The Flash: Who Is the Man in the Iron Mask?

Wednesday, 24 February 2016 - 2:43PM
DC Comics
The Flash
Wednesday, 24 February 2016 - 2:43PM
The Flash: Who Is the Man in the Iron Mask?

Spoilers for The Flash season 2 follow!


Last night, The Flash finally revealed the identity of Zoom: Hunter Zolomon, aka the Earth-2 version of Jay Garrick. But even though that mystery is seemingly solved, there are still many questions that remain, chief among them: who was the "man in the iron mask" who is being held captive by Zoom? There are about a million fan theories floating around right now, some of which have been debunked (Henry Allen) and some of which aren't interesting enough to be true (Sportsmaster, purely because of his appearance), but here are the characters who are most likely to be the man behind the (other) mask:

Jay Garrick


Yes, I know, Jay was just confirmed to be Zoom, but with all of the doppelgangers and parallel universes, that reveal may not be as straightforward as it seems. Right now, it seems that Zoom is Hunter Zolomon from Earth-2, while the Jay Garrick who was hanging out with Caitlin and Team Flash was his doppelganger from Earth-1, who is now dead. But if the answer were that simple, then why would his death be a "complication," as Zoom says at the end of the episode? Showrunner Andrew Kreisberg implied in a recent interview that the identity of the Man in the Iron Mask may be the key to fully understanding the Zoom reveal:

Opening quote
"The mystery of the Man in the Iron Mask will play out over the rest of the season with some clues being layered in along the way," Kreisberg told TV Line. "When you do find out who it is, everything will make sense in a very satisfying way."
Closing quote

Here's the prevailing theory: Zoom is Earth-2 Hunter Zolomon, "our" Jay is Earth-1 Hunter Zolomon, and the man in the iron mask is the real Jay Garrick, whom we have not met yet. When the prisoner tapped the word "Jay" to Barry, that could have been a warning that Zoom is Jay, but it also could have been a hint that he himself is Jay. This would also explain why Caitlin couldn't find any sign of the Speed Force in his body, and why he needed to take Velocity 6.

But still, why would his death be a "complication" for Zoom? While many have been assuming that the Jay who has been hanging out with Team Flash had nothing to do with Zoom's actions, it makes more sense that Earth-2 Hunter Zolomon joined forces with his Earth-1 counterpart, and that both Zoom and the "Jay" we know are a combination of Earth-1 and Earth-2 Hunter. If they were in on this plot together, and switching off hanging out with Team Flash, then that would be a complication for Zoom.

More importantly, Andrew Kreisberg has straight-out confirmed that the Jay Garrick we know *is* Zoom. He told EW that Jay Garrick has been manipulating Team Flash from the very beginning, back when Barry threw him in a cell, because he could sense that Barry needed a new mentor after the Harrison Wells betrayal.

Opening quote
"For us, there was all of this great, delicious irony to the whole thing. It happens in a way that didn't make them look stupid, that the reason he was able to manipulate them was because he was playing on their emotions. It wasn't because they were gullible. They actually took precautions in the beginning - Barry locked him up right away - but all of them had that need for a center and for a new star to right their ships by. Jay's one charming, smooth guy and he was able to manipulate them in that way."

"What's funny is we showed that Jay's doppelganger was Hunter Zolomon, and we assumed the comic book fans would say, 'A-ha' right away. 'Jay must be Zoom,'" he told TV Line. But I think that, like Barry and the team, they didn't want to or just couldn't believe it."
Closing quote

So if the real Jay Garrick is also played by Teddy Sears, then what's his relation to Hunter Zolomon? Is he a twin? Another doppelganger from another part of the multiverse (maybe Supergirl's)? Or is the Jay we know the Rival from the comics, who was essentially Jay Garrick's Reverse-Flash? We'll have to wait and see!

Earth-2 Wally West


This theory doesn't have quite as much traction, but it's also perfectly plausible. Some are speculating that the man in the iron mask is Wally West's Earth-2 counterpart, since Wally West and Hunter Zolomon were archenemies in the comics. Plus, it makes sense that the prisoner is a speedster, because Zoom is presumably keeping him captive in order to steal his Speed Force (which would also explain why he would be keeping Jay alive rather than just killing him). 


Earth-2 Eddie Thawne


Earth-1 Eddie Thawne sacrificed himself in the first season finale, but there's a chance that his Earth-2 counterpart is underneath that mask, which would be a huge twist and a great way to get Rick Cosnett back on the show. Plus, this explanation might actually be more likely than Wally West, because we caught a brief glimpse of his hair, and he is apparently a blonde.

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