Actor Tony Todd has been cast as the Flash’s archenemy Zoom in the second season of the CW’s hit TV series. Now, if you’re thinking to yourself, “Hey, I thought the Reverse-Flash was the Flash’s archenemy,” well, you’re right. Because Zoom is the Reverse-Flash. Who was played in season one by Tom Cavanaugh. Who is still on the show in season two. Even though he was erased from existence in the first season finale. What the hell is even happening here?

The way Variety reports it, Zoom appears to be an all-new enemy for season, although he’ll have the same speedster powers as the Reverse-Flash, and will hate the Flash just like the Reverse Flash, and, again, in the comics is the exact same person as the Reverse Flash. Here’s a few more details:

Kreisberg compares Zoom’s appearance to Venom in Marvel’s Spider-Man, revealing, “The Zoom outfit is much more organic than the Reverse-Flash suit. In a way, it’s hard to tell if it is a suit or alive… There’s no skin showing, for all you know there’s a robot underneath, or dark energy.”

Unlike last season, which revealed that Cavanagh’s Harrison Wells (or, more accurately, Eobard Thawne) was the Reverse-Flash fairly early on, Kreisberg says the producers intend to draw out the mystery of Zoom “like a horror movie — ‘who’s the killer? Who’s under the mask?’” [...]

DC Comics readers may have their suspicions about Zoom’s identity, but Kreisberg notes, “We have to service the entire audience, both the fans and the non-fans, and I think we’ve shown up until this point a great deal of respect and reverence for the source material, so that we always feel like we’re fulfilling the comic book fans’ expectations while also not spoon-feeding them stuff directly from the comics. So the story of Zoom and who and what he is… hopefully comic book fans will be happy because we’ve come up with a clever way to spin the tale, but that also makes it exciting for the people who aren’t as familiar with the comics and are just enjoying the show on its own terms.”

Look, I’m hardly a Flash expert, but I have no idea what’s happening. When the first season of The Flash ended, there were zero Reverse-Flashes because he’d been erased from the timeline. Obviously, him coming back to life in some manner is standard supervillain operating procedure, but the show went out of its way to depict the original Eobard Thawne as played by actor Matt Letscher before he killed scientist Harrison Wells (played by Tom Cavanaugh) and assumed his face and his identity (and was thus played by Tom Cavanaugh).

So to make sure this is abundantly clear:

• The Flash has a new archenemy, Zoom, who is exactly like the Reverse-Flash.

• Zoom is being played by a new actor.

• Tom Cavanaugh, who played both Harrison Well and Reverse-Flash in disguise, is a lead character in season 2.

• This is despite the fact that both characters Cavanaugh played are dead.

• And the actor who makes the most sense to return as Zoom/Reverse-Flash, Letscher, is not returning.

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Anyone have any ideas for what the hell is going on? Is this a brand new villain? If so, where did he come from? Is he a new incarnation of Thawne? If so, how? And how will Cavanaugh be on the show, and who will he play?

Man, I can’t wait for the answers when The Flash returns on October 6th.


Contact the author at rob@io9.com.