SPEED FORCE

SUMMARY: The Flash comes face-to-face with an old friend turned super-villain who desires to make him face as much tragedy as possible...

JL ROLL CALL: Batman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, The Flash, J'onn J'onzz

FEATURED CHARACTER: The Flash

VILLAIN: Zoom

SUPPORTING VILLAINS: Gorilla Grodd, Giganta

COMMENTARY

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He must face his ultimate opposite. A man who has lost his pride, confidence and identity to tragedy. A man who will run with him down a hellish road -- and feel no guilt in bringing him there. (Flash #197, 2003)

Since the show's scriptwriters don't seem ready to create a story for one of the Flash's major enemies, I've taken it upon myself to do so. My hope is that, upon seeing this, the creative team will consider using this guy, Zoom, in a story arc that centers around one of the Justice League's more hilarious members, the Flash.

Although I've never actually read a Flash comic, I used to watch the one-season series on television, and I was hooked. I've also been watching this series for a while now, and it doesn't seem as if any of Flash's major enemies will be used at all - Gorilla Grodd, Vandal Savage and the Shade are fine characters, but they've been used up in story arcs by now and, besides, I'd like to see a villain who could actually make the Flash stop and think for a moment. That's where Zoom comes in: he's the Flash's mirror opposite, so much so that he even wears the same costume with inverted colors.

On the subject, there are three points I'd like to make. First, the matter of Zoom's identity as Hunter Zolomon. From the research I've done, in the comics there are two Reverse-Flashes, Eobard Thawne (who came from the 25th century to battle the Barry Allen Flash), and Hunter Zolomon (who fought the Wally West Flash). In the comics, the reason that Flash (Wally) and Zoom (Hunter) got so personal with each other was because Zoom targeted Wally's wife Linda (who was pregnant at the time) and made her miscarry...and, of course, we all should know how much Flash loves Linda...in this, however, since Linda hasn't been used yet (or probably never will be), I'm just going to concentrate on the fact that Hunter and Wally were best friends, then Hunter got mad because Flash wouldn't assist him in the way he was asking. And the story develops from there.

Number two: the matter of how Hunter gets his powers and becomes Zoom. In this story, he will get his powers in a complex story arc that involves another major villain of the Justice League, Gorilla Grodd. In the story, Grodd creates a time machine for the purpose of going several years back in time so that he can create total domination of the apes of the ancient Gorilla City over humanity. Of course, he is sought out by both the League and the authorities (which includes Zolomon, whose back gets broken during this misadventure) and captured. Later, as in the comics, Hunter begs the Flash to go back in time to prevent the accident, but the Flash refuses; so Hunter steals into the FBI facility where they have the time machine and he attempts to use it himself, but it explodes and gives him his powers, putting him on a faster timeline in the process.

The reason I'm using a time machine that isn't the Cosmic Treadmill (which was the machine Hunter tried to hotwire in the comics) is because as a natural speedster, Wally had no need for the Treadmill in the comics, and there has been no hint of Barry Allen being around in the series, so there's really no need for a Treadmill. Plus, this scenario seems more realistic to me, at least.

Finally, a word about Zoom's powers. In the comics, in addition to running really fast, he was able to use speed vibrations to cause physical damage to others; plus, he could vibrate through solid objects and use his speed to tear open the delicate time-fabric. In my story arc, he'll have all those powers except the last one, for in the comics, that ability got him trapped, freezing him in time and forcing him to watch his greatest mistake again and again. However, like in the comics, he will be able to run so fast even the Flash will see him as a blur.

In short, I'm planning to use this villain as one of the tragic characters for the Justice League, and as a villain that will force the Flash to really think about himself and his responsibilities and build his character for the better.