The Flash… Gets ZOOMed!

by JC Alvarez
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Leave it to The Flash scribes Van Jensen and Robert Venditti to once again throw Central City’s Scarlet Speedster’s life into a perpetual downward spiral! Barry Allen couldn’t be anymore down on his luck. His girl friend dumped him, his roommate keeps suspicious looking rodents for pets, and his dad has apparently masterminded a super-powered prison break from Iron Heights! All the while, a new threat to the Flash seems to be plotting to destroy everything that Barry holds dear. And who is this threat?

You can call him ZOOM!

Although the Reverse-Flash has been introduced into the hero’s post-FlashPoint continuity (The Flash Issue #22) as a speed-demon psychopath with a bloodlust fixation set on destroying Barry Allen, Professor Zoom — a character that has often been linked to the similar alter-ego — is just now turning up in the mainstream mythology. This man in the yellow suit, seems just as dangerously obsessed with destroying the Flash, but hasn’t revealed his true deadly motivations.

…and what’s ZOOM’s connection to Barry’s dad Henry?

In the latest issue of The Flash #42 Henry Allen has lead a group of super-powered convicts including Girder on what may be a mercy mission. The fugitives have broken into a medical supply factory and stowed away the supply, but unbeknownst to the group and especially Henry, Professor Zoom has been tailing them. Using the speed force to his advantage the maniacal Zoom has forced the good doctor’s hand and had Henry fire on an innocent security guard as the convicts made their escape.

Professor Zoom has his sights set on destroying the Flash, starting with Henry Allen!

Professor Zoom has his sights set on destroying the Flash, starting with Henry Allen!

The Flash was able to corner Girder, who eventually gives up the goods and gave Barry some leads on what Henry’s intentions may be, but not before Zoom intervened, promising the Flash a reckoning was in the works. What skeletons (indeed) may Barry, or Henry for that matter, are keeping hidden that would draw the attention of someone as menacing as Professor Zoom? Who is this latest speedster and what is his connection to the murder of Nora Allen?

All will soon be revealed, but what has fans truly intrigued is whether or not art will intimate life as the worlds of the comic’s Flash and the television hero criss-cross. It was similarly teased at this year’s SDCC that on the upcoming second season of the hit CW show The Flash would face “ZOOM!” Series executive producers Andrew Kreisberg and Greg Berlanti promised that Barry would come face-to-face with this season’s “big baddie” ZOOM early on.

If this is true then will the fate of Henry Allen (played on the show by series’ guest star John Wesley Shipp) be tied in some mysterious way to the newly revealed antagonist. In Season One, Barry confronted the Reverse-Flash (Tom Cavanagh’s character Harrison Well’s evil secret identity) but now that Well’s has been revealed to have murdered Barry’s mother Nora as the Reverse-Flash, does this mean that Henry Allen will finally be vindicated?

Having just returned from shooting the second season premiere episode, Shipp was appropriately vague about where fans will find Henry and the rest of Central City’s heroes at the beginning of Season 2. “Barry was entirely dedicated to protecting his father in Season 1, and getting justice for Henry,” Shipp added, “but why has Henry often skirted away from any of the facts related to his wife’s murder?” Leaving fans to suspect that perhaps there’s more there than meets the eye.

In Issue #41 of The Flash Jensen and Venditti had Barry reveal to this father that he potentially had a lead  in Nora Allen’s murder, a name really – “Thawne.” This doesn’t make Henry happy in the least, who warns his CSI investigating son that it’s best he forget the name entirely, and accept that Henry murdered Nora. That doesn’t sit will at all with Barry, but Henry seemingly filled with a sudden determination enlists the help of his fellow inmates Mogul, Black Mold and Girder to make an escape!

“I’d love to see Henry show some edge,” Shipp enthused especially regarding the turn his character has taken in the comics. “Sure! It would be great to see Henry lead some villains on a prison break!” The likelihood of that is slim, as Kreisberg has always said that Henry Allen is one of the good guys. “Andrew has always stood firm that Henry is one of the good guys — the heart of the show,” revealed Shipp, but how long will that heart beat when danger strikes once again?

Season 2 of The CW’s The Flash is currently in production and will return this fall with all-new action on Tuesday, October 6 and stars Grant Gustin.

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