David Hersch as Cicada.
Art by Sean Phillips.
Publication information
PublisherDC Comics
First appearanceThe Flash (vol. 2) #171 (April 2001)
Created byGeoff Johns
Scott Kolins
In-story information
Alter egoDavid Hersch
Team affiliationsSecret Society of Super Villains
  • Energy stealing
  • Regeneration
  • Immortality

Cicada (David Hersch) is a fictional character appearing in American comic books published by DC Comics.

Different incarnations of Cicada appeared in the fifth season of The Flash, portrayed by Chris Klein and Sarah Carter.

Publication history

The character first appeared in The Flash (vol. 2) #171 (April 2001), created by Geoff Johns and Scott Kolins.[1]

Fictional character biography

Born in 1890, David Hersch was an architect and preacher at St. John's Catholic Church, though prone to paranoid, violent outbursts that often took the form of physical abuse of his wife Elizabeth Hersch. After murdering his wife, Hersch (sick with regret) sought to end his own life, when he was struck by a bolt of lightning. He discovered that he had gained the ability to absorb the life-force of others, extending his life-span almost a century. He believed the accident was the same as the Flash's and that they should be linked. The lightning bolt gave him a vision of his own immortality and foretold his wife's resurrection.

Over the subsequent years he operated as the cult leader "Cicada", accumulating many followers planning for the day he would resurrect his wife. Cicada's cult followers were dedicated to use lightning bolt shaped daggers to murder every one that the Flash has ever saved. He teams up with Magenta and manages to kidnap the Flash. Cicada reveals to Wally West that his wife was murdered and he was struck by lightning. Cicada saw a vision that he was destined to live on, together with his wife. By taking the energy left over from all the people the Flash has saved and from the Flash himself, Cicada succeeded in bringing his wife back from the dead. However, Elizabeth revealed that she was murdered by Cicada. Cicada denied this and killed his wife yet again by absorbing Elizabeth's energy through a kiss. He was eventually stopped by the Flash and Detective Jared Morillo and Officer Fred Chyre, though not before he managed to slash Morillo with his knife. This gave Morillo the ability to heal rapidly from any injury, similar to Cicada's own.[2]

Cicada was put on death row in Iron Heights pending confirmation by S.T.A.R. Labs that he could even be killed in the first place, but escaped during Gorilla Grodd's jailbreak.[3]

Cicada later appeared at Captain Boomerang's funeral after Identity Crisis and accepted an invitation to join Alexander Luthor, Jr.'s Secret Society of Super-Villains during the "Infinite Crisis" storyline.[4]

During the "Salvation Run" storyline, Cicada is one of the various super criminals sent to the penal colony on the planet Cygnus 4019, which has been nicknamed Salvation.[5]

Powers and abilities

Cicada has the ability to steal the life-force of other living beings and use it to prolong his own life and regenerate physical damage. Cicada is an immortal and cannot die.


David Hersch carries two hilted blades capable of absorbing the life force of its victims and resurrecting the dead.

In other media

Orlin Dwyer/Cicada
Grace Gibbons/Cicada
Chris Klein as Orlin Dwyer (top) and Sarah Carter as Grace Gibbons (bottom), the two incarnations of Cicada in The Flash.

Multiple incarnations of Cicada appear in the fifth season of The Flash:


  1. ^ Wallace, Dan (2008), "Cicada", in Dougall, Alastair (ed.), The DC Comics Encyclopedia, New York: Dorling Kindersley, p. 82, ISBN 978-0-7566-4119-1, OCLC 213309017
  2. ^ The Flash (vol. 2) #171. DC Comics.
  3. ^ The Flash (vol. 2) #192. DC Comics.
  4. ^ Villains United #1. DC Comics
  5. ^ Salvation Run #3 (March 2008). DC Comics.
  6. ^ Schwartz, Ryan (July 21, 2018). "The Flash Casts Chris Klein as DC Supervillain Cicada in Season 5". TVLine. Archived from the original on July 22, 2018. Retrieved October 29, 2018.
  7. ^ "(#521) "The Girl With The Red Lightning"". The Futon Critic. Retrieved April 19, 2019.
  8. ^ Parker, Malasha (October 30, 2018). "The Flash – The Death of Vibe". Starry Constellation Magazine. Retrieved May 28, 2019.