44 years ago - Albert Desmond is born.
26 years ago - 18-year-old Albert begins studying chemistry.
22 years ago - 22-year-old Albert earns his bachelor's degree in chemistry, begins his graduate studies.
20 years ago - 24-year-old Albert earns his masters degree in chemistry. He discovers the theoretical existance of the philosopher's stone and makes it the topic of his doctoral research.
18 years ago - 26-year-old Albert quits his associate professorial duties, dedicating himself to finding the philosopher's stone.
16 years ago - 28-year-old Albert finds the philosopher's stone, manifesting his new identity as Doctor Alchemy. He challenges the Flash.
12 years ago - 32-year-old Albert is seperated from the philosopher's stone by the Flash & Kid Flash, but still feels it's connection. He goes to prison & devotes himself to finding a way to destroy it.
10 years ago - 34-year-old Albert is overwhelmed by the philosopher's stone and again becomes Doctor Alchemy. the Flash & Kid Flash use Desmond's formula to destroy the philosopher's stone & free him. He insists on being sent to prison to pay for his crimes.
4 years ago - 40-year-old Albert is released from prison. He volunteers to help the Flash, becoming one of his closest allies.
While working through the list of Flash Villains, you start to reach a point of saturation where they begin to all look pretty similar. Yes, they all have their own gimmick, but ultimately the variety between those gimmicks starts to falter. Doctor Alchemy has the benefit of a very cool name, but simply being in possession of a mystic rock that grants him transmutive powers doesn't really make him stand out. However, there are interesting elements in the character that, if we can assemble them correctly, give us a pretty interesting addition to the Flash mythology.
Doctor Alchemy's Comic History
The original Doctor Alchemy, Albert Desmond, first appeared in 1958, another creation of John Broome & Carmine Infantino. He was originally called Mister Element, and was a chemist with a split personality that invented his own mater-transmuting elements. It was later that same year that he learned of the philosopher's stone from his cellmate, and returned as the much cooler-named Doctor Alchemy. Later on, his split personality allows a him to revert to his original 'good' identity. This was followed by a series of inversions of the character using evil twins and projections of Desmond created by the Stone itself.
Later versions of the character were reimagined with other people using the Philosopher's Stone, first in the early ninties when Curtis Engstrom, a scientist from S.T.A.R. Labs recovered the stone and tried to use it, and then later in the early 2000's another character called Alexander Petrov takes over.
Modern depictionstend to only acknowledge the original Desmond version of the character, often casting him as a tortured brilliant chemist who resides in iron heights but who can escale and return at will.
Our Doctor Alchemy Story
What works particularly well for our purposes is the notion that Desmond's identity as Doctor Alchemy is an evil alternate personality. The fact that he is actually empowered my a mysterious mystic artiffact (which, of course, in our version will be the sole source of his power) actually works very well as an explanation of this. His obsession with the stone can even be part of that same influence, the stone looking for someone to weild it.
This means that Doctor Alchemy can be a classic Flash Villain and member of the Rogues, but that we can also be totally free to give him a redemptive arc. There are a lot of attempts to do this with the Rogues, even with the group itself, but it doesn't always ring true. In this case, it absolutely works. Desmond can actually manage to free himself from the Stone, and even be the one who manufactures the means that the Flash finally uses to destroy it. This opens up the idea that Desmond can actually be and ally to Wally.
This entire idea was concocted long before the Flash TV series essentially did the same thing, making Desmond an eventual ally of team Flash. Great minds clearly think alike.