The Flash has a wide array of villains to fight, but one villain is not just the mischievous Loki-esque sorcerer many readers believe him to be.
The Flash faces off with a couple of tricksters, but much like Marvel’s Loki, one of them may even prove to be a secret hero. When Barry Allen passed, the title of The Flash went to Wally West who also inherited all of Barry’s former villains. Among them was a mischievous sorcerer named Abra Kadabra, a techno-magician who loved the stage.
Abra Kadabra is often discredited as a low-tier villain, one that someone as powerful as Wally could make quick work of. Barry Allen beat him many times over and every time he would simply spring back with an even wackier plan. Until Mark Waid’s The Flash made him an even more significant threat and revealed a hidden side to the sorcerer. Abra Kadabra was originally a time traveler from the 64th century, who was sent back in time to the Flash’s era to become a stage magician and earn the praise he desperately wanted. However, his stunts became increasingly dangerous for the citizens of Keystone City, and quickly he strayed onto the path of villainy. After a tough battle and a run-in with the new Flash, Wally West, Kadabra was presumed dead from an accidental explosion.
It was soon revealed that he was not dead in The Flash Volume #1 by Mark Waid, Mike Parobeck, Travis Charest, Mike Collins, José Marzán, Jr., and Greg LaRocque. His return marked a new chapter in Wally’s life and for the first time, The Flash would see that he wasn’t just some random villain from Barry Allen’s past. The first thing Kadabra did was try to perform the greatest magic trick by reviving everyone in Keystone from a wave of death caused by him. It’s hard to believe that someone like this could be a hero at any time but, surprisingly, he had good motivations back in the 64th century. While he spread mayhem throughout the 20th century, in his own time he was heralded as a revolutionary. He had been sent back to Wally’s time as punishment for his protesting, where it was thought the chaos of the period would be the perfect place for him to settle. But perhaps it was the chaos of the time that sent him down the dark path of villainy. His original time was an extremely oppressive time, where everyone operated like drones under a hive mind. Jumping from uniformity to complete singular thought may have overwhelmed Kadabra’s mind and made him believe they needed a revolution too.
When he went back to the future he was met with a group of these same revolutionaries devoted to his cause, who took inspiration from Kadabra. A man so feared during Wally’s time was now revered. His fight for the right to freedom of expression played an important part in the liberation of the people of that time. In fact, being brought back to his time was the reason they were ever liberated. Even Wally agreed that he was right and decided to help Kadabra escape and start the revolution again. While in the end, Abra Kadabra was not fit to lead a nation after the revolution, he was still an inspiration to many and showed that not all villains are evil for the sake of it.
Abra Kadabra may be a fun, chaotic villain for The Flash to battle, but his backstory and intentions prove that even villains can do good things. With Wally’s help, he was literally able to save an entire century of citizens and finally accomplished what he originally set out to do. Even if he ended up hating Wally even more for sending him back to the 20th century after all that. Hopefully, The Flash will continue to see his worth and gain a little more respect for the Loki-esque villain.