game Heroclix. These articles are meant to help Heroclix players learn more about the characters behind their favorite pieces.
Today we look at the very first “Reverse-Flash”: The Rival
Appearances in Heroclix: Flash
First Appearance: Flash Comics #104
Team Affiliations: Injustice Society
Created By: John Broome and Joe Kubert
Dr. Edward Clariss was a professor at the university attended by Jay Garrick. After Jay’s transformation into the Flash, Clariss becomes obsessed with developing a formula to recreate Jay’s powers. He eventually develops the formula, which he calls “Velocity 9,” and dons a costume similar to Flash’s but with darker colors. He attempts a crime spree but his formula only gave him temporary powers. Once the formula wore off, Jay easily defeated the Rival and jailed him.
The Rival escaped a few months later and was able to improve on his formula. This time, while battling the Flash, the Rival was able to achieve light speed and disappeared into the Speed Force.
Fifty years later, Johnny Sorrow is able to retrieve the Rival from the Speed Force. The Rival was driven insane by his time in the Speed Force and goes on a cross country killing spree, using the murder locations to spell out his name. The final murder victim was intended to be Jay’s wife Joan, but Jay is able to absorb the Rival’s speed force energy and stop him.
The Rival eventually becomes pure Speed Force energy and possesses Max Mercury. Using Max’s body, the Rival battles both Jay and Impulse. He is not strong enough to defeat the heroes, however, and escapes in Max’s body.