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‘The Flash’: Who is the Man in the Mask?

These comic book shows are stressing me out with all these questions. Who’s in the pod? Who’s in the grave? Why is Daredevil such a jerk? In The Flash universe, the big question left for fans is, who is in the man in the mask being held captive by Zoom on Earth-2?

Well, loyal readers, I have some theories and the world is a much better place when Jen has theories.

Last night’s episode, “Versus Zoom” gave a lot of clues about Zoom, Hunter Zolomon, and Jay Garrick. I have some lingering issues about the world’s most well-known serial killer not being recognized without facial hair, but this is a comic book world where glasses and hairstyle change everything.

There are a few things to note about the man in the mask. First off, we know he’s a speeder because he was in the same type of cell as Barry. Second, his identity is important to protect but Zoom doesn’t care if the man sees his face, which tells us that this speedster already knows who Zoom/Hunter is. Third, he knows military POW code.

But let’s get to guessing and being wrong, shall we?

flash man in mask

Wally West (Earth-2)

There are a few really big clues about the man in the mask being Wally. First, we didn’t see him on Barry’s journey to Earth-2 and we saw well, almost everyone. But hey, Wally wasn’t as big a character back then, and maybe he was with his mother in Keystone, so I can overlook that. But then last night Joe West mentioned doppelgangers and it occurred to me that maybe Earth-1’s Wally isn’t the speedster we know from the comics, but instead Earth-2’s Wally. Just when Wally is starting to feel like part of the family, another Wally speeds onto the scene.

Why Wally then? Well, there could a few reasons, Wally could be Earth-2’s Flash and Zoom covered his face to avoid anyone recognizing him. Or Wally could have been in foster care with Hunter Zolomon. On Earth-2 it’s possible that Maxine died sooner or maybe she gave up Wally for adoption. (Another theory is that Wally could have been adopted out to the Garrick family and he’s the Jay Garrick speedster, where Hunter stole the name.) If there is this brand of familiarity between Hunter and Wally, that would explain why the latter is forced to wear a mask. We saw last night that Hunter is not completely devoid of emotion and definitely hasn’t disconnected from his feelings toward his parents or Caitlin. If Hunter is/was friends with Wally, he wouldn’t want to look at his face every day. This would also explain the man in the mask’s concern at Wally being captured.

James Zolomon

Unfortunately, we saw what happened to Hunter’s mother and while we can assume what happened to Hunter’s father, that’s not to say that when Hunter became Zoom he didn’t immediately go after his father. We know how these super villains love to first experiment on their parents. His father created him, made him the monster that he is, but more importantly, his father knows his true identity. Last night we saw how surprised Hunter was when Team Flash figured out who he was behind the creepy blue mask; Hunter’s name is sacred to him, maybe even his last connection to a humanity once thought irretrievable.

flash man in mask

Jay Garrick (Earth-1)

There is a much deeper story to this theory but stick with me: similar to the Wally West theory, imagine if Jay Garrick had been a childhood friend of Hunter, but their paths diverged. Jay became the hero and Hunter the villain. Hunter would have resented Jay for his good heart, especially if Jay wore the metal helmet of his father. Maybe Jay was in the military like Hunter’s father, so Hunter never saw soldiers as heroes and he killed Jay for it. Then in a Batman/Hush-like scenario, Hunter took on Jay’s face and name, to experience the thrill of giving hope and taking it away. And in order to cover his tracks, when he reached Earth-1, he removed all knowledge of any Jay Garrick and kidnapped Earth-1’s Jay just in case.

Or maybe I’m just suggesting all this because I’m very confused by the multiple personalities used by this man compounded by that whole “I killed a remnant of myself” story. I mean, did his remnant get romantic with Caitlin or him? Then there’s the whole, Jay death being a complication statement by Zoom that makes me think some or most of his story is a lie.

flash man in mask

Eddie Thawne

In the world of comic books and Game of Thrones, if there isn’t a body, there’s still hope, so what if when Eddie’s dying body was sucked through the wormhole he ended up in Earth-2, in Zoom’s clutches? In the wormhole, it’s possible Eddie could have acquired some meta human abilities, speed or otherwise that made him valuable to Zoom. Zoom wouldn’t have known or cared about Eddie’s connection to another speedster, so the mask wouldn’t be for hiding Eddie’s identity, but perhaps instead it’s to made Eddie in his own image? In Zoom’s world, evil is created and if he wants to harness whatever power Eddie has, he’ll need to “make” him evil in much the same way he was made. Once Zoom figures out Eddie’s weakness, it’s only a matter of time before people starting dying. Which could explain the man in the mask’s concern at seeing Wally, he could see a resemblance to Iris and fear that Zoom is getting closer to finding her.

flash man in mask

Henry Allen (Earth-2)

We haven’t seen Papa Allen in some time and while I wasn’t a fan of his sendoff, he’s still an important figure in Barry’s life. Earth-2 Joe West is dead because of Barry, so Barry would be especially compelled to save Earth-2 Henry. And maybe it’s the father who is struck by lightning the night the particle accelerator exploded instead of the son? Even if it’s a speed-less Papa Allen, rescuing him would be priority number one for Barry.

What are your thoughts? Who do you think is being imprisoned by Zoom? It’s only a matter of time before Barry gets his speed back (I’m assuming he’ll generate his own speedforce like in the comics) and once he does, he’ll go back and rescue that poor man in the mask.

The Flash airs Tuesdays on The CW at 8pm EST.

About Jen Stayrook

Jen Stayrook
Don't let the fancy nerd duds deceive you; Jen’s never been described as “classy.” You can find her on Twitter where she stalks all of her favorite celebrities: @jenstayrook. Or you can find her on Steam or Xbox dying in every game she plays as "Rilna." Email: jen.stayrook@theworkprint.com

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