|Real name:||Hunter Zoloman|
|First Appearance:|| The Flash: Secret Files & Origins #3 (November 2001) as Hunter Zolomon,
The Flash #197 (June 2003) as Zoom
|Created by:||Geoff Johns|
|Abilities:||Time manipulation in his reference frame|
Hunter Zolomon had a troubled relationship with his parents, who rarely spoke to each other or to him. On the day Hunter was to leave for college, he came home to find the police laying siege to his house. His father was a serial killer who had killed six young girls, and when his mother told the police, he murdered her, and was subsequently killed by the police after refusing to give up. Hunter became obsessed with understanding the criminal mind to stop people like his father, studying psychology and criminology in college, then joining the F.B.I. along with his girlfriend Ashley, whom he later married, specialising in low-level costumed criminals. One case resulted in Ashley's father being killed (Hunter had thought the criminal they were after was incapable of facing his adult life, and thus would not use an 'adult' weapon such as a gun). Ashley left him shortly thereafter, and the F.B.I. terminated his employment. Hunter was also left with a damaged knee due to the case, requiring a cane for walking and unable to ever run again. After arriving in Keystone City, he got a job as a profiler, working with the police in their Department of Metahuman Hostilities. His work put him in constant contact with the Flash, Wally West, and the two became good friends. His insight was critical in solving a number of cases, but he always resented being stuck behind a desk.
Transformation into ZoomEdit
Hunter was severely injured in an attack by Gorilla Grodd in Iron Heights, when Grodd staged a mass prison break, and was left paralyzed from the waist down. He asked Wally West to use the time-travelling cosmic treadmill in the Flash Museum to prevent this from occurring, but West refused, saying that he could not risk damaging the timestream. Zolomon, feeling that Wally should be prepared to disregard such fears for the sake of their friendship, then broke into the museum and attempted to use the treadmill himself. The resulting explosion destroyed the museum and shifted Hunter's connection to time- described by Jay Garrick as him being 'derailed' from the timeline by the explosion-, thus allowing Zolomon to alter the speed at which he could move in time, giving the effect of super-speed.
Zolomon decided that West had refused to help because, unlike the previous Flash Barry Allen, West had never suffered personal tragedy, and thus didn't understand how terrible it could be. Zolomon decided that if he became the new Zoom and caused a great tragedy in Wally's life, this would help the Flash become a better hero. After borrowing speed from the other speedsters to even the playing field, briefly allowing him to match Zoom's near-light speeds, Flash succeeded in defeating Zoom, and prevented his former friend from killing his then pregnant wife Linda Park. However, Zoom's attack caused a miscarriage of their twin children. Thanks to Wally using the slight 'rips' in Time that were being created by the use of Zoom's powers, Zolomon was forced into a temporal anomaly- being shoved into the rift essentially tied a 'knot' in his timeline- and ended up in a comatose state, continually watching the death of his father-in-law. Zolomon's ex-wife, Ashley Zolomon, replaced him as profiler and spent a lot of time attempting to communicate with him. Due to a car accident, Ashley was hospitalized for some time. It is around this period that Zoom awoke from his coma, out of concern for Ashley. He cautiously chose to remain in his cell, however.
Zoom was driven out of his self-imposed imprisonment by Cheetah (Barbara Minerva) (a.k.a. Dr. Barbara Minerva) 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. As the Flash and Kid Flash (Bart Allen) attempt to contain the battle, Zoom throttles Kid Flash and threatens to snap his neck in a manner reminiscent of what Barry Allen had done to Eobard Thawne (Professor Zoom). Before Zoom can kill Kid Flash, however, Professor Zoom himself arrives on a cosmic treadmill, with Jay Garrick chained to the front end, Zoom having earlier captured Jay and forced him to take him back to the day of Professor Zoom's death to recruit his assistance.
A battle ensues between the two Flashes and Kid Flash against the two Zooms (during which Kid Flash escaped Zoom by vibrating to become intangible, the only speedster power Zoom couldn't duplicate), but in the end, the two Zooms accomplish what they intended, grabbing the Flash and jumping onto the treadmill. Zoom then forces the Flash to watch their first fight, in which Linda was severely injured and miscarried. Zoom feels 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 starts to rewind, West's uncle and mentor Barry Allen appears, riding his own cosmic treadmill and saying that he had been looking for Professor Zoom. Barry Allen removes 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 seems, West could win this if he "just pushes himself a bit". He and Thawne then disappeared through time. Zoom, enraged, begins to run around the world, building up speed with the intention of killing Linda by colliding with her. Wally rushes to catch up, but he is a step or two behind. At the last minute, he realizes what Barry's advice means and puts on a final burst of speed, pushing himself, and hitting Zoom in the back. Zoom falls forward and is 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 as Zoom's future self took the brunt of the sonic boom his past self created, thus preventing her original miscarriage just in time for her to give birth in the present). Zoom runs for the treadmill, but West forces them back to their mutual present. Along the way, they view scenes of Zoom's life. Zoom realizes his mistreatment of Wally and briefly apologizes before slipping into the timestream. He is later seen as a ghost-like figure apologizing to his wife. With his recent epiphany, a phase of his life as a character has ended. He was last seen saying sorry to Ashley, unknown to her. Zoom returns in Infinite Crisis as the Society's chief speedster, claiming that their adversaries would all be stronger heroes if they survived. In Infinite Crisis #1, he is part of the Society strike force responsible for massacring the Freedom Fighters. Zoom himself scarred Damage by pummeling him with punches at super-speed.
One Year Later Edit
Zoom later appears, having been approached by Bart Allen's grandmother, to help her protect Bart from a great tragedy that the villain Inertia was setting up. However, this attempt failed and Bart was subsequently killed by the Rogues after Inertia attempted to steal his speed. 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.
Kid Zoom and The Final RunEditZoom later joined Libra's Secret Society of Super Villains and was given the task of freeing the young speedster and dopplegang to Bart Allen, Inertia, from his time locked prison in order for him to become the new Kid Flash so he could haunt the world's heroes. Zoom freed Inertia with ease but the boy ran away, not wanting anything that Zoom offered him. Zoom effortlessly caught up with Inertia, knocking him down and revealing his plans of turning him into the new Kid Flash. Inertia questioned Zoom on his allegiance and why he was trying to create another Kid Flash. Zoom said that haunting the heroes with a great failure of their's would make them better in the end. Seeing no choice in the matter, Inertia accepted the new suit. Zoom began training Inertia, giving him portions of his own time mastering power and teaching him how to use it. Their training was interrupted by the appearance of the Rogues who wanted revenge on Inertia for manipulating them into killing Bart Allen. Zoom attacked the Rogues but their fight was cut short as Libra finally made an appearance, holding Weather Wizard's child hostage. Inertia murdered the baby and then created a new outfit and identity for himself in seconds, christening himself Kid Zoom. Zoom scolded him for his murder saying that they should only be causing tragedy to make heroes better. Kid Zoom disagreed, only wanting to cause tragedy for the sake of tragedy. The young speedster used his time powers to strip Zoom of his powers, transforming him to the way he was before he was caught in the cosmic treadmill's explosion, back to a handicapped Hunter Zolomon. Kid Zoom was soon after killed by the Rogues and Hunter was taken away with Libra who said that Zoom had been intended to be Darkseid's messenger. After Barry Allen had returned from the dead and taken up being The Flash again, he defeated Eobard Thawne and put him in Iron Heights. Hunter, still back to being paralyzed, was now also incarcerated in a cell nearby. He believed that his predecessor and him could help each other be better. Far away, Abra Kadabra pulled out a puppet of Hunter as Zoom and place it beside Thawne's Reverse-Flash.
Powers and AbilitiesEdit
Zoom has the ability 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, and usually "faster" than the speeds that even Wally can muster in most cases; rather than actually time travelling, Zoom is controlling the speed at which time flows around him, allowing him to go faster or slower in time than everyone around him. Since Zoom isn't actually moving at superspeed (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), 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. This aspect also means that he is unable to become intangible like other speedsters can by vibrating their molecules at certain frequencies, giving them a distinct advantage. As of Fastest Man Alive #10, this no longer seems to be the case, as he becomes intangible and passes through Bart and a wall (However, it should be noted that Bart was also vibrating at the time, suggesting that Zoom retains his inability to vibrate and simply got 'caught up' when Bart turned intangible while fighting with him). Zoom also possess the ability to create incredibly powerful vibrations with just the snape of his fingers, an ability he used to kill Linda's unborn babies. He also taught this ability to Kid Zoom who used it to murder Weather Wizard's son.
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In Other MediaEdit
Although officially Zoom never appeared in the DC animated series Justice League Unlimited, there is a direct reference to him. In the episode "Divided We Fall", the merged Brainiac/Lex Luthor creates artificial replicas of the Justice Lords and pits them against their counterparts in the Justice League. Since the Flash was deceased in the Justice Lords' universe, Brainiac/Luthor creates his own version of an "evil Flash" whose costume design is identical to Zoom's.
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