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- NOTE: This article is about the incarnation of the Thinker from the Arrowverse. The mainstream version can be found here: Thinker.
|“||Think of it. A world enlightened. Within a day, soldiers will lay down their arms. Every nuclear weapon will be disarmed within six months. Poverty, famine, disease eradicated. We will clean up the streets. People will put down their idiot phones and become curious again, and I will be there to teach them. I, not you, will save this godforsaken world.||„|
|~ DeVoe explaining his long term plan to Barry.|
Professor Clifford DeVoe, also known as The Thinker, is a major antagonist in the TV series The Flash, serving as a mentioned character in Season 3, as the main antagonist of Season 4 and as a posthumous antagonist in Season 5. He is also a cameo character in Season 5's 100th episode.
He is a history professor and University teacher turned super-intelligent criminal mastermind who sought to take over the world by wiping everyone's intellect and rebuild civilization in his own image. He is the Arrowverse's live action adaptation of the DC Comics villain Thinker.
Prior to his transformation, Clifford was a fairly ordinary but socially awkward man who genuinely craved knowledge and wanted to reach people so he could pass on his love of knowledge to others, becoming frustrated with how so few of his students seemed to actually respect or listen to what he was trying to teach them. He at the same time had a relatively extreme outlook on life. Believing that such technological advances have corrupted the morality and reduced the personal drive of man, he became rather outspoken to his disdain on such over-usage of technology, even writing a thesis on how the world would be better off without technology. Feeling that their minds had become too small whilst his own ability to convey information effectively was lacking, Clifford began his efforts to construct the "Thinking Cap" with his lover in the name of bringing forth an "age of enlightenment".
Since becoming "the Thinker", Clifford's personality had changed; though still craving knowledge, he was now more ruthless and brutal in his willingness to hurt innocents to get what he wants. Clifford was a calculating and patient man, very much focused on his current objective all the time, not having much emotional reaction while doing so. He was very confident in his abilities and did not hesitate to emphasize just how thoroughly he has accounted for every possibility and every outcome, even to his own wife.
Clifford also possessed an ambitious nature even before his transformation, wishing to advance the human consciousness to instill change in humanity. Whether as a façade or not, he can be a nice person towards people, especially to his students, but he also takes advantage of this trait when he lied to David Singh about Barry harassing him and his wife in which the latter was actually investigating him.
However, even at his worst, Clifford was not without a romantic side; he feels the need to be the great man his wife Marlize needs despite his condition and noted that he would be nothing without her. He also allows Barry Allen and Iris West to have their wedding without any intervention.
Clifford's superhuman intelligence had made him quite arrogant to the point of having a massive ego, this is evidenced by the fact that after Barry confronted him, as he wanted to know who he really was, he not only revealed to the latter that he knows he is the Flash, but Clifford also boasted that he has nothing to fear from Barry, he even (arrogantly) believes himself to be superior to Eobard Thawne, the late Hunter Zolomon and the late Savitar respectively, completely disregarding the fact that all three are incredibly powerful meta-humans in their own rights; this new-found intellect of his, also causes him to sometimes underestimate his opponents, like Barry.
Clifford retains a polite edge, despite his arrogance, even referring to his adversaries as "Mr." and "Mrs." though with various levels of condescension.
Ultimately, Clifford's arrogance and ego led to his downfall; at the hands of Barry Allen and Team Flash respectively.
Bus-Meta Body Transfers
It appears Clifford's constant body change may be affecting his mind as theorized by Marlize. This was evident by the fact Clifford seems to be cruel towards his wife especially when she points out potential flaws in him, something Clifford in the past never did. His immoral and selfish nature has even reached the point of viewing his wife as nothing more than a tool for his needs, going so far as to repeatedly alter her memories to keep her docile.
However, Clifford was proven to be even more cruel to his wife after she find out about him drugging her and erasing her memories and he comes out of nowhere to telling everything he's done to her and when she was about to turn against him he uses his chair to shoot out one of the claws to stab her on the side of the neck drugging her and leaving his wife unconscious on the floor and later on she wakes up having her on his side as his partner. He was also not above killing and could even take sadistic pleasure in it, as he did to Gregory Wolfe, without any reason. Ultimately, his discuss on the world had evolved to believe that it was emotional views and personal ties that have weakened people's understanding.
- The Weeper
- Dominic Lanse/Brainstorm
- Becky Sharpe/Hazard
- Mina Chaytan/Black Bison
- Ramsey Deacon/Kilg%re
- Sylbert Rundine/Dwarfstar
- Gregory Wolfe
- Izzy Bowin/The Fiddler
- Edwin Gauss/Folded Man
- Janet Petty/Null
- Matthew Kim/Melting Point
- Neil Borman/Fallout
- Numerous A.R.G.U.S. agents
- Barry Allen/The Flash (erased timeline)
|Appearances of Clifford DeVoe|
- After having been named "The Thinker" by Team Flash, DeVoe reveals to his wife that in one of the possible outcomes he deduced, they called him "The Teacher". The Teacher is actually the alias of a different villain from the DC Comics.
- DeVoe is the second The Flash villain to be credited as a main character. The first being Eobard Thawne.
- He is the first main antagonist of The Flash to not be a speedster, with the exception of Alchemy who was puppeteered by Savitar. Other differences include:
- DeVoe never worked with Team Flash unlike the first three big bads and cared little about Caitlin Snow.
- In contrast to Eobard Thawne, who faked his paralysis and used his wheelchair to charge him with Speed Force energy, DeVoe's powers are the reason he's ill and resents using a wheelchair.
- The three speedster's who identities were hidden on screen for at least the first half of the season, we as the audience know The Thinker's identity since the beginning of his season.
- Thawne was seemingly celibate, while Zoom and Savitar had failed relationships. DeVoe, on the other hand, has had a loving marriage to Marlize but he has become too evil that she is being alienated by his plans.
- DeVoe shares some similarities with other villains throughout the Arrowverse.
- Prometheus - Both are extremely intelligent strategists who managed to manipulate the protagonists more than once, predict their every move and frame them for murder. (Only Oliver did kill Billy Malone, but was tricked into doing it.)
- Damien Darhk - The main antagonists of the third seasons of Arrow (Ra's al Ghul) and The Flash (Savitar) mention them by the end of the season, before their appearance in the fourth and are both assisted by their wives.
- Eobard Thawne - Both are extremely intelligent scientists who have studied Barry Allen for years. They took the form of another person to further their agendas. The only difference, Thawne left Harrison Wells for dead when he stole his appearance, while DeVoe left his own body for dead with he stole Dominic Lanse's.
- DeVoe is the first Flash main antagonist to not be an evil speedster.
- On top of that, DeVoe is also the second Flash main antagonist to not be from the future. The first was Zoom.