Base of Operations: 38th Century
First Appearance: Showcase #4 (1956)
The 38th-Century thief Mazdan was sentenced to exile through time into the 50th Century, an era in which Earth would become a barren wasteland. Something went wrong, and he instead arrived in the past. His capsule crash-landed on the outskirts of Central City in the 20th century.
He began collecting the materials he needed to repair his vehicle: various mundane objects, and gold for shielding. He used a “magnetic rod” to pull objects through the air and to generate rings of intense heat (both as a weapon and as a way to break through walls). He also had a contact lens that could focus light enough to melt metal.
The thefts were enough for the Flash to get involved but when the hero learned that Mazdan’s launch would create a ten-mile wide crater, endangering thousands of lives, he decided to take Mazdan back to his home era himself...and hand him back to the authorities (Showcase #4, 1956).
Years later, Mazdan escaped from prison and made his way back to the 20th century for revenge. He launched an assault on the Flash’s sensory system, causing the speedster to experience bizarre illusions: dancing with his fellow Justice Leaguers like children, seeing the Allens’ boarder Stacy Conwell practicing black magic, even confrontations with Mazdan himself that existed only in his mind.
To make matters worse, the Rogues had created a weapon—the “Roscoe Award,” named after the recently-deceased Top—which induced a post-hypnotic suggestion forcing the Flash to retrace his steps in the middle of any confrontation. The Flash found himself unable to distinguish fantasy from reality, ultimately regressing several years in his mind. Disguised as the Top (whom Barry believed to still be alive), Mazdan took advantage of the speedster’s lowered level of experience, and nearly defeated him...until Mazdan’s spinning attack shocked the Flash’s mind back to reality (Flash v.1 #254–256, 1977).
Mazdan was returned to prison, though it is not clear whether he was sent back to the future or not.Text by Kelson Vibber. Do not copy without permission.
- Showcase #4 (October 1956) - Carmine Infantino & Joe Kubert
- Showcase #4 (October 1956): “The Man Who Broke the Time Barrier,” John Broome
- Flash #254 (October 1977): “To Believe or Not to Believe!” Cary Bates
- Flash #255 (November 1977): “Flashback to Danger!” Cary Bates
- Flash #256 (December 1977): “Prisoner of the Past,” Cary Bates
Mazdan was the second villain ever to tangle with the Silver-Age Flash (at least as far as publishing history is concerned), appearing in the second story in the first comic book in which Barry Allen appeared. It also marks the first story in which this Flash traveled through time...and he didn’t need the cosmic treadmill.
Mazdan’s original story is very similar to that of the Golden-Age villain Dmane, a criminal from the future who accidentally landed in 1946 and made use of his future technology before the Flash returned him to his home time. Abra Kadabra is also similar in concept, but his first appearance followed a different plot.