Barry Allen is up against a different kind of villain in “The FlashSeason 4, one who is not a speedster but a great nemesis all the same. His name is The Thinker and he works in the shadows to manipulate Barry Allen and his team.

The Thinker is an alias used by several supervillains in the DC Universe. The original is Clifford DeVoe. In the comics, DeVoe is an inventor whose formidable mental powers come from a technology he made called the “thinking cap.” However, he did not fight Barry Allen’s version of The Flash. Instead, he fought the original scarlet speedster, Jay Garrick.

Clifford DeVoe in ‘The Flash’ Season 4

Among the villains who used the alias, Season 4 of “The Flash” will bring in Clifford DeVoe. Season 3 already confirmed his appearance in a couple of episodes. In episode 18, Abra Kadabra, a bad guy from the 64th century, mentioned Devoe in passing while at S.T.A.R. Labs with Barry Allen (Grant Gustin). Abra Kadabra knew Barry’s future and teased at the speedster’s impending rival with DeVoe. Likewise, Savitar warned Barry about his greatest nemesis yet and he named dropped DeVoe.

What is The Thinker’s agenda?

In the past three seasons of the series, Barry fought with villain speedsters. He was up against Reverse Flash in Season 1, with Hunter Zolomon aka Zoom in Season 2 and then with Savitar in Season 3.

It was only in Season 4 that the showrunners decided to change direction, possibly because the whole speedster villain idea has become overrated.

Likewise, Barry’s powers made him a target by these villains. However, the introduction of The Thinker, instead of another villain speedster, gives Season 4 a fresh storyline. It opens a new agenda and asks the question, “What could “the fastest mind alive” want with “the fastest man alive?”

Showrunner Todd Helbing teased that The Thinker’s (Neil Sandilands) motives against The Flash come from something personal that he experienced.

His method of fighting The Flash is unique and smart. Helbing likens it to a chess game, where “he's thought every variation of the moves whenever he makes a move.” The Thinker is smart enough to know “how things are going to play out before they play out.” Suffice to say, the Thinker manipulates Barry and forces him to play his game.

“He can create any scenario he wants for Barry, then solve ones he wants as well for his own purposes,” Helbing tells IGN. Clearly, Team Flash is bound for a psychological ride when they battle the Thinker in “The Flash” Season 4.