- "I, uh...I can't remember. I can't remember."
- —Hannibal after failing to recollect what he looked like[src]
Hannibal Bates (died April 2015), nicknamed Everyman by Caitlin Snow, was a meta-human. After the S.T.A.R. Labs particle accelerator accident, he gained the ability to shape-shift into any person he has come into physical contact with.
Gaining shapeshifting powers
After the explosion of the S.T.A.R. Labs particle accelerator, Bates gained the ability to shapeshift into anyone he had touched at least once (later keeping their identity in case of needing to change on the fly).
Crime spree through Central City
A month after the explosion, Bates framed his own friend for robbery at a bank in Central City. Over the next year, he began to continue framing a plenitude of people. One such individual whose key he used to enter their bank's vaults and empty the contents. He continued on, taking the identity of a man and stole some jewels. He took the jewels to a buyer, but the buyer identified them as stolen and called the cops. He left before they could arrive and was intercepted by Eddie Thawne. Eddie was knocked down, but the Flash tried to intervene. However, Hannibal took the identity of a woman and escaped through a crowd of people.
Following this, he left to his grandmother's house. However, having found out his identity, Eddie and Barry Allen arrived, looking for the grandmother. Bates posed as the grandmother momentarily, before escaping on foot. Eddie almost caught up, but Hannibal was able to steal Eddie's identity. He ran on ahead, intercepting two cops that he'd called for backup. He shot them both dead, before shooting out the police camera. The following day he headed to the West house to find Barry, who was incredibly surprised to see him free of police custody. Barry was promptly knocked out, before Hannibal shapeshifted into Barry. Caitlin Snow arrived soon after, and the two headed to S.T.A.R. Labs. While there, Caitlin revealed the plan to him, believing him to be Barry. In an attempt to distract her from creating a serum to disrupt his shapeshifting, as well as being personally attracted to her, “Barry” kissed Caitlin, causing her to be confused and to pull away. When she began to talk and express her confusion, he kissed her again this time with her mutually kissing back, though they stopped when they saw that Iris West had arrived. Iris came in to show them some leads, but before he could kill either of the women, Dr. Wells tasered him, identifying him as Bates due to his not being right-handed like Barry. Iris and Caitlin decided to drive him to the police station to clear Eddie, but Hannibal turned into a little girl and screamed for help, pretending to be kidnapped. As they were stuck in traffic by a construction site, one of the workers helped release him, only for him run away. He headed to Central City Airport, but was caught by Barry, identifying him through an X-ray machine. He ran as fast as he could, but was caught by the Flash. They fought as he transformed into Caitlin, Iris and Eddie, before finally shapeshifting into the Flash himself. However, he did not gain the Flash's speed, and before long was administered a temporary cure, causing Bates to shift between all his recent disguises before ending up in Iris' form and falling unconscious. Following that, he was imprisoned in The Pipeline. In Iris' form, he kicked at the door, demanding to be released, before turning into Caitlin and attempted to flirt his way out. The team asked to see his true form, but he couldn't remember, only being able to display a blank body.
Time in the Pipeline
In an attempt to get Bates to remember what he originally looked like, Cisco Ramon and his brother redecorated his cell to look like a bedroom, filling it with childhood knick-knacks and pictures. However, Bates was unhappy and closed his eyes, preferring to remain in the form he was in and forgetting who he really was.
Powers and abilities
- Meta-human physiology: After Hannibal Bates was struck by the energy of the particle accelerator explosion, this altered his DNA and cells, allowing him to access his powers.
- Shapeshifting: Hannibal was able to shapeshift into any person he had physical contact with, even copying the clothing they were wearing and their voice. This power allows him to instantly change the color and texture of his body, allowing him to replicate clothing and other materials on his own body more effectively. He also appears that he can switch between the form he already taken as seen during his fight with the Flash, when he switched between the appearance of Caitlin, Iris and Eddie.
- Peak of human physical condition: Hannibal was very quick in battle. During his skirmish against the Flash, he was able to block a number of the speedster's strikes and slightly overpower until the Flash began moving much quicker and used his own enhanced physical force and momentum to weaken him.
- Expert hand-to-hand combatant: Hannibal was a potent fighter, able to quickly defeat Eddie Thawne, a trained fighter. He was also known to sneak up on people and use surprise attacks, as he did when appearing as Eddie in front of Barry and knocking Barry unconscious by striking the back of Barry's head with a handgun when Barry's back was turned. During his skirmish against the Flash, he was able to land multiple solid hits, albeit he repeatedly caught his opponent off by shapeshifting into people close to the Flash and having the strength to repeatedly overpower him.
- Expert of deception: As a criminal who takes the place of other peoples, Hannibal possess some skills in acting, like when he successfully pretend to be both Eddie and Barry, in front of their relatives without any of them suspected anything. When impersonating Eobard Thawne, he did it so well that Cisco Ramon didn't even notice the difference with the time when Cisco was killed by Eobard (in the erased timeline).
- Skilled marksman: While imitating Eddie, Hannibal successfully used his gun against two cops, killing them.
- Anti-shapeshifting serum: The serum made by Caitlin was able to temporarily neutralize the powers of Hannibal.
- Limited replication: When Hannibal shape shifts into a person, his form is purely cosmetic. While perfectly copying the person's physical appearance in every aspect, he cannot replicate any of the person's acquired abilities; including memories, skills, or special powers. He is also unable to mimic the person's character, forcing him to rely on natural acting. This also leads him to retain some of his natural aspects, such as remaining left-handed when his impersonated target is right-handed, allowing for perceptive people to see through the deception. Hannibal also seems to be unable to recall his natural appearance.
The Chronicles of Cisco
- A glimpse of Hannibal's natural appearance is seen in a photo in his grandmother's house.
- Hannibal was left-handed.
Behind the scenes
- In the DC comics, Hannibal Bates is a meta-human who can transform himself into anyone by eating a part of them. He was first known as Everyman, then later as Dark Arrow when he teamed up against Green Arrow.
- His complete name is a reference to two serial killers from fiction: Hannibal Lecter (from the novel and the movie "The Silence of the Lambs"), for the first name, and Norman Bates (from the movie "Psycho") for the surname.
- Bates is notably the first, and as of yet only, person on "The List" to appear in The Flash.
- Bates has been portrayed by the most actors throughout the series.