The Flash is one of DC Comics’ most popular – and most powerful – superheroes ever. His connection to the Speed Force gives the Flash legendary powers that transcend space and time. However, there were moments where his powers grew even beyond that – and one of those instances was when Barry Allen became God of Death – literally, Death personified. The incident happened during ‘The Darkseid War’ storyline, where Darkseid became a New God and the ruler of Apokolips, and he was at war with the Anti-Monitor. God of Death Flash was able to one-shot and kill Darkseid on the spot but reverted back to his original self quite soon. Still, he was arguably the most powerful version of the Flash ever. Here’s how God of Death Flash came to be.
When & why did the Flash become the God of Death?
The Darkseid War was probably one of the coolest, darkest storylines about DC’s most notorious supervillain. Darkseid was the ruler of Apokolips and became a New God. In the Darkseid War, he was fighting the Anti-Monitor – one of the most powerful beings in the DC universe – and the battle raged over Earth.
It was a dark time for the Justice League, too, who couldn’t stop the war or defeat Darkseid – more powerful than ever – despite all their efforts. Now, as a New God, Darkseid was powerful, but he couldn’t kill the Anti-Monitor regardless of his power – so he had to get creative.
The New God decided to summon the Black Racer to help him destroy the Anti-Monitor. For those of you who don’t know, the Black Racer is an incredibly powerful entity – or an avatar, you could say – that is basically the personification of Death in the DC universe. When the Black Racer finds a sentient host, it becomes the ultimate ruler over death in the entire universe.
The plan was great. However, it backfired in the worst way possible for Darkseid – but in the best way possible for our heroes, I guess. The Anti-Monitor turned the tables on Darkseid, and instead of the Black Racer killing him, the Anti-Monitor merges the unfathomably powerful entity with Barry Allen, aka the Flash.
The merge happens in ‘Justice League’ Vol. 2 #44, and not long after the Flash becomes Death personified, he blasts through Darkseid and kills the New God with a single blow. It is one of the greatest feats of power that the Flash has ever presented.
However, despite being one of the most powerful versions of the Flash ever, God of Death was one of the most dangerous versions of the Flash as well. You see, not long after killing Darkseid, Barry Allen’s consciousness came back.
And almost instantly, you could see that something was going on – something was off. Death began plaguing Barry’s mind and corrupting it. You see, the Black Racer usually merges with a host until it’s no longer of use and then simply finds another host. No one can outrun it – but the Flash is not the one to avoid the challenge of outrunning someone – even if it’s Death itself.
In a blur, the God of Death Flash disappears and eventually separates from the Black Racer, finishing the storyline in issue #50. Black Racer finds another host and disappears while Barry Allen returns to being himself.
How powerful is God of Death Flash?
Barry Allen’s time as God of Death was incredibly short-lived, but over that short time, he managed to pull off one of the greatest feats of power in the entire comic book history of the Flash. He one-shot killed Darkseid, one of the most powerful villains in DC’s history, who plagued the Justice League in its entirety for decades – let alone the Flash himself.
Now, the entire ‘set’ of God of Death Flash’s powers might not have been officially established, but we have a general idea of just how powerful he was. He was essentially a combination of the powers of the Flash and the Black Racer.
The Flash could literally run faster than time itself, essentially giving him control of time, while the Black Racer was an aspect of Death Darkseid managed to capture when he first took control of the Apokolips. Versions of the Black Racer were so unfathomably powerful that he could easily one-shot the likes of True Form Orion.
In short, it means that the God of Death Flash was essentially omnipotent in terms of controlling all death in the universe – the Flash aspect could decide when, and the Death aspect – who dies.
The problem was – the Racer quickly started to corrupt the Flash’s mind. His thoughts became dark and troubled. Fortunately, Barry was able to separate himself from the racer before it was too late.
Is God of Death Flash the most powerful Flash version ever?
Being in complete control over time and death essentially made the God of Death Flash one of the most powerful beings in DC comics – regardless of how short-lived it was. The question is, was this the most powerful version of the Flash ever?
Well, some fans might consider that to be the case, but for me, the part of God of Death Flash’s powers that somewhat exclude him from that conversation was the part where the Racer corrupts him and his mind. Also, we haven’t seen enough of his powers – other than blazing through Darkseid – that would give us a better image of what his powers actually were.
Finally, there are a couple of contenders for the spot of the most powerful Flash ever that I’d probably rank equally or higher than God of Death Flash.
The first one was Mobius Chair Flash. Essentially, this version of Flash had all his original powers but also all the nigh-omniscient powers like Dr. Manhattan. His intellectual potential was virtually unlimited, seeing all universes, all timelines, and garnering all the knowledge about the past, present, and future at once, faster than thoughts could even travel.
He could move planets and create energy constructs that borderline omnipotency, but not quite. Still, combining that with the Flash’s control of the Speed Force, you get something amazing.
And secondly, one can’t disagree that Kingdom Come Flash is probably the most powerful Flash iteration in DC comics to this date. He was described as this:
“No one sees him… no one hears him. He runs a lonely race… but all who live here have felt his presence. He is everywhere at once… a guardian angel who rights even the most harmless of wrongs with lightning speed. He lives between the ticks of a second.”
It is believed that Kingdom Come Flash is a merge between every single form of the Flash in existence, making his powers nearly limitless. The truth is, this version of Wally West mastered the Speed Force to such a degree that he moves perpetually through time and space as if neither existed for him at all.
It gave Kingdom Come Flash omnipresence in the universe and complete cosmic awareness that transcended physical events in any measurable time. That is, to me, still the most powerful version of the Flash ever.
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