52 years ago - Roscoe Dillon is born.
33 years ago - 19-year-old Roscoe first starts working full heists in Central City.
30 years ago - 22-year-old Roscoe is in a heist stopped by Johnny Quick. He is caught in a spatial backlash of speedforce energy, and gains an uneven connection to the speed force. He becomes The Top, experimenting with new ways to weild the Speed Force in a fight.
26 years ago - 26-year-old Roscoe's higher brain fuctions are clearly being affected by his hyper-spatial movement as he becomes several orders of magnitude smarter but also deeply psychotic.
23 years ago - 29-year-old Roscoe's powers fluctuate when Lisa Snart becomes pregnant with Digger Harkness's child. He stops being so active as the Top.
15 years ago - 37-year-old Roscoe Dillon joins the Rogues, vieing for control before he is shut down by Leonard Snart.
14 years ago - 38-year-old Roscoe Dillon's powers flare. He attacks the Rogues and battles the Flash, ultimately dieing as the Speed Force consumes him.
I refer to Flash Villains fairly regularly on this site as the prime example of what happened when comics were written in the fifties with children as the intended audience. They are simple little one-note gimmicks, often designed just so that there can be a clever image of them on the cover. Over the decades, a lot of great writers have taken all those villains and done a lot of work to make them feel more substantial, but they pretty much all still have a certain sheen of their original childish origins. The Top is actually the one I use most often in conversations on this topic. He's just a prime example of how silly these villains were when they were invented, and how cool they became.
The Top's Comic History
The Top was invented in 1961 by Carmine Infantino & John Broome, and is one of my favorite examples of the goofball Flash Villains of the era. He was a criminal that was obsessed with tops and taught himself how to spin fast enough to deflect bullets. It's utterly rediculous, but later Flash writers actually do the work to take this completely implausible character and retroactively infuse him with all sorts of narrative innovation.
In later years, long after his actual death, we started to get references to Roscoe having developed connections to the Speed Force. The Flash's power souce has become a pretty wide-reaching source of physics-defying potential, and this classic oddball villain actually became a fun vechicle for exploring some of it's weirder applications. We saw him start to play a more interesting roll in the history of the Flash, possessing bodies to come back from the dead and vieing for control of the Rogues. He was heavily caught up in the brainstorming storyarcs that branched out from the Identity Crisis arc, but even after all of the hullabaloo he continues to be a recurring feature of the Flash's gallery of villains.
Our "Top" Story
We're latching onto the idea of the Top having his weird Speed Force powers as a cool way to introduce some really neat concepts into the timeline.
First and foremost, The Top is the easiest way to explain how the modern-day Captain Boomerang Owen Mercer wound up with speed powers... by making his sometime girlfriend Golden Glider Owen's mom. Of course, in order for everyone's ages to line up properly that means that the Top has to be operating before Barry Allen ever becomes the Flash... but thankfully we have a totally workable Speed Force-based hero in Johnny Quick that can serve just as well as the early nemesis of Roscoe here.
Meanwhile, He actually works really well as an early internal conflict for the Rogues. It's absolutely in continuity for Captain Cold and the Top to vie for control of the team of supervillains, we just grabbed that and moved it earlier in the timeline so that it serves as an early test of Cold's leadership. The Top fits really well into our timeline and really helps develop all the characters around him, and winds up a pretty fun character himself.