Dark matter is the collective term given to subatomic particles which are capable of altering a human's biological structure to turn them into meta-humans and allow them to develop superpowers. The vast majority of dark matter in the series was released from the S.T.A.R. Labs particle accelerator explosion in 2013, though there have been other sources of dark matter too.
On December 11th, 2013, the S.T.A.R. Labs particle accelerator activated for the first time, but due to sabotage from Eobard Thawne ends up causing an explosion which releases dark matter all over Central City. Many who got exposed to the dark matter wave ended up developing powers and became meta-humans, including Barry Allen who would become The Flash. Many of those who became meta-humans would go on to use their powers to commit crimes.
On Earth-2, there was a similar explosion with the S.T.A.R. Labs particle accelerator. Dr. Harrison Wells attempted to minimize the damage by directing the dark matter wave underground to limit people's exposure to it. However, there were still many people exposed and turned into meta-humans as a result.
Clifford DeVoe manipulated Team Flash to release The Flash from the Speed Force by sending the Samuroid to attack Central City. At the breach where Barry returned from the Speed Force, DeVoe had orchestrated for Central City Bus 405 to be right underneath. This exposed everyone on board to the dark matter and each of them in turn became meta-humans with powers that DeVoe had carefully anticipated.
Harry Wells created his own version of a Thinking Cap in order to combat the Thinker. However wanting to further charge up the Thinking Cap, Harry used dark matter to further enhance it and empower his intelligence. The addition of dark matter ended up having a detrimental effect on his neurons and caused him to lose his intelligence.
During the Enlightenment, DeVoe launched five satellites (one of which Barry Allen destroyed, prompting DeVoe to use the S.T.A.R. Labs satellite to replace the one Barry had eliminated) which Clifford then loaded with dark matter in an attempt to reset the minds of everyone on Earth. However, after the Enlightenment was thwarted by Team Flash, DeVoe instead sent the S.T.A.R. plummeting towards Central City. Barry (with the help of Nora West-Allen) manage to destroy the satellite, but as a result dark matter infused debris rained down upon Central City and created meta-tech as well as more meta-humans.
Ramsey Rosso attempted to create a cure for HLH using dark matter as a binding agent. This led to him becoming the meta-human known as Bloodwork who was able to spread his dark matter tainted blood to infect others.
Known individuals affected by dark matter
- Adam Fells/Geomancer (deceased)
- Shay Lamden/King Shark
- Laurel Lance/Black Siren/Black Canary
- Linda Park/Dr. Light
- Dante Ramon/Rupture (deceased)
- Francisco Ramon/Reverb (deceased)
- Ronnie Raymond/Deathstorm (deceased)
- Al Rothstein/Atom-Smasher (deceased)
- Eddie Slick/Sand Demon (deceased)
- Caitlin Snow/Killer Frost (deceased)
- Martin Stein/Deathstorm (deceased)
- Harry Wells (via Thinking Cap; alive inside Harrison Nash Wells' mind)
- Jesse Wells (status unknown)
- Hunter Zolomon/The Flash/Zoom/Black Flash (deceased)
Known objects affected by dark matter
- Lightning dagger
- Cicada's kukris
- Spencer Young's phone
- Weather staff
- Raya Van Zandt's fob
- Mirror gun
- Weather staff
DC's Legends of Tomorrow
Behind the scenes
- In the real world, dark matter is a form of matter thought to account for approximately 85% of the matter in the universe and about a quarter of its total mass–energy density or about 2.241×10⁻²⁷ kg/m³. It is named as such due to the fact it is invisible and in all respects undetectable aside from the gravitational force it leaves upon normal matter.