‘The Flash’ Dropped a Huge ‘Zoom’ Clue With ‘The Reverse-Flash Returns’
As with its first year, The Flash Season 2 has built a sizable mystery around the identity of its true big bad, diverting from the comics just enough to keep DC fans on their toes. Tuesday’s “The Reverse-Flash Returns” even dipped into Season 1 mythology, but may stealthily have dropped a huge bomb for Zoom’s identity as well.
You’re warned of full spoilers for Flash Season 2 outing “The Reverse-Flash Returns,” as well as potential comic spoilers for Zoom’s true identity on The CW, but a subplot tonight saw Earth-2 Flash Jay Garrick and Caitlin attempting to track down the former’s Earth-1 counterpart, hoping his cells might aid Jay in fighting whatever sickness arose when he lost his powers to Zoom. Caitlin had no such luck tracking down any record of a Jay Garrick on their world, something Jay was surprisingly revealed to have investigated already.
Rather than explain it outright, Jay took Caitlin to a local park to observe his doppelganger from a distance, revealing that Earth-1 had no Jay Garrick, but rather a counterpart whose mother lost her life in childbirth, leaving the boy to bounce around foster families, thereby taking a different name. That name, which sounded an alarm with comic fans, is none other than Hunter Zolomon.
Keep potential spoilers in mind, but “Hunter Zolomon” is in fact the comic alter-ego of Flash villain “Zoom,” originally depicted as a criminal profiler with a troubled past, who maintains a close relationship with the Wally West incarnation of The Flash (you know, the one The CW just introduced). Eventually, Hunter became paraplegic from an incident with Gorilla Grodd (note The CW only showed the character seated), eventually seeking to use the Cosmic Treadmill to reverse his condition, and subsequently winding up with a unique spin on The Flash’s abilities.
Namely, where speedsters normally derive their abilities from the “Speed Force,” Zolomon’s particular accident gives him the ability to alter time around him, therefore only appearing to move faster than The Flash. That could certainly explain a thing or two about The CW Zoom’s evidently unmatched speed, couldn’t it?
Granted, producers told us the moment Zoom was announced for Season 2 not to expect the Hunter Zolomon rendition (the design also borrows from both the “Black Flash” and Spider-Man’s Venom), and it’s more than likely “The Reverse-Flash Returns” dropped the name as a red herring of sorts, rather than to clue comic fans in ahead of other viewers. Other theories on the CW Zoom’s identity have ranged from an Earth-2 Barry (Reverse-Flash had a reason for mimicking the costume, but why would Zoom?), to either universe’s iteration of Barry’s oddly-absent father Henry Allen, but surely attaching such a telling name as “Hunter Zolomon” to a speedster’s doppelganger holds at least some significance, right?
We’ll see what producers have to say as The Flash speeds along the back half of Season 2, but did “The Reverse-Flash Returns” blow the Zoom mystery wide open?
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