Since both characters appeared in DC Comics and SEGA video games, respectively, The Flash and Sonic the Hedgehog are part of an endless debate about which character is faster. Both have multiple versions, of course, but the fastest ‘regular’ Flash and ‘regular’ Sonic have to be Wally West and Archie Comics Sonic. The question is, which one of those two is faster?
While the race between Wally West and Archie Sonic will always be a neck-and-neck affair, one has to give Wally a slight advantage and eventually win in most scenarios. Both characters are the fastest beings in their multiverse and have a chance, but if it’s not a tie, then Wally has the slight upper hand.
There are several reasons why I do believe that, in the end, Wally West would beat Archie Comics Sonic, even with all the Chaos Emerald power-ups. However, if one would argue the other way, their feats are simply too close for any opinion to be met with disdain. So, let’s break it all down into categories to determine the (un)likely winner.
Let’s get this one right off the bat because that’s essentially the first argument everyone makes for either one or the other. What is their top speed?
Well, this category is the cleanest ‘tie’ ever because both Wally West (I’ll refer to him as the Flash from this point forward) and Sonic the Hedgehog’s top speed has been dubbed, at one point or the other – infinite.
Both of them have, at one point or another, traveled far beyond the speed of light. The Flash ran so fast that he moved faster than anything that ever existed before and after (‘The Flash’ #799). Another time, he ran so fast that he outran the concept of reality itself, which in turn erased the physical manifestation of Death from existence. Heck, he once outran the Speed Force itself!
On the other hand, Sonic the Hedgehog was said to have infinite speed. Without any powerups, Sonic can move fast enough to travel in between dimensions, back and forth through time, etc.
Seeing that both characters essentially don’t have a ‘top speed’ and that their maximum speed is limitless, you have to give both of these fellows a point in this category.
Point(s): Wally West (1:1) Archie Sonic
Speed Force Vs. Chaos Force
Both the Flash and Sonic utilize a certain ‘Force’ to augment their incredible powers. For Wally, it’s the Speed Force, whereas for Sonic, it’s the Chaos Force or Chaos Energy.
The Speed Force is an entity that essentially exists outside of the Multiverse and is considered ‘fifth-dimensional.’ Barry Allen, Wally West, and most other DC Speedsters harness their vast powers directly from the Speed Force. Without the Speed Force, they’re all just human.
However, once the Flash understood how the Speed Force works and how to utilize it, his powers became nearly limitless. Whereas other speedsters can’t get out of the Speed Force after entering it, eventually being turned into pure energy, Wally West figured out how to hop in and out without a problem.
His connection to the Speed Force is so strong that he is, in fact, the fastest being in the Multiverse (‘Flash Forward’ #5) – faster than any other Speedster in DC Comics, even his mentor, Barry Allen.
On the other hand, Sonic the Hedgehog doesn’t need the Chaos Force for his powers – he’s naturally fast and can run exceptionally fast without help. However, the Chaos Force – or Chaos Energy, if you will – grants Sonic additional powers, allowing him numerous different augmentations of his already-awesome superpowers.
By collecting the Chaos Emeralds (depending on which one he collects), Sonic can gain various powers like invincibility, even higher speed, strength, flight, etc. When powered up, he accomplishes some extraordinary things – becoming Super Sonic or Hyper Sonic.
As impressive as it is, however, Sonic can’t tap into that energy at will the same way that the Flash can. Also, the fact that the Speed Force is essentially the source of Wally’s powers, it’s of greater value to him than the Chaos Force is to Sonic. Hence, Wally gets the point here.
Point: Wally West (2:1) Archie Sonic
Phase Shifting Vs. Molecular Manipulation
Although similar in terms of speed, the Flash and Sonic have a completely different array of powers that the other does not. For instance, Wally West has this awesome power known as phase shifting.
He can vibrate his molecules and cells at a frequency that allows him to walk – or run – through solid objects without an issue. It took Wally some time – and some demolished walls – to master this ability, but now, it’s as seamless as breathing.
On the other hand, Sonic can’t phase shift in that way, but he has his super-cool portal rings, so he can use those to achieve the same thing. But, what separates Sonic in this category is his molecular manipulation ability.
While Sonic is in his Ultra form, he can manipulate atoms and molecules around him at will. The Hedgehog can literally tear a person apart piece by piece. Now, we aren’t talking about who’d win a fight but who’d win a race. So, perhaps Sonic could use this to turn the Flash’s legs into Jell-O?
The point is both of these superpowers could help them greatly in a potential race. If you want to argue that the flash has Phase Shifting always, whereas Sonic has to be in his Ultra form – I hear you, but he could also neutralize Wally’s running-through-objects advantage with his ring portals. So, yeah, I’d call this category a wash.
Point(s): Wally West (3:2) Archie Sonic
This is where things get kind of tricky to gauge. In ‘Titans Vol. 3’ #6, we learned that the Flash can travel between dimensions almost seamlessly. In ‘Flash’ #800, he entered the Hell dimension without a hassle. However, he wasn’t as prolific in interdimensional travel before – he perfected this craft over time.
The Flash does so by running fast enough to enter the ‘fifth-dimensional’ Speed Force and then exit at any point in time in any universe or dimension he sees fit. As we already mentioned, he couldn’t always hop in and out of the Speed Force, as the entity has a tendency to keep those who enter inside – forever.
On the other hand, Sonic hops between dimensions and universes effortlessly by running fast enough. His ability to travel between dimensions is even more so enhanced when powered up with Chaos Magic.
In the end, I’m giving this particular point to Sonic because, as much as Wally now has control over the Speed Force, entering it has almost been his undoing several times, meaning his way of interdimensional traveling is more dangerous for himself.
Point: Archie Sonic (3:3) Wally West
Last but not least, as we have a tied game so far, we must start looking at things that aren’t just pure physical speed. We’ll get our winner if we consider additional powers that may affect the outcome of a potential race.
Now, along with all sorts of various power-ups given to Sonic by using the Chaos Emeralds, he doesn’t really have the invulnerability or accelerated healing as prolific as the Flash. Wally can seemingly make injuries ‘disappear’ simply by healing rather quickly.
What Sonic the Hedgehog does have, however – is fate. It has been stated numerous times – namely, by the Mammoth Mogul and the Eggman – that Sonic is simply destined to win. Regardless of what happens, he won’t lose. That’s something that might come in handy in a race, am I right?
Well, that might not be entirely true. As it turns out, Eggman and the Mogul might’ve come to the wrong conclusion simply because Sonic always beats them. But, in ‘Sonic Universe’ #25, we learn that he might not be as invincible as once thought.
As we’re introduced to the Dark Mobius timeline – a reality branch where Enerjak managed to beat Sonic – and hang his corpse up on a wall as a trophy.
So yeah, you can throw that ‘fate’ argument out of the window. Now, what about Wally?
Apart from accelerated healing, superstrength, etc., the Flash has a few powers that can come in handy in a race against the Hedgehog. The one that I found the most intriguing is the ‘Speed Mind.’
Basically, the Flash can direct the Speed Force into his brain, allowing him to think at an unfathomable pace. The smallest possible measurable point of time is an ‘attosecond’ – one ‘quintillionth’ of a second. Well, when utilizing the Speed Mind ability, Wally can perceive events and think faster than that!
He can use that tiny fraction of a second to perceive every possible outcome and option and choose the best course of action to beat Sonic.
The other ability the Flash has and can implement is time stopping – in ‘Titans Vol. 3’ #13, Wally had a heart condition that made him unable to move at incredible speeds, so he developed the ability to freeze time itself – as it stood still, he could move at a regular pace, but achieving all the same attributes.
That being said, Sonic proved that ability to be not so effective against him:
Finally, however, the Flash can actually steal speed from other Speedsters. He can use the Speed Force to absorb the velocity of another fast-moving object, be it a living being or an inanimate thing – as he did in ‘The Flash Vol. 5’ #9. So, if he could steal some of Sonic’s speed and use it for himself, that would give him that slight edge he needs to defeat the Hedgehog.
Point: Wally West (4:3) Archie Sonic
Wally West Vs. Archie Sonic: Who wins?
Our point-based conclusion suggests that Wally West has a slight advantage over Archie Sonic and would likely win most – not all, but most – of their races. Archie does have some awesome tricks up his sleeve, especially if he’s able to use the Chaos Emeralds, but in a face-to-face race, Wally’s powers come just a bit above what Sonic can do.
I’d give Flash about 3 out of 5 race wins, mostly due to his Speed Mind ability and Speed Steal. He can perceive events at a pace that Sonic can match, meaning that, even if he couldn’t ‘steal’ Sonic’s speed and are about equal physically, the intellectual advantage would push Wally West over the finish line first more often than not.
Who do you think would win in this fight? Let us know in the comments!