Invasion and Exile
During the 1940s, an amphibious race invaded the world of Savoth, ruthlessly suppressing all resistance. As they neared complete conquest, the defenders brought the original Flash, Jay Garrick, to their world. The speedster rallied the population, turning the tide and driving off the “swamp invaders” in a matter of weeks (Flash v.2 #233, 2007).
Remnants of the invading army retreated to the world’s swamps, making occasional guerrilla strikes with cobbled-together technology over the next few decades. They blamed the Flash personally for their reversal of fortune—any Flash. One agent even attempted to assassinate the Flash’s successor, Barry Allen (Flash v.2 #234, 2008).
Decades later, the last surviving invader desperately sought to use Savothian technology to return home. He attacked the scientist Gorflack, not realizing that what he wanted was beyond their knowledge. As it happened, the intervention of Wally West and Impulse gave him what he wanted. His adapted weapon overloaded with speed force energy, triggering a dimensional warp that sent him home (Flash v.2 #235, 2008).
The speed force did more than simply send him home. It altered him physically and at a genetic level, and accelerated his life-cycle. Soon, the entire population was transformed*. Where before they had been round, squat, and essentially humanoid, they were now tentacled and cyclopean, with at least two classes: a stooped form with a huge mouth and eye set into the upper chest, and an upright form with a distinct head, smaller mouth, and separate eye. Instead of communicating by sound, they communicated through chemical emissions that produced vivid mental images. To survive on land, they had to drain water from their environment. Only two individuals of the upright form have been seen: the original mutant, and his direct descendant, suggesting a ruling class.
Five generations went by in a handful of Earth years. Their descendants remembered the transformation of their race as a disaster inflicted by the people of Savoth, a genetic invasion. Over time, they reverse-engineered their one sample of speed force technology to produce a dimensional key of their own. They used it to home in on the key which the Flash used to travel between dimensions, and invaded Earth beginning with Keystone City (Flash v.2 #231–236, 2007–2008).
The Flash (Wally West) repelled an initial skirmish, but they quickly regrouped, luring the Justice League through the portal into their own aquatic realm. They struck the city hard, draining all the water from their surroundings—and from the people who stood in their way. The key to stopping the invasion was a captured weapon, which Linda recognized as Savothian technology. On learning the invaders’ history, the Flash destroyed his own dimensional key. The alien army was shunted back to their homeworld, unable to return to Earth.Text by Kelson Vibber. Do not copy without permission.
- Original Form: Flash (second series) #233 (December 2007) - Doug Braithwaite & Alex Sinclair
- Mutated Form: Flash (second series) #232 (November 2007) - Daniel Acuña
- Flash #231–236 (October 2007–March 2008): “The Wild Wests,” Mark Waid
- Flash #233–235 (December 2007–March 2008): “The Fast Life” parts 1–3, Mark Waid & John Rogers
*It’s not clear whether the effect of the speed force was literally contagious, or whether the original carrier simply out-bred the rest of the planet’s population. Their leader during the invasion of Earth describes it cryptically: “Your speed force is a plague. His offspring spread the contamination...accelerated our lifespans a dozenfold.”
The species has been variously depicted with green, purple, and gray skin...but always all the same color.