WARNING: This article contains SPOILERS for The Flash Season 4, Episode 2
Now that The Flash has returned to life, he can forget doing battle with the Rogues: it's the Injustice Society of DC supervillains he may have to battle next. The team of supervillains may not be as well-known to fans of The Flash in particular as, say, his Rogues. But in the pursuit of a new antagonist and accomplished villain to Barry Allen's hero, the showrunners at The CW have turned to someone possessing no superhuman muscles or speed at all: his name is The Thinker. And as the most recent episode of The Flash revealed, his plan to bring down The Flash extends well beyond what he's capable of himself.
Even before Season 4 of The Flash began, the writers had planted a few seeds promising the coming of The Thinker a.k.a. Clifford DeVoe. Fans were also told to expect non-speedster enemies in The Flash this season, meaning Barry and his friends would be challenged beyond their top speed. What they didn't account for was the possibility that The Thinker would evolve beyond his comic book form, and decide to not just get recruited into the Injustice Society... he might start it himself.
And as Kilg%re comes to terrorize Central City, The Thinker may have gotten his first 'pet project.'
After having to deal with single baddies for entire seasons, the arrival of Kilg%re gave Barry and friends a bit of a walk down memory lane. For starters, he's merely a metahuman thug, and not a speedster mastermind bending time and reality to his purposes. And just like the many one-off goons who preceded him in the world of The Flash, Kilg%re is given an intentionally ambiguous origin story and power set. The show does explain the villain's origin, to a certain point, saying he was somehow merged with the Kilg%re program he and his team were working on - gaining the ability to apparently interact with an control almost any computer system or device located within close proximity.
The episode stops well short of examining the actual science driving Kilg%re's powers: is he controlling systems telepathically? Telekinetically? By somehow infecting a system with his own strand of techno-organic DNA? The how of this baddie is never even paid lip service, but when Barry and his friends succeed in taking down Kilg%re once and for all, that's not the most pressing question. That's the mystery of how this metahuman was created if he was halfway across the country for Central City's particle accelerator catastrophe.
The villain knows the secret to his origin, and knows The Flash is oblivious. He may be keeping his lips zipped, but the added reveal of the true villain of the season - The Thinker - provides a major hint for DC Comics fans.
The Injustice Society Begins to Take Shape?
As was the case in the season 4 premiere of The Flash, the show offers a glimpse at a villain located well beyond the perception of Barry Allen or any other member of Team Flash. He's the aforementioned Thinker, joined by his assistant and enforcer The Mechanic. And from the floating chair in which he hovers in his sci-fi lair, no corner of Barry Allen's life seems to remain hidden. It may only be a matter of time before The Thinker comes face to face with The Flash, but the capture of Kilg%re explains why he won't need to battle Barry with his muscles at all. He's got henchmen to handle that for him... one down, eleven to go.
The reveal that not only is The Thinker keeping a close eye on The Flash's villains, but he sent him towards defeat so that he would be captured as part of a larger plan is a powerful one. But the fact that Flash has eleven more enemies on the way, presumably with just as mysterious origin stories means a team of villains, of sorts. Some kind of alliance of evil-doers named to instill fear into the hearts of DC readers. A team possibly led by, or being slowly assembled by The Thinker for a greater brand of chaos and rage.
Iron Heights Prison may hold the metahuman criminals for now, but if comic book fans consider the villainous team past of The Thinker in DC's Universe, an answer becomes clear. Move over Rogues, the time for the Injustice Society is NOW.
Meet The Injustice Society
What makes the idea so interesting is the promotion of The Thinker from member of the Injustice Society in the comics to a potential founder. It may be pure speculation at this point, but the glimpses of The Thinker offered so far drive home his genius intellect, his patience, and the sensation of a plan slowly coming together. And it's worth remembering that the world of The Flash is a little in need of some new villainous blood, after the biggest stars of the Rogues found a future elsewhere in The CW's shared universe - Legends of Tomorrow in particular.
If the showrunners are looking to present Barry Allen with an enemy that challenges his smarts more than his speed, then The Thinker fits the bill perfectly. But with so many heroes now calling Central City home, even the most brilliant plan needs soldiers to distract from the real goal. If the TV show stays faithful to the comics, it could mean the disappearance of an entire city. If it takes liberties with The Thinker's most well-known team of supervillains, then it could mean a version of the Injustice Society that is purely of The CW's making.
And there's no telling how many returning villains could pop up on The Thinker's radar, proving themselves worthy of not just a shot at The Flash, but membership in a society intent on ending him for good. Good luck, Barry.