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For the time-traveling speedster who stole his identity, see Eobard Thawne.


"I'm the original."
—Harrison Wells to Team Flash[src]

Dr. Harrison Wells (died April 16, 2000,[1] resurrected shortly thereafter[2]) is a brilliant scientist, the husband of Tess Morgan, an identity theft victim of Eobard Thawne/Reverse-Flash, and an ally of Team Flash.

In the original Earth-1 timeline, he would found S.T.A.R. Labs with his wife and launched his particle accelerator by 2020, and is implied that he was the reason behind Barry Allen's powers as the Flash. However, Thawne would learn of this knowledge, and would travel back to April 16, 2000 and murder both Harrison and Tess. His murderer used a device to steal the former's appearance and identity, right down to matching DNA and lived the next 15 years stealing his idea as S.T.A.R. Labs' founder and revealing the particle accelerator in 2013 and causing an explosion responsible for various metahumans' powers. As Team Flash became more and more suspicious, Joe West and Cisco Ramon discovered the body of the real Harrison, answering suspicions.

In the Earth-Prime timeline, Harrison's life played out the same and he was still murdered, but he was resurrected through particles left behind after his other doppelgängers' sacrifice. Being given the name Timeless Wells, Harrison assisted Team Flash on occasion before traveling back in time to relive the moments he had with his late wife before his time comes for good.

Biography

Original multiverse

Early life

"Research laboratories unconnected to the government, unconnected to any business interests or any of that kind of stuff. And then we build right downtown in the heart of the city, in the epicenter, and we become the heart of the city. We become the heart of the nation. We change the way you think about the sciences, and then..."
—Dr. Harrison Wells to Tess Morgan on his ultimate dream[src]

Harrison and Tess.

Harrison originally lived in Starling City and became a well-respected yet eccentric scientist. He was good friends with equally devoted scientists Tina McGee[3] and Tess Morgan, the latter of which he fell in love with and eventually married. In 2000, Harrison had an idea for a laboratory and discussed this concept with Tess while on a date at the beach, which made Tess smile. Harrison wanted to name the laboratory after Tess but she suggested the name "S.T.A.R Labs".[4]

Death

Harrison killed by Eobard.

In 2000, while driving home after their date on the beach, Harrison unknowingly drove into spike strips set by Eobard Thawne, causing an accident which totaled their vehicle, killed Tess instantly, and injured Harrison. In shock, Harrison is pulled from the car and told of his apparent future success by Thawne. Claiming a need to do these actions much sooner, Thawne used a futuristic device, completely dissolving Harrison into a decayed, featureless corpse in a matter of seconds as his murderer took on his likeness.[4] Afterward, Thawne buried Harrison's body nearby[5][6] and pretended to crawl out from the wrecked vehicle as first responders arrived, with Thawne identifying himself as Wells.[4]

Original timeline

According to Eobard, Harrison and Tess went on to build S.T.A.R. Labs and successfully unleashed the particle accelerator in 2020 which changed the course of history. Harrison was somehow connected to the famous superhero known as the Flash, and whose legacy would inspire Thawne in the 22nd century to replicate these powers as the Reverse-Flash.[4]

New multiverse

Early life

In the Earth-Prime timeline that resulted from the Anti-Monitor Crisis, Harrison's life seems to have played out the same.[2] Around 1996, he got together with Tess and were married sometime after. Presumably, he was planning to build and found S.T.A.R. Labs.[7]

Death and resurrection

Harrison resurrected.

He and Tess were still murdered by Eobard Thawne in 2000, but he was resurrected a few moments afterward by particles left behind by Harrison Nash Wells's sacrifice for the artificial Speed Force's creation.[2] He would theorize that his existence was to cover the general existence of Harrison Wells in the timeline as a sort-of balancing act by the universe.[7]

Restoring the Speed Force

After his resurrection, Harrison discovered he had an imprint of all of his other doppelgängers' memories, such as memories of Cisco Ramon and Allegra Garcia and memories involving Barry Allen/The Flash. He also discovered he could time travel to any point within his 92 year long lifespan, but could not change his past. Harrison used his newfound powers and knowledge to travel to 2020 to help Team Flash in defeating Eva McCulloch/Mirror Monarch, but not before first meeting Barry and greets Team Flash. Now dubbed "Timeless Wells" by Cisco, Harrison assists Team Flash in restoring the Speed Force with Iris West-Allen which enables Barry and Team Flash to defeat Eva. While restoring the Speed Force, Harrison looks off to his left at something unusual.[7]

Returning to the past

Harrison travels back in time.

After Eva returned to the Mirrorverse, he said his goodbyes to Team Flash and notably Allegra and Cisco before he traveled back in time to relive the four years he had with his late wife over and over again before his time comes for good.[7]

Assisting Team Flash again

Harrison's beachside home in the year 2000.

Wells traveled back to live his newfound life with Tess and by 2000, was living in a house by the Starling City Beach. While settling down to watch TV, Barry travels back in time to ask for Harrison's help in erasing the other Forces: Still, Strength, and Sage, from existence. Harrison would travel back to the present with Barry, which for them was only seventeen days since restoring the Speed Force. Barry, Harrison, and Chester agreed that traveling back to the creation of the Forces and collecting the particles before they could be released would effectively erase them from existence. However, Cisco believed that removing the Forces would cause unforeseen consequences in the timeline. However, Barry was able to convince him to try and Harrison was able to take Barry back to the creation of the Forces.

Harrison sees his future self.

It would be revealed that what the past version of Harrison was looking at when recreating the Speed Force was the present Harrison and Barry who were collecting the Force particles. Harrison and Barry went on the roof with the collection device and Barry immersed himself in the particles to collect them. However, Barry would decide to allow the particles to create the other Forces, citing Cisco was correct and it would erase the physical manifestations of the Forces from existence.

Afterwards, Harrison tells Cisco that all the Wells taught Cisco just as much as Cisco taught them. Cisco decides he may need to leave Central City. With that, Harrison returned to the past with a wave.[8]

Legacy

Original multiverse

Harrison's identity and ambitions used by Eobard.

In 2014, Thawne used Harrison's emotions of Tess's death as a cover story when speaking to Joe West, moving away from Starling City because of too many reminders of Tess.[6][9] Unknown to Thawne, Tina somehow knew something wasn't right after Tess's death, as Harrison and Tina were good friends, revealing this to Barry in 2015.[3] Joe and Cisco went to Starling City to do research on the car accident, ultimately discovering the real Harrison's corpse. Joe kept this a secret for the safety of Iris and others, though the discovery was shared with Barry and Caitlin Snow, with Harrison's corpse being brought to Central City.[6]

Harrison would occasionally be mentioned in comparison to his doppelgängers who would subsequently be on Earth-1. When Team Flash initially met Harry Wells of Earth-2, Cisco and Joe unfortunately compared Harry to Thawne, while Caitlin remembered Harry would actually be Harrison's doppelgänger.[10] Harry later suspected the Reverse-Flash's first time-travel trip to 2016 and interactions would factor into Harrison's murder.[11] In 2017, H.R. Wells of Earth-19 trying to bond with Harry had H.R. wondering about their Earth-1 doppelgänger; H.R. could've been referring to Harrison but Harry thought about Thawne.[12] Thawne jokingly referred to Harrison's face as "handsome" when taunting the Flash during Earth-X's invasion of Earth-1.[13] Thawne also remembered Harrison's love for Tess when suggesting in 2049 to Nora West-Allen to help Harrison Sherloque Wells fall in love in 2019 as a distraction.[14]

Personality

Harrison talks to Tess.

Unlike most of Harrison's other doppelgangers, as well as his murderer/impersonator, Eobard Thawne, he is a very kind and open-minded individual with a cheerful nature.[3] An optimistic scientist and loving husband, he showed and spoke of his dreams for the future while also being romantic with Tess Morgan, who he wanted S.T.A.R. Labs to be named after.

Despite having far-reaching visions for the future, Harrison is also humble, not knowing exactly how to react when Tess complimented him. Harrison is clearly very much in love with Tess; he expressed only concern for her and none for himself after Eobard's crash.[4] After his resurrection, Harrison showed to quickly adjust to his new existence, desiring only to help other individuals as he joined Team Flash. Afterwards, with his new-found powers, Harrison chose to spend a constant loop of the four years he had with his wife in the past until he finally passes on naturally.[7]

Powers and abilities

Powers

  • Meta-human physiology: After all the other Wells of the multiverse sacrificed themselves to power the artificial Speed Force machine, their remaining particles were harnessed to resurrect Harrison. He theorizes that reality used temporal coalescence from Crisis as a means to restore balance for the general existence of Harrison Wells in all the multiverse. His resurrection also came with heightened capacities.
    • Chronological manipulation: Harrison became able to simultaneously perceive every moment of his life from when he was born and to when he was biologically destined to die (92 years old). Likewise, he can instantly immerse himself into any point of time between those moments. However, he notes that he cannot go past either point. Also, regardless of what point in time he enters, his lifespan will continue as normal until finally reaching his end.
    • Imprinted memories: Harrison was granted the various memories of all the other Wells; letting Harrison know everything about each of them as if he lived their respective lives and likewise is able to differentiate between each of them.

Abilities

  • Genius-level intellect/Master scientist: Harrison's intelligence proved instrumental in helping Team Flash to revive the Speed Force.[7]

Appearances

The Flash

Season 1

Season 2

Season 3

Season 4

Season 5

Season 6

Season 7


Arrow

Season 6

Novels

The Chronicles of Cisco

Trivia

  • Harrison wore translucent-framed glasses, while Eobard wore dark-framed glasses when impersonating him.
  • Harrison is the third character in the Arrowverse to have an episode ("Who is Harrison Wells?") named after him in a civilian sense, after Sara Lance ("Sara") and Felicity Smoak ("The Secret Origin of Felicity Smoak").
  • In a deleted scene from "The Man in the Yellow Suit", Tina McGee told Eobard Thawne in his Harrison Wells persona, "You have never let anything get beyond your control." This implies that the real Harrison liked to have control of situations.
    • This is further emphazised when Harrison, just resurrected, helped Team Flash and commented about the way they operated in order to power up the artificial Speed Force machine so that Barry can get his speed back, saying that "this is a huge gamble" and stating that if Barry is wrong,"that much contact with that much unrefined power" will split his atoms in two.
  • In a deleted scene from "Fast Enough", Eobard revealed to Joe West that Harrison's thoughts, memories, and love for Tess would occasionally cause Eobard to become teary-eyed despite his never knowing Tess.
  • Like Eddie Thawne, Harrison's fate is largely unknown during the Flashpoint timeline but it can be presumed that he and Tess Morgan were still alive since Eobard was prevented from committing the murder.
  • Harrison was one of three individuals who have an encounter with Eobard involving identity theft. The other two are Martin Stein and John Swigert.[15][16]
  • Despite the fact that Eobard's disguise tarnished Harrison's reputation, it seems to have been reconsidered, as Eobard's prison guard, Trevor Shinick, called him "Thawne" despite his still wearing Harrison's face. This implies that from 2034 to 2049, Central City knew the truth behind Wells' sudden change thanks to the Flash Museum or the CCPD.
  • In "Mother", which takes place in 2020, Harrison helps reactivate the Speed Force. This parallels the original timeline, in which Harrison and Tess launched the S.T.A.R. Labs particle accelerator in 2020, which is presumably what created the Speed Force in the first place.[4]

Behind the scenes

  • Harrison Wells uses elements of several DC comics characters:
    • A character only known as "Dr. Wells", who briefly appeared in the tie-in DC comic book of the 1990s The Flash TV series titled, "The Quick and the Dead" (January, 1991).
    • Even before that, a villainous character also known as Dr. Wells, sporting similar looks, appeared in the 1973-1985 animated series Super Friends episode "Elevator to Nowhere".
    • Harrison's overall characterization resembles Garrison Slate, the creator of S.T.A.R. Labs. Both wanted a government-free network of laboratories.
  • When asked about which Wells he would play in Season 3 of The Flash and if he would be this version, Tom Cavanagh said "This guy won't be that guy. If the show has strengths, I would argue that we're not repeating ourselves generally, and specifically I'm trying not to repeat myself."[17]
  • Grant Gustin has stated this version of Harrison Wells is "arguably — and I personally say without a doubt — the most epic and iconic character [Tom Cavanagh]’s played on the show". He also stated this is "a character that I know Tom loves to portray, but as usual it’s going to be Harrison Wells with a twist, and we will get to see Tom do something brand new again with this character."[18]

References

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