The Flash has gone in many wild directions over the years, and fans don't need to worry that the producers have run out of ideas now that we're heading into the fifth season. A brand new supervillain is on the way, and he thankfully won't be Speedster Supervillain #4. No, the big bad will be Cicada, and while he's largely shrouded in mystery at this point, executive producer Todd Helbing has shared that Cicada will be different from all the big bads that came before, saying this:
His endgame isn't about The Flash. It's more of a bigger-scale issue. A big part of the story of this season [is about] the metas, where they got their powers from, and it's tied into everybody's journey this year. Cicada's powers are different than DeVoe's [and] any of the speedsters in the way they affect our team.
The show may be called The Flash, but Season 5's supervillain won't be all about taking down the Scarlet Speedster specifically. Confrontations between the two and their pals are inevitable, given that Barry will certainly take issue with Cicada's plan. Nevertheless, Cicada isn't solely focused on Barry and Team Flash. Although he has powers, they won't be the same as what the good guys faced with The Thinker or any of the speedsters who came before. Whatever Cicada brings to the table, Team Flash probably won't be already equipped to deal with it, and the previous season didn't drop any clues.
Todd Helbing's comments to TVLine support the description of Cicada released in the summer, in which he was described as a "grizzled, blue-collar everyman whose family has been torn apart by metahumans." In response to the tragedy, Cicada's mission is to "exterminate the epidemic" of metahumans, even if he has to do it one at a time. The description makes it quite clear that The Flash will take liberties with Cicada's backstory from the comics, although we shouldn't rule out the possibility that the tragedy that tore his family apart was actually due to Cicada's own action. He doesn't sound especially sane; if he has powers, could he be considered a meta as well?
The fact that Cicada will want to take out all the metas in Central City rather than just The Flash could mean more stories for characters like Cisco, Caitlin, and the newly Batman-like Ralph, on top of any metas of the week who pop up. Of course, Barry and Iris will be busy, what with the arrival of adult daughter Nora from the future, and one of them won't have the easiest time with her.
The good news is that Nora will apparently introduce Barry to the iconic Flash ring (and perhaps that fancy new suit); the bad news is that nothing good ever comes of an Allen messing with time, even if Nora is half Iris. The other metas of Team Flash could be called upon to deal with Cicada while Barry and Iris deal with their daughter. Find out when The Flash premieres as part of the fall TV lineup on Tuesday, October 9 at 8 p.m. ET.