The Flash: Zoom Explained (Maybe)

Jamie Udinson Fanny Pack
April 1st, 2016

I'm a secret agent by day, but by night I'm a great pontificator of all things nerd on television. I write for and might be lurking in your Twitch stream. Sometimes I play Hearthstone while I wait for my lattes. Enjoy!

ComiConverse Contributor, Fanny Pack, is here to talk all things Zoom—now that we know who Zoom is, how on Earth(s) did he get here, and why?

Oh... and if you don't know who Zoom is yet - Spoiler Alert!

Things have become quite complicated on The Flash lately. With the recent reveal of Zoom’s identity to be that of Team Flash’s supposed ally, Jay Garrick, the show may have answered one of our burning questions, while simultaneously giving rise to about a thousand more. Are Zoom and Jay Garrick the same version of the same person from Earth-2?

Who was Earth-1’s Hunter Zolomon?

Even for Team Flash, the whole thing seems kind of impossible, right?

Well, I presume the show will reveal all at some point in the near future, but for now, I think there have been clues throughout the season that will help us to understand exactly how Zoom came to be and why.

Zoom Clue #1: Time Travel

In the Flash/Arrow crossover episode, Legends of Today, we revisited Barry’s time travel abilities. This may have seemed like just a necessary lead in for the Legends of Tomorrow series, which deals almost exclusively with time travel, but the writers could have also chosen specifically to recap the consequences of traveling through time for a later tie-in to the Zoom story. Barry is reminded over and over again about the awful things that can happen when he tampers with the past, and those reminders are helpful for those of us who yell “just run back and fix it!” every time something bad happens in Central City.

The Season 2 return of Eobard Thawne in the episode titled The Reverse Flash Returns, gave the audience another lesson in time travel science. The reemergence of the Reverse Flash left viewers scratching their heads—how could Eobard Thawne still be alive after Eddie Thawne’s sacrifice last season? Well, we learned that there may be several versions of a speedster because time does not always move in a linear fashion. The Eobard Thawne of Season 2 was the Reverse Flash before he did any of the terrible things he did in Season 1.

Interesting, very interesting, indeed.

Jay Garrick as Zoom

Credit: CW

Zoom Clue #2: Doppelgängers

We also know that speedsters can be in two places at once, as we were lovingly reminded by Barry in Trajectory. I must admit that I found it odd that Jay showed Caitlin his Earth-1 doppelgänger, that is that Jay just happened to know where his counterpart was hanging out randomly in the middle of the day, and that this version's name was not 'Jay Garrick.' Now, this could have absolutely been a time travel effect, but it could have also been a speedster thing. Jay could have been both standing next to Caitlin and sitting on that bench, at least appearing to be there from afar, anyway. This seems a little tough to pull off with Caitlin so close by, but not impossible.

Hunter Zolomon

Credit: CW

Zoom Clue #3: Velocity 9 and the Blue Lightning

Velocity 9 is no stranger to the DC Comics universe. Its first appearance was in The Flash (Volume 2) #12, and it was originally created by Vandal Savage. Of course, in the DC cinematic universe, Caitlin Snow has taken the place of Vandal Savage as Velocity 9’s creator, but the effects remain the same—the serum gives the user access to the Speed Force but has some extremely negative side-effects. We saw first-hand just how bad those side-effects were in Trajectory, while we watched Caitlin’s scientist friend, Eliza Harmon, become a Velocity 9 junkie who following a complete mental break from her own personality acted as a violent, chaos-loving, thieving speedster. But perhaps the biggest clue from this episode as to how Zoom has come to be was the blue lightning surrounding Trajectory as she ran faster than Barry has ever before. Eliza’s overdose of Velocity 9 led to her quick demise via a speedy (pun intended) full-body cellular degeneration, leaving her only remains an empty suit and face mask. Now, we know that Jay Garrick was suffering side effects of Velocity 6; the main side effect being a slow cellular degeneration that would have eventually led to his death, if he didn’t die from a hand through the chest first. Finally putting the pieces together, Team Flash also realized that Zoom is dying in the same manner and is stealing speed in order to stay alive.

These clues paint a spotty picture of where I think the writers are going with Zoom.

Understandably, Barry is devastated yet again that he placed his trust in the wrong person, but I am not entirely sure it is that simple. Perhaps Zoom was what happened when Jay Garrick took Velocity 6, just like Velocity 9 made Eliza Harmon into Trajectory. Perhaps Jay Garrick, Hunter Zolomon on the bench, Zoom, and maybe even the Iron Mask guy are all the same person, just out of different times. Perhaps Jay was evil the whole time and thought that a perfected Velocity 9 was the answer to his long-term problems. Seem too complicated?

I wager we haven’t seen anything yet.


Credit: CW


Watch The Flash on the CW Network, Tuesdays at 8/7 C!


Fanny Pack is a Contributor to ComiConverse. Follow her on Twitter: @Onapack

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