Most Flash fans are familiar with Eobard Thawne thanks to his role as the hero's biggest villain. However, during Wally West’s time as the Scarlet Speedster, someone else donned a very similar uniform, and caused equally as much trouble (if not more) for The Flash and his family. Under the name, Zoom, Hunter Zolomon would come to make Wally’s life as difficult as possible.
While the two evil-doers look incredibly similar, they actually have incredibly different backstories and powers. Furthermore, their relationship with their respective Flash has led fans to debate which one is deadlier than the other. While both have committed some pretty horrific acts over the years, it is hard to determine who the deadlier of the two truly is. To look back at some of the more horrific actions of the two, here is our list of 5 reasons why Zoom is the deadliest Flash villain, and 5 why it is Reverse Flash.
10 Friends With Wally (Zoom)
Before becoming One of Wally’s greatest foes, Hunter Zolomon was actually one of Wally’s closest friends. The two of them would often work cases together which meant that Zolomon got to know Wally fairly well.
This is also what got him some extra, personal information that he would eventually come to use against Wally. After Wally refused to travel back in time to help Hunter, he became furious. Therefore, when he obtained his powers, he then set out against his former friend as a way of seeking revenge.
9 Thinks He Is Helping (Reverse Flash)
One of the things that makes Eobard Thawne such an intriguing villain is that he actually believes that he is helping Barry Allen in his quest as The Flash. After learning that he was destined to become Barry’s greatest enemy, Thawne snapped and became insane.
However, since he is still such a big fan of The Flash, he actively seeks out ways to “help” Barry improve and get faster. Thawne is so insane that he sees his incredible, life-threatening plots as a means of making The Flash a better hero. The sad thing is that Thawne is actually right to a degree. While Barry would certainly love to not have to face him, Barry typically emerges victorious, and thus, faster than he was before.
8 Profiler For The Police (Zoom)
While Hunter Zolomon was friends with Wally West, Hunter worked as a profiler for the police department. While this may not seem like some necessary information, it actually makes Hunter all the more deadly as Zoom. As a profiler, Zolomon became very good at getting into the mind of criminals and predicting their movements and patterns. As Zoom, Zolomon has applied a lot of those same tactics to Wally, allowing him to have a certain advantage over The Flash on a mental front. Furthermore, since he knows more details about Wally himself, Zolomon is better able to get in his head and understand how he thinks.
7 Created The Negative Speed Force (Reverse Flash)
Much like how Barry Allen created the Speed Force that gives all Speedsters their powers, Eobard Thawne created the Negative Speed Force. As a result, Thawne has a slightly different set of powers and abilities that have often given him an advantage over The Flash.
Also, in creating the Negative Speed Force, Eobard Thawne demonstrated just how smart and capable he really is. Thawne’s incredible understanding of the workings of the Speed Force have definitely given him an edge over Barry on several occasions. Sometimes, it even feels as though Thawne himself is teaching Barry about his powers.
6 Has Lost Important Parts Of His Life (Zoom)
Part of what drives Hunter Zolomon is that he understands what it is like to lose. Even though he lost his job with the FBI at his own expense, Zolomon continually feels cheated out of opportunities and often doesn’t realize the consequences of his own behavior. When he lost his legs in a Flash vs Gorilla Grodd situation, Zolomon felt that it was Wally’s duty as The Flash to go back and save his legs, believing that to be the more heroic of the two choices. When Wally refused to alter the timeline, Zolomon felt that he had lost even more in his life. This time, however, he could easily pin his own troubles on The Flash, thus resulting in his hatred for Wally.
5 Created The Flash (Reverse Flash)
Strictly speaking, Reverse Flash is actually responsible for creating The Flash himself. During The Flash: Rebirth miniseries by Geoff Johns, it is revealed that Barry Allen was always going to become The Flash at some point. However, in order to speed things up, Thawne went back in time and murdered Nora Allen.
This means that a key, defining moment in The Flash’s origin was orchestrated by Reverse Flash just for the sake of making a statement. Nora Allen didn’t have to die in that moment for Barry to be the Flash, yet Thawne still chose to twist the knife, making him far deadlier than Zoom in that aspect.
4 Hacked The Cosmic Treadmill (Zoom)
Because Hunter Zolomon is persistent, he refused to sit by and do nothing about his legs. He eventually made his way to The Flash Museum where the cosmic treadmill was being held on display. Using his knowledge of the treadmill and his own mechanical skills, Zolomon set out in an attempt to go back in time himself. However, something went wrong, causing the treadmill to explode, along with most of the Museum as well. When Zolomon awoke again, he discovered that the use of his legs had been returned to him, along with the added bonus of superpowers. While things didn’t go exactly the way Hunter had hoped, the fact that he was still able to operate the treadmill demonstrates just how driven and intelligent he truly is.
3 Knows The Future (Reverse Flash)
Eobard Thawne himself is actually from the far future. As a young boy, he became a fast fan of The Flash, learning everything he could about the Scarlet Speedster. Therefore, by the time he traveled back in time to meet his idol, Thawne had amassed a great knowledge of Flash history.
Though he has since altered his own timeline, Thawne still has the advantage of knowing certain key dates and moments in Flash history that he can use to his advantage. While he may not be able to get into his head like Zolomon can with Wally, Eobard still knows more about Barry than Barry is comfortable with.
2 His Powers Work Differently (Zoom)
Similarly to Eobard Thawne, Zolomon’s powers work differently from a traditional speedster’s. Rather than move incredibly fast, Zolomon has the ability to sow or speed up time around him. Strictly speaking, he isn’t moving at super speeds, it just appears that way due to the way his abilities work. This has given him a significant edge over Wally in the past, as Hunter can easily freeze time and, thus, Wally as well. While the inner workings of his powers are unique, they still make him an incredibly dangerous foe.
1 His Experience (Reverse Flash)
Reverse Flash also has the advantage of being a much older foe than Zoom. With his ability to travel through time, he can strike at any moment in Barry’s life. Furthermore, with how often he is seen battling the Flash, it makes sense that he would be incredibly skilled. In the past, Thawne has also been depicted to be centuries old following a mishap with time travel. In this case, Thawne has all the more experience with having actually lived through history. Overall, both Reverse Flash and Zoom are incredibly deadly to their respective Flash, but there is a reason that more people associate Thawne as the biggest of Flash’s bads.