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If we’re being totally honest, there really haven’t been many good new Flash villains in the last forty years or so. I mean, Zoom is cool, but he’s just a new version of Reverse Flash. But the others? Well, Chunk quickly became one of Flash’s best pals, Peekaboo is not used enough to stand out, Girder looks cool but he’s pretty easy for Flash to beat. Meanwhile Double Down and Murmur are better suited for Batman than they are Flash.
But then there’s Kilg%re (pronounced Kill-gore). I will not lie to you, I LOVE Kilg%re and I don’t get why this thing isn’t used more.
You may have noticed that I said “thing” and left out a gender for Kilg%re. Well, that is because Kilg%re doesn’t have a gender, though it does sometimes take the form of a cartoon man, an Irish bard from the 12th century, and a naked silver dude. But then it also took the form of a naked green woman and a blue genderless being so...
Kilg%re is an electro-mechano-organic lifeform from somewhere in the Pleiades cluster. Kilg%re left its home planet after it had consumed all of its electrical energy, killing every living thing in the process. While it was floating around space looking for a new spot to eat, Kil%re ran into Meta#sker, another (we think - this part wasn’t super clear in the comics) electro-mechano-organic lifeform. The two fought, and Kilg%re ended up stuck in a limbo on Earth, trapped just out of sync with time. Lucky for the energy eating thing, Wally West, the third Flash, discovered it when he went to a S.T.A.R. Labs lab in the desert. This being early into Wally’s days as Flash (Kilg%re was introduced in the 3rd issue of Wally’s run), Wally freed Kilg%re from its limbo. Kilg%re quickly went about draining all of the electrical energy in North America and taking over every TV and - by using ARPANET - computer in the United States. Before Kilg%re could finish eating all the electrical energy in the US, Cyborg of the Teen Titans (and soon to be in the Justice League movie!) convinced every country in the world to shut down their power grids while Flash made Kilg%re use up the energy it had by making the creature chase him around. Kilg%re, out of energy, appeared to die, but this is comics so you know that didn’t really happen.
Kilg%re next showed up when some dweebs at the Central City S.T.A.R. Labs location used its circuitry to make their new experiment work. The reawakened Kilg%re quickly took over all the scientists at S.T.A.R. except for Tina McGee. After that, Kilg%re just laid low for a bit, not letting the world know it was out there. During that time, Kilg%re created a new persona, the spirit of an 800-year-old Irish bard named Seamus O’Relkig that would reveal itself to a kooky cult and sometimes possess the body of Linda Park. When Wally beat Kilg%re again, Kilg%re was so impressed with his advancement as a hero that Kilg%re gave Wally a gift - a small metal “pill” that Kilg%re forced Wally to swallow.
Later, while fighting Vandal Savage, Wally was shot in the heart and died. The “pill” went to work - it was actually just Kilg%re in pill form - and fixed Wally’s injuries, bringing him back to life. After that, Kilg%re just went off and wasn’t seen again for a while. Its appearances since then have been lackluster, mostly as just a bad guy in the background, which is a real bummer. After all, since Kilg%re entered ARPANET, it is more than likely hanging out inside the internet.
In the late '90s DC did retcon a Justice League story to turn an unnamed computer program that saved Max Lord’s life into Kilg%re, but all of that was quickly forgotten because it just made everything about the Justice League too confusing. Most recently, Kilg%re showed up in the pages of Cyborg. This “Rebirth” version doesn’t look like the Kilg%re of old, and doesn’t have much in common with the original version. This one appears to be powered by New God tech. What a bummer.
Kilg%re is one of the most interesting and underutilized concepts in the DCU, and the name is super awesome if you ask me. After all, if there is this evil thing living inside the internet and slowly draining the world of electrical power while trying to cause an event that would kill off humanity, that sure as hell isn’t the kind of story you just toss out there. That’s an event series (HINT HINT DC EDITORIAL).
After all, that's what the internet is, right? This thing that sucks our energy and makes us all pissed off all the time. A place where a man with the launch codes makes fun of other world leaders on Twitter while crying about people not being nice to him. Maybe Kilg%re pulled off the ultimate supervillain move and jumped from the four color pages of the comics to the real world, like a demented Captain N.