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Fictional character biography
Roscoe Dillon is a small-time crook who turns his childhood obsession with tops into a criminal persona. Roscoe taught himself how to spin around fast enough to deflect bullets and produce other semi-useful effects. The Top soon discovers that the spinning somehow increased his intelligence as well, allowing him to create a variety of trick tops. His unique gimmick and moderate success in crime soon makes him a respected member of the Flash's rogues gallery. He dates Golden Glider, Captain Cold's sister, while coaching her on ice skating. Eventually, the Top develops immense psionic powers, as years of spinning moves dormant brain cells to the outer areas of his brain, endowing him with mental powers. Unfortunately, the newly activated brain cells are destroyed by close proximity to the Flash's superspeed vibrations. The Top dies within days from the injuries sustained by his brain.
When Barry Allen's parents were in a car accident, Dillon's spirit is somehow able to take possession of the vacant body of his father, Henry. Realizing who Barry Allen is, he, along with Golden Glider, plot to kill the Flash and take over his body. He fails when he tries to take over the Flash's body while he is alive, leaving Henry's spirit to repossess his body.
About a week after, Roscoe takes possession of another comatose body and begins wreaking havoc with anyone Barry Allen knew. The final straw comes when he digs up the grave of Iris Allen (who was dead at the time). After knocking him out, Barry takes Dillon to the Justice League Watchtower and asks Zatanna to alter his mind to make him a hero. It works at first, but Dillon is soon driven insane with guilt for all the trouble he has caused. His villainous nature comes into conflict with the spell Zatanna put on him, driving him mad. During that time, he uses his mental powers to "fix" the other rogues by implementing mental programs to make them reform. Some of them are able to reject the programming altogether, such as Captain Cold, Weather Wizard, and Captain Boomerang, while others, including Pied Piper, Heat Wave, and the original Trickster, either seemed to remain under the programming or truly reformed, at least until Dillon revealed his reprogramming. Dillon apparently returns to his villainous ways after inhabiting a new body, one of Senator Thomas O'Neill, a vice-presidential nominee. He plans to become President by setting Piper up to assassinate his running-mate after they win, but is stopped by the new Flash, Wally West. Dillon drifts from crime to crime after this, more disoriented and insane than before. His "mind-over-matter" powers evolve to where Top can cause vertigo in others.
During the events of Identity Crisis, Wally receives a note from Barry about what he did to the Top's mind and asks him to restore his mind back to its original state. With Zatanna, he manages to find Top in an abandoned toy factory and repair his mind. Now sane, the Top tells them about his "fixing" of the rogues and swears to remove the mental programming and return them back to their villainous ways.
While Captain Cold and his rogues are warring against Trickster and the reformed rogues, the Top appears with his set of rogues consisting of Plunder, Murmur, Tar Pit, Girder, and Double Down, having altered their brains. He removes his programming from Piper and Trickster. After removing Heatwave's programming, he stands in front of Cold and declared himself the new leader of the rogues and has his group of reprogrammed rogues attack Flash. Captain Cold flash-freezes Top and "shatters" his body in retaliation for manipulating the rogues' minds and setting them against one another.
Powers and Abilities
The Top is able to spin at incredible (but not superhuman) speeds. The spinning for some reason also gives him increased intelligence, but only while he is spinning. The Top’s spinning eventually gives him powerful telekinetic and telepathic powers due to the stimulation of his brain cells. Since his soul returned from hell, he has developed a new mental ability that allows him to induce severe disorientation and vertigo in his victims. The Top also uses spinning tops with gimmicks to them such as glue, explosives, oil and gases. He once built a massive "Atomic grenade top" that could have destroyed half of the world.
Appearances in other media
- Alan Kistler's Profile On: THE FLASH - A detailed analysis of the history of the Flash by comic book historian Alan Kistler. Covers information all the way from Jay Garrick to Barry Allen to today, as well as discussions on the various villains and Rogues who fought the Flash. Various art scans.
- Crimson Lightning - An online index to the comic book adventures of the Flash.