High school coach; former Oscorp employee, gym teacher, soldier, ambulence driver, college football player
High-school graduate, some college courses and military training
A natural all-around athlete, Flash was a capable unarmed combatant thanks to his boxing background and his military experience, and was a well-trained soldier during his army days. Flash was also a gifted football player in his youth. A car accident left Flash a mental and physical wreck, confined to a wheelchair and stuck in a speechless stupor. However, he recently recovered physically, though mentally has lost all memories after high school.
Handsome and naturally athletic, Eugene Thompson seemed to have a bright future ahead of him. Unfortunately, his father (popular policeman Harrison Thompson) had a secret drinking problem. Alternating between anger and despair, his father took out his frustrations on the family, often treating Eugene abusively. Eugene, in turn, became a neighborhood bully, taking out his own frustrations on weaker and less popular children, including Peter Parker. (To learn about Peter Parker/Spider-Man, click on his name above.)
Eugene was a football prodigy. He became one of the most popular, and conceited, students at Midtown High School, where his speed on the football field earned him the lifelong nickname "Flash." Flash Thompson had a big circle of friends, which included Liz Allan (Flash's steady girlfriend for some time). The more popular Flash became, the more he mocked the shy Peter Parker. However, as Parker (secretly emboldened by his new spider-powers) became more confident, he began to stand up to Flash more often, and even took on Flash in a boxing match that ended with Flash being knocked out by a spider-strength jab that most onlookers misinterpreted as a lucky sucker punch. Despite being knocked out by Peter, Flash continued to mock Peter. Gradually, Flash's girlfriend became impressed by Peter's maturity and sick of Flash's bullying that she dumped Flash and began showing strong romantic interest in Peter. This just made Flash hate Peter even more. (To learn about the character and/or school above, just click on their highlighted names.)
Shortly after Spider-Man first appeared, Flash declared himself Spider-Man's biggest fan. Flash even founded the Forest Hills chapter of the Spider-Man fan club and took it upon himself to defend Spider-Man's reputation (sometimes even in reckless and foolish ways). One time, Flash impersonated Spider-Man in an attempt to teach Peter Parker some respect for the hero, and he was mistaken for the real Spider-Man and was imprisoned by Doctor Doom. But, the true Spider-Man came and rescued him. (Click on the highlighted name above to learn about Doctor Doom.)
Later on, when another Spider-Man impersonator tried to tarnish the hero's name with a string of petty crimes, Flash unmasked the culprit as his own friend Jason Ionello (who wrongly blamed Spider-Man for the recent death of their mutual friend Sally Avril during Spider-Man's battle with the Black Knight). Flash also repeatedly denounced the many anti-Spider-Man tirades by Daily Bugle publisher J. Jonah Jameson. (To learn about the different characters and/or the publishing company, click on their highlighted names above.)
When Flash and Peter graduated from Midtown High, both were awarded full scholarships to Empire State University (for athletic and academic achievement, respectively). By this time, relations between the two had begun to thaw ever so slightly, and both soon became part of a circle of friends that included fellow students Gwen Stacy, Harry Osborn, and Mary Jane Watson. By the time Flash left college to join the Army, he and Peter parted as friends. (To learn about Flash's university and/or his circle of friends above, click on their highlighted names. Flash in his Empire State lettermen jacket is shown in the third picture posted. Note: Beware of the low-cut shirt on Mary Jane's bio page.)
During his tour of duty, Flash was stationed in Southeast Asia, where he stumbled across a hidden temple whose residents (notably the beautiful Sha Shan) nursed a wounded Flash back to health. However, after American forces mistakenly shelled the temple despite Flash's efforts to protect it, Flash left the Army to return to America. Back in America, some temple survivors who mistakenly blamed Flash for the tragedy made attempts on his life. However, with the aid of Spider-Man, Flash lived to convince the temple survivors of his innocence, and was briefly reunited with Sha Shan. (The forth and fifth pictures posted are of Flash in the Army.)
Sometime later, Flash's old friend Betty Brant was struggling to cope with her failing marriage to reporter Ned Leeds (who had secretly been brainwashed into serving as a pawn and occasional stand-in for the criminal Hobgoblin--aka Roderick Kingsley). Betty sought comfort in the arms of Flash, and soon the two were having a secret affair. Sha Shan realized this and walked out on Flash after a violent argument. The unstable Ned Leeds suspected the truth as well, and Flash unwittingly provoked matters further when he insulted the Hobgoblin on television. The Hobgoblin responded by framing Flash as the supposed Hobgoblin, sending Flash to prison. In prison, Flash was supposed to be killed by the vigilante Scourge, but once again Spider-Man saved the day. Escaping jail, Flash sought refuge with Betty Brant but was attacked by the Hobgoblin, who fled after Betty saw him unmasked as Leeds. Shortly thereafter, word of Ned's double identity leaked out and Leeds was murdered by assassins hired by his rival Jason Macendale (who used Ned's gear to become the new Hobgoblin). Aiding Spider-Man in battle with the new Hobgoblin, Flash suffered an arm injury that ended any hope of restarting his old sports career, but he was cleared of all charges related to the Hobgoblin case and set free. (To learn about the different characters above, just click on their highlighted names.)
Ned's death sent Betty into a nervous breakdown, and she fell under the influence of a sinister cult known as the "Students of Love." Flash, Spider-Man, and Reverend Tolliver joined forces to liberate Betty and deprogram her. Having lost all her worldly possessions to the cult (which was destroyed in a fire), Betty took up residence with Flash for a short time. But, soon afterward, Betty and Flash decided they were better off as friends rather than lovers and parted as friends. By this time, Peter Parker had married Mary Jane Watson, and Harry Osborn had married Flash's old girlfriend, Liz Allan. So, being the odd-man-out Flash was determined to find a new love of his own. For a while, he dated Felicia Hardy (aka Black Cat), but ultimately broke up with her since he felt he could never fit into her exotic lifestyle. (To learn more about the highlighted event and/or character above, just click on their names. Note: Beware of the revealing and extremely form-fitting outfits on the Black Cat's bio page.)
Directionless, lonely and increasingly bitter, Flash developed a drinking problem like his father had, leading to a car crash that got Flash arrested again and cost him his job as a school gym teacher. By this time, Flash had begun blaming much of his troubles on his family in general and his father in particular. However, after a violent confrontation with his father finally, Flash realized that he had become a wreck like his father was, and that only he himself could take responsibility for fixing his life. Flash finally sobered up and started trying to turn his life around, though without much success in terms of either romance or career. But, luck struck when wealthy industrialist Norman Osborn offered him a good job with his company (Osborn had actually done this as part of an elaborate plot against his enemy Peter Parker in hopes of turning Flash against Spider-Man, though Flash remained loyal to his boyhood idol despite Osborn's influence). (To learn about Norman Osborn/Green Goblin, click on his highlighted names above.)
Later, when Norman Osborn stepped up his attacks on Peter, he staged a car crash that sent a company truck crashing into Midtown High with Flash at the wheel, and made it look as if Flash had been driving drunk. Flash was knocked unconscious, but eventually revived. Unfortunately, he was broken in mind and body--he was in a wheelchair and trapped in a speechless haze. Flash was visited regularly by old friends such as Peter Parker and Liz Allan Osborn (now Harry's widow), who used her wealth to provide Flash with an apartment and full-time medical care.
Eventually, Flash recovered, and went back to P.S. 108 (the New York City public school numbering for Midtown High) in Forest Hills as a coach. He has partial amnesia, remembering events up through high school. Therefore, he has forgotten his years of friendship with Peter Parker and had returned to mistreating Peter until Spider-Man's public unmasking shifted his attitude.