On the night of December 11, 2013 when the S.T.A.R. Labs particle accelerator exploded, Hynde was affected by the dark matter shockwave, transforming him into a meta-human. However, these powers also granted him a grotesque appearance. Hynde then stopped going to work, resulting in him getting fired. He fled into Central City's sewers, where Hynde discovered he had the power to command the animals who lived there, such as rats.
Eventually, Hynde began dying, due to his organs constantly rotting. In an effort to prolong his life, Hynde began targeting and killing "Upworlders" with the help of the sewer rats. He murdered Ryan Paulson, Mitchell MacDonald, Herb Shawn, and dozens of others. Using his super strength skills as a doctor, Hynde would surgically remove his victims' organs and transplant them into his body to replace his dying ones. These murders soon brought Hynde to the attention of Team Flash. At some point, Hynde took on the moniker "Earthworm".
After the Flash returned from the future, he eventually tracked down Earthworm. Upon meeting the speedster, Hynde explained his condition and how he had no choice but to kill to survive. The Flash initially tried to reason with Hynde and convince him to surrender, but Hynde decided to attack him instead so he could steal the Flash's organs. The Flash eventually knocked Hynde out and arrested him. Hynde was later placed in a cryogenic cell at Iron Heights to stabilize him while he awaited trial.
Powers and abilities
- Meta-human physiology: After Herbert was struck by the energy of the S.T.A.R. Labs particle accelerator, his cells were altered and his DNA transformed, augmenting his physiology and enabling him access to powers.
- Constant organ decomposition: Due to his condition, Herbert's organs continually decomposed. Because of this, Herbert would kill people in order to take their organs to replace his dying ones.
Behind the scenes
- In the DC comics, Herbert Hynde is the leader of a baby-selling operation who goes by the name "Earthworm" and is an enemy of the Huntress.