When The Flash finally returns to The CW on Tuesday night, fans will be catching the S.T.A.R. Labs team at a pretty interesting time. Season 1 ended with Barry Allen rushing to save Central City from the black hole that opened up above the city, the result of Eobard Thawne's attempt to get back to his proper time. It seems safe to assume that Barry did manage to stop the ensuing devastation, as the season premiere is titled "The Man Who Saved Central City," but that doesn't mean all is well. Right off the bat, a new villain is coming to The Flash Season 2, as Atom-Smasher faces off against the team. And he is not someone to be messed with. Played here by ex-wrestler Adam Copeland, aka Edge, in DC Comics Atom-Smasher is Albert Rothstein, a hero who joins the Justice League.
On The Flash, however, it appears he will be far less noble, and set on killing Barry. He should prove to be a formidable opponent, since in the comics Atom-Smasher's powers include super-strength and the ability to change his molecular structure. Essentially, when he makes himself larger, he is proportionally stronger, and he can also shrink himself to a much smaller size.
As The Flash delves further into multiple universes, it's going to be harder to differentiate who is from what world. Barry may have stopped the black hole, but people from other timelines could still have come through it before he closed it. This bad guy is a perfect example of this, as it is unclear if Atom-Smasher is from this world or traveled through the hole from another. Some viewers might already recognize the name, since Rothstein was listed as one of the casualties from the particle accelerator accident in the episode “Power Outage.” He could have survived the blast and been presumed dead (which we've already seen happen a number of times) or he could have lived and gained powers in a different timeline. I'm not exactly sure how all of this alternate timelines business is going to work, but I'm positive it will be fun to watch.
Of course when we talk about atoms and people shrinking, it's impossible to not think of Ray Palmer — also known as The Atom. Will their characters intersect? It's too early to say, but it sounds like Atom-Smasher could easily crossover onto new spinoff Legends of Tomorrow, where Ray will be a main character. We still have to wait and see if Rothstein is a one and done bad guy or will have a longer arc, but based on his comic book origins and possible connections to other characters, he may play a larger role in The Flash Season 2, and evolve past the stereotypical bad guy.
Images: Cate Cameron/CW; Giphy