For other uses of Cicada, see Cicada (disambiguation).
For the faculty member of Central City University, see Hersch.

"I've captured 37 Cicadas, 37 different Earths, and every time I try to capture him trail always leads back to that Earth's David Hersch."
Harrison Sherloque Wells[src]

David Hersch is a former terrorist in Central City. In the erased timeline that Nora West-Allen hailed from Hersch became the serial killer known as Cicada, instead of Orlin Dwyer or Grace Gibbons.


Terrorist acts

At some point prior to 2018, Hersch committed a number of terrorist acts in secret, including several anti-government bombings.[1]


During the day of the Enlightenment, Hersch was present in Central City. However, he was not hit by any piece of the fallen satellite, because the piece that was originally in course to hit him had his course changed due to XS's time travel to help the Flash destroy the aforementioned satellite, with the piece hitting Orlin Dwyer instead.[2]


In October 2018, The Flash and XS broke into Hersch's hideout thanks to Harrison Sherloque Wells' "deduction" that he was the meta-human criminal known as "Cicada". The Flash and XS deactivated Hersch's explosive traps and proceeded to arrest him. Hersch was then taken into custody by the CCPD for the bombings he had committed in the past, but Barry confirmed that Hersch was not the same person as the "Cicada" that they encountered.[1]

Erased future

In the timeline that Nora West-Allen hails from, because Barry punched the falling S.T.A.R. Labs satellite without Nora's assistance, the trajectory of the dagger was never altered and it hit Hersch, granting him his powers, including a mental link to the dagger itself. At some point after this, for unknown reasons, he began to chase and kill meta-humans, with his first victim being a meta-human named Floyd Belkin, thus becoming Cicada. Because of his actions, the Flash and his team clashed with him several times, in which they are not able to catch him. During this time, Flash's allies Green Arrow, Supergirl, the Legends and the League also started trying to catch him, however no one couldn't apprehend Hersch. Several people began to question who Cicada was, in which an newspaper of him, headlined "Who is Cicada?", ended up in the Hall of Villains section of the Flash Museum. Barry also had several notes and theories in his crime lab, with some of these theories having evidence, but without reaching any final result. At some point Hersch vanished and his dagger somehow ended up in Iron Heights.[3][4][5]

Cicada (David Hersch)

A newspaper titled "Who is Cicada", inside the Hall of Villains.

However, after Eobard Thawne was incarcerated in 2034 and was forced to wear his dagger, Thawne was determined to change history so that Team Flash could defeat Cicada and destroy his dagger. He manipulated Nora into destroying the Thinker's satellite alongside Barry because it would cause someone else to become Cicada instead of Hersch; thereby creating a Cicada they'd be able to stop. Thawne's plan worked as the team was able to talk Orlin Dwyer into redeeming himself and giving up the Cicada identity and mission, although it also caused Dwyer's niece Grace Gibbons to become another Cicada in the new future and travel back in time to try stopping them, but the team still defeated her and ended up having to destroy the dagger anyway in order to rid Grace-Cicada of her powers.[6]

By twenty-second century in the now-erased future that Eobard Thawne hails from, Thawne gained knowledge about Hersch and that he was not defeated by Team Flash, citing him as the "one who got away".[7]

Powers and abilities

Erased future powers

  • Meta-human physiology: When Hersch was hit by a dark matter shard from the failed Enlightenment in the original timeline, his DNA was altered, enabling him to access his newfound powers.
    • Lightning dagger-bond: The accident with the dark matter satellite gave Hersch a psionic connection to a lightning bolt-shaped dagger that impaled him from the falling satellite. This connection prevents anyone but him from lifting said dagger and likewise allows him to telekinetic manipulate as he pleases. Because of Nora West-Allen's time travel that changed the timeline, David was never hit by a piece of a satellite in the current timeline and then he never becomes Cicada.


  • Explosives expert: Hersch displayed an expertise with bombs, having committed multiple bombings in the past. He even rigged his hideout with advanced explosives.[1]


  • Explosives:

Erased future equipment

  • Meta-tech Lightning dagger: Through his signature dagger, David is able to perform a number of feats. As it glows to produce red electricity, he can generate powerful force fields, and also negate the powers of other meta-humans created by exposure to dark matter


The Flash

Season 5


Behind the scenes

  • In the DC comics, David Hersch is a Charles Manson-like serial killer, cult leader and villain of the Flash (Wally West) known as Cicada, who drained energy from killing people with lightning-shaped daggers.
    • This original version of Cicada is depicted on one of the comic books in "Memorabilia"​ with Wally, Magenta, and the rest of his cult.
  • A character known as Hersch was previously mentioned in season 3's "I Know Who You Are"​.


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