Hunter Zolomon's DC Comics Backstory Could Shed Some Light On Zoom's Plans For 'The Flash'
Barry Allen's world turned upside down when he found out that his friend Jay Garrick is really Zoom on The Flash . In the April 19 episode, "Versus Zoom," the series will delve into what made the murderous speedster. The key to Zoom's creation and possible downfall might be found in the life story of Hunter Zolomon. In the CW universe, Caitlin and Jay observed a man Caitlin knows as Hunter Zolomon, Jay Garrick's Earth-1 doppelgänger, while in the process of trying to find a cure for Jay's disappearing speed. However, in the DC comics, Hunter Zolomon is already a feared Flash villain with a long history of mucking things up in Central City. The Flash does deviate from its source mythology to serve its own story often, but Zolomon's comic book backstory may include some hints about where the show will take his character.
The reveal of Jay as Zoom probably didn't come as much of a surprise to fans who've read the comics. The audience only sees Zolomon as a mild-mannered man, enjoying his day in a park. But by linking him with Garrick, The Flash was beginning to show its cards. In the comics, Zolomon is the alter-ego of Zoom, and with a childhood like his, the super-villain mantle seems to have been almost inevitable.
In the comics, Zolomon is the son of a serial killer. Hunter learns about his father's murder spree when the police finally track him down. His father murders his mother for what she knows, then is killed by the cops when he fails to surrender. Initially, the tragedy inspires Zolomon to fight crime, and he devotes himself to becoming an expert profiler. But a run-in with Gorilla Grodd (that would be the giant gorilla — you've met him) paralyzes him, and his desperation leads to his downfall.
At the time, Zolomon's pal Wally West is rocking the red suit as The Flash, but Wally won't change time to prevent the Grodd attack. Zolomon defiantly decides to do it for himself, using the Cosmic Treadmill (which is exactly what it sounds like). The attempt backfires but gifts Zolomon with unprecedented control of his own place in time. To others, that control looks like super-speed. And because all villains need a crackpot enterprise, Zolomon/Zoom makes it his duty to "improve" the lives of heroes by making sure they experience profound personal tragedy. How very thoughtful.
In the promo clip for "Versus Zoom" above, Harry tells the S.T.A.R. Labs crew that "he's a convicted serial killer." Pair that statement with the mugshot that flashes on their monitor, and it would appear that Dr. Wells is talking about Zolomon, aka Zoom. Is The Flash's Hunter is taking on his father's comic backstory? The official synopsis from the network promises a look into the villain's "painful" past on Earth-2, so the obsession with life-shaping tragedy will likely still stand.
However, many questions still remain. How did Zoom gain his powers and when did he escape from prison? (And that electric chair?) And is that a younger version of himself who he's bestowing his helmet to in the preview? Time travel is complicated, you guys. And so are concurrent universes.
This Hunter Zolomon may not be a trait-for-trait copy of the character in the comics, but it looks like The Flash is taking some cues from its source material to build another fascinating origin story.