WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for My Hero Academia #290, by Kohei Horikoshi, Caleb Cook and John Hunt, available now from Viz Media.
Although Dabi is one of My Hero Academia's key villains, the powerful fire user's backstory has remained shrouded in mystery since he was first introduced early on in manga's run. As a result of this ambiguity, there have been a lot of fan theories about just who Dabi might actually be. Many prominent fan theories have suggested that, due to his powerful fire-based Quirk, Dabi might be Touya/Toya Todoroki, the eldest child of Enji Todoroki/Endeavor and Rei Todoroki. My Hero Academia #267 only further stoked the fan theory fires when the villain revealed his true name to Hawks. However, in that issue, the bubble with Dabi's real name was blacked out, leaving the truth unknown. Now, My Hero Academia #290 has finally confirmed Dabi's true identity: Toya Todoroki.
In the lead-up to My Hero Academia #290, the manga's various heroes found themselves taking on Tomura Shigaraki, who got a major power boost thanks to Daruma Ujiko. While the heroes have been banding together and preparing to take down the villain once and for all, Shigaraki's remaining allies in the Paranormal Liberation Front have come to his aid -- including Dabi, who sees himself as a successor to Stain, the Hero Killer.
At the start of My Hero Academia #290, the showdown continues. During the battle, Dabi confronts Endeavor and Shoto Todoroki as the former prepares to attack Gigantomachia. While at first, Endeavor calls Dabi by his nom de plume, the villain soon corrects him, saying, "Ouch... Is that any way to address me? I have a great name. Call me Toya."
Neither Shoto or Endeavor recognize Dabi is Toya, which disappoints the villain. From there, Dabi reveals that a message he pre-recorded is now playing nationally. In his monologue, Toya explains that he's the son of Endeavor and has "killed over 30 innocent people in cold blood." The villain then explains just why he turned evil. The result of a "Quirk Marriage" between Enji and Rei designed to give them the most powerful possible offspring, Toya didn't live up to expectations and was "tossed aside and forgotten."
Following that abandonment, Toya watched Endeavor and waited for the chance to destroy his father's career. While he at one point intended to get his revenge on Shoto later, Dabi couldn't resist the chance to take down Endeavor when he became the number one hero. Dabi also makes clear that he's been behind a number of recent attempts on Endeavor's life, and that he's now prepared to kill his father himself.
Dabi's true identity is an absolute game changer for My Hero Academia and the Todoroki family. While Enji had recently made some inroads with his family, this is sure to rock them to their core, as Endeavor's previous sins are coming back to haunt everyone. Dabi's choice to release this information to the general public will almost certainly destroy Enji's reputation, meaning that no matter the outcome to the battle as a whole, Endeavor has already lost.
My Hero Academia #291 will release Nov. 15 from Viz Media.