Earth 2 is still a bit of a mystery on The Flash, but Comicbook.com’s theory about Zoom can be taken a step further to uncover the biggest Earth 2 secret of all: Zoom’s Identity.
An article at Comicbook.com discusses a new theory based on the Earth 2 of The Flash. DC Comics has had a long history of using the multiverse to have other versions of their heroes on other Earths and The Flash has continued this tradition. Comicbook.com’s theory revolves around one particular alternate Earth, usually known as Earth 3 in the comics.
Earth 3 is essentially the “evil” version of Earth 1, and is the home of the Crime Syndicate, an evil parallel to the Justice League (Ultraman = Superman, Owlman = Batman, Superwoman = Wonder Woman, Johnny Quick = The Flash). So, if the Earth 2 of The Flash is really Earth 3 (or at least like Earth 3) what does that mean for the show? And specifically, might that tell us who Zoom truly is?
Earth 2 and Earth 1 Do Seem to be Opposites
In The Flash, we have seen evil versions of numerous characters from Earth 1 on Earth 2. When Earth 2 villain Sand Demon crossed through a breach in season 2, episode 2, Team Flash eventually realized that he was a version of a more benign criminal, Eddie Slick, on Earth 1. Similarly, Linda Park, a friend of Barry’s on Earth 1, was attacked by her own evil doppelganger from Earth 2. In coming episodes, we will also see Earth 2 versions of Ronnie Raymond (the hero Firestorm on Earth 1) and Caitlyin Snow as supervillains Deathstrom and Killer Frost.
Especially considering Deathstorm and Killer Frost, the Earth 2 of The Flash does parallel the Crime Syndicate aspect of the Earth 3 comics. It seems like there are evil versions of everyone we know so far. The one thing that currently ties all of the “evil” versions of Earth 2 together is the evil mastermind Zoom. But, if this is a mirror universe like that of the Crime Syndicate, doesn’t that mean that Zoom is the evil doppelganger of an Earth 1 hero?
What other opposites haven’t we seen?
If Earth 2 is truly the evil mirror reflection of Earth 1 there must be other character parallels that have yet to be revealed.
As of now, Jay Garrick is the only superhero (or hero of any kind) that we have seen from Earth 1. This works well with the Crime Syndicate theory, where characters like Lex Luthor and the Joker are the only “good guys” in the evil Earth 3 universe, but they’re prone to fighting losing battles. Jay’s struggles to defeat Zoom are well documented.
But that implies something major that hasn’t yet been revealed about Earth 1: Jay Garrick must be a villain there.
Jay is The Flash on Earth 2, he is their hero and their only beacon of hope, so for the mirror Earth to truly be parallel, Jay would not only have to be a villain, but a rather formidable one. We have not seen a Jay Garrick on Earth 1, and, oddly, no one in the show’s world seems to have asked where he might be and who he is on Earth 1.
Earth 2’s reigning villain is the speed demon Zoom. He is wildly more powerful than Barry and more evil than Reverse-Flash, making him pretty much the epitome of villainy even in a world where (in Earth 3 canon) most people are villains. So, for the logic to follow, such an evil villain on Earth 2 must be a hero on Earth 1. That likely means Zoom is someone we know.
In season one, a major reveal was that the villain, Reverse-Flash, was a distant relative of Iris’s fiancé, Eddie Thawne. It was actually Eddie’s heroic sacrifice that defeated the villain and saved the day. I would say that establishes Earth 1 Eddie as a valiant hero for sure, so in a mirror universe Eddie would likely be a much more terrible, or at least very selfish, person.
Not only does Eddie’s Earth 1 heroism imply a severe negative effect on Earth 2, his relationship to the Reverse-Flash, Eobard Thawne, also puts him high up in the running to be Earth 2’s evil speedster.
This is the reigning theory. Barry is Earth 1’s greatest hero in the CW universe (sorry Green Arrow), so it’s only logical that if Earth 2 were a perfect negative reflection, their greatest villain would be the same person. We know we are going to see the Barry of Earth 2, but no context is yet given to how and when. It’s entirely possible that the Barry we will see would later become Zoom.
Moviepilot.com brought up great evidence for this fact. When Harrison Wells is discussing Zoom with the Flash of Earth 2, Jay Garrick, he makes a seemingly innocent comment that has a hidden implication. “Barry can do what you could not. Barry can stop Zoom.” The Moviepilot theory points out that Harrison does not know Barry at all yet when he makes this comment. At least, he doesn’t know the Barry of Earth 1, but it is possible that Wells knows more about Earth 2’s Barry than we realize.
“Barry can do what you could not” sounds a lot like “I know what kind of power Barry has,” and the only speedsters Wells has known are Jay and Zoom. But if Wells knows that Barry is in fact, Zoom, The Flash is in for a severe identity crisis in the coming season.
If Earth 2 Barry is Zoom, it’s pretty safe to assume Earth 2 Barry’s mother still died when Barry was young. That would fuel Barry to become what he is, only on Earth 2 he was filled with rage and evil rather than hope. But Barry is not the only one affected Nora Allen’s death. Henry Allen, Barry’s father, was accused of his wife’s murder and sent to prison for it. On Earth 1, Barry spent his life supporting his father and believing he didn’t commit the crime. If any detail of that story is missing (i.e. Barry doesn’t support his father or Henry actually killed her on this Earth) the consequences could be dire.
It could follow that Henry, abandoned by his son, could turn toward evil and become the villain Zoom. The main source of this theory actually comes from the fact that Henry Allen actor, John Wesley Shipp, played The Flash in the 1990’s series. It would make a lot of sense from an audience perspective to see the actor take up a villainous speedster role in this newer series.
There is even a flash of Barry in Iron Heights when he is passing through the multiverse in season 1. If Barry is in prison (possibly blamed for his mother’s death instead of Henry) that might spur Henry into becoming Zoom himself.
Not the Crime Syndicate – The Justice Lords
Whether the Earth 2 of The Flash is somehow synonymous with the Crime Syndicate’s Earth 3, or if the series is doing something different all together, there is credence in the pattern. Earth 2 seems to be the evil version of Earth 1. But, there is actually an even better parallel.
In the animated Justice League series, there is an episode were an alternate universe Superman forgoes his standard morality and lobotomizes Lex Luthor to stop him from doing evil (it was a seriously dark show). Subsequently, the Justice League becomes the Justice Lords, essentially a dictatorial iteration of the Superhero team.
Unlike the Crime Syndicate, the Justice Lords aren’t inherently “evil”. Instead of a mirror universe, the Lords live in a timeline where one (arguably) small difference led to many huge changes. This follows what we’ve seen in The Flash’s Earth 2.
Sand Demon, for instance, was a criminal on both Earths, only a thief on one and a murderer on the other. Ronnie Raymond had powers on both Earths, but how he chose to use them was different between dimensions. It could follow that one small change led to all the other differences. I posit that that difference was Barry’s morality. Like Superman in Justice League, the Earth 2 version of Barry did not have the same moral code as his Earth 1 counterpart. But rather than being inherently evil, he instead slowly slipped into becoming Zoom. And with Barry (arguably Earth’s greatest hero) as the evil Zoom, the ripple effect would lead many others to follow that same path.
Is Anyone Zoom?
The lore of the show refers to Zoom as a speed demon and a being that lives between dimensions (even though it’s clear that Earth 2 is his favorite). Fans obviously want Zoom to be someone we know, to have it be a major reveal and shake up the foundation of the series. I confidently believe that is the likely outcome (TV thrives on twists and reveals after all). But consider briefly that Zoom could be simply a great evil with no known identity beyond the villainous speedster.
If Zoom’s identity is something to be revealed, I’m sure it will surprise us all, but until then all we have is our own speculation.