Is Zoom Future Wally West?

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[quote]Zoom:”Never forget…I am the fastest man alive”
[/quote]

So if you watched the last episode of The Flash, then you witnessed the beating Zoom put on Barry. Actually,that’s putting it nicely. What we saw last night might have been one of the worst beatings we’ve seen a superhero ever go through. It’s like if you met your bully out by the tire swings and not only did he beat you in front of everyone but then he dragged your limp body around to different classrooms to show off his handy work. Zoom busts onto the scene like the Kool-Aid Man if the Kool-Aid Man had Tony Todd’s demonic voice, incredible speed and not a single fuck to give. He’s absolutely terrifying and has turned Barry Allen into the Fastest Man Alive…in a wheelchair.

The real question now is: Who is Zoom?

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The Flash v4 #30

There are plenty of theories out there. One of the more popular being its Future Barry from another Earth. Not a bad theory considering in The Flash Future’s End, there was an “evil” Barry who was cloaked in blue who was trying to kill his past self. Zoom’s costume is noticeable darker but he’s also sending off blue lightning. Seems like an easy answer here. There’s also one of my personal favorite theories and that’s Henry Allen. Now honestly this doesn’t make a lot of sense story-wise but for nostalgia purposes it would just be cool to see John Wesley Shipp as a speedster again. Plus, in the last episode we learned that Robert Queen was the Arrow on Earth-2 not Oliver. So could that mean that Henry Allen got speed and not Barry?

While all those theories (as well as some of the others I’ve read online) are very solid and could be true, there’s one that I haven’t seen but I think needs to be at the top of the list:

Zoom is Future Wally West

Wally West. Kid Flash. In the comics he’s the nephew of Iris (and therefore Barry). On the TV show things are switching up a bit and he’s actually going to be Iris’ long lost brother instead of her nephew. Keiynan Lonsdale has been cast to play Wally West and Iris dropped the bombshell a couple weeks ago that she knew that Francine had a son shortly after she left Joe & Iris. So we know Wally West is eventually coming to the show. All the more reason a future version of him could be Zoom. We’re all eagerly awaiting the arrival of Earth Prime Wally West and we’ve been ignoring the signs that he could be a great Zoom.

Here are my reasons for thinking its Wally West:

Multiverse Doppelgängers
This season of the Flash has made it a point to show us that anyone on Earth Prime can have an Earth-2 (or 3 or 4….) counterpart. First it was Al Rothstein/Atom-Smasher. Then we got Earth-2 Harrison Wells and Linda Park. One thing that stands out is that from what we can see, there’s no connection beyond the physical among the different versions. So, just because someone is good on one Earth doesn’t make them good on all the others and vice versa. So we could meet Earth Prime Wally West and he could be a great kid. Doesn’t mean his doppelgänger is or that a future version of himself doesn’t turn bad.

Zoom Is the Fastest Man Alive...Just like Wally
Zoom is clearly faster and has mastered using his speed more than Barry. Wally West is arguably the Fastest Man Alive, not his Uncle Barry. Wally started off being slower than Barry because he was mentally holding himself back.  Once he stopped trying to run in his Uncle’s shadow and instead forged his own path, Wally’s speed went to another level. Wally’s connection, understanding and control of the Speed Force was much greater than Barry or any other speedster. Now this of course like many things in the comics comes down to people's preference and who is writing the story. But for many, Wally is still the top dog. This falls in line with what we know about this Zoom. His speed is off the charts. He caught a lightning bolt Barry launched at him and threw it back at Barry. If I was Barry I would have gone home after that.

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The Flash v2 #199

Zoom Can Steal Speed
Jay Garrick said that in his final run-in with Zoom, Zoom was able to steal his speed. This is a power first introduced with Wally West. Wally is able to “borrow” the speed from other objects and speedsters and increase his own speed. As I mentioned before, Wally had a greater connection to the Speed Force than his uncle did at the time. Matter of fact, in trying to defeat Zoom the first time, Wally absorbs the speeds of Jay and Bart in order to try to match Zoom. Tying into the TV show, right now Barry is still learning a lot about his powers. He knows about the Speed Force but its still something he’s getting used to. Zoom on the other hand seems to have completely mastered it. He’s been traveling between the multi-verse and even peeking in on timelines. Zoom in the comics didn’t have a connection to the Speed Force but this Zoom definitely has and has a greater knowledge of it…like Wally once did.

Zoom is a Wally West Villain
In the comics, Zoom is Hunter Zolomon, a good friend of Wally West/The Flash. After being paralyzed by Grodd, Zolomon asks Flash to go back in time to change the past so that Zolomon is never shot in the knee (Long before the incident with Grodd) & his father in law was never killed. That incident got him fired from the FBI, made his wife leave him and sent him on the path that he believed ruined his life. When Flash refuses to use the cosmic treadmill to change the past for him, Zolomon gets angry at him and a bit jealous. He later tries to use the cosmic treadmill himself and due to an explosion becomes Zoom. Zoom’s conflict with Wally in the comic is personal and it leads to Zoom wanting to destroy as much of Wally’s life as he can. While Zoom’s powers in the comic are different - Zoom in the comics manipulates time and does not tap into the Speed Force since he is not actually a speedster - the personal hatred and motivation could come from a similar place if its future Wally under the mask.

Zoom has a Vendetta with Barry

[quote]Barry: “What do you want from me?”
Zoom: “Everything”[/quote]

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The Flash v2 #196

All the other reasons I pointed to could also apply to Future Barry Allen from another Earth or anyone for that matter. But what really stands out to me is that there seems to be  personal element to Zoom coming after Barry. Zoom put a beating on Barry that would make Bane and Doomsday cringe. He then dragged Barry’s limp body around Central City to show off what he did. This seems to be more personal than Zoom just wanting to eliminate other Speedsters. There has to be a motive for it all. So what could that be? To me the obvious answer is Family. Family has always been a big theme on the show but its been elevated even more this season. It’s hard not to notice the love that Joe West has for Barry. Patty even calls Joe, Barry’s father last episode. With Henry Allen out of Central City and leaving Barry with the only family he's known for the last 20 years, its easy to start to see where the tensions with Wally could come from. Barry got to grow up with the father and sister Wally never got to. In the comics, Wally reveres his Uncle Barry. He wanted to be just like him and eventually became Kid Flash (in the exact same way Barry did due to a replication of the accident). A good part of the early Wally West runs of Flash were about Wally escaping his uncle’s shadow and embracing the mantle of The Flash. Wally’s hangup was that if he started doing as good of a job (or better) than his Uncle, people would forget about Barry’s sacrifices. For the show, by making Wally the long lost son of Joe West, the relationship can go from admiration to jealousy. Iris rejects Francine and doesn’t tell Joe about her brother and his potential son. When Francine dies this could lead to Wally feeling rejected while watching Barry get the love and family he wishes he could have had.

Look at the places Zoom drags Barry’s helpless body to:

1.    Central City Picture News -  “Look at your hero. This man is no God. He is nothing”
2.    The Police Station - “The days of the Flash protecting this city are over. Now what will you do without your precious hero”

Sure, those two places could have been strategic. He could have taken Barry to the newspaper to show the City (and the World) that he defeated the Flash. Going to the police station could be another show of force. However, you could make an argument that the real audience for both those locations were Iris and Joe. Also, why did Zoom wait until he got back to Star Labs to peel off Barry’s mask? If it was really about exposing The Flash as a fraud and just a man not able to protect the people, why not expose his identity? Could be because the people who Zoom was really talking to already knew who was under the mask.

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The Flash v2 #199

Let’s take it a step further. Everyone always mentions how Barry is letting too many people know about his identity on the show but in the comics, Barry Allen is known to the public to be The Flash. Its sorta like how on Earth-2 everyone knows Jay Garrick is the Flash. How does that tie into my theory about Wally being Zoom? Well if the public eventually finds out that Barry is the Flash and the Flash museum we saw in the time stream last season is built, that would only add to the jealousy and disdain Wally would have for Barry. Barry Allen will be known and celebrated as the Flash, the fastest man alive. He would be the son who made Joe West proud. Imagine Wally having to live in that shadow of Barry Allen. Comic Wally had a loving relationship with Barry and was mentored by him. TV Wally could easily view Barry as competition for his father's love and grow to hate him. Remember the newspaper from the future in Season 1. It said the Flash disappeared while fighting Reverse Flash. This Zoom version of Wally could be from that future. He could have recreated Barry’s experiment, and gotten his powers. But what if the world didn’t accept him as the new Flash? What if the reaction he was hoping to get wasn’t enough? That could lead to him then deciding to rid the multiverse of whatever Flash and other speedsters he could find, becoming the Fastest Man Alive in the Multiverse.  Rejection and feelings of abandonment by family can lead people down a dark path. One thing Zoom tried to do was to become Wally's greatest foe so that he could teach Wally how to "be a better hero" and to do that his method was to torture Wally both physically and emotionally. Sound like TV Zoom is starting to do to Barry?
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Like I said before, there are many theories on who Zoom is and I think all of them are good. But almost every list of theories I see leave off Wally as a candidate and I think that’s a mistake. Maybe Wally isn’t the man under the mask but there’s a solid argument to be made that he could be. If you want to hear more of my thoughts on The Flash and who Zoom could be, make sure you check out our Super Tuesday Recap Reviews for The Flash and Agents of Shield on iTunes and Stitcher. You can also listen to the Character Corner we did on Wally West. The issues with Zoom's origin and his epic battles with Wally are listed.

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Charles (Kriss)

3 comments

  1. Avatar
    Creep 16 January, 2016 at 23:29 Reply

    I have the exact same thoughts!!!
    The body dragging throughout the city.(seems personal)
    Zooms suit (looks like E1 speedster)
    Generally, the reveal will only have impact if Zoom is Earth1 character, unless it is E2 or future barry .

    I was doing the same comparisons of Zoom and ComicBook Rival & Wally ‘s powers.
    May I add another clue? The Rival has gained powers using Velocity9 . Currently, they just created V6. This is an additional key that supports Zoom is from the future.

  2. Avatar
    ScorpionKing 3 February, 2016 at 05:49 Reply

    I too have my suspicion on wally west.
    In the last episode S02E12 wally was obsessing over speed. It was all about speed speed speed…

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