It's pretty clear that the reason Harrison Wells become one of The Flash 's most popular characters is the mystery that surrounds him. Over the course of only a few episodes, we have come to learn that there is a darkness underneath his kind, mentor-like appearance. For starters, he is faking the inability to walk, has a holographic newspaper from 10 years in the future, and has killed in order to protect Barry Allen. There are a variety of hints as to who Wells really is and what he wants. If you're a comic lover like me, you've probably come up with a host of theories. The most popular theory? Harrison Wells is Professor Zoom.
We might've already seen Professor Zoom, as the yellow blur responsible for the death of Barry's mother could have been him, so it is only a matter of time before we get a closer look at what makes this villain tic. Like all long-running comic book characters, Professor Zoom's background has shifted quite a bit. Born Eobard Thawne in the 25th Century, he became obsessed with Barry Allen to the point that he recreated the circumstances that gave Barry his superpowers, which aged Thawne in the process. If that wasn't crazy enough, he gets plastic surgery to look like Barry and travels back in time to meet his idol. Thawne becomes the unhinged villain Professor Zoom along the way. Throughout Thawne's history we have seen him protect Barry, because without The Flash, he never becomes Professor Zoom. Why would Wells act as a close friend and mentor if he wants to destroy Barry? Well, Professor Zoom is an odd villain, and that's saying something considering how wonderfully bonkers comics can get. The key aspect about Professor Zoom is that he is a villain born of obsession, not hate.
Harrison Wells shares Professor Zoom's intelligence, manipulative techniques, and obsessive desire to protect Barry. We know he is either from the future or has access to it because of the way he has discussed certain events. This is also seen when in his super secret, creepy lair, he watches Barry get struck by lightning on a screen, witnessing the event that makes him The Flash we know and love. Knowing that involves a very detailed knowledge of future events. We have also seen Wells grow a bit unhinged when he yelled at Cisco for creating and losing the weapon that got into Captain Cold's possession and could very well kill Barry.
Wells operates as a mentor trying to make Barry a better hero. He also knows Barry better than Barry knows himself. Professor Zoom is a villain obsessed with making The Flash a better hero for his own ends and torturing his former idol in the process. What better way to do that than become the mentor Barry needs? Certain questions do arise from Wells turning out to be Professor Zoom. Like how can he be responsible for giving Barry his powers by creating the particle accelerator? Professor Zoom has shown a tendency to erase people from the timeline completely or radically alter their fates. It isn't outlandish to believe he shifted events enough to be the highly lauded physicist and director behind S.T.A.R. Labs.
I know this reveal may seem a bit outlandish, but this is a show about a cute forensic investigator who can run faster than the speed of light. Besides, what isn't excitingly outlandish on The Flash? But let me dispel a few nagging suspicions about why Wells may not be Professor Zoom.
The name Eobard Thawne sounds familiar, doesn't it? Well, Iris' boyfriend/her father's partner is named Edward "Eddie" Thawne. However I think this will ultimately be figured out to be a red herring. Keep in mind both Arrow and The Flash have a tendency to take the mantle from the characters they are usually associated with and pass them along to another relative, which can be seen in how Black Canary has been handled.
I also have come across some theories that Harrison Wells is actually the third Reverse-Flash, Hunter Zolomon, who goes by the nickname Zoom. But that doesn't really fit with his characterization. Besides, that Reverse-Flash was more of a foe to the third Flash, Wally West. Confusing, right? Such is the joy of reading comic books.
A new promo (above) gives us a bit more of a peak behind the curtain, so to speak. We see more of Wells' secret lair and hear him wax poetic about how "Barry Allen must have a future." The great thing about this mystery is that nearly everything Wells does, no matter how creepy, can be construed in multiple ways. What this promo underscores is how Wells is revealing himself to be more and more unhinged as time goes on... just not when Barry is around.
I think revealing that Harrison Wells is Professor Zoom should come next season. I would love for the show to keep building up tension and confounding the audience. But it seems Professor Zoom could be making an appearance this season, as leaked set photos show either him or Reverse-Flash fighting The Flash. So we may be able to either confirm or rule out Wells as Professor Zoom sooner than I would have hoped. No matter the outcome, it's clear that Wells isn't a man who can be entirely trusted and will continue to have a profound influence on the fledgling superhero, The Flash.