Hot on the heels of a successful of Season 1, Season 2 of The Flash introduced a new villain to oppose Barry Allen and the STAR Labs team: Zoom, a speedster apparently from Earth-2 clad in a black version of the Flash’s iconic costume, with talon-like fingertips and a mask seemingly melted onto his face. Tony Todd lends his deep iconic voice to the role of Zoom, but the physical actor portraying the role has not been revealed.
The creation of the Singularity at the end of Season 1 created breaches between Earth-1 and Earth-2; over the course of the first half of the season, Zoom sent metahumans from Earth-2 to attempt to kill the Flash. Eventually, Zoom and Barry faced off, with Zoom easily defeating Barry, breaking his back in the process and parading his broken body in front of Central City. Only a well timed rescue by Cisco Ramon saved the day.
Only known by one name, the question is: Who is Zoom?
THE RANK OUTSIDERS
Barry Allen’s foster father Joe West has no previous connections to the Speed Force and is the “everyman” on a show where powers are the norm for a lot of the leads and recurrent guest stars. He serves as the show’s grounding rod and emotional center for many of the characters and revealing him to be the evil-incarnate Zoom would take everything about Joe’s character and effectively throw it into a breach. Of course, this revelation could also be used as a great source of drama in confrontations with Barry and the rest of the STAR Labs team. Seeing as Joe is present at the police station during Zoom’s parading of Barry’s broken body around Central City, it would most likely be the Earth-2 version of Joe that took on the mantle of Zoom if the theory proved correct.
Earth-2 established that Robert Queen was the Arrow instead of his son Oliver, establishing a precedent of fathers on Earth-2 taking up the role that their sons play on Earth-1. The possibility exists that Joe inherited Speed Force powers in place of either Earth-2 Barry or Earth-2 Wally West.
Last seen, Eddie Thawne sacrificed his own life to prevent his future descendant, Eobard Thawne, from being born and effectively erasing the Reverse-Flash from existence. But if Eobard was erased from time, why wasn’t the entire timeline that he created destroyed along with him? That question was answered in the episode The Reverse-Flash Returns. With the death of Barry’s mother being a fixed point in time that cannot be changed (in a fit of wibbly-wobbly time-wimey stuff) Eobard Thawne still exists as a timeline remnant. With the timeline not realigning itself to deal with Eobard’s removal from it the possibility exists that a version of Eddie – alternate Earth or alternate timeline – might still be lurking somewhere.
Seemingly dead and erased from existence at the end of Season 1, Eobard Thane, aka Harrison Wells, aka the Reverse-Flash, might still be an extant threat. As detailed above, the sacrifice of his ancestor, Eddie Thawne, apparently removed him from the prime timeline, but his effects on it were never undone. As revealed in the episode The Reverse-Flash Returns, Thawne is still an extant threat, the result of a timeline remnant. The death of Barry’s mother is a fixed point in time, meaning Eobard will always exist in some form to go back in time and kill her despite not being born in the prime timeline due to Eddie’s actions.
While it is clear that Eobard is still a possible future threat to Barry, his future is pretty much set – to return to the past to kill Nora Allen and then set up the entire premise of the series by impersonating Harrison Wells and creating the Flash.
A Future or Alternate Barry Allen
With time travel now one of the core concepts of the show and its subsequent spin off Legends of Tomorrow, there’s a possibility that Zoom is a future version of Barry himself, somehow corrupted by events to come and effectively turned to the dark side. With parallel universes in play, there’s also a possibility that Zoom is an alternate version of Barry from either Earth-2 or an as-yet undocumented parallel Earth. Bonus points if he takes the double crown of being a future version of an alternate Barry. Earth-2 Harrison Wells specifically mentions that Zoom wants to be the only speedster in the multiverse, indicating that he knows more about Zoom’s origins and the nature of parallel universes than he lets on.
Jay Garrick, the Flash of Earth-2, arrived on Earth-1 during the Singularity event caused by the Flash’s time travel at the end of Season 1. He was pulled into the Singularity while fighting Zoom on his world, spending six months on Earth-1 before revealing himself to the Flash and STAR Labs team. Of course, we only have Jay’s word for any of this and while Earth-2 Harrison Wells seemingly backs up his story, we know that Wells is playing his own game and is not above deception if it serves his own purposes. Like Wells/Thawne in Season 1, Garrick could be attempting to help the Flash become faster perhaps in an attempt to steal a greater portion of the Speed Force, all the while posing as his ally. Tellingly, when Barry resolves to face Zoom in Enter Zoom, Garrick refuses to be part of the operation and is conveniently absent. With the recent revelation that Jay is sick, future events to cure him may result in his alteration into Zoom.
Earth-2 Harrison Wells
Harrison Wells on Earth-1 was actually the Reverse-Flash – or to be more specific, he was Eobard Thawne from the future who had killed the original Wells and assumed his identity. What’s to say that a version of Thawne didn’t do the same on Earth-2? In some way Wells is apparently responsible for the creation of both Zoom and the Earth-2 Flash, along with all of his universe’s metahumans. Wells is almost ruled out of the running since Zoom is holding his daughter Jesse hostage and forcing Wells to help him steal Barry’s speed, but that doesn’t preclude the possibility of Zoom being a future version of Earth-2 Wells who knows exactly which pressure points to hit to make sure Wells does his bidding.
In Season 2, the Flash introduced their version of Wally West, the third man to don the Flash mantle in the comics. Instead of being Iris West’s nephew, he is now her long-lost brother and Joe West’s son. Both Iris and Joe were unaware of Wally’s existence until Francine West returned to Central City to let them know she was dying. Wally debuted in the episode Running to Stand Still.
One of the central themes of the Flash has been Barry’s relationships with the father figures in his life; the one with his actual father, Henry, and the relationship with his foster father Joe. Perhaps Wally, jealous of Barry’s relationship with the man who was his father after never knowing him, attained the power of the Speed Force and chose to destroy the man who effectively replaced him in his father’s life. The introduction of Wally West is no coincidence in a season that introduced a version of the original Flash; sooner or later, it would be safe to assume that Wally will gain superspeed. Wally has already been shown to have issues with the fact that his father did not know he existed despite being a police detective.
THE LIKELY CANDIDATES
One of the Many Other Reverse-Flashes
The obvious answer may be most simplest: Zoom is a new character based on one of the many others who have taken on the mantle of the Reverse-Flash over the years in the comics. Hunter Zolomon is most identified with the name Zoom and primarily opposed Wally West’s version of the Flash. The Reverse-Flash Returns has even introduced Hunter Zolomon into the show – as the Earth-1 version of Jay Garrick!
Edward Clariss, also known as the Rival, was the Reverse-Flash to Jay Garrick which mirrors Zoom’s rivalry with Garrick in the show. Clariss was also connected to Velocity-9, a drug that could produce super-speed: Earth-2 Harrison Wells was recently seen developing a drug known as Velocity-6 in an attempt to augment Barry’s speed to defeat Zoom, hinting at a connection.
Lastly, the newest incarnation of the Reverse-Flash is Iris West’s brother, Daniel West. Daniel West has some parallels to the current show: Wally West, the third Flash, was recently introduced as Iris’s long-lost brother. West’s black and red costume color also has more in common with this incarnation of Zoom’s outfit who traditionally wore yellow and red.
Since Season 1 revealed that the Reverse-Flash was indeed Eobard Thawne despite attempts to obscure his identity, Hunter Zolomon might be the most logical choice for Zoom’s identity.
Earth-2 Henry Allen
The most popular choice for the identity of Zoom is by far the Earth-2 version of Henry Allen. In the Earth-2 segments in the episode Enter Zoom, Robert Queen is revealed to be that universe’s Arrow, rather than his son Oliver. It would be a fitting move to have Henry Allen perform a similar substitution, somehow gaining the Speed Force in place of his son in some capacity even if he did not become the Flash of his universe.
Henry and Zoom share a similar build, and online comparisons between Zoom and Henry’s eyes show a high degree of similarity. Also, consider that the Earth-1 Henry Allen, once released from jail, basically abandoned Barry so that he could concentrate on being the Flash. Doesn’t really seem like the Henry Allen desperate to reunite with his son from Season 1 does it? Theories suggest Zoom switched places with Henry just prior to his release, keeping him prisoner to extract information about Barry’s life. The convenient departure allowed Zoom to operate without having to constantly pose as Earth-1’s Henry.
A key piece of information might be found in the episode The Darkness and the Light; Zoom sends Earth-2’s Doctor Light – a.k.a. Linda Park – to face Barry. Wells and Jay both suggest that Zoom chose her specifically because of her Earth-1 counterpart’s prior relationship with Barry. Now how did Zoom know about that unless he knew about Barry’s personal life as well?
Mike “Cavalier One” Delaney is an administrator on Wookieepedia on Wikia. He wishes that he had the Flash’s superspeed so that he would never miss the bus, not realising that if he had superspeed, he would never need to catch a bus again. You can follow him on Twitter @Cavalier1979
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