Although the Flash is often considered the “Fastest Man Alive”, it’s quite clear given the countless speedsters in the DC Multiverse that this is quite simply not the case, with many of the hero’s fellow speedsters, villains and alternate universe counterparts frequently proving themselves superior. The problem with this is that the power of DC’s speedsters is inconsistent at the best of times, making it incredibly hard to determine whether or not any given speedster is truly faster than another.
While there’s no shortage of discussion surrounding which members of the core Flash Family are the fastest, people often neglect to throw the wide variety of alternate universe Flashes into the mix. Considering that most of the DC Multiverse’s fastest speedsters reside in these universes, we thought it’d be fun to take a look at which of them could run circles around the Scarlet Speedster, and which don’t quite measure up. For the purposes of this list, we’ll be using Barry Allen as our reference point for the Flash, given his popularity, deep history, and well-defined powers. Any alternate universe character taking up the mantle of the Flash is eligible -- including alternate versions of Barry Allen and Wally West.
15 FASTER: DARK FLASH
Walter West is essentially an identical version of Wally West from another timeline, with their two histories mirroring each other’s up until to the point that Walter’s version of Linda Park is killed during a battle with Kobra. Turning him into a bitter speedster (and eventually Dark Flash), Walter develops an authoritarian zero-tolerance policy for criminals, going so far as to cruelly maim them should they get in his way.
Upon discovering that the love of his life is still alive in another timeline, Walter West resolves to defeat Wally West and completely replace him. Able to easily take on his alternate timeline counterpart Wally -- who’s often considered the fastest character to take up the Flash mantle -- Dark Flash easily secures a place as one of the Multiverse’s fastest speedsters.
14 SLOWER: BIZARRO FLASH
After being exposed to powerful blue sun radiation, Bizarro discovered he had the ability to create identical copies of himself, as well as other sentient Bizarro beings that roam the DC Universe. Deciding to create Bizarro World -- a planet full of sentient creatures mimicking many of Earth’s denizens -- Bizarro created his own version of the Justice League, one of whom was Bizarro Flash.
Overweight and slovenly, Bizarro Flash resembles an obese Flash, with a mustard stain replacing the lightning bolt on his chest. Believe it or not, Bizarro Flash is actually incredibly slow on foot, finding himself easily overwhelmed by lesser creatures and becoming exhausted extremely quickly. What’s strange though is that despite this, Bizarro Flash can still fly at incredible speeds, making him only slightly useless.
13 FASTER: KINGDOM COME FLASH
A prominent figure in Mark Waid’s “Kingdom Come” storyline, Earth-22’s Wallace West has potentially run faster than any other Flash in history. With a strong sense of justice and duty, Wallace was determined to protect the citizens of Keystone City whatever the cost, even if it meant neglecting his own daughter.
Managing to reach speeds the likes of which have never been seen in his pursuit of heroism, Wallace literally transcended our plane of existence in the process. Existing everywhere at once thanks to his unmatched speed, Wallace essentially became omniscient, becoming one with not only the Speed Force, but the Universe itself. This allows him to see beyond dimensions and between time, making him the closest thing to a god DC’s collection of speedsters has.
12 SLOWER: JAY GARRICK
Despite being the very first version of the Flash, Jay Garrick is perhaps the slowest of the four characters to take on the role of the Scarlet Speedster. Debuting in 1940s Flash Comics #1, DC eventually put the character on ice before resurrecting the title with Barry Allen in the lead role. To explain this change, it’s revealed that Jay Garrick is actually from Earth-Two, kicking off the concept of the DC Multiverse in the process.
While Garrick has remained a somewhat prominent speedster over the years, his appearances are often relegated to a mentor role for the other Flashes. While he does still fight crime on his Earth however, his advanced age makes him relatively low down in DC’s pantheon of speedsters, but he certainly has the entire DC Universe's respect.
11 FASTER: BLACK FLASH
One of the most mysterious entities in the entire DC Universe, Black Flash is a symbol of death for speedsters across the Multiverse. Appearing just before the death of every significant speedster, it’s unclear whether the entity is tied to the Speed Force or not, with some theorizing that Black Flash is used to take speedsters considered too fast for Death itself.
Black Flash may also represent some sort of balance in the Speed Force, often compelled to take characters -- Wally West, for instance -- back into the extra dimensional plane. Able to easily keep pace with the fastest beings in existence, it seems death really is impossible to outrun, and that goes doubly for speedsters. While there’s still a lot to learn about Black Flash, one thing’s certain: he’s feared by speedsters all over the Multiverse -- and for good reason.
10 SLOWER: MARY MAXWELL
Created by none other than Marvel legend Stan Lee, Mary Maxwell was one of the featured heroes in Lee’s Just Imagine… series of books, which reinvented several of DC’s biggest characters including Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman. A college girl with a degenerative disease and a huge admiration for superheroes, Mary’s scientist father was working on a cure for his illness for years before his untimely death at the hands of the STEALTH organization.
Before his death however, he managed to inject Mary with a serum he’d been working on, which consisted primarily of hummingbird DNA. This not only cured Mary of her ailments, but allowed her to move at near-lightspeed, although she never managed to fully master her powers. While Mary is almost as fast as Barry Allen, her lack of connection to the Speed Force and relative inexperience make her less viable in battle than Barry himself.
9 FASTER: LADY FLASH
The resident Flash of Earth-33, Lady Flash’s Universe is one powered by magic rather than science thanks to the meddling of supervillain Mister Mind. A member of the League of Shamans -- Earth-33’s version of the Justice League -- Lady Flash in not only a speedster, but the Keeper of the Speed Force itself, theoretically making her a character of unimaginable power.
While we haven’t seen enough from Lady Flash to indicate whether or not she’d beat the Flash in a fair footrace, her complete control of the Speed Force allows her to dampen or enhance the speed of others, essentially allowing her to steal the speed of her opponents. Possessing a whole host of other magic-based speed abilities on top of this, Lady Flash is not only one of the most powerful speedsters in existence, but one of the most underrated, too.
8 SLOWER: SELA ALLEN
One of the few characters on this list who isn’t technically a speedster at all, Sela Allen is a powerless citizen of a 23rd Century Central City. When she’s viciously attacked by the villain Cobalt Blue however, Sela is left in a state of perpetual slow motion, experiencing time at a millionth of the speed of a normal human.
Determined to save his daughter from her torturous fate, Sela’s father tries to use the Speed Force to fix her condition, only for her consciousness to become locked inside. Rendered completely intangible, Sela ironically becomes a being of pure speed despite being unable to interact with the physical world. Instead, she uses her connection to the Speed Force to assist other characters, even able to greatly enhance their speed.
7 FASTER: LIA NELSON
As well as serving as Earth-Nine’s version of the Flash, Lia Nelson is also one of the world’s biggest celebrities thanks to her popularity as both a fashion model and an actress. Struggling to find the balance between superhero and public figure, Lia Nelson’s dedication to superheroics isn’t quite as strong as other versions of the Flash, but in terms of raw power Lia is a force to be reckoned with.
While it remains unknown as to how Lia gained her powers, her abilities come from a very different place than most speedsters, having no connection to the Speed Force whatsoever. Instead, Lia is a being made entirely of light, allowing her travel at lightspeed much more easily and consistently than the Flash. On top of this, Lia can use her control of light to shapeshift, create energy constructs and travel between dimensions with ease.
6 SLOWER: SPEED DEMON
Part of the Amalgam Universe, which combines DC and Marvel’s heroes into all-new characters, Speed Demon, aka Blaze Allen, was a combination of Barry Allen’s Flash and Johnny Blaze’s Ghost Rider. A stunt rider working at a carnival, Blaze Allen becomes Speed Demon following the death of his wife at the hands of the evil Night Spectre. Convinced by Merlin to bond with the demon known as Etrigan, the entity known as Speed Demon is born.
While there have been other characters to take up the mantle, including Jay Garrick and Wallace West, all of their abilities remain somewhat similar. Granted Ghost Rider’s fiery powers as well as super-strength, Speed Demon is actually not all that fast despite his moniker and lineage. While the character is a formidable fighter and a powerful being, he falls far short of most other speedsters in the speed department.
5 FASTER: JOHNNY QUICK
A member of the Crime Syndicate of America -- an evil version of the Justice League hailing from Earth-Three -- Johnny Quick is the nefarious team’s version of the Flash. Despite his name, he remains completely separate from the more heroic version of Johnny Quick from the Golden Age.
After conquering the entirety of Earth-Three, the Crime Syndicate of America soon abandon their Earth to terrorize Earth-One and Earth-Two, requiring the combined efforts of the Justice League and the Justice Society of America to stop them -- although this wasn’t the end of their reign of terror. Initially depicted as being slower than the Flash, Johnny Quick makes up for his shortcomings by developing a helmet that vastly increases his top speed while deepening his relationship with the Speed Force, making Johnny Quick more than a match for the Flash.
4 SLOWER: BILLY THE KID FLASH
Okay, so his name may not actually be Billy the Kid Flash, but this version of Kid Flash draws many parallels to the legendary outlaw Billy the Kid. Residing in Earth-18, which appears to be stuck in the Old West, Wallace West is wanted for the murder of high-ranking Marshall Barry Allen, although there’s clearly more to the story than it appears on the surface.
Eventually joining up with the Justice Riders -- including a version of Wonder Woman who happens to be the Sheriff -- Wallace isn’t as fast as most speedsters by any means, mainly utilizing his superspeed as a gunslinger and unmatched duellist. Nevertheless, Kid Flash is a core member of the Justice Riders, proving instrumental in the team’s pursuit and defeat of supervillain Maxwell Lord.
3 FASTER: IRIS WEST II
The daughter of Earth-22’s Wally West, Iris West II is undoubtedly one of the fastest speedsters in the entire Multiverse. Unlike her father, Iris was initially reluctant to become a superhero, although she was eventually unable to deny her powerful connection to the Speed Force.
Not only is Iris faster than Wally West (who himself is faster than Barry Allen) but she also has complete control over speed and time, giving her a significant edge over her fellow speedsters. Iris’ connection to the Speed Force runs so deep that she can even control others’ connection to it, tapping into the very fabric of the Force itself. Able to do all of this as a mere kid, an older, wiser Iris West will surely go down as one of the most overpowered speedsters in all of existence.
2 SLOWER: BART ALLEN
Sure, Bart Allen has long been a prominent speedster in DC’s main continuity, but given that he hails from the 30th century, he definitely deserves a spot on this list. The grandson of Barry Allen, Bart Allen initially travels back in time in search of a cure for his rapidly aging body, but ends up sticking around, taking on the mantles of Impulse and Kid Flash, eventually becoming the fourth Flash.
While Bart is certainly the fastest character on this list still considered slower than the Flash, he may actually have the most unrealised potential of all four Flashes. Even with an incredibly potent connection to the Speed Force that makes his powers unstable and inconsistent, Bart Allen at his peak may edge out his grandfather but his lack of experience and consistency ultimately puts him on the “slower” side of this list.
1 FASTER: FUTURE FLASH
A dark version of Barry Allen from 20 years in the future, Future Flash first appears in The Flash Annual (Vol. 4) #3 as a broken man. Reeling from the death of close friend and fellow speedster Wally West, Future Flash travels backwards through time on a crusade to murder all the former enemies he deems responsible for West’s death, hoping to change the future.
His actions only widen a tear in the Speed Force however, and the once-hero ultimately decides to use a present-day Barry Allen’s energy to seal the rift. Proving his superiority in a one-on-one battle against Barry, the pair are soon interrupted by the arrival of Wally West. Able to take on both speedsters at once, Future Flash’s actions cause the one thing he began his quest to stop -- the death of Wally West.