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Born in 1890, David Hersch was an architect and preacher at St. John's Catholic Church, though prone to paranoid, violent outbursts that often took the form of physical abuse of his wife, Elizabeth. After murdering his wife, David Hersch, sick with regret, sought to end his own life, when he was struck by a bolt of lightning. He discovered that he had gained the ability to absorb the life-force of others, extending his life-span almost a century. He believed the accident was the same as the Flash's and that they should be linked. The lightning bolt gave him a vision of his own immortality and foretold the resurrection of his wife. Over the subsequent years he operated as the cult leader Cicada, accumulating many followers planning for the day he would resurrect his wife.