- "You didn't stop to think about what your particle accelerator could do to others. You only thought about what it could do for you."
- —Griffin Grey to Harry Wells[src]
Griffin Grey (1997– April 26, 2016) was a meta-human who had super strength, but using said strength left him with accelerated aging. Enraged at the actions of "Dr. Harrison Wells," who allowed the particle accelerator explosion to affect so many innocent people like himself, Griffin kidnapped a Harrison Wells from an alternate universe, not realizing the man's innocence of Earth-1's "Wells's" misdeeds.
Particle accelerator explosion
Seeking a cure
Grey kidnapped Harry, took him to the Central City Amusement Park and tried to force him to change him back to his younger form and reverse the particle accelerator's actions. Even when Wells explained he couldn't do it, Grey threatened to kill him. Later, Grey broke into a chemical factory, and when Barry Allen, Joe West and Cisco Ramon showed up, Grey began throwing barrels at them, intent on driving them out. He threw a barrel at Barry and succeeded in hitting him, but then aged much more than his previous form.
He later watched Wells work while he was working, and gave Griffin a drink that he told him was the cure. However, Griffin wised up to the trick, and then punched Wells. Then he saw the Flash on the security monitors and walked down to meet him, also throwing a barrel at Joe. He then repetitively punched the Flash, while aging constantly to the point he died of old age. Following his death, Grey reverted back to his original young age, although by that time it was too late to save him.
Although Harry was innocent of Eobard Thawne's misdeeds (under the guise of Harrison Wells), Griffin's tragic story prompted him to think about the dangers his own S.T.A.R. Labs particle accelerator brought upon the unsuspecting world. Deciding that he owes the multiverse for pursuing in his recklessness, Harry decided to organize a recreation of the experiment that gave Barry Allen his powers of Speed Force conduit. Said experiment ended up successful, although it temporarily erased Barry from existence, trapping him inside the Speed Force.
Powers and abilities
- Meta-human physiology: After Griffin was struck by the energy of the Particle Accelerator explosion, this altered his DNA and supercharged his cells, augmenting his physiology into beyond peak human condition.
- Superhuman mobility: The effect on Griffin's strength allowed him to move faster and with greater coordination. This is seen when The Flash tried to shoot Griffin with the Mercury Labs Energy Rifle, only for the latter to quickly dodge the shot and tauntingly say, "Too slow".
- Superhuman strength: Due to the functional myostatin in his cells being essentially gone, Griffin's overall physical strength became superhuman. He became strong enough to effortlessly crush rock and metal objects, as well as lift objects as large and heavy as metal barrels or bumper cars as if they were weightless, and throw them across the length of a warehouse. He was even able to take the full force of a van, while he only left behind slight traces of blood.
- Accelerated aging: Using his strength came at a cost that would age Griffin little bit every time. The more he exerted himself, the faster he aged, which was due to a combination of the protein in his DNA being ravaged by oxidants and his suffering from oxidative stress. This side effect had progressed so far that, while Griffin was chronologically 18, he physically progressed to his mid-30s after two years of living with his powers. Eventually, after repeatedly exerting himself, Griffin was transformed into an old man.
- Griffin is one of, if not the most, sympathetic villains the series has had thus far. As he showed no previous villainous acts or evil intent and had a good life before the first particle accelerator explosion. He also didn't want to do something like robbing banks or hurting innocent people without motive, His only crime is kidnapping and he had said that he would release Harry after he fixed him. Making his story a somewhat tragedy.
Behind the scenes
- In the DC comics, Griffin Grey was a former friend of Bart Allen, the fourth Flash, and later became his enemy; however, the key difference between the two incarnations of the character is that the Griffin portrayed in the comics had abilities beyond super strength and accelerated aging. He wielded a wide array of powers, including a disintegrating touch and energy absorption.
- Griffin Grey in the series is one of, if not the most, sympathetic villains the series has had thus far. As he had no previous evil actions and had a good life before the first Particle Accelerator explosion. He also did not want to do anything criminal like robbing banks or hurting people without cause. He had stated while fighting Barry, Joe and Cisco that that he would release Harry after he was done with him. But since Harry was unable to fix Grey. He attempted to murder them because he was going to die anyway. Making his story in the series something of a tragedy.