- NOTE: This article is about the first incarnation of Cicada from the Arrowverse. The mainstream version can be found here: Cicada (DC).
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|“||Cicada: She's all I think about, Flash. And I'm making the world safe for her. Every meta-human must go.
The Flash: Then what about you? You're a meta-human now.
Cicada: I am, and after you're gone, I'll join you.
|~ Orlin Dwyer and the Flash on the former's vendetta|
|“||Save my Grace.||„|
|~ Dwyer's last words before his death at the hands of Future Grace.|
Orlin Dwyer is a major antagonist in the TV series The Flash.
He appears as one of the two main antagonists (alongside Grace Gibbons) of Season 5 and a posthumous character in Season 6.
He is the first bearer of the Cicada mantle and an dark matter-enhanced serial killer who targets meta-humans in order to honor and avenge his family, specifically his niece Grace. He also wields a lightning-bolt-shaped dagger that nullifies their powers among other capabilities.
Adopting His Niece
One night, a CCPD officer knocked on Orlin Dwyer's door and told him that his sister was in an accident due to a meta-human attack, so her daughter, Grace Gibbons, was sent to live with him, as he was her next of kin. The two of them didn't get off to the greatest start as Orlin didn't want her around.
This all came to a head when Grace got in trouble at school and Orlin had to leave work to pick her up. Grace told him that he made her life worse and that she hated him as he also hated himself.
Sometime later, Orlin brought Grace to a rundown house that he said belonged to his cousin, Robbie. He tells her that they can live there if he fixes it up, and also shows her a dollhouse that they can rebuild together. It is at this point that Orlin apologizes to Grace and they begin to repair their relationship.
Becoming the First Cicada
Exactly a year later, on the night of Clifford DeVoe's Enlightenment, Orlin had taken Grace to the Central City Carnival. When the Flash and XS destroyed the dark matter-loaded satellite, the resulting force of the double speedster punch shifted the falling debris. As a result, Orlin and Grace were hit with pieces of shrapnel. Orlin was struck in the right side of his chest, while Grace fell into a coma.
Orlin also came into possession of a piece of the satellite core shaped into a dagger, which was infused with large amounts of dark matter. At the hospital, the shrapnel, which resembled as a lightning-bolt-shaped dagger, was removed from Orlin's chest but left it with a permanent injury in his lung. When hearing from the doctor about Grace's condition and her viewpoint of who is responsible, Orlin watches the news and comes to the same realization that meta-humans are responsible for her current predicament. After instantly learning of his newfound powers over the dagger, Orlin fashioned himself a mask that makes the sound of cicadas when in pain and declared vengeance on the entire meta-human race and swore to kill every single one of them on Grace's behalf.
After the meta-human Gridlock was defeated by the Flash and his team and brought into CCPD custody, he was being sent to Iron Heights while being locked up in a truck in restraints to where he can't freely move his body. Orlin, as Cicada, was waiting for them before throwing his dagger in front of the trucks' route, which created a flashing explosion that stops the convoy immediately. Cicada then proceeds to attack the guards at will, dispatching every member who stood in his way, before opening the truck that contained Gridlock. Gridlock asked him who he was and what he wanted, only for Cicada to reply that he wants all meta-humans to die. He then approaches Gridlock with the blade in hand, much to Gridlock's terror, but only for Gridlock somehow escapes his restraints and fight him. However, Cicada uses his dagger to negate the meta-human's capabilities and overpowers him, just before he stabs him in the chest and kills him.
Afterward, Orlin is seen in a locker room, presumably one a part of Szrek Chemicals. As he is slowly recovering from his fight, an unnamed colleague sees the scars on his back and asks if he's been in another fight, in which Orlin simply confirms it. He then places his equipment into his locker.
Attacking Team Flash
Later, he attacks another meta-human, Vanessa Jansen, by throwing his dagger through her neck. The Flash, Vibe and Elongated Man confront Cicada, who uses his dagger to steal their powers. He then fights and overpowers them, and just as he is about to kill Flash, XS shows up, having taken Jansen to a hospital, calls out "dad" to Flash, which instantly stops Cicada. After a long pause and learning of the two speedsters' connection, Cicada instead spares the Flash and takes off just as they hear nearby police sirens.
A few days later, Cicada attacks Joe West in his home, demanding that he calls in Vibe so he can kill him. When Joe refuses, Cicada ties him up and proceeds to torture him for Vibe, but to no avail. After expressing his personal displeasure in hurting a family, Cicada then proceeds to kill him. However, after Joe's baby cries, he notices Cecille Horton with her phone and alerting Vibe. Cicada then approaches Cecille, just as Vibe breaches next to him, therefore allowing Cicada to tackle him back through.
Ending up in a forest, Cicada chases Vibe and uses his dagger to drag him back. Just as he is about to kill him, Flash arrives, but Cicada overpowers him again. Just as Cicada is about to kill Flash, XS shows up and throws lightning at him. She then gives Vibe a vial, who throws it at Cicada. However, Cicada knocks it back and just after it explodes, Cicada protects himself with a force-field. After declaring Vibe is dead and noticing that he was bleeding, Cicada flies off. Later, Orlin visits Grace in hospital, while the same doctor tries to advise him to stop.
Gaining New Powers
Orlin later one night returns to his home where he begins experiencing incredible amounts of pain from his scar. As he stumbles on the floor, he then grabs onto a metal pipe to get up and then, much to his shock, starts crushing it.
Sometimes a week later, Orlin is in CC Jitters where his blade detects a meta-human leaving the cafeteria. Continuing his campaign, Orlin follows her to her car and, after revealing himself, fights her. Although she believes she has the upper hand, his dagger strips her of her powers and flies into her back, instantly killing her. The next morning, he heads to the hospital's medical storage. The doctor argues with Orlin about his reasons and why he is hunting the metas, only for Orlin to get irritated with her.
As he returns home, he passes out from the increasing pain and as seen when he was about to collapse, he saw a vision of himself on the ground. After waking up to the doctor wanting to attend to his scar wound, he rejects it, and stands up, declaring that it is making him stronger by granting him new powers.
The day before Thanksgiving, he is seeing Grace when he overhears a C.S.I. named Barry Allen looking for her room. Knowing that they were onto him, he hides while the doctor manages to get him to leave. That afternoon, he is on the phone with the doctor, who advises him to never visit Grace at all in order to avoid increasing further risks, which infuriates Orlin. On Thanksgiving, he goes against her advice and visits her in the hospital.
War with the Flash
Orlin was in the hospital with Grace where he notices that the Flash arrived and was waiting for him outside. Knowing that the speedster was aware of his secret identity. Donning his costume and dagger, Cicada confronts him and is surprised by the nickname he has been given. They then argue about his motives and agenda regarding that he is also a meta-human too. Cicada, however, retorts that once every meta-human is dead, he'll join them as well, just as Elongated Man, XS, and a very much alive Vibe reveal themselves. While attempting to negate their powers, Cicada finds that his dagger is called by a piece of Savitar's suit before Vibe throws it through a portal into space. Unfazed by this, Cicada called it back, ruining their plan and negating their powers again. Just as he was about finish off The Flash, Killer Frost revealed herself and attacks him, revealing her immunity to his dagger, forcing Cicada to flee.
Team Flash saved metahumans from him and got them into witness protection with help of Norvock. When he severely injured his daughter Nora, Barry beat him brutally.
Giving Up His Vendetta
In order to get his niece cured, Barry Allen revealed himself to Orlin and persuaded him to take the meta-human cure. However, Grace Gibbons from the future raided S.T.A.R. Labs, killed Ambres and kidnapped him.
With a sane mind, Orlin realizes the death of Grace's parents was entirely accidental, as culprit Vicki Bolen just made an ATM explosive without realizing it. However, that did not stop Grace from attempting to kill her. Orlin found her and tried to persuade to stop, but Grace killed him with his own dagger. Dying, Orlin asked Barry to save Grace.
Although Dwyer gave up his vendetta on killing meta-humans, his niece Grace did not. At some unknown point in the future, Grace woke up from her coma and developed an immense hatred of meta-humans and anybody who either got in her way or defended them. She took up her uncle's mantle and began killing even more people than Dwyer did, racking up to a total of 152 people and rising. This led people to believe that Cicada (as they thought it was still one person) was an "immortal monster".
These future events proved that like the Flash, even if he would either be defeated or give up his mission, his legacy and reputation would continue to live on in the future.
Before he took Grace in, Orlin was a very selfish and lazy person. He didn't want to have to take care of anyone and he hated having to go to work. However, after taking her in, he started to turn his life around and became a supportive father figure to her. After the events of the Enlightenment, Orlin felt as though he needed to kill all meta-humans as he thought they were the cause of his niece's condition.
Despite having a massive vendetta against meta-humans, Orlin avoided killing civilians in his vendetta, though he didn't mind seriously injuring them, as shown with the police officers transporting William Lang. Caring for Grace also caused him to have empathy for other families as shown in his hesitation to kill Barry after Nora calls out to him (addressing Barry as "dad"). He also mentioned that Joe should cherish his family more, leading to the latter deducing that he was a parent.
His hate for meta-humans is to the point of recklessness as he disregards his own safety, refusing to have the shard in his chest that is killing him removed, as he states that it makes him stronger. He also did not care about his legacy and especially the fact that people would only remember him as a monster.
However, upon realizing that Grace was a meta-human, he more than willing to give up his vendetta and let Team Flash cure him of his powers, especially if it would also cure Grace of her powers as well. After being cured and realizing what his niece became in the future, Orlin felt remorse for his actions and tried to convince her that killing every meta-human she finds will not make the pain she feels any better. He even realized that the deaths of her parents were an accident. However, this didn't prove enough to stop Grace who killed him as a result. In his last moments, Orlin begged Flash to save his niece, proving that despite all of his bad decisions, Grace was still the most important thing to him in his life.
- William Lang / Gridlock
- Vanessa Jansen / Block
- Raelene Sharp / Razorsharp
- Kira May
- Dwayne Geist
- Carl Bork
- Keisha Moore
- Caitlin Snow / Killer Frost (alternate timelines)
- Ralph Dibny / Elongated Man (alternate timelines)
- Cisco Ramon / Vibe (alternate timelines)
- Cecille Horton (alternate timelines)
- Numerous unnamed meta-humans
- Although this is an adaptation of Cicada from DC Comics, he bears no resemblance to his comic book appearance and appears to have different powers to his comic book iteration. As revealed in the episode "The Death of Vibe", this version's first name is 'Orlin Dwyer', and therefore not 'David Hersch' as in the comic books.
- However, it is pointed out by Sherloque Wells and Barry Allen that since the timeline was changed, the Arrowverse version of Hersch was meant to become Cicada instead of Dwyer.
- Also, unlike the comic-book adaptation, the Cicada alias would later be taken up by someone else.
- Interestingly, the sound Cicada makes from his mask slightly resemblances the sound that the cicada insects make. It is later revealed that his mask makes that noise when he is feeling the pain from the satellite debris shard that hit him.
- Cicada is similar to Agent Liberty who both of them lost a family member of because of the aliens and the meta-humans and their hatred of them. However, unlike Agent Liberty, Cicada does not have the support of the people of Central City.
- Cicada is the second Flash main antagonist to not be an evil speedster. The first was the Thinker.
- Cicada contrasts the main villains of the previous seasons (Reverse Flash, Zoom, Savitar, Thinker) in many ways.
- Unlike previous big bads, Cicada is not a scientist and he does not seem to have scientific knowledge.
- Cicada is not content on creating (or in Zoom's case, introducing) new meta-humans to trouble the city, he seeks to eliminate them by any means necessary.
- Cicada has no interest in deceiving and manipulating Barry and Team Flash for his own agenda.
- Cicada was a normal everyday man who was tragically driven to villainy, whilst the other big bads sought to be greater and pursued power.
- He is the first big bad who didn't get his powers from the particle accelerator explosion but from the S.T.A.R. Labs satellite full of dark matter.
- He was willing to seek help from Team Flash in order to cure his powers.
- While the others betrayed or killed people they cared for, Orlin was killed by his niece Grace from the future due to his persistence to stop pursuing vengeance against metahumans. Eobard Thawne killed Cisco in an erased timeline, Hunter Zolomon abused Caitlin emotionally and even attempted to kill her, Savitar attempted to murder Iris West in order to get revenge against Barry and ensure his existence, and Clifford became abusive towards Marlize.
- For the majority of Season 5, Dwyer was the main antagonist, but eventually became the secondary antagonist turned anti-hero in his death episode "Time Bomb" due to his niece, Grace Gibbons (who came from the future), being revealed as the true main antagonist of the season and proved to be even more dangerous and ruthless than her uncle, whom she also kills when he reforms and tries to help her reform as well, but to no avail.
- Cicada was the first, and so far only, main villain that had a fight with The Flash and/or Team Flash before the sixth episode of the season.
- Cicada (Orlin Dwyer) was the main villain that had more fights in a season with The Flash and/or Team Flash.
- Cicada was the first main villain that was shown to have no knowledge about any Arrowverse character that wasn't part of The Flash TV series.
- Cicada was the first main villain that became evil in the first episode he was shown, since The Enlightenment, event that turned him into a meta-human, happened 24 hours before his first appearance.
- Orlin Dwyer is one of the most poorly received villains of The Flash due to fans considering that he lacked a solid plan for the season, Team Flash constantly missed oportunities to imprison him, and Chris Klein failed to make Orlin terrifying.