34 years ago - Hunter Zolomon is born.
17 years ago - 17-year-old Hunter's father kills his mother and commits suicide. It's revealed that he was a serial killer.
16 years ago - 18-year-old Hunter goes to college to study criminology.
12 years ago - 22-year-old Hunter graduates and goes to the FBI academy.
10 years ago - 24-year-old Hunter joins the FBI.
8 years ago - 26-year-old Hunter is shot in the knee by a suspect. His fiance calls of their wedding, and he becomes a police profiler in Keystone City, where he befriends Wally West.
6 years ago - 28-year-old Hunter is severely injured in Grodd's escape. He begs Wally West to grant him powers, and when he refuses he tries to use Eobard Thawne's cosmic treadmill, resulting in a temporal explosion that uncouples him from time. He tries to make Wally suffer to force him to be a better hero, but Wally manages to freeze him in his own time loop.
1 year ago - 33-year-old Hunter is freed from his temporal prison by Circe, and joins the Legion of Doom, intent on continuing to challenge Wally West.
The Flash's rogue's gallery is among one of the best in comics, but it didn't start out that way. It was a hodgepodge of childishly colorful baddies. Almost all of them have been reworked into new versions of themselves. The Reverse Flash was a pretty simple concept; a color swapped, evil version of the Flash... but it was the simplicity of that concept that made him so open to interpretation and such a effective arch-nemesis. When it came time to make a new version of the Reverse Flash for Wally West we got Hunter Zolomon's Zoom, and we got to see what it looks like when someone builds the perfect comic villain.
Zoom's Comic History
Hunter Zolomon was created in 2001 by Geof Johns, who was in the process of taking the catalog of Silver Age Flash villains and creating a new lineup of Rogues to challenge Wally West, an effort that is generally recognized as producing one of the best rogues gallery in comics. Clearly, creating a new Reverse Flash, reguarded as the arch-nemesis of the Silver Age Flash was given special focus, because it was handled with particular care. Hunter didn't have any connection to the classic Reverse Flash Eobard Thawne; he didn't come from the future, didn't ever develop any connection to the speed force. Instead, his connection was to Wally. He was a forensic scientist, a field Wally works in. He was a supporting cast member, a friend.
He gained his speed in a way completely different than any of the speedsters. By disconnecting from time he was all at once faster than any of the Flash characters to have come before, and that made him intensely dangerous. He was obsessed with Wally, but in a new way; he wanted to make him experience a deep tragedy to allow him to focus on his heroics. It's a dark and twisted motivation, but he's a twisted character. He's a real coctail of brilliance, a character that is terrifying both for his motication and for the nature of his powers. The comics decided to brings back Eobard Thawne when they brought back Barry Allen but for my money Hunter Zolomon is one of the best designed Flash villains of all time.
Our Zoom Story
We've chosed to make Zoom a very recent character. He's challenged Wally only once before, and has only just been brought back by Circe and joined the Legion of Doom. Hunter might be a modern reimagining of the original Reverse Flash, but the fact is he is INSANELY dangerous. Any time he appears it's a huge, HUGE deal. His powers allow him to essentially superseed any of Flash's powers. No matter how Flash moves, Hunter's disconnect from the timeline allows him to move faster with virtually no effort... but the cost is that he's intensely unstable, living in a perperual vortex of colapsing time and absolutely insane. It makes him one of the most dangerous villains in the entire DC catalog, so it's probably best that we only us him sparingly. Still, he's such a genius character concept. This is exactly what the new Reverse Flash should be.
As we leave the timeline, Zoom has only just been taken from his temporal exhile. We wanted to make sure that he's included as part of the Legion of Doom, he's far too volatile to leave out. Still, that's not usually his modus operandi; he's not a team guy at all. He's not a vilain that will ever join the Rogues. That sort of characterization actually works for the Legion of Doom, though; it's meant to be a massive collection of characters with competing egos and motivations that will clearly implode on itself over time.
Once that story completes, we'll likely not see Zolomon for a few years. He needs to be off the board for a bit just to make it so much more harrowing when he shows up. This makes his next appearance pretty clear, because a few years from now Wally's daughter Iris will be a toddler. Zoom is obsessed with subjecting Wally to tragedy. The story that writes itself is terrifying, but totally in keeping with this character's dynamic... He's going to threaten little Iris.
Actually. Iris is often depicted as having access to the Speed Force even when she's very little. Could she actually access her powers for the first time during this story? Could she participate in her own rescue? That would be pretty cool.