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- NOTE: This article is about the incarnation of Zoom from the Arrowverse. The mainstream version can be found here: Zoom.
- NOTE: This article is about the incarnation of Black Flash from the Arrowverse. The mainstream version can be found here: Black Flash.
|“||You can't... lock up... the darkness!||„|
|~ Zoom as he escapes from the Flash's trap, and also his most famous line.|
|“||I know you're here, Harrison Wells, and you did not come alone. You can try to hide, but I'm the fastest man alive! I will scour this city until I hunt you down! And when I do... ALL of you will feel my wrath!||„|
|~ Zoom vowing to hunt down and kill Harrison Wells.|
|“||Joe West: Why the charade? Running around dressed as the Flash.
Zoom: To give people hope, detective.
Joe West: Hope?
Zoom: So I can rip it away from them. It's so fun pretending to be a hero.
|~ Zoom revealing to Joe West his reason for pretending to be the Flash.|
Hunter Zolomon, also known as Zoom and formerly by the stolen identity of Jay Garrick / The Flash, is a major antagonist in the Arrowverse. He is an unhinged serial killer who became a Speedster in an accident during his shock therapy. However, he eventually began to die due to his use of the speed-enhancing Velocity-9 formula, leading to him discovering the multiverse and deciding to harness the speed of another Speedster to cure his condition, eventually targeting Barry Allen.
After he was defeated by The Flash, the Time Wraiths imprisoned him within the Speed Force, and, as punishment for his actions, the Speed Force ironically reincarnated Zoom into the guardian of the Speed Force's rules; the feral Black Flash.
He was portrayed by Teddy Sears. When disguising his voice, he was voiced by Tony Todd, who also played Candyman in the franchise of the same name, Grange in The Crow, Captain Darrow in The Rock, Earl Jenkins in Smallville, King Deucalion in Minotaur, Shadow in Shadow: Dead Riot, Benjamin Juma in the 24 franchise, The Fallen in Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, Dreadwing in Transformers Prime, Darkseid in the DC Animated Movie Universe and Luther Thompson in Scream.
Zoom appears as the secondary antagonist of The Flash, appearing as the main antagonist of Season 2, the overarching antagonist of Season 3, a minor antagonist in Season 5, and a posthumous antagonist in subsequent seasons. He also appears as a supporting antagonist in DC's Legends of Tomorrow, appearing as the overarching antagonist of Season 2 and a posthumous antagonist in Season 3, as well as both a mentioned antagonist in Arrow (appearing as a mentioned antagonist in Season 4 and a posthumous antagonist in Season 6) and a mentioned antagonist in Season 1 of Supergirl.
A citizen of Earth-2, Hunter Zolomon grew up to become a serial killer after he witnessed his father murdering his mother. When he was sent to an asylum to be cured of his insanity, he was struck by the S.T.A.R. Labs particle accellerator explosion which granted him super speed. Zolomon fled the asylum and soon became the supervillain Zoom who was feared throughout all of Central City. At one point, Zoom created the Velocity-9 serum to become even faster.
However, Hunter soon discovered that the Velocity serum was killing him and he searched for a cure and even tried to manipulate the Speed Force, only to have the Speed Force send it's enforcers, the Time Wraiths, after him which he managed to avoid. He then searched the Multiverse for a cure and found Earth-3 where he encountered another speedster, Jay Garrick/The Flash, and forcibly brought him to Earth-2 to harness his speed for himself. Hunter was unsuccessful, but kept Jay imprisoned as a trophy. Eventually, Hunter grew tired of only being the villain and decided to be the hero too and stole Jay's name and identity and operated as Jay Garrick/The Flash of Earth-2, and acted as Zoom's archenemy while still terrorizing Central City as Zoom, using time remnants of himself to maintain the appearance of both Flash and Zoom.
While searching for his cure, one day a singularity opened above Central City which lead to Earth-1, and upon investigating, Hunter discover another speedster, Barry Allen/The Flash, and decided to harness Barry's speed instead. After posing as an ally to team Flash for a long time, "Jay Garrick" was eventually revealed to be Zoom. By kidnapping Wally West, Barry's foster brother, Zoom forced Barry to give up his speed in exchange for Wally. After succeeding, he planned to conquer Earth-1 with his army of Earth-2 metahumans and destroy every other planet in the Multiverse, ensuring he remains the only speedster in the Multiverse. He also attempted to corrupt Caitlin Snow to become Killer Frost and wanted to make Barry see that the two of them were very similar and that Barry could have easily become a villain as well. Ultimately, Hunter's plan was foiled, and after a climactic battle with Barry, Hunter was transformed by Time Wraiths into a demonic creature called the "Black Flash" and imprisoned in the Speed Force. Hunter is now forced to enforce the rules of the Speed Force for all eternity. In his position as Black Flash, Zoom is forced to hunt Eobard Thawne, who has evaded his canonical death, to bring balance to the Speed Force.
Despite his eternal damnation, Hunter's actions left severe effects on Barry who then created the Flashpoint reality to undo Hunter's crimes, only to be forced to restore them when that timeline turned out to be worse and in doing so caused even more disruption to the main timeline.
Zoom is known for his obsession with speed and unstable mind. The self-proclaimed fastest man alive, he will go to incredible lengths to advance his own speed, even hunt other speedsters down from different worlds to do so. He has been known to make anyone under his control do things that are out of character, as he was able to make a simple thief like Linda Park become a killer.
The most notable feature about Zoom is his terrifying demeanor and effortlessly cruel personality, able to intimidate anyone with sheer presence, normally manipulating people into doing his bidding with "minimal" effort. His fear manipulation has allowed him to make meta-humans with powers who could defeat him (such as Atom-Smasher and aforementioned Linda Park) do what he tells them to, and because of this, Zoom was able to make them feel powerless before him. Despite this, Zoom has displayed charisma and isn't totally reliant on fear alone, he simply finds it a more effective motivator.
Zoom is shown to be rather brutal, barbarous, arrogant, egotistical and outright sadistic. He is very enthusiastic and jubilant in terrorizing innocent citizens and preying on other meta-humans like him. He enjoys boasting his superiority over his enemies, even defeated ones, displayed when after defeating Flash in combat, he proceeded to run around Central City with his helpless body in tow like a hunting trophy, showing him to the Central City Picture News and then the police department while making a speech about how Flash is nothing compared to him.
In a similar fashion to other notorious serial killers, Zoom has shown multiple signs of sadistic prowess, playing with his victims, reveling in their fear instead of outright killing them. For example he toyed with Harry by running around S.T.A.R. Labs and terrifying him instead of facing him instantly. The origin of his name was revealed when Harry told Cisco the story of how Zoom got his existence established, which was a situation where he faked a hostage situation, only to then mercilessly slaughter all of the police officers at the scene except one, letting him go to tell everyone what happened just now. The next night, he murdered the cop.
Despite being the evil maniac that he is, Zoom is actually patient, calm, and even-tempered, as he carefully plans multiple situations well ahead of time without fault. He could long-term map out his plan to "fatten up" Barry until he's so fast that he can absorb his speed and become the fastest man in the multiverse; to make sure it works, he gets together contingency plans, such as forcing Harry to help him in exchange for the safe return of his daughter Jesse.
It is later revealed that the only reason he is obsessed with speed is due to the fact that it can cure his dying body. He also pretends to be a hero like Flash, so as to "Give people hope...so that I can rip it away from them."
After emerging from the Speedforce Hunter has seemingly lost his personality, unable to even communicate, merely snarling and growling as he relentlessly hunts Eobard Thawne as an undead enforcer of the force he once tried to manipulate and abuse.
Powers and Abilities
- Speed Force connection: Zoom has shown that he is incredibly powerful. The full extent of his power has so far been shown during his battle with Barry in "Enter Zoom". He naturally has the same abilities as Barry, though with his usage of the Velocity drug, his powers have been artificially enhanced. Through the absorption of Barry's powers, his powers may have further enhanced as well, beyond his artificial enhancements. Unlike Barry, Jay and Eobard, whose speed is emphasized by red/yellow lightning coming off of them, Zoom's lightning is light blue, which is visible even when he is not using his speed.
- Death touch: After becoming an enforcer of the Speed Force, Hunter can kill any speedster he touches by phasing his hand into their chests, which notably caused Eobard Thawne to return to being erased from existence and obliterated him and caused the past selves he brought with him to fade from existence.
- Decay Inducement: After his transformation by the Time Wraiths, Hunter gained their ability to cause cellular decay and drain people of life through physical contact. He tried to cause Flash to decay into a corpse, but this was stopped before the process was complete or even permanent.
- Eye transformation: Hunter can change the color of his eyes to pure black due to the physical corruption caused by the Velocity serum. This serves as both identity concealment and as a mean of intimidation (in the case of pure black). However, this is not a result of his electrokinesis, unlike fellow speedsters. Following his transformation into the enforcer of the Speed Force, Hunter is still capable of accessing his ability. This ability is seen once more during his fight with Barry Allen, as his eyes were pitched black.
- Voice changing: When Hunter was Zoom he can change is voice to sound monstrous, similar to speedsters like Eobard Thawne or Edward Clariss. This ability appears to stem from his Eye Transformation. After he became a servant to the Speed Force, Hunter lost what remained of his sanity, reduced to a feral being incapable of speech.
- Superhuman Speed: Zoom is able to move at immense speeds. He further increased his speed using velocity drugs. He is stated to be capable of exceeding light-speed (299,792,458 m/s), which could explain why he can go through the breaches between Earth-2 and Earth-1, and can move at speeds of Mach6-8, easily outmatching Barry's speed in their first fight. After gaining all of Barry's Speed-Force energy, he became much faster, able to snap the necks of nearly every person in Jitters in less than a second, leaving them all collapsing at virtually the same time. When he and Barry raced for the last time, Zoom was shown to be able to stay ahead of him for a considerable amount of time, with Barry only defeating him when he was caught off-guard. He later displayed being able to catch up to the 2019 Flash when he was protecting XS, who was the fastest speedster ever. After his transformation by the Time Wraiths, he has gotten much faster, being able to not only keep up with the even faster Barry, whose speed was close to that of Savitar's, catching up to him to the point where Barry had to deal with him first, but even surprise him and likewise he could effortlessly blitz Eobard's time-remnant before he could run away.
- Superhuman Agility: Zoom possesses inhuman bodily coordination, balance, equilibrium and dexterity. He is able to change direction immediately, thus allows him to make sharp turns on city streets without sliding or losing his balance.
- Superhuman Reflexes: Zoom's reaction time is augmented due to his powers, able to easily accomplish winning a battle with minimal effort. Even Barry Allen was unable to beat him despite all of his powers and training he received from Eobard Thawne. His reaction time has also allowed him to catch numerous bullets fired at him by multiple cops all at the same time, then dropping them to the ground to emphasize his superiority.
- Superhuman Stamina: While utilizing his speed-based abilities, he tires at an extremely slowed rate, even with his highly accelerated metabolism.
- Superhuman Momentum: By building up enough physical force from any part of his body, Zoom is able to deal very punishing blows. This allowed him to exert inhuman physical strength with almost absolute ease. He was able to swiftly pummel Barry to a bloody mess, even breaking his spine, to the point where Barry needed a full week to recover from the beating.
- Electrokinesis: Originally, like Barry, Hunter emitted yellow electricity from his body. After usage of the Velocity drug made his body now produce sapphire blue lighting, a sign of his extreme over-usage of it. Even while only slightly accessing his powers, Zoom would produce a powerful aura of blue lightning from his body that always emanated off of him, whether he was moving at super speed or not. He could also manipulate electricity by touching it, as when Barry tried hurling lightning at Hunter, he managed to grab and hold the lightning as if it were a tangible object and hurl it back at him. He is also able to perform this same feat with his own electricity as he taught Barry how to do so. When he grabbed Harrison and stabbed him with his claws, he was able to transfer electricity into him, causing him extreme pain. Upon his transformation by the Time Wraiths, Hunter now generates red lightning.
- Energy Absorption: Zoom is capable of absorbing Speed Force energy that he injects himself with, for more power.
- Enhanced Strength: Due to the high quantities of speed force energies inside him, Zoom has displayed a high degree of superhuman strength even without his speed. He was able to lift Barry and carry him effortlessly throughout Central City with a single hand like a ragdoll and easily break Barry's spine.
- Enhanced Mind: Zoom's speed also extends to his mental capacities, allowing him to take in information and process it at much faster rates than a normal human. This ability allows Eobard to see the world as if it is in slow motion, which, combined with his physical speed, lets him perform thoughts and actions long before a normal human around him could even perceive them.
- Enhanced Senses: Zoom possesses enhanced senses that allow him to clearly see and hear when moving at superhuman speeds that would normally not allow this.
- Dimensional Travel: Zoom was able to travel between Earth-1 and Earth-2 at will using the "breaches" between worlds, his speed allowing him to temporarily stabilize the interdimensional "corridors" that linked any one breach on Earth-2 with a corresponding breach on Earth-1, letting him and those he brings along pass through them. After stealing Barry's Speed Force energy, Hunter became powerful enough to create breaches with his own speed. He was able to create a portal out of thin air with a simple punching motion.
- Time Travel: Zoom can use his speed to travel through time.
- Time Remnant Construction: Zolomon was the pioneer speedster to create a temporal duplicate through time travel. He has used this ability to produce his time remnant "Jay Garrick" in order to help him with his plans.
- Superhuman Durability: The Speed Force energies inside him have increased his durability as well. In "Enter Zoom", he and Barry wound up flung several hundred feet into the air and then fell back to the ground, but Zoom was apparently unharmed by this
- Accelerated Healing: The speed force connection has increased his metabolism, allowing for an accelerated healing rate. It is unknown if the Velocity 9 serum boosted this power. After absorbing Barry's powers, his healing factor was increased to the point of healing the damages done by the Velocity 9, while still keeping the enhancements. However, his transformation into Black Flash displayed that he had apparently lost the ability, as he shatters upon being frozen by Killer Frost rather than start to thaw out after freezing.
- Phasing: Zoom was able to walk through walls and glass with ease by vibrating his molecules to match the resonate frequency of these solid surfaces. He also phased his arm through Jay Garrick's back and made it protrude from his chest before pulling back through to Earth-2.
- Speed Force Senses: He can sense the users of the Speed Force across the timelines.
- Genius-level Intellect/Master Scientist/Master Tactician/Leader/Manipulator/Deceiver: Both as Hunter Zolomon and Zoom, he is an extremely intelligent man. He is extremely well-read and scientifically adept, excelling in both physics and chemistry. Confident in his own abilities, Hunter would even work in his own personal lab for his research and was a successful part-time professor and even worked out a way to purify heavy water without residual radiation. His knowledge of the Speed Force and how to make use of super speed also proved useful in his exploits as the Flash, coming up with various useful feats with and could likewise teach Barry how to use them. His scientific abilities allowed him to develop the Velocity 6 successfully and deduce that he could be cured with enough Speed Force and was able to design prisons capable of holding meta-humans and devices to dampen their powers. He also modified the Magnetar into a gigantic "race lap" capable of channeling energies from running speedsters to the point where it could potentially destroy the Multiverse. He proved himself to be an exceptional strategist, leader, manipulator and deceiver, as he was able to both cause and fight chaos in Central City as both Zoom and the Flash so effectively and convincingly that no one, even his followers, ever suspected the truth, and manipulate powerful meta-humans, either through simple bargaining or fear-extortion, such as Atom-Smasher or Sand Demon to do his bidding, under the promise of returning them to their world afterwards, even adjusting the strategy based on knowledge on Barry's personal life he attained from Jay, while remaining completely unsuspected by them. When he faced Barry the first time, Hunter easily countered every strategy Barry attempted. Hunter also came up with the plan of sending meta-humans from Earth Two to battle against Barry, so the latter could quickly reach his full potential, before Hunter could steal Barry's speed. Controlling nearly every meta in Earth-2, Zoom was able to coordinate their efforts while also being the Flash in secret, overwhelming the government of his world and later nearly conquering Earth 1.
- Intimidation: He commands a frightening/terrifying presence with his monstrous voice and terrifying appearance of his suit slitted mouth. He uses fear to get his opponents/enemies and allies guard and get others to do his bidding.
- Master hand-to-hand combatant: He is able to easily defeat his foes with his powers in conjunction with his impressive hand-to-hand combat skills. He fought Barry with minimal effort, easily beating him to near death without any signs on slipping up or making a mistake. His claws also seem to help with his powers, able to slice into his enemies with their ferocity, sharpness and strength.
- Extreme Cold Temperatures: For every speedster low temperatures are a problem as it slows them down and can weaken their super-speed. It is proven Zoom possess this weakness when Earth-2 Killer Frost used her ice-based powers to stall him long enough for Team Flash to escape. Earth-1 Killer Frost killed him as Black Flash.
- Low Intelligence: Due to his new zombified state, his sentience and intellect is below human ability. This makes him easy to be tricked or fooled.
- Sensory Deprivation: Due to his new condition, he cannot sense an individual if they are neither moving or not using the Speed Force. This enabled Eobard to stand still and not be sensed by the demonic speedster, despite the latter standing right in front of his eyes.
- Velocity 9: While he was empowered by the Velocity 9 serum in his system and it boosted his speed to termendous increase of levels in his powers, but at the cost the speed drug had a severely side-effect of cellular degeneration. The lasting side effect caused him cellular degeneration would in due course kill him. His remaining traces of natural Speed Force energy/"Healing Factor" significantly slowed down the damage to his body, though he knew his healing was unable to hold it off for long. In addition to these enhancements only being temporary, they left his natural connection to the Speed Force weakened so much that he could no longer use his powers naturally without the serum nor could the Speed Force be detected in him. After gaining Barry's super-speed based powers, he no longer suffers from cellular degeneration, even though his body still has the Velocity 9's artificial enhancements.
- Psychological Trauma: He suffers from severe PSTD, likely due to his rough upbringing in orphanages and watching his father kill his mother in front of him. Whenever Caitlin Snow calls him a "Monster", he suffers from a small episode of extreme psychological trauma. When Barry used his past to his advantage, Zoom not only suffered small episodes of extreme psychological trauma, but also lost his focus and tactical/rational thinking, which in turn made him easily predictable, momentarily stunned & more feral, thus allowing Barry to capitalize by trapping him.
- Time Wraiths: He was easily subdued by Time Wraiths, which are speed force phantoms deployed to capture a speed force user who has violated too many Speed Force laws. Zoom would always avoid Time Wraiths.
List of Victims
- Ronnie Raymond/Deathstorm
- Martin Stein/Deathstorm
- Francisco Ramon/Reverb
- Killer Frost (Earth-2)
- Dante Ramon/Rupture
- Henry Allen
- Eobard Thawne/Reverse-Flash (later returned)
- 23 Earth-2 Central City residents
- 15 Earth-2 Central City Police Department officers
- 4 Earth-2 S.T.A.R. Labs security guards
- 8 Earth-1 Central City Police Department officers
- 2 time remnants
- Al Rothstein
- Al Rothstein/Atom-Smasher
- Eddie Slick/Sand Demon
- Erik Larkin
- Numerous unnamed people
- The apparent reason for casting Tony Todd to voice Zoom was that the show's creators wanted to do something different, as they simply had Tom Cavangh (Eobard Thawne) distort his voice. They even compared their portrayal of Zoom to the iconic Star Wars villain Darth Vader, who had an iconic voice but separate actor in the armor.
- Zoom displays all of the seven deadly sins at one point or another.
- Wrath: He's easily angered and he loves bloodshed, even before becoming a Speedster.
- Greed: He wants to steal Barry's super-speed.
- Gluttony: He keeps taking Velocity serums even though it threatens his life.
- Lust: He's obsessed with Caitlin, even trying to give her Stockholm Syndrome.
- Sloth: He prefers sending his minions after Barry rather than going after him personally.
- Envy: He steals Jay Garrick's identity just so he can pretend to be a hero.
- Pride: He wants to nail his position as the fastest man alive by killing every other speedster.
- Zoom's eyes have been changed. In a previous version seen in trailers and in the Season 2 premiere when Cisco had a vision of him, his eyes were glowing blue. The current version has black eyes, presumably to prevent repetitiveness, as Eobard Thawne had glowing red eyes when he used his powers.
- Zoom's supposed ability to steal the speed of other speedster has by now been proven false as he needs the help of the Earth-2 Wells to do so. This has been further backed up by his admittance that he lost his speed due to an overreliance on the Velocity drugs.
- Before his identity was revealed in "King Shark", Zoom was played by an Australian stuntman named Ryan Handley, who would later go on to play Godspeed in Season 5 while costumed.
- Though praised as a truly scary villain, Zoom's story has received some criticisms for it conflicting aspects.
- Zoom operating as the Flash without a mask as "Jay Garrick" then being showed to be a known serial killer named Hunter Zolomon instantly recognized to Earth-2 citizens, his face even been shown on the front page of a newspaper. This had lead to debate as to why no one recognized "Jay" as Hunter. Though since the photo of Hunter in the news showed him with significant more facial hair, which was also grey rather than blonde, it's possible people simply didn't make the connection. This seems to be confirmed by Caitlin not instantly recognizing "Jay" as Hunter in the same paper Harrison Wells shows her, needing a moment to process it.
- Zoom's use of time remnants, using younger versions of himself and then killing them without causing his present-day self to be erased from the timeline, has confused audiences.
- While it has been chalked up that Zoom used time remnants to pose as The Flash his dialogue suggests that he was personally carrying out the "heroic deeds" as The Flash. However, it has been shown that using the Velocity drug is what caused Zoom's lightning to turn blue which he did before becoming the Flash. Although it is possible he is capable of reverting his lightning back and forth.
- Zoom is arguably the evilest and darkest villain in The Flash as he beats every other villain in the show in means of cruelty.
- Zoom was the second evil speedster to appear in the show. The first was Eobard Thawne, followed by Trajectory, the Rival, Savitar, and Godspeed. However, Zoom is the only one of these evil speedsters to be considered Pure Evil.
- In the comics, Hunter Zolomon isn't anywhere near as evil as he was in the Arrowverse. He has a much more tragic backstory (his serial-killing father murdering his mother before being gunned down by the police, getting divorced by his wife after the death of his father-in-law, getting crippled twice while working with the FBI, and the Flash refusing to undo all of this via time-travel), and his motivation as Zoom is making Wally West a better superhero rather than For the Evulz.
- It is unknown if Hunter is actually dead, but as he doesn't appear after, he is most likely dead. Malcolm Merlyn and Ricardo Diaz are deceased too. This makes actually Slade Wilson (now redeemed), the only former main antagonist surviving in the original multiverse. After the Anti-Monitor's Crisis, Slade Wilson is incarcerated and presumably remains an antagonist.
- When Black Siren was in conflict with Ricardo Diaz on Arrow, she told him that he reminded her of Zoom and remarked how he's just as full of hate and rage.
- Zoom serves as a dark counterpart to what Barry would have become if he let the death of his mother get the best of him.