The CW's Flash has been a success for the most part. With the series running for a number of seasons, over the years the showrunners have managed to introduce various characters to the small screen, sometimes for the very first time! Like anything, it's sometimes difficult to directly adapt a character from the page to the screen.
Of course, the scarlet speedster has an incredible rogue's gallery, and it would be difficult to include every single villain he's ever faced. With the ones that have been featured, sometimes they manage to improve upon the character. Sometimes they water down the villain, though, making them weaker or less compelling than their comic counterpart. Here are 10 villains who have either been powered up or watered down!
10 CAPTAIN BOOMERANG - WATERED DOWN
Captain Boomerang is one of the most iconic Flash villains and surprisingly a highlight of the Suicide Squad. First appearing in issue 117 of The Flash, Digger Harkness is an Australian criminal with tricked-out boomerangs. He's been a mainstay in the history of the comics yet never seemed to get the justice he deserved on the TV show.
He's in fact been more a threat to Oliver Queen than he has to Barry Allen, appearing on the sister show Arrow rather than the actual Flash CW show. The speedster has faced him, however, in "The Brave and the Bold," but the Aussie just didn't have the same skills as the comic's version. Both his personality and, ultimately, the size of the threat have all been watered down!
9 THE THINKER - POWERED UP
The Thinker was one of the more compelling villains of the series, becoming the big bad of the show during its fourth outing on the CW. Clifford DeVoe was a man who dedicated his life to reshaping the world and its intelligence. He was usually the smartest man in any room, but his additional meta powers meant that his IQ was heavily boosted.
The show upgraded both his intelligence and his body, however, relying on cybernetics and a powerful chair to help the madman think and maneuver. He was almost unstoppable and was perhaps one of the hardest foes for Barry to defeat. It was only through the help of his wife that he was eventually beaten, but this level of threat is definitely far removed from the comics.
8 GODSPEED - WATERED DOWN
Season 5 introduced Godspeed, one of the Flash's newest enemies in the comics and one of the most dangerous. Another speedster, his powers are almost double that of some of the other runners in the DC universe and his critical power is that he can actually siphon off other speedster's powers.
Unfortunately, Godspeed was a one-hit-wonder in the TV show, although it's said that he will be returning again soon. Episode 18 saw the introduction of the character in the future, but he was quickly defeated by Nora. He actually gained his powers from the Velocity-9 serum and, while his suit was incredibly accurate, not much else was. He was barely even a danger and never got to face off with Barry!
7 BUG-EYED BANDIT - POWERED UP
The Bug-Eyed Bandit is a man in the comics and is a pretty C-list villain. While his powers are the same as his counterpart in the show, they are not utilized in an effective way. Both versions of the characters have heightened intelligence that has allowed them to become specialists in the field of robotics. It was actually Atom issue 26 that brought the Bandit to the DC universe, with the show introducing her in season 1 of The Flash.
Brie Larvan is a genuine threat to any heroes she comes across and has been brought back many times to bring havoc. She's got a mastery of control over the cybernetic bees she's created, which aren't only weaponized effectively, but are also useful for surveillance and even hacking.
6 MIRROR MASTER - WATERED DOWN
Mirror Master is another villain who has found himself in many iterations of the Rogues. He's been a thorn in the speedster's side for quite some time and has really perfected his abilities to travel through mirrors and use them as weapons. He can hypnotize with them, disorient his opponents, and even trap someone in a mirror! His first appearance in issue 105 of the titular hero's book was certainly memorable.
Yet, the version we find in the Arrowverse isn't nearly as impressive as the crook we've seen in the pages of the comics. His design is far less interesting to start with, but his abilities are certainly watered down. He is a metahuman, but he can really only travel through mirrors and use them for illusions. The rest of his abilities are nowhere to be seen!
5 DOCTOR ALCHEMY - POWERED UP
Doctor Alchemy is a pretty forgettable villain in the comics. There have been multiple versions throughout history, but the original idea came from 1958 in Showcase issue 13. The character is a chemist and has come across the philosopher's stone, which does grant him great powers.
In the TV show, Doctor Alchemy is a much more advanced threat and the predecessor to Savitar. He's featured primarily throughout season 3 and is eventually redeemed after it's revealed that his mind his being warped. Although he has no physical powers of his own, Savitar boosts him as his host, granting him a wide range of abilities that are especially damaging for the heroes of Central City.
4 THE TURTLE - WATERED DOWN
The Turtle is one of the more surprising villains in DC Comics. While his name and demeanor suggest he's not much of a threat, to a speedster he's actually pretty powerful since his debut in All Flash issue 21. Since then, he's been reinvented a number of times to eventually possess a host of powers, including the still force!
"Potential Energy" of season 2 added The Turtle to the cast of villains that Barry has to face. His powers are from an accident like many other rogues on this list, yet he's not particularly strong in his utilization of them. Barry eventually just runs faster in order to beat the metahuman.
3 POWERED UP - GIRDER
Girder is another forgettable villain from the comics that was beefed up in his role in The CW's Arrowverse. In the comics, the powers are very similar, with his body being made out of steel. He's designed more as a monstrous being in all his appearances.
The TV version of the character is actually a bully from Barry's younger days, giving him an emotional connection to the villain. This immediately makes him more emotionally damaging, which is often a larger threat to Barry rather than physical danger. His skin can turn to steel once more, but he is eventually killed and then reanimated, turning into a zombie version of Girder!
2 RAINBOW RAIDER - WATERED DOWN
Rainbow Raider is an absolute blast in the comics. The Flash issue 286 introduced us to a flamboyant, colorblind artist with a wacky costume and fantastical powers. He can ride a rainbow with great agility and can actually use these beams of light as weapons! He can also manipulate a person's emotions, using each color of the rainbow to dictate the type of feeling.
This is the only aspect of the character that transferred over to the live-action debut of Rainbow Raider. He's drab and boring and doesn't quite have the same flare. While his powers are useful in order to manipulate the team at Star Labs, he's a pale imitation of what we see in the comics. Worst of all he's only included in two episodes, making him a short-lived enemy.
1 POWERED UP - CICADA
The cult leader Cicada of the comics is very far away from the meta-human hunter we find in the TV show. Flash issue 171 first added this character to the universe, but he was never nearly as powerful as what we've seen from the CW, often becoming obsessed with the scarlet speedster alone.
Cicada in the show has much larger ideas and spends most of season 5 tracking down anyone with powers and killing them. The show also presents two versions of the character, both of which have power dampening abilities and can wield a deadly dagger with great precision. They're the main antagonists of the fifth season for a reason!