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The Flash: Who Exactly is Norvock?

The Flash: Who Exactly is Norvock?

By Ashley V. Robinson Tuesday, May 8th, 2018

The #DCTV Couch Club is a team of DC fans dedicated to exploring the universe of The CW’s Supergirl, The Flash, Arrow, Black Lightning and DC’s Legends of Tomorrow. Look for new Couch Club posts here on DCComics.com after every new episode!

Amunet Black is one of my all-time favorite characters to have appeared on The Flash. Bringing her back in an episode titled “Harry and the Harrisons” seemed a little far-fetched to me, but she was a wonderful addition to the cast, as she has been throughout the entirety of season four. The return of Amunet Black also heralded the return of her hench-dude Norvock with his super-creepy snake eye.

Sidebar: I very much appreciated that Amunet Black had the wherewithal to call out Norvock on the strangeness of his power, and frankly, how disgusting it is. She always makes me laugh!

When Norvock first joined The Flash, I wasn’t sure who he was or if there was any type of comic book origin at all. Some quick research taught me that he was mentioned in an episode of Arrow called “Deathstroke Returns.” This was after he first appeared on The Flash, so it didn’t herald his debut or anything like that, but it is always fun when little connections like that can be made.


Norvock in Season 4, Episode 5, "Girls Night Out"

As you might have guessed, it turns out that Norvock actually does have a comic book origin, but the first character to bear that last name looks pretty darn different from the singer-in-an-emo-band aesthetic that we saw again in “Harry and the Harrisons.” Awesomely, his full name is Hunk Novock and he has always been a speedster villain, first appearing in 1943 in ALL FLASH QUARTERLY #12. Just as he appears on the small screen in The Flash, the classic Hunk Norvock was a minor villain working under the auspices of a greater villain. In a nice parallel to the current big bad on the television show, Hunk Norvock debuted in the same issue that the Thinker made his first appearance in.

I know you are about to comment that Norvock isn’t even working with the Thinker on The Flash, and you’re not wrong. Personally, I’m hoping that this might herald one more appearance for Norvock in the final episodes of season four of The Flash.

Don’t you think it would be hilarious to see Clifford DeVoe with a snake sneaking out of his eye? You know you want to see that!

As was commonplace during the Golden Age of DC Comics, Hunk Norvock did the majority of his wheeling and dealing as a mob boss. So many of that very first crop of superheroes fought mafiosos at one time or another and Norvock definitely filled that role for the Flash. He did eventually ascend to the height of criminality, which earned him a position within a criminal organization called “the Network.” (Batman fans might recall that name from when the Dark Knight reclaimed it for his own along with the aid of Tim Drake and Barbara Gordon.) Norvock eventually becomes the most powerful crime boss in Keystone City for a little while. He achieves this status by means of bootlegging.

Ironically, the character who manages to take Hunk Norvock down a peg isn’t even the Flash—it’s Clifford DeVoe! What? What?! What?!?

This is true, dear reader. Much like Harvey Dent’s pre-Two-Face life, Clifford DeVoe was a district attorney before he, himself, fell into a life of crime, and he was darn good at his job. You remember earlier when I said I would love to see DeVoe and Norvock interact on the show? (Of course, you do. You probably can’t get the image of the Thinker shooting snakes out of his eye now. You’re welcome, by the way.) Anyhow, this original story is the real reason why I would love to see the contemporary spins that The Flash writers have put on these two characters go head to head. I think it would be a nice nod to their original appearance.

What do you think the chances are of my hopes and dreams for Norvock vs. DeVoe coming true?

Norvock also falls into the unfortunate category of not having too much of a backstory before he showed up to cause trouble for the Flash. There are implications during his Golden Age appearances that Hunk Norvock isn’t even the gangster’s real name, just the moniker that he has adopted for these nefarious dealings. I find this fitting, especially as it applies to The Flash TV show. Amunet Black would not, for one second, allow one of her hench-dudes to use his real name and risk their identity getting revealed and potentially leading back to her.

The jury is still out on Norvock, but Amunet is nothing if not an A+ criminal.

Norvock does wind up getting away relatively unscathed during his classic comic book adventure, which likely informed where the character wound up at the end of the episode. I can really appreciate that the writers are keeping him around, despite my feelings that we probably won’t be seeing him for quite a while.

So, do we think that metahuman snake eyes are regenerative? Will that thing grow back? Also, do you think he makes a little money on the side selling snakes to reptile stores for pets? I mean, you KNOW there are people out there who would be totally into something like that!
 

Ashley V. Robinson covers The Flash as a part of the #DCTV Couch Club. You can find her on Twitter at @AshleyVRobinson and on the Jawiin YouTube channel. The Flash airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. (7 p.m. CST) on The CW.