If there’s one superhero that has always been depicted to have everything that a superhero needs, it’s Superman. That’s because everything about him is super, including his entire body, capable of doing things exponentially superior to what the ordinary human body can do. This means Superman is also incredibly fast and can move much faster than most other heroes. So, how fast is Superman?
Superman is said to be able to fly faster than the speed of light, which is 186,000 miles per second, whenever he is flying outside of Earth’s atmosphere. There are instances wherein he could fly several times faster than the speed of light. However, on Earth, his speed is limited to around 7,680 miles per hour.
The thing about Superman and other superheroes in the world of comic books is that there are instances wherein they are capable of feats that are beyond what they are normally capable of. In Superman’s case, this has been observed in his speed feats, and we’ve seen him doing things he normally couldn’t do. So, with that said, let’s try to make sense of what we know about Superman’s speed.
Superman’s speed explained
Regarding some of the fastest superheroes in the world of comic books, Superman has always been one of the characters that people remember because he has always been the benchmark in terms of superhuman feats. In that regard, he is also faster than most other superheroes and can reach speeds beyond imagination. But how fast can Superman actually move?
Theoretically, we don’t know the exact details behind Superman’s speed because it fluctuates occasionally. Some writers don’t portray Superman as someone who is unimaginably fast but is still incredibly fast.
On the other hand, some writers have portrayed Superman to be able to travel from one planet to another in mere minutes despite the sheer distance in terms of lightyears between Earth and the other inhabited planets in the DC universe.
Of course, the generally accepted fact is that Superman can travel faster than the speed of light whenever he is outside of the planet’s atmosphere. This is why Superman has been able to travel from one planet to another in mere minutes, even though several lightyears separate those planets from one another.
So, if Superman is faster than the speed of light, he can move at least 186,000 miles per second, which is the speed of light. But we all know that Superman can move several times faster than that because not even light can travel fast enough to reach another lightyear-away planet in just several minutes. This means that there’s a good chance that Superman can fly thousands of times faster than the speed of light as long as he isn’t encumbered by gravity.
Of course, when the gravity of Earth encumbers Superman, he is much slower because gravity tends to hold him down. That’s why he hasn’t been able to showcase the same kind of speed feats he showcases whenever he is flying in the vacuum of space. On Earth, it is estimated that he can move around 7,680 miles per hour as he has been able to travel from one city to another in just mere minutes.
To put things into perspective, a rocket can reach space outside the planet by traveling at 17,600 miles per hour. Nevertheless, we’ve seen Superman doing that at a faster speed, which means he can still fly faster than a rocket whenever he is on Earth. But he has to put more effort into it than he usually does.
Of course, we know that Superman can move at incredible speeds because Kryptonian physiology simply works that way whenever a Kryptonian is exposed to the rays of the yellow sun.
As such, as fast as Superman may be, he needs the radiation of a yellow sun to perform his incredible superhuman feats. And from what we’ve seen in the comics, he has even reached levels beyond what he has displayed in the past because there was a point wherein he traveled over 25 lightyears in just 15 minutes.
The DCEU movies showed us how things work from Superman’s perspective whenever he moves fast. In ‘Justice League,’ we saw him seeing things as if they were moving in slow motion whenever he was moving at his incredibly fast speeds. And there were instances wherein time seemingly stopped for everything else in his surroundings whenever he was moving.
There have also been a few other instances wherein Superman’s speed was shown to be beyond imaginable. One case in point was the 1978 ‘Superman’ movie starring Christopher Reeve, as he could move so fast that he broke the laws of time and space and traveled in time using his speed alone.
In that regard, it really depends on how the writer wants Superman to be. Of course, in most cases, Superman can reach speeds he previously couldn’t reach as long as he is motivated enough to do so. This is why we don’t really have an upper limit for Superman’s speed. The only thing that we know is that he is a lot faster than the speed of light.
How does Superman compare to other fast heroes?
To tell just how fast Superman is, let’s compare him to some of the other Superheroes that have been portrayed to be unimaginably fast as well.
The Flash has always been the gold standard for the fastest characters in the world of DC because he has always been portrayed to be faster than everyone else, including Superman himself. Empowered by the Speed Force. The Flash can move at speeds well beyond the speed of light. It is even often said that he is millions or even trillions of times faster than light because he can travel back in time using his powers.
Of course, in the comics, the Flash and Superman have both raced one another several times. There were instances wherein Superman was able to beat the Flash. But once the Flash started putting his back into it, he could thoroughly defeat Superman many more times. That proves that the Flash has always been faster than Superman.
When Shazam was written, he was supposed to be a rival to Superman because his physical feats were very similar. He was supposed to have the power of Mercury, who is often considered the fastest Greek god. In that regard, he is said to have faster speeds than lightning.
We know that lightning can move at around 270,000 miles per hour. That means that Shazam is just as fast or even faster than lightning. But we know that Superman is a lot faster than the speed of light and is said to be at least a thousand times faster than light. That means that Superman should be faster than Shazam, although we can’t really say for sure just how much faster he is because Shazam has always been portrayed to be very similar to Superman in terms of his physical abilities.
Wonder Woman is one of the strongest female superheroes in the world of DC and is the poster girl for strong female characters. Of course, like Superman, she possesses incredible physical abilities that allow her to move several times faster than the fastest regular human being.
In the comics, the Flash once said that Wonder Woman could run as fast as he could whenever he was at cruising speed. This means that Wonder Woman can match the Flash whenever he isn’t putting in some effort.
So, if the Flash is still a lot faster than Wonder Woman, that means there’s a good chance that Superman is also faster than Wonder Woman because he can more than match the Flash’s cruising speed as he can beat him in a race.
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