"All these years that Central City spent defending metas instead of ending them. Those days end now, starting with you."
—Cicada to The Flash[src]

Orlin[1], also known as Cicada, is a mysterious individual whose goal is to kill all meta-humans.


Becoming Cicada

On the night of the Enlightenment, when The Flash and XS destroyed the dark matter satellite, the resulting force of the double speedster punch shifted the falling debris. This caused certain people and/or their tools, like Orlin, to become infected with dark matter. It is implied that the debris that hit Orlin was meant for David Hersch before Nora's interference caused a shift in the timeline.[2]

As William Lang/Gridlock was being transported to Iron Heights Prison, Cicada ambushed the convoy. Throwing a lightning bolt-shaped dagger into the path of the truck, a burst of electric energy radiated from the blade, bringing the truck to a halt. After a brief altercation with the police, in which a few suffered severe injuries, Cicada went to the back of the transport vehicle to gain access to Lang. When questioned by Lang about who he was, or what he wanted, Cicada simply replied, "For all of you to die". He then approached Lang with the same lightning bolt-shaped dagger, flowing with the same unknown electrical energy.[3]

Upon attempting to kill him, Lang freed himself and fought back. Although the fight looked to be in Gridlock's favor, Cicada's discarded dagger seemingly absorbed his powers, leaving him defenseless. Cicada easily overpowered the now-powerless Gridlock, beating him to the ground before fatally stabbing him in the chest, absorbing whatever energy he had left. Afterward, Cicada retreated to an unknown factory, still reeling from his injuries as he reflected on the fight. A coworker sees Cicada and inquires on whether he's been in "another fight", to which he confirms. As the co-worker leaves, Cicada gets up to place both his dagger and mask in his work locker, seemingly hiding in plain sight.[4]

First Encounter with Team Flash

When The Flash and XS defeated Vanessa Jansen, Cicada revealed himself to the group after throwing a dagger through Jansen's back, before confronting the speedsters as well as Vibe and Elongated Man. As XS left to get Jansen to a hospital, Cicada threw his dagger into the ground, absorbing the remaining trio's powers, as he had done to Gridlock. Although the group attempted to subdue Cicada with hand-to-hand combat alone, he proved to be the superior fighter as he defeated all three. Seeing the Flash incapacitated, he went to deal the final blow with his dagger but XS returned just in time, shouting "Dad!" Cicada, seemingly affected by the parent-child bond shown between the two, paused before calmly getting up and walking away as the police arrived.[4]

While most of the members of Team Flash were investigating about Cicada, the latter held Joe West captive in Joe's own home in order to get Vibe. With her telepathic powers, Cecille Horton discovered that Joe was in trouble. Joe told Cecille via his thoughts that she should't use his panic button to call for help. When Joe and Cecille's baby cried, Cecille ended up using the distress call. Vibe came, Cicada tackled him, forcing him through the breach Cisco created to arrive on the scene, bringing both of them to a forest. Cicada hurt Vibe on his right shoulder with his dagger and brought him. When Vibe's teammates discovered what forest he was in and arrived on the scene, he nullified Flash's speed, but XS could throw him off for a while. Vibe threw a reactor on Cicada, but it was reflected back to Vibe, and the big explosion made Cicada think Vibe died, which seemed corroborated by an article. He doesn't know that Cisco faked his death.[1]


Not much is known about Orlin apart from him being a cold, ruthless, stoic individual who aims to kill all meta-humans.[3] However, his hesitation to kill Barry after Nora calls out to him may indicate some traumatic past that leaves him with empathy for families. While he didn't mind seriously injuring them, Orlin avoided killing civilians in his vendetta, as shown with the police officers to transport William Lang.

When kidnapping Joe, he spoke a lot about "family". This led Joe to deduce that Orlin is a father.[1].

Powers and abilities


  • Meta-human physiology: When hit by a dark matter shard from the failed Enlightenment, Orlin's DNA was altered, enabling him to access his newfound powers.
    • Lightning dagger-bond: The accident with the dark matter satellite gave a psionic connection to a lightning-shaped dagger. This connection prevents anyone but him from lifting said dagger and likewise allows him to mentally summon it back to him.
      • Power Negation: The dagger has the ability to negate meta-human powers.
      • Electricity Generation: Cicada's dagger can also generate red electricity.
      • Forcefield Generation: When Cicada hit the ground with the dagger it created a red forcefield.
    • Flight: Orlin is capable of flight at very fast speeds.[1]
    • Superhuman strength: Orlin possesses strength sufficient enough to crush a metal pole with his bare hand. [2]


  • Expert combatant: Orlin has incredible fighting skills, allowing him to defeat a de-powered Gridlock. He also defeated the de-powered Flash, Vibe and Elongated Man at the same time with relative ease.
    • Expert knife wielder: Orlin has shown expert knife-wielding skills as seen during his fight against the Flash, Vibe and Elongated Man. He has also been shown to be an expert knife thrower as seen when he threw his knife at Block from a couple of feet away and when he threw his dagger in front of the convoy truck during his attack on Gridlock.
  • Expert tracker: In his goal of eradicating all meta-humans, Orlin is shown to be very efficient in tracking them down.
  • Indomitable will/High pain tolerance: Despite the agonizing pain from his embedded shard and damaged lung, Orlin's single-minded hate for meta-humans and love for his daughter has allowed him to hide his pain from others and likewise not affect his ability to fight. He also showed remarkable resilience to take on and overpower Gridlock despite the latter initially attacking him with his meta-human powers.
  • Stealth/Infiltration: Cicada is shown to be able to successfully sneak up on Joe West, as well as Team Flash after their battle with Block.


  • Dark matter shard: The very object that gives him his powers is also what impedes him. Lodged in his chest, it's damaged his left lung, making it hard for him to breathe. As noted by his daughter's doctor, the more Orlin uses his powers, the more it strains his body, as he continues to endure ever-increasing pain.


  • Meta-tech Lightning dagger: The shard from the dark matter-loaded satellite that hit Orlin also affected the said material. Through his signature dagger, Orlin is able to perform a number of feats. As it glows to produce red electricity, he can generate powerful force fields, and also negate other meta-human powers.[4] It is unknown how he obtained this dagger.
  • Mask: Cicada wears an industrial breathing mask that protects his identity and modifies his voice while sounding like a cicada when he exhales. As well as help him breathe when exerting himsel, due to his damaged lung.


The Flash

Season 4

Season 5


  • His mask resembles the mouth of a cicada insect.
    • His breathing sounds like a cicada insect as well, which was how he got his moniker.
  • Cicada is the first main antagonist of The Flash to be a parent.

Behind the scenes

  • In the comics, David Hersch/Cicada was an enemy of Wally West who also killed people with a lightning-shaped dagger, but his goal was to collect energy to resurrect his wife. He had been struck by lightning and given immortality as well as the power to drain energy from others. Instead of a mask, he had a long white beard, and his name came from the sound emitted by him when he used his powers.
    • There was a cult that Cicada led in the comics (which also happened to include Frankie Kane/Magenta)but due to his adaptation having a close visual similarity to Alchemy, the cult was likely excluded from the show to avoid too many similarities with him.
  • Cicada was originally supposed to appear as the second cliffhanger scene of the season 4 finale, but he was cut due to time constraints and the scene was used in the trailer for season 5.[5][6]
  • Its currently unknown if Cicada is a Meta-human due to that it is unknown where his powers comes from but It's mostly likely that he is not a Meta-human due to his hatred for their kind.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 "The Death of Vibe"
  2. 2.0 2.1 "News Flash"
  3. 3.0 3.1 "Nora"
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 "Blocked"