Comic books gave us the fastest characters in fiction in general, and DC comics gave us some of the fastest superheroes imaginable. There is an eternal debate going on whether Superman is faster than the Flash, and no, he is not. And there are several reasons why. Flash won the majority of races, and even when Superman has the upper hand, he struggles to maintain the speed necessary to overtake the fastest man alive. Meanwhile, Flash is capable of phasing through objects without breaking a sweat. Why is that? Why is Flash faster than Superman?
Flash is faster than Superman due to his connection with the Speed Force. Speed Force is a cosmic energy field that governs movement and kinetic energy and means that Flash has a connection with the speed itself. Due to his connection with the Speed Force, Flash can move, react and think faster than anyone alive. He can likewise siphon speed from others, phase through solid objects, and even manipulate time through it.
Now that we’ve covered the “secret” behind Flash’s speed, it’s time to analyze it in a bit more detail. If you’re interested in more, stay with us and keep reading!
Speed Force is the key to Flash being faster than Superman
DC is well-known for having the fastest characters in the comics universe, and most of the time, when we’re talking about speedsters, several names pop up, like the Flash (no matter who is holding the mantle) and Superman.
The two raced a few times, with Flash winning the majority of races, rarely losing to Superman, and rarely the race ending in a tie. And even though we’re used to the fact that Superman usually excels at everything, Flash is confirmed to be the fastest in the technical sense at least, although he does also have incredible feats to match this statement, like running until the end of time, for example.
And why is that? Why is Flash so much faster than Superman, who is better than Flash in almost any other aspect? The answer to this lies in the source of their powers. There are a lot of mind-blowingly fast characters in the DC comics. Wonder Woman draws her speed from the Greek god Hermes. Shazam is capable of flying and running incredibly fast, much in the same way as he draws his powers from the Roman god Mercury.
Superman is incredibly fast because he utilizes yellow sun radiation that supercharges him and gives him physical abilities of divine nature. Flash is different, however, as he draws his speed powers from a cosmic source of speed itself. The Speed Force.
The Speed Force is the main reason none of the speedsters can come even close to Flash in terms of speed, and it’s why he is faster than Superman. The Speed Force is a cosmic energy field and force that revolves around speed, movement, and velocity. It is considered one of the Seven Forces of the Universe. Essentially, it embodies the concept of reality in motion and serves as the driving cosmic force that propels both space and time forward.
And even though Superman is the only “non-Speed Force powered” speedster that can come even close to Flash’s speeds, he will never be able to surpass him unless he learns or gains the ability to tap into the Speed Force itself, which sounds highly unlikely.
Flash is so fast he can warp time
Flash is capable of both time traveling and time acceleration, so he can use this dirty trick to outrun almost anyone (not that he needs it). Flash can utilize the Speed Force to warp time around himself by using his speed or simply moving time forward. Everything seems to run slower compared to him, however, so he always has a feeling that he is “ahead of everyone” as it is.
Barry Allen was also the first person to utilize the speed force to achieve dimensional travel, and he was quite skilled in time traveling even without the cosmic treadmill.
Flash can phase through solid matter
Flash possesses the ability to manipulate his own molecular structure by vibrating at different frequencies. This ability serves various purposes, such as causing explosions when he vibrates at extremely high degrees. By vibrating at specific frequencies, he can destabilize opponents. Even if his vibrations are disrupted and his molecules scattered, Flash can reassemble his body back to its normal state. He can also use his vibrating ability to break free from virtual prisons or disrupt magical constructs by vibrating at certain frequencies.
This is something that Superman can’t do, and dodging objects alone slows him down in a serious race, while Flash can simply storm through them.
Flash is not faster than Superman while flying
When talking about races between Superman and Flash, we mostly reference ground races, and even though Flash has proven himself to be faster while running on solid surfaces, when it comes to flying, it’s an altogether different story, as he will never be able to outpace Superman.
Flight is not among Flash’s conventional abilities, but he can achieve it if he jumps high and fast enough or if he manipulates his bodily molecules to gain the ability to glide through the air, and this is the primary reason why he’s not faster because he lacks the natural ability to fly in the first place.
To summarize, Flash is faster than Superman due to his connection to the Speed Force, which grants him some speed-related abilities which give him an edge in every race. He can manipulate time, phase through objects, and even siphon speed from others.
This fact alone will always make him the fastest being in the room. However, it’s insanely impressive that Superman managed to win a few races without having the connection with the Speed Force, and that counts for something as well.