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Arrowverse Wiki
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 from which Nora West-Allen originated, 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]


On the day of the Enlightenment, Hersch was present in Central City. However, he was not hit by any debris from the fallen satellite, because the shrapnel which was originally destined to hit him had its course changed due to XS's time-traveling to help the Flash destroy the aforementioned satellite. Due to this, the shrapnel hit 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" whom they encountered.[1]

Erased future

In the timeline that Nora West-Allen hails from, where Barry originally destroyed the falling S.T.A.R. Labs satellite without her assistance, the trajectory of the Lightning 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, Hersch began to target and kill meta-humans, with his first victim being Floyd Belkin, thus becoming Cicada. Because of his actions, the Flash and his team clashed with Hersch several times, but were never able to catch him. During this time, the Flash's allies Green Arrow, Supergirl, the Legends, and the League also began trying to catch him, but were also unsuccessful. There were several inquiries into Cicada's true identity, in which a 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 on Cicada in his crime lab, some with evidence, but ultimately no final conclusion. At some point, Hersch disappeared and his dagger somehow ended up in Iron Heights.[1][3][4]

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

In 2034, after Eobard Thawne was incarcerated and forced to wear his dagger, he became determined to change history so that Team Flash could defeat Cicada and destroy the dagger. He manipulated Nora into helping Barry destroying the Thinker's satellite so someone else would 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 convince Orlin to seek redemption by giving up the Cicada mantle and mission. However, Orlin's actions prompted his niece, Grace Gibbons, to take up his crusade in the new future. Grace traveled back in time to try and stop Team Flash, but they still defeated her and ended up having to destroy the dagger anyway in order to rid Grace of her powers.[4]

By the 22nd century in the now-erased future that Thawne hails from,[5] Thawne gained knowledge about Hersch and that he was not defeated by Team Flash, citing him as the "one who got away".[6]

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. However, since Nora West-Allen changed the timeline by helping her father destroy the falling satellite, the trajectory of the piece of shrapnel that became the dagger was altered so that Orlin Dwyer was hit by that shard of the satellite instead, resulting in the latter becoming Cicada instead of Hersch.[1]


  • 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: Being an expert on explosives, he uses them to commit his acts of terrorism.[1]

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"​.