'The Flash' Season 5 Villain Cicada: Who Is Chris Klein's Character?

There are a lot of immortals in the Arrowverse continuity, and this season of The Flash will offer a closer look at a new one. Cicada (played by Chris Klein, yes, THAT Chris Klein, American Pie Chris Klein) is this year’s villain in The CW’s The Flash Season 5. But who is he? And what does he want?

To live forever, of course. And Cicada, a centuries-old cult leader armed with two lightning daggers, sees The Flash as the key.

Minor spoilers for The Flash Season 5 ahead.

One of Cicada's daggers in the final moments of 'The Flash' Season 5 premiere.

The CW

In the premiere episode of The Flash Season 5, Team Flash deals with the arrival of Nora Allen (Jessica Parker Kennedy), the adult daughter of Barry and Iris from 30 years in the future. Meanwhile, Nora gets in the way of Barry’s Flash duties when what should be a mere monster of the week, Gridlock, becomes a much bigger threat to Central City.

Predictably, when Team Flash works together (including guest hero Kid Flash, aka Wally West from Legends of Tomorrow), Gridlock is captured and is on his way to Iron Heights — until someone more powerful stops the police van. With a glowing, lightning-shaped dagger and bandaged gauntlets on his hands and wrists, Cicada makes his Arrowverse debut.

Chris Klein plays Cicada in 'The Flash' Season 5.

The CW

After dispatching the police off-screen, Cicada opens the van’s back door and goes face-to-face with Gridlock. Still wielding a lightning dagger in his hands, he offers a chilling preview of what The Flash Season 5 may have in store.

Gridlock asks, “What do you want?”

And Cicada replies, “For all of you to die.”

Wait, who is Cicada?

Debuting during the Geoff Johns era of The Flash in issue #170, Cicada is a centuries-old church preacher with a mean streak named David Hersch. Born in 1890, Hersch was struck by lightning and gained the ability to live forever by zapping out the life energy from others.

When the legend of The Flash grew, Hersch believed him to be a kindred spirit, and sought to take the life force of The Flash — initially by murdering people The Flash had saved and taking their residual energy — and give it to his fanatical followers, who revere him as “Cicada.”

Cover of 'The Flash' #172, with Cicada.

DC Comics

In 'The Flash' #172. Illustrated by Scott Kolins, Doug Hazlewood, James Sinclair, and Digital Chameleon.

The CW

Unlike Flash’s previous villains like Reverse-Flash, Zoom, or even The Thinker, Cicada had a relatively brief arc in the story arc “Blood Will Run.” After that storyline, Cicada basically disappeared, and now awaits in Iron Heights. And since he’s immortal, he’s going to wait for a long, long time.

Will Chris Klein’s version of the villain be like the comics?

On TV, it’s currently unknown how closely The Flash will follow the “Blood Will Run” arc. Instead of going after people The Flash saved, it appears Cicada is targeting his villains (which is pretty smart; they had the most direct contact with The Flash after all).

It also seems as if the cult or life energy stuff is less relevant to the series, at least for now. Based on the few seconds (and even fewer lines of dialogue) Cicada spoke, Cicada’s intentions might be to Dexter the hell out of Central City and kill bad guys that The Flash will not. All the makings of a good comic book villain.

The Flash airs Tuesday nights at 8 p.m. ET on The CW.

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