Zoom took his name from Professor Zoom, also known as the Reverse Flash, Barry Allen's archenemy from the 25th Century. Professor Zoom was obsessed with the second Flash and later killed his wife Iris (who was actually sent to the future). Not knowing his wife was still alive, Barry hunted down Eobard and in the resulting fight accidentally broke Professor Zoom's neck.
This page deals with Hunter Zolomon Zoom, for further information on Eobard Thawne see: Professor Zoom.
Zoom (aka Hunter Zolomon) was created by Geoff Johns and Scott Kolins. Zoom made his first comic book appearance in Flash Secret Files #3.
Hunter Zolomon grew up in Richmond, Virginia. His parents rarely spoke too one another or even to him. On the day Hunter was set to leave home to go to college, on his way home he found the police laying siege to his home. He found out that his father was a serial killer who had killed five young girls. Hunter's mother gave her husband up to the police but this caused him to murder her and then be killed by the cops after he refused to come willingly. After this, Hunter became obsessed with understanding how the criminal mind functions and stopping people like his father from killing innocent people. Hunter studied psychology and criminology at George Mason University where he met his girlfriend, and later wife, Ashley. Both of them shared a love of running and eventually joined the F.B.I. together and became agents. Hunter's love for Ashley was only seconded by his love for her father, whom he saw a a surrogate father figure.
Both Hunter and Ashley worked under Ashley's father in the FBI's profiler division for a period shortly after they were married. During that time, Zolomon profiled dozens of low-level super-criminals believing wholeheartedly that many were not merely "evil" but misunderstood and mentally unstable due to their tragic backgrounds. Unfortunately, the Zolomons' career at the FBI was tragically cut short. When Hunter was profiling a costumed criminal named "The Clown," he miscalculated the villain's childlike mindset and convinced Ashley's father that the criminal they were pursuing would be unable to face his adult life, and thus would be unable to use a gun as a weapon. He was wrong. As a result of the incident, Ashley's father was killed, and Hunter himself was shot in the leg, partially crippling him and forcing him to use cane to walk. As such, Hunter would never run again. Ashley left Hunter soon after this, and he was also was let go from the FBI. Later on it was revealed that Ashley was the one who was largely responsible for Zolomon's discharge from the Bureau, holding a grudge over Hunter's arrogant assumptions concerning criminal behavior, and because of his causative role in the death of her father.
Eventually, Hunter found himself in Keystone City, home to the Flash. There, he was able to get a job in the local precinct as a criminal profiler, working in the Department of Metahuman Hostilities. With his new range of work, he was in constant contact with the Flash, Wally West. The two soon struck it off and became good friends. Hunter was a key player in several of Flash’s cases, yet he always felt resentment towards the Flash as he was stuck behind a desk.
A Timely Creation
Hunter was injured by Gorilla Grodd when Grodd staged a massive prison break and as a result was left paralyzed from the waist down. Hunter asked Wally to use the cosmic treadmill, found in the Flash Museum, to travel back in time and stop the event from taking place. Wally declined the offer saying that he could not take the chance in disrupting the time stream. Hunter was angered by this, and felt that Wally had refused his offer because he had never suffered personal tragedy or loss like the previous Flashes (i.e. Barry Allen) and thus could never understand the importance of Zolomon's request or how terrible it truly felt to suffer great loss. Consequently, Hunter broke into the Flash Museum in a desperate attempt to use the cosmic treadmill himself. It didn’t work. The resulting explosion destroyed the museum. It was soon after that Hunter found that all was not well. The explosion at the museum had
knocked Hunter's connection to time out of sync. With this he was able to slow down time and move normally through out it, thus giving the impression of super speed.
Hunter decided that if he could cause a great tragedy in Wally’s life he would be able to make the Flash a better hero, and thus, became the new Zoom. Zoom began a reign of terror which of course grabbed the attention of the scarlet speedster. To defeat his new enemy, Wally had to reach Zoom's near light speed motion. Flash had to borrow Kid Flash’s (Bart Allen) and Jay Garrick's speed to catch up with him, and in Wally’s words, "even with their speed, Zoom was still a blur."
Eventually, Wally was able to bring Zoom down, preventing him from killing Linda Park, who at the time was pregnant with twins. However, Linda suffered a miscarriage due to being hit partially by Zoom's sonic boom. Using the slight “rips” in time created by the use of Zoom's powers Wally was able to force Hunter into a temporal anomaly where he would watch the death of his father-in-law over and over, all while in a comatose state.
Hunter's ex-wife, Ashley, replaced him in Keystone City as a profiler. She spent a lot of time trying to communicate with Hunter. She was hospitalized due to her involvement in a car accident. It was at this time that Hunter awoke from his coma, out of concern for his spouse. Even though plagued with concern, he chose to stay within his cell.
Major Story Arcs
For More Information: Rogue War
Zoom was driven out of his self-imposed imprisonment by Cheetah in an attempt to both harness super-speed and induct him into the growing Secret Society of Super Villains. The two shared a minor romance, but nothing serious happened as Zoom considered himself to still be married to Ashley.
Zoom later infiltrated the already-growing "Rogue War" between Captain Cold's Rogues, the Trickster's reformed Rogues, and the Top's brainwashed rogues. Quickly spiriting his estranged wife Ashley out of danger to the home of Linda Park,Zoom returned to the battlefront to dispatch Captain Cold, claiming that the "Man Who Mastered Absolute Zero" was wasting the Flash's time with his longstanding, self-aggrandizing methods of villainy.
Zoom was not done. As the Flash and Kid Flash (Bart Allen) attempt to contain the battle, Zoom throttled Kid Flash and threatened to snap his neck in a manner reminiscent of what Barry Allen had done to Eobard Thawne (Professor Zoom). Before Zoom could kill Kid Flash, however, Professor Zoom himself arrived on a cosmic treadmill, with Jay Garrick chained to the front end.
A battle ensued between the two Flashes and Kid Flash against the two Zooms, but in the end, the two Zooms accomplished what they intended. They grabbed the Flash and jumped onto the treadmill. Zoom then forced the Flash to watch their first fight, in which Linda was severely injured and miscarried. Zoom felt that Wally West should be made to focus on the feelings of sorrow and loss from this experience and told Professor Zoom to rewind it so that he could watch it again. But as the scene started to rewind, West's uncle and mentor Barry Allen appeared, riding his own Cosmic Treadmill and saying that he had been looking for Professor Zoom.
Barry Allen removed West from immediate danger, telling West that he was here to return Thawne to his proper place in time, and that no matter how bad it seemed, West could win this if he "just pushed himself a bit". He and Thawne then disappeared through time. Zoom, enraged, began to run around the world, building up speed, with which to kill Linda. Wally rushed to catch up, but he was a step or two behind. At the last minute, he realized what Barry's advice meant and put on a final burst of speed, pushing himself, and hitting Zoom in the back. Zoom fell forward and was caught in the sonic boom which he himself used to kill Linda's babies (this ended up creating a “fissure in time” that restored Linda’s pregnancy, just in time for her to give birth). Zoom ran for the treadmill, but West forced them back to their mutual present. Along the way, they viewed scenes of Zoom's life. Zoom realized his mistreatment of Wally and briefly apologized before slipping into the timestream. He was later seen as a ghost-like figure apologizing to his wife.
For More Information: Infinite Crisis Despite his apparent demise at the end of the Rogue War, Zoom reappeared in Infinite Crisis as a member of Alexander Luthor Jr.'s extended Secret Society of Super-villains as the Society's head speedster. In Infinite Crisis #1 he is part of the team of super-villains who engage the Freedom Fighters in combat, where he scarred Damage's face badly. Zoom was also present during the Battle of Metropolis, where he fought against several members of the JSA. He was one of the few members of the Society to escape.
One Year Later
For More Information: One Year Later
Zoom later appears at the sacking of Rome, being approached by Bart Allen's grandmother, to help her protect Bart from a great tragedy that the villain Inertia was setting up. It is unknown whether Zoom traveled to this time period himself, or if he became stranded there after his last encounter with Wally West.
He was also pursued by the Justice League in an attempt to locate Sinestro after Batman and Hal Jordan learn of the existence of the Sinestro Corps.
Zoom is pursued by the Justice Society of America into Atlanta. Damage is banned from the city, but enters anyway seeking revenge. During a scuffle, he ends up taking Zoom hostage until being talked down by Liberty Belle. Disappointed that Damage is not "improving", he throws a sharp pipe to kill him. Liberty Belle uses her superspeed to catch it and toss it back, knocking Zoom unconscious.
Hunter became a member of Libra's Secret Society of Super Villains.
The Flash: The Fastest Man Alive
For More Information: Flash:The Fastest Man Alive
In Rome, Italy on August 24, A.D. 410, two cloaked figures watch a battle. One of them is revealed to be Zoom and the other one is Iris Allen West. A deal is made for Zoom to go after Flash.
In the present in Keystone City while The Flash is visiting, Captain Cold threatens him to extradite him to Los Angeles when suddenly Zoom arrives.
Bart is still in shock as he sees his Grandmother Iris holding a gun to him. Zoom, still in his clutches smiles a psychotic grin. Iris shoots three times and Bart is able to see that she's shooting darts at him. That's a little bit of a relief. As he grabs one in mid-air, Zoom runs up behind him. As he jumps at Bart, he begins to say that they are trying to help him. Bart doesn't believe it and hits Zoom in the neck with the dart. He is out cold. He turns to his grandma and demands some answers.
Iris apologizes to Bart. She was hoping they could catch him off guard. She says she shot at him for his own good. Zoom agreed to help her take Bart out of super-heroing temporarily. The darts were designed to make speedsters powerless for about a week. Bart wants to know what's supposed to happen this week.
Final Crisis: Rogues' Revenge
For More information: Final Crisis: Rogues' Revenge, Final Crisis
Zoom joined up with Libra's Secret Society, intending to cause more problems for heroes to overcome. He was meant to be Darkseid's herald though when the Rogues refused to join, he was given a more immediate task. Zoom recruited Inertia from the Flash museum, giving him a portion of his time based super speed. The Reverse Flash beat Inertia badly, scolding him for his part in the death of Bart Allen.
Zoom then revealed Libra's plan: to make Inertia the new Kid Flash. He would fight as a member of the Society, a ghost of the Flash and the Titans' failures. Though initially hesitant, the idea appealed to Inertia, as did the idea of getting to keep his powers and the young speedster agreed.
Because Inertia tricked them into killing Bart Allen, the Rogues attacked the speedsters. Zoom decided enough was enough. He fought back, proclaiming his hatred for the Rogues and their silly games and that he would kill them all. Luckily for the Rogues, Piper came to the rescue, hypnotizing the entire group. Libra showed up soon after and stabbed Piper with his spear. With him was the Weather Wizard's child. Libra offered the Rogues one last chance to join him.
Inertia tired of the whole thing and ran at Libra, snapping his fingers and killing the child. Zoom screamed at the boy for interfering but Inertia had other ideas. He proclaimed himself Kid Zoom and somehow managed to steal all of Zoom's time for himself, reverting Zolomon back to his crippled state, and leaving the Reverse Flash powerless.
Though Zoom theorized that he just needed the cosmic treadmill again to regain his powers, this is unlikely to happen, partially because the cosmic treadmill was destroyed during the Rogue War and partially because Geoff Johns made it clear through his storytelling that he was angry at the way the character (along with the other Flash villains) had been treated during the year after he had left the book. Removing the character's powers meant that another writer would be less likely to misuse Zoom.
The Flash: Rebirth
For More Information: The Flash Rebirth
A de-powered Hunter Zolomon appears in the final issue of the series as an inmate of Iron Heights Prison, occupying the adjoining cell of the original Professor Zoom. He proposes an alliance with Thawne stating that they can both be of use to one another and can help each other "Be better."
Powers & Abilities
Personal Time Manipulation: Hunter Zolomon's primary ability is to alter time relative to himself, as opposed to utilizing the Speed Force like most of the DC Universe speedsters do. He can apparently use this ability to move at "speeds" rivaling those of even Wally West, fastest of the Flashes, and usually, "faster" than the speeds that even Wally can muster in most cases. Since Zoom isn't actually moving at great superhuman speeds (rather, he is greatly slowing down time relative to himself and can make himself so "fast" that even most of the Flashes look to him to be moving in slow motion, instead), the Flashes cannot steal his speed when he is moving. The temporal nature of his speed allows him to avoid the usual problems encountered by other Flash-type speedsters (friction, seeing and hearing at such near-light speeds, et al), whose automatic and unconscious use of the Speed Force overcomes those problems. As he is moving at a normal velocity, and the rest of the world is "slow", those hindrances simply do not affect him.
Intangibility: Hunter has learned that he can now travel further into time to which things in his immediate area are gone or destroyed and then return to a place just in front of it, because of this, he can become intangible and has passed through speedsters like Bart and objects like walls and buildings.
Shock Waves: Zoom also possess the ability to create very powerful sonic booms and shock waves with just the snap of his fingers, an ability he used to kill Linda's unborn babies.
Though not specified, Zoom appears to have a host of other powers such as longevity, superhuman speed, superhuman endurance, and invulnerability. The aforementioned would be necessary to explain certain feats Zoom has accomplished.
- Zoom never officially appeared in the DCAU series Justice League Unlimited, but his image and likeness are referenced in the episode "Divided We Fall." As the Luthor/Brainiac hybrid creates artificial replicas of the Justice Lords (the fascist versions of the Justice League from an alternate dimension within the show) and pits them against their counterparts, Luthor/Brainiac creates a special replica of The Flash in Zoom's color scheme, since the Justice Lord Flash died before the Justice Lords were formed. The evil android Flash's design is identical to Zoom's (although the lenses of his cowl remain white instead of black), with his taunts and jeers referencing Zolomon's own accusations of Wally West. In the end, he was destroyed by The Flash along with the rest of the android Justice Lords. Elements of the real Zoom also appear in the Flash Museum during the episode "Flash and Substance." He is voiced by Michael Rosenbaum.
- Zoom is the fourth level boss in the game Justice League Heroes: The Flash.
- Zoom appears as a boss character in the video game DC Universe Online, alongside Gorilla Grodd. He is voiced by Robert Dieke.