The superhero title of “Flash” has been carried by two individuals who have become iconic figures in their own right: Wally West and Barry Allen. Initially, Barry held the mantle of Flash, with Wally serving as his sidekick. However, Wally eventually earned the name of the Flash, and both of them gained significant popularity within the realm of comic books as the most renowned speedsters in the entire DC universe. The question remains: who is faster, Wally West or Barry Allen?
In terms of conventional speed, Wally West is faster than Barry Allen because his knowledge and connection to the Speed Force allowed him to surpass his former mentor. However, Barry Allen’s experience and pure connection to the Speed Force allow him to bridge the gap between him and Wally.
Even though West may have been the student, he surpassed his mentor by honing his talents and knowledge of the Speed Force. In that regard, he became faster than Barry Allen ever was. But the thing about Barry is that he always found a way to surpass his limits as he is one of the most experienced speedsters around. So, with that said, let’s look at this debate in greater detail.
Speed Force connection
Wally West gained his connection to the Speed Force when he was struck by a bolt of lightning and was doused in chemicals. As such, he was able to gain the ability to move incredibly fast due to the powers of the Speed Force. This allowed him to become Kid Flash, who was the sidekick of the Flash. But Wally’s connection at that time was weaker than Barry’s before he got trapped inside the Speed Force for years and obtained a much stronger connection to it.
Barry Allen was the one that created the Speed Force when he got his powers upon getting zapped by a lightning bolt and getting doused in chemicals. The Speed Force was created at that time, as this entity started existing in all universes and timelines even though Barry was the one who unknowingly created it.
Barry Allen is the very source of the Speed Force, as every step he takes strengthens the power of the Speed Force and allows this entity to build up more energy than the other conduits could expend. That means he has the greatest connection to the Speed Force out of all the different speedsters.
The fact that Barry Allen is the creator and source of the Speed Force gives him a greater internal connection with this cosmic entity.
Wally 0, Barry 1
Speed Force knowledge
While Wally’s external connection and knowledge of the Speed Force were initially weak, he became more attuned to it when he got trapped inside it for years. This allowed Wally to develop a stronger connection to it and became much faster than most other speedsters. On top of that, he studied the Speed Force diligently to gain access to powers that not many speedsters know how to use.
Barry Allen is the source of the Speed Force, which means he is immune to anything that can steal the energy of the Speed Force from him. On top of that, Barry learned how to use the different powers of the Speed Force, such as time travel, by studying the very nature of this entity. The problem was that Barry didn’t have a mentor to teach him what the Speed Force was and how to use its powers.
Being trapped in the Speed Force made Wally more knowledgeable about this entity as his external connection to it is stronger than Barry’s external connection, even though West’s mentor has a stronger internal connection.
Wally 1, Barry 1
Wally West is the third version of the Flash and is the character that took charge of the job of the Flash after inheriting the title from his mentor. In that regard, he also became part of the Justice League and fought all of the different enemies that belonged to Barry Allen’s gallery of rogues. As such, he accumulated much experience working under Barry and became the Flash right after Barry’s “death.”
The thing about Barry Allen is that he was already very experienced before he became the Flash because he was a CSI analyst during the day. That means his scientific knowledge and intuition were very good, as he quickly learned how to become a superhero when he gained his powers. Barry has also been the Flash longer than Wally, even though he spent much of his time “dead.” And Barry quickly regained his position as the main Flash after he returned from the dead.
Barry Allen is the most iconic Flash for a good reason, as he has spent more time in the red costume than any other speedster. That is why he is much more experienced than Wally West.
Wally 1, Barry 2
Wally West’s feats are well-documented because he is so fast that not many different speedsters can say that they have done the same things that he has done in his life. At one point in his career as the Flash, he assisted Barry Allen by giving him a “boost” out of nowhere, even though Barry was already running at full speed. Wally also “killed” the Black Flash when he ran him across the confines of the universe, where the concept of death did not exist.
During the ‘Crisis on Infinite Earths,’ Barry Allen saved the entire universe by literally “killing” himself when he ran himself out of existence, as he knew that the destruction of the universe was tied to his existence. In that regard, if he didn’t exist, the universe’s destruction wouldn’t have happened. On top of that, Barry was the very same person that created the Speed Force.
Wally West ran death out of existence, while Barry Allen ran himself out. These feats are so incredible that it’s hard to fathom which is better. That’s why we can’t give a point to either of these fine gentlemen.
Wally 1, Barry 2
When it comes right down to it, Wally West is the faster version of the Flash because he combines Speed Force connection, and knowledge. As mentioned, he was seen giving Barry a boost in speed while the second Flash was already running at his top speed, all while Wally could easily keep up with him. We also mentioned that Wally was so fast that he could outrun the Black Flash to the ends of the universe to stop this avatar of death from existing.
Being the creator of the Speed Force allows Barry Allen to have raw speeds that can rival and exceed the speed of light as every step he takes adds to the power of the Speed Force. His internal connection to the Speed Force is the purest out of all of the versions of the Flash, but his external connection isn’t the strongest. So, while he may be the source of the Speed Force, other speedsters have proven themselves faster than Barry.
There is no doubt that Wally West is a lot faster than Barry Allen. This is a well-documented fact in DC, as he was able to strengthen his connection to the Speed Force when he merged with it. As such, he can expend more energy from the Speed Force when running.
Wally 2, Barry 2
Wally West vs. Barry Allen: the bottom line
Wally West is undoubtedly faster than Barry Allen regarding raw speed and power. Wally will always win in a foot race against Barry, even though Allen was the one that mentored West. However, Barry’s experience and internal connection to the Speed Force allow him to bridge the gap between him and his former apprentice. So, while Wally is faster than Barry, the latter would be able to find a way to perform on par with him in combat situations because he has been doing this for a longer time.
Who do you think is faster? Let us know in the comments below!