Real Name: Hunter Zolomon
First Appearance: The Flash: Secret Files & Origins #3 (November, 2002)
Powers: Different than the other Speedsters that DC Comics has created, Zoom is able to slow and even stop time. Once that happens, he can move through it at normal speed and appear as if he’s moving quickly.
Affiliation: Injustice League, Secret Society of Supervillains
Did You Know? Before becoming a villain, Zoom was actually great friends with Wally West.
A Little History
The origin of Zoom is pretty straightforward.
Shortly before leaving for college, Hunter Zolomon returned home for one last visit. To his shock, he returned only to find that his house had been overrun with police officers and that his father was a serial killer wanted for the murder of five young girls. Hunter’s mother was left without a choice and instead of helping her husband flee, she gave him up. Infuriated, he returned to their home and murdered her. This prompted Hunter to study psychology at George Main University. He sought to understand how the criminal mind functioned so that he could prevent events like this from occurring again.
While at University, Hunter met his fo future wife, Ashley. Together the two took up an interest in running and joined the F.B.I. His love for Ashley was further reinforced by his love for her father. Because his own father betrayed everything that he knew, he took to her father as kind of a surrogate.
Shortly after their marriage, both Hunter and Ashley were assigned to her father in the F.B.I.’s profiler division. During this time, Hunter began to profile numerous criminals. As a result of his work, he created a theory that many criminals weren’t evil at heart. Instead, many were misunderstood and because of their backgrounds, unstable.
It wouldn’t take long before tragedy once again struck Hunter’s life. While profiling a small-time criminal, he incorrectly calculated that because of the criminal’s past, he wouldn’t be able to handle a gun. As a result, Ashley’s father was shot and killed. In addition, Hunter was also shot in the leg. The shot caused great damage and Hunter was never able to run again. Things took a turn for the worse when Ashley had Hunter released from the F.B.I. and divorced him.
Hunter eventually recovered and life took him to Keystone City where he was able to get a job at the local precinct. Once again he turned to criminal profiling but this time he worked in the Department of Metahuman Hostilities. His new work kept him in continual contact with Keystone City’s most famous Metahuman, The Flash, Wally West.
The two quickly became friends. In fact, Hunter was an integral part of Wally bringing some key criminals to justice. This, however, didn’t prevent Hunter from harboring feelings of frustration with Wally. Because of his injury, he was relegated to “behind the desk” action while Wally was out on the street.
In theory, things couldn’t possibly get worse for Hunter. Unfortunately, theory doesn’t always prove to be true. In an unpredictable and accidental way, Hunter was injured and left paralyzed after Gorilla Grodd successfully broke free from prison. He then asked his friend Wally to use the cosmic treadmill to travel back in time and prevent his paralyzation from ever happening. In fear of disrupting the timelines, Wally said that he was unable to help. This angered him and set the stage for Hunter to break into the museum where the treadmill was held. Rather than work, however, it malfunctioned and exploded. As a result, the museum was destroyed and Hunter changed.
Different from Barry Allen and Wally West, Hunter’s change caused his connection with time to come out of sync. This meant that rather than run at super speed, he could slow down time around him to a crawl, even so much as bring it to a stop. Once slowed or stopped, he could move freely through time at normal speed.
And that’s it. The origin of Zoom.