DC Database

Quote1.png One last thing, Flash -- Take a good look at your girl friend! I intend using her dead body as an example of what happens to people who resist me! Quote2.png
The Thinker src

Clifford DeVoe is the Thinker, a Keystone City underworld figure that could boost his already great intelligence with a Thinking Cap.


Clifford DeVoe was Keystone City's district attorney in 1913. In mob boss Hunk Norvock's trial, DeVoe was stumped when the defense put a young woman on the stand, and he withdrew his case rather than offend the jury by harshly questioning her. This failure, coupled with the knowledge that crime could be made to pay, drove him to alcohol. Visiting Norvock while drunk one night, he offered his services as a "thinker" - a preparer of alibis and legal precedents to keep his organization out of jail. Norvock gave him a house and a stipend and he set to work.

DeVoe's early appearance


For a decade, Clifford DeVoe worked anonymously, until two of Norvock's underlings threatened to implicate him in major crime to the police. On Norvock's prodding, DeVoe infiltrated the police station in a police uniform, stole the evidence and killed the two lieutenants. However, this made Norvock paranoid that DeVoe planned to replace him. Going to his house to kill DeVoe, Norvock was tricked into shooting a reflection in a steel mirror. The bullets ricocheted, killing him. The police ruled a suicide, and the Keystone City underworld fell into disarray... until a coalition of senior bosses chose DeVoe as their leader, citing his previous work. Taking the alias "The Thinker", DeVoe set to work.

The Thinker was first confronted by the Flash, which drove the two men to become mortal enemies.[1] He always sought out new scientific devices to use and his most important was the "Thinking Cap," a metal hat that could project mental force. The Thinker would use this device repeatedly over the years.

The Thinker was a member of the Injustice Society, and, together with the Fiddler and the Shade, he was the man behind the decades-long "abduction" of Keystone City and the original Flash, after which he was defeated by the Flashes of two eras.[2] His "suspended animation-time" in Keystone kept the Thinker young over the years, and he continued his criminal career in modern times.

In recent years, however, DeVoe accepted a mission with the Suicide Squad in exchange for a full pardon. Although he was seemingly killed by the Weasel during this mission, he survived and made his way to Keystone City. He reformed, dedicated his life to good works, even becoming friends with his former nemesis Jay Garrick. However, he developed terminal cancer, apparently connected to the Thinking-Cap. Garrick, attempted to save him with the Thinking Cap, but DeVoe refused, preferring to rest in peace. His last words, to Garrick, were "Learn to lose every once in a while. A little humility prepares you for what lies ahead."

Artificial Intelligence

After DeVoe's death, Mister Terrific used the Thinking-Cap to create an artificial intelligence based on DeVoe's brain-patterns, which would then turn evil itself and become the new Thinker.



  • Although this character was originally introduced during DC's Earth-Two era of publication, their existence following the events of the 1985–86 limited series Crisis on Infinite Earths remains intact. However, some elements of the character's Pre-Crisis history may have been altered or removed for Post-Crisis New Earth continuity, and no longer apply.



Injustice Society 02.jpg
Justice Society Villain(s)
DC Rebirth Logo.png

This character, team or organization is or was primarily an enemy of the Justice Society, in any of its various incarnations. This template will categorize articles that include it into the "Justice Society Villains" category.

Rogues 0005.jpg
DC Rebirth Logo.png

Flash Villain(s)
This character, team, or organization, is or was primarily an enemy of any or all of the various incarnations of the Flash. This template will categorize articles that include it into the category "Flash Villains."

Black Lantern Atom 02.jpg
Atom Villain(s)
DC Rebirth Logo.png

This character is or was primarily an enemy of the Atom, the mighty mite. He may also have been an enemy of of the second Atom. This template will categorize articles that include it into the "Atom Villains category."

Suicide Squad Vol 4 8 Textless.jpg
DC Rebirth Logo.png

Suicide Squad member
This character is or was a member of the Suicide Squad, a team of imprisoned super-villains who perform high-risk missions for the U.S. Government in exchange for commuted sentences, in any of its various incarnations. This template will categorize articles that include it into the "Suicide Squad members" category.