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Cobalt Blue from DC Comics
Image via DC Comics

Who is Cobalt Blue in DC lore? ‘The Flash’ season 9 villain, explained

Cobalt Blue is one of the Flash's greatest supervillains, and his connection to Barry Allen is closer than you might think.

Cobalt Blue will be a major villain in The Flash season nine, and although he’s not the most well-known rogue, he’s one of the Scarlet Speedster’s most dangerous foes.

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The Flash’s first Big Bad this season was Red Death, a speedster from the Dark Multiverse gathering equipment to make their own cosmic treadmill. Red Death used a team of rogues, including the new Captain Boomerang, and it sparked the Rogue War, pitting rogues against rogues. Team Flash’s troubles aren’t over because Cobalt Blue is coming and Barry Allen (Grant Gustin) has never faced a threat like this before — he’s not even a speedster. The supervillain has been rumored for a while, and set photos of the character confirmed a confrontation that includes Cobalt Blue, Savitar, Godspeed, Reverse Flash, and Zoom. Barry will have his hands full before season nine ends.

Cobalt Blue’s first appearance

Cobalt Blue first appeared in Speed Force #1 by Mark Waid and Brian Augustyn. It’s a flashback story that sees Barry Allen back as the Flash and Wally West as his trusty sidekick Kid Flash. The duo gets to the Central City Zoo where a villain calling himself Cobalt Blue and wielding a blue, flaming sword is tearing things up. The sword could cut through anything and anyone, and this was proven when he cut the Flash and his partner. They sped up their molecules to vibrate through the object, but the flaming sword energy construct negated it and cut their connection to the Speed Force considerably.

With their speed compromised, they returned to Barry’s apartment, and Barry showed concern because the other rogues they’ve fought had gimmicks that were science-based, and Cobalt Blue’s powers weren’t. Wally wonders if his mentor thought it was magic, but Barry didn’t believe in unexplained forces. Before they could figure out the answer themselves, they find Cobalt Blue waiting for them.

Image via DC Comics

Cobalt Blue knew Barry’s secret identity, and that made him even more of a danger to them. Cobalt Blue told them the flame spoke to him and he saw the moment Barry was hit by a bolt of lightning through the window that showered him with electrified chemicals and turned him into the Fastest Man Alive. The same “accident” then happened years later with Wally in the same room, giving him speedster powers. He said their power should be his, but Barry realizes the power can’t be taken from them unless they’re using it.

Barry’s theory was right, and to coax them out of their power, Cobalt Blue uses a Flash suit containing the blue flame energy to attack them. Flash and Kid Flash were forced to race away as fast as they could to get away from the speedster made from the siphoned Speed Force energy. The suit attacks a school bus, and the heroes act quickly to save the children inside when the new, nefarious speedster grabbed them while they were distracted.

Image via DC Comics

Cobalt Blue reappeared on the street and sliced them, draining them molecule by molecule. The Flash then grabs Kid Flash’s arm and they connected to a universe of lightning that overloaded Cobalt Blue with Speed Force energy. It created a backdraft and the blue flame energy engulfed him. Before he vanished completely, Barry got a glimpse of the man under the mask and he looked familiar.

The Allen family secret

Later, it’s discovered that Cobalt Blue’s name is Malcolm — and he’s Barry Allen’s biological brother. His mother and father are Henry and Nora Allen, but his adoptive parents are Hugo and Charlene Thawne. The Thawnes are con artists, and Eobard Thawne is the Flash’s longtime arch-nemesis Reverse Flash, which makes this family affair all the more complicated.

This switch-up happened because of a tragic accident and an ill-conceived cover-up. A doctor’s drunkenness led to the accidental death of a baby, but the parents weren’t made aware of this. When another couple showed up and had twins, he claimed one of the boys was stillborn and gave him to the first parents as if he was theirs. The parents were Hugo and Charlene Thawne, and the baby was Malcolm Thawne.

Malcolm grew up in an abusive household, and his parents attained a blue crystal that could remove someone’s pain for a limited time, which they sold as a magical cure-all. Malcolm knew these criminals weren’t his biological parents, and he left home to find his real family. He discovered Henry and Nora Allen were his parents and they had another son, Barry, who was a superhero with a sidekick.

Malcolm’s adoptive grandmother left him a blue crystal when she died, and its use was greater than just selling a short-lived cure. It could grant the person who possessed it their fondest wish, and Malcolm wanted what Barry Allen had: his speed. Malcolm then chose to become the supervillain Cobalt Blue and fought the Flash on multiple occasions to steal what the Flash has.

Cobalt Blue in ‘The Flash’ season nine

Rick Cosnett, who played Iris West’s (Candice Patton) fiance and Central City Police Detective Eddie Thawne in season one of the Flash, will portray the villain. It’s unlikely the show will go with the character being Barry Allen’s long-lost brother, as that would take more time to fully explore, but it’s still someone who has a connection to him. Eddie sacrificed his life back in season one in an attempt to kill Reverse Flash, but there is any number of multiversal reasons to explain why he’s back as Cobalt Blue.

In The Flash season eight, episode 13, “Death Falls,” Eddie returns in the form of a phantom created by Deathstorm in an ode to the DC Comics event Blackest Night. Iris is in Sue Dearbon’s (Natalie Dreyfuss) apartment in Coast City tormented by her lost lover who tries to stop her from leaving or communicating with anyone from the outside world. It was difficult for Iris to confront Eddie again, but she was able to overcome the predicament with the help of Sue and her father Joe West (Jesse L. Martin).

Not much is known about Cobalt Blue’s ultimate plan, but with the Flash’s greatest supervillains coming together, whatever is going on will certainly spell disaster for the Scarlet Speedster.

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