Former Occupations: Stage magician
Base of Operations: Keystone City, Kansas
First Appearance: Flash v.1 #128 (May 1962)
Abra Kadabra hails from the 64th Century, an era in which science is sufficiently advanced to be indistinguishable from magic, and the art of stage magic is dead. Driven by a desperate need for attention, he traveled back in time to an era that would appreciate his skill. He battled the Flash (Barry Allen) for years before turning his sights on the Scarlet Speedster’s successor.
The details of Kadabra’s origin in the distant future have changed over the years:
When he first appeared, he was a frustrated stage magician who stole a time machine in search of an appreciative audience. He found that the best way to achieve fame was to commit spectacular crimes and battle the Flash, setting himself on a centuries-spanning criminal career (John Broome: Flash v.1 #128, 1962).
Time travelers Tim Hunter and Mister E, exploring the future of magic, encountered a future far beyond their understanding. The unfathomable civilization practiced a combination of magic and science. This society had a “throwback” to exile, one Abhararakadhararbarakh, and decided to send him to their visitors’ century of origin (Neil Gaiman: Books of Magic #4, 1991)
The switch from time traveler to temporal exile was completed when a representative of Kadabra’s home era followed him, revealing that he had originally been a revolutionary. He championed the cause of individuality in a society in which every human action was regulated by a central computer. Upon capture, he was again exiled to the past (Mark Waid: Flash v.2 #67–68, 1992).
Kadabra tormented the Flash with seemingly impossible feats, sending him into space, trapping him in a cartoon world, hypnotizing people, and—his signature—transforming the Flash into a puppet. He developed an ability for long-range planning, but one thing never changed: he avoided working with others, preferring to save the glory for himself.
His greatest trick was to cheat destiny. Knowing the Flash was fated to die in the Crisis on Infinite Earths, he interfered with the hero’s trial for killing Professor Zoom. He found a way to convince the Flash to remain in the 30th century after the outcome of the trial, avoiding his fate until he returned to his home time (Flash v.1 #350, 1986).
Kadabra disappeared until after the Dominator invasion, when he appeared briefly to battle the new Flash (Wally West), unaware that he was powerless at the time (Flash v.2 #23, 1989). Nonetheless, Kadabra was defeated in an explosion that short-circuited his teleportation circuitry. It scarred him, and threw him briefly out of phase with reality—and, for several years, out of his mind.
He returned briefly to his home era to great acclaim, finding himself a folk hero to the cause of individuality in a world of mechanized precision (Flash v.2 #67–68, 1992). The Flash convinced the authorities to exile them both to the past, stealing Kadabra from his greatest audience. The incident left Kadabra obsessed with revenge against Wally. He also gained real magic through a deal with the demon Neron (Underworld Unleashed, 1995).
His most elaborate revenge scheme was to kidnap Wally’s fiancée Linda Park from their wedding, hide her outside time, and erase the world’s memory of her back to the moment she met the Flash. Without Linda as an anchor, Wally vanished into the speed force. Ultimately both Linda and Wally escaped—into an alternate timeline, where they inspired that world’s Walter West to make amends for past crimes. Two Flashes teamed together to turn Kadabra’s magic against himself, and the magician wiped his own memory (Flash v.2 #142–159, 1999–2000).
Abra Kadabra spent months in prison until a casual remark triggered his memory. He immediately healed his scars, conjured up a costume, and tricked the Flash and his allies into bringing him to the 64th Century where he would replenish his stock of nanotechnology (DC 1st: Superman & The Flash, 2002).
While he appears to have lost or forgotten the magic he obtained from Neron, Kadabra is once again in possession of his full faculties (with the possible exception of his fashion sense). He has, however, fallen on hard times, relying more on henchmen and even teaming up with the Rogues and Inertia (Flash: TFMA #7, #11–13, 2007).
Kadabra was present when several Rogues killed the fourth Flash, Bart Allen. It’s not clear whether he participated in the actual murder (Flash: TFMA #10–13: Full Throttle & All-Flash #1, 2007). He was captured and sent with the rest to the alien prison planet, Salvation (Salvation Run, 2007–2008).Text by Kelson Vibber. Do not copy without permission.
- Art Credits
- Profiles in Print
- Silver-Age Appearances
- Legacy-Era Appearances
- One Year Later Appearances
- Further Notes
- Classic Showman: Flash (first series) #133 (December 1963) - Carmine Infantino and Murphy Anderson
- Swirling Magics: Flash Secret Files (November 1997) - Oscar Jimenez and Anibal Rodriguez
- Hollywood Magician: Flash: The Fastest Man Alive (February 2007) - Ron Adrian with Rob Lea & Alex Lei
- Who’s Who in the DC Universe #1 (March 1985)
- Who’s Who (loose-leaf edition) Update 93 #1 (December 1992)
- Flash Secret Files #1 (November 1997)
- The DC Comics Encyclopedia (2004)
- The Flash Companion (2008) - profiled by the author of this site.
- Flash Secret Files and Origins 2010 (May 2010)
- DC Comics Super-Heroes and Villains Fandex under The Rogues (2010)
- Flash #128 (May 1962): “The Case of the Real-Gone Flash!” John Broome
- Flash #133 (December 1962): “The Plight of the Puppet-Flash,” John Broome
- Flash #149 (December 1964): “Robberies by Magic!” Gardner Fox
- Flash #163 (August 1966): “The Day Magic Exposed Flash’s Secret Identity!” John Broome
- Flash #170 (May 1967): “The See-Nothing Spells of Abra Kadabra!” Gardner Fox
- Flash #175 (December 1967): “The Race to the End of the Universe,” E. Nelson Bridwell
- Flash #182 (September 1968): “The Thief Who Stole All the Money in Central City!” John Broome
- Flash #212 (February 1972): “The Flash in Cartoon-Land!” Cary Bates
- Flash #246–247 (January–March 1977): “Kill Me, Flash—Faster... Faster!” and “The Mad, Mad Earth of Abra Kadabra,” Cary Bates
- Adventure Comics #464 (August 1979): “The Day Up Was Down,” Cary Bates
- Flash #300 (August 1981): “1981—A Flash Odyssey,” Cary Bates
- Flash #343 (March 1985): “Revenge and Revelations,” Cary Bates (Silhouette only)
- Flash #345–349 (May–September 1985): The Trial of the Flash, Cary Bates (Disguised as Zoom)
- Flash #350 (October 1985): “Flash Flees,” Cary Bates
- Flash #23 (February 1989): “The Clipper Returns,” William Messner-Loebs
- Flash #67–68 (August–September 1992): “Misdirection” and “Beat the Clock,” Mark Waid
- Flash #90 (May 1994): “On the Run,” Mark Waid
- Flash #94 (September 1994): “Reckless Youth Chapter 3: Just Do It,” Mark Waid
- Flash #116–117 (August–September 1996): “Race Against Time” Parts 4 & 5, Mark Waid
- Flash #144 (January 1999): “Nature vs. Nurture,” Mark Waid and Brian Augustyn (Silhouette only)
- Flash #152 (September 1999): “New Kid In Town,” Mark Waid and Brian Augustyn (Silhouette only)
- Flash #155–158 (December 1999–March 2000): The Dark Flash Saga, Mark Waid and Brian Augustyn
- DC First: Flash/Superman (July 2002): “Speeding Bullets,” Geoff Johns
- Flash #207–208 (April–May 2004): “Rush Hour” and “The Red Carpet,” Geoff Johns
- Flash #217 (February 2005): “Post-Crisis,” Geoff Johns
- The Flash: The Fastest Man Alive #7 (February 2007): “Speedquest Chapter 1: Angel City,” Danny Bilson & Paul DeMeo
- The Flash: The Fastest Man Alive #11–13 (June–August 2007): “Full Throttle,” Marc Guggenheim
- All-Flash #1 (September 2007): “Justice, Like Lightning,” Mark Waid
- Salvation Run (7-issue miniseries, January–July 2008), Bill Willingham & Matthew Sturges
Obviously, Abra Kadabra is named after the magician’s phrase, Abracadabra or Abra cadabra.