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"Looks like you were born to take a beating."
—Tony's catchphrase[src]

Tony Woodward (c.1989 – October 19 2014), nicknamed Girder by Cisco Ramon, was a meta-human and classmate of Iris West and Barry Allen in elementary school. He became a meta-human after falling into a vat of molten steel when the S.T.A.R. Labs particle accelerator exploded, giving him the power to transform himself into steel. He was imprisoned in the Pipeline, but he was killed by Blackout at S.T.A.R. Labs when Eobard Thawne, disguised as Harrison Wells, released Girder to try and kill Blackout, or at least distract him.

Biography

Early life

Tony was born in 1989. He attended elementary school alongside Barry Allen and Iris West. As a student there, he relentlessly bullied Barry, making fun of his father's conviction. He secretly harbored a crush on Iris West.[1]

Adulthood prior to the particle accelerator accident

Tony Woodward's CCPD criminal record

Tony Woodward's CCPD crimal record.

As an adult, Tony had a records of violence, petty theft, assault, but apparently those habits started way back when he was a juvenile.[1]

After the particle accelerator accident

In late 2013, Tony was working at an Iron Works facility in Keystone City. He was laid off and got into an altercation with his boss. He was knocked over a railing in to a vat of molten steel. Coincidentally at the same time, the S.T.A.R. Labs particle accelerator exploded, causing him to transform in to a meta-human with the ability to transform any part of his body into girded steel at will and have super-strength.[1]

10 months later, Tony stole a Hummer and robbed several ATM machines along with several beer rigs. After escaping the Central City Police Department, he was caught by the Flash, though he defeated him with ease. The next day he went to Jitters looking for Iris, questioning her reasons for blogging about the Flash, explaining that he'd defeated him in a fight the night previous, a far more interesting event for her to blog about. After a co-worker of Iris notified her of a news segment revealing Tony as an armed robber, Iris attempted to call Eddie Thawne under the guise of contacting him about a policeman's ball for the evening. Tony crushed her phone using his powers, telling her that they would pickup their conversation later, before fleeing. After using the information given to Iris by Tony, Barry tracked him down at the old Keystone Iron works where Tony was staying. After discovering The Flash there, Tony defeated him once more by pushing a full shelf on top of him and leaving him for dead.[1]

He later abducted Iris from her house, taking her to their old elementary school. Tony expressed that he wanted Iris to blog about him, as he had defeated the Flash and he had always liked her. After pretending to flirt with him, Iris pulled the fire alarm alerting the police of their location. As the Flash arrived and the two fought, Tony was misled into thinking he had won the fight after he gained the upper hand and the Flash fled without Iris. The Flash returned at a speed just over Mach 1 to land a punch that could injure him. Although it hurt him momentarily, he seemed to recover from this, however an added jab from Iris while caught off guard, and thus, not protected by his steel form, finished the job. He later awakened imprisoned in the core chamber of the S.T.A.R. Labs particle accelerator. After being confronted by Barry, and learning his secret identity, he shouted for his release, though to no avail.[1]

When Farooq Gibran broke into S.T.A.R. Labs, Wells released Tony, promising that if he killed Farooq, Wells would set him free, albeit Wells did not tell Barry or the others until after Tony died.[2]

When he confronted Gibran, a fight ensued, and was soon blasted with a blast of electricity. He replied "Ouch" and soon carried on fighting. Soon he was knocked on the floor right next to Barry. His final breath beseeched him to run. Barry was furious with Wells for tricking Tony to risk his life stating that he may have been a bully but that he in no way deserved to die. Wells simply said he did not care for him.[2]

Reanimation

Tony Woodward dies for the second time

Tony reanimated as a zombie

Over a year later after Team Flash's attempt to have Barry regain his powers in another particle accelerator explosion after losing them to Zoom, the energy wave it released somehow reactivated part of Tony's brain, causing him to come back in a zombie-like state. He broke out of S.T.A.R. Labs and began retracing his steps from his last attack. Once they finally determined what he wanted, Iris decided to act as a bait for him to get him to come back to S.T.A.R. labs. Cisco and Harry tried to shut down his brain using a pair of powerful electromagnets, but to no avail. Once Barry came back from the Speed Force, he used his spin to create enough energy to supercharge the electromagnets, giving them enough power to finally put Tony to rest for good.

Personality

Throughout his entire life, Tony enjoyed hurting others to prove his superiority. He was often boastful in order to impress people. He became obsessed with dominating and inspiring fear in others. He showed a complete disregard for the law.[1] He was highly belligerent, taking pride in never backing down from a fight. Despite being a lifelong bully, Tony tried to protect Barry Allen in his last moments, even though the latter had defeated and incarcerated him earlier, possibly meaning his time locked up has made him seek redemption.[2]

Powers and abilities

Powers

  • Meta-human physiology: After Tony was struck by the energy of the Particle Accelerator explosion, this altered his DNA and supercharged his cells, augmenting his physiology into well-beyond peak human condition.
    • Organic steel transformation: Tony had fallen into a vat of molten steel just prior to the S.T.A.R. Labs particle accelerator's explosion. Instead of dying, the Anti-Matter, Dark Energy, and X-Elements released during the accident caused Tony to gain superhuman powers. Tony could partially or completely transform his skin into a metallic substance, enhancing his physical parameters.
      • Superhuman durability: Tony's metallic skin could withstand extreme conditions. Bullets from handguns inflicted virtually no damage on him. The Flash had to impact him at Mach 1.1 (837 mph) before he could break through Tony's skin. Tony's skin also protected him from electricity, although Blackout eventually managed to defeat him.
      • Superhuman strength: Tony was strong enough to lift and overturn a car as well as deliver punches that could smash concrete. He was also strong enough to lift Barry off the ground using one hand. Also, Tony was able to tip over a big metal shelf of weights ranging from 100+ lbs with one hand. It is presumed that Tony is able to lift three or more humans, but the full extent of how superior his strength is has not been said in context yet. When he met up with Iris at CC Jitters, she complimented him by saying he looked great,which he responded with saying that he had been working out,implying that he was getting stronger.

Weaknesses

Tony was just as vulnerable as any other human, but in his metal form, it was difficult to harm him.

  • Electricity: As metal is a great conductor for electricity, Tony could be easily taken down with this.
  • Electromagnetic Properties: In his zombified state, Girder was essentially turned off by Barry transfering the current from a pair of electrodes from two of Cisco's magnets.
  • Extreme force: Barry was able to harm him while he was in his metal form by hitting him at Mach 1.1, which threw Tony to the ground.

Appearances

The Flash

Season 1

Season 2

Behind the scenes

  • In the DC comics, Girder is an inmate of Iron Heights and an enemy of the Flash. His origins are similar, but, rather than being accidentally pushed into a vat of molten steel, Woodward was deliberately thrown into one, which contained pieces from S.T.A.R. Labs experiments. Also, this act was precipitated when Woodward assaulted a female co-worker, rather than his boss.
  • Harrison Wells called Tony "a man of steel." In the comics, this is a nickname for Superman and was used as an alias by the hero John Henry Irons when Superman was temporarily killed in the Death of Superman storyline.
  • Iris told Barry that Tony had an "iron fist". Iron Fist is the name of a Marvel Comics superhero, and "Dr. Ironfist" was the nickname of Ukrainian world heavyweight boxing champion Vitali Klitschko. His brother Wladimir, the current champion, is "Dr. Steelhammer".

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 "The Flash Is Born"
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 "Power Outage"