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.
The Cicada cult and its followers were dedicated to the murder of every one that the Flash has ever saved using lightning bolt shaped daggers. He teams up with the Flash's ex, Magenta and managed to kidnap him. Cicada reveals to Wally that his wife was murdered and he was struck by lightning. Cicada saw a vision that he was destined to live on, together with his wife. By taking the energy left over from all the people the Flash has saved and from the Flash himself, Cicada succeeded in bringing his wife back from the dead.
However, his wife revealed that Cicada murdered her. Cicada denied this and killed his wife yet again by absorbing her energy through a kiss. He was eventually stopped by the Flash and Detective Jared Morillo and Officer Fred Chyre, though not before he managed to slash Morillo with his knife. This gave Morillo the ability to heal rapidly from any injury, similar to Cicada's own.
Cicada was put on death row in Iron Heights pending confirmation by S.T.A.R. Labs that he could even be killed in the first place, but escaped during Gorilla Grodd's jailbreak. Cicada later appeared at Captain Boomerang's funeral and accepted an invitation to join Alexander Luthor, Jr.'s Secret Society of Super-Villains during Infinite Crisis.
- Unique Physiology: After being struck by lightning, David's body had changed into a lightning rod for souls and he learned not only could he live forever but he could do so by stealing lives.
- Accelerated Healing: David's body's increased metabolism allows him to heal damaged tissue much faster and more extensively than a normal human is capable of.
- Immortality: Stealing one life can give David up to a century more to live and he's killed dozens of people already. Coupling this with his self-healing means that Cicada is effectively immortal.
- Psychic Link: After being cut by Cicada's dagger Jared Morillo is now connected to him.
- Lightning Daggers: David wields two blades capable of absorbing the life force of his victims to be transferred to resurrect the dead.
- 22 Appearances of David Hersch (New Earth)
- 8 Images featuring David Hersch (New Earth)
- 1 Quotations by or about David Hersch (New Earth)
- Character Gallery: David Hersch (New Earth)
Secret Society of Super-Villains member