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Born To Run: 15 CW Speedsters Ranked From Slowest To Fastest

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Born To Run: 15 CW Speedsters Ranked From Slowest To Fastest

CW’s Arrowverse may owe its start to Arrow, but it owes its longevity to The Flash. The first two seasons of Arrow were phenomenal, but seasons three and four represented a brief dip in quality for the show. This low point was largely mitigated by a sensational first season of The Flash, which makes a serious case against season two of Arrow for the best season of any show on the Arrowverse. This sci-fi superhero show was made popular by the charm of its main cast with genuine emotion serving as the big beating heart right in the center of it all. You cared greatly about everyone, even the callous Dr. Wells, making his treacherous turn at the end of the season hurt everyone personally. From there, the show has only grown in scope.

With the success of season 1 of The Flash, it was inevitable that they would expand the world and, three seasons later, there are a plethora of new speedsters serving as both allies and villains to Barry. From the malevolent Zoom to the enigmatic Accelerated Man, the Arrowverse is now teeming with speedsters from all over the multiverse. To help you sort through all these blazing fast metahumans, here are 15 Speedsters in the Arrowverse, ranked.

15. BLITZKRIEG

He may not be the most well known speedster on this list, but Blitzkrieg happens to be a general in the Earth X army. He’s not the Reverse-Flash who appeared in the “Crisis on Earth-X” crossover, but another metahuman speedster that serves as one of Overgirl’s generals in the CW Seed series Freedom Fighters: The Ray.

He’s fast enough to take on all of the Freedom Fighters with the help of Overgirl and Dark Arrow. However, when he singled out Ray, he was handily defeated, with the hero blasting him into a car. Also, he didn’t follow The Ray when Vibe sent him through a breach, implying that he doesn’t have the ability to travel through dimensions. This, combined with a lack of knowledge about him, means that we have to put him at the bottom of the list, no matter how cool his name is.

14. EDWARD CLARISS 

Edward Clariss was the rival to Wally West in the Flashpoint timeline Barry created once he saved his mother from being killed by the Reverse-Flash. Clariss was a manic, power hungry speedster that wanted to be bad just for the hell of it.

Unfortunately, though, his comic book counterpart was far more deadly than he was. Clariss was almost a match for Wally in this alternate timeline and Wally was very new as a speedster and as a superhero, meaning he was nowhere near as fast as he became in the main timeline. On top of that, after Clariss took Wally down with a sneak attack, Barry was able to defeat him with little effort; don’t forget that this version of Barry was losing his powers because of the effects of the Flashpoint timeline.

13. EOBARD THAWNE (PRE-SEASON ONE)

Eobard Thawne’s entire existence may be the most confusing aspect of the entire Arrowverse and that’s taking into account the sentient well of extradimensional energy that is the Speed Force. He has so many versions of himself scattered through time that nothing short of a phD in theoretical physics will allow you to keep track of him.

This version of Thawne is the version that Barry battled twice in season two. This version is still a relatively amateur speedster; he hadn’t gone through the events of season one or built the wheelchair to absorb tachyons and enhance his speed yet, and it shows. Twice, this version was handily beaten by Barry: once in the episode “The Reverse-Flash Returns” and again in the season two finale.

12. ACCELERATED MAN

We, unfortunately, don’t know much about the Accelerated Man except that he’s the Earth-19 version of the Flash, he has purple lightning when he runs, his suit looks freaking awesome and he’s the overseer of the Collectors on Earth-19. Technically, that means that the Accelerated Man is Gypsy’s boss, which actually makes her even cooler. But we digress.

The only fact that we’re given about his speed is that he can hop dimensions. This feat takes a certain amount of speed to do, which is why he ranks above Clariss, Blitzkrieg, and the proto version of Eobard Thawne who we know aren’t fast enough to do this. But as painful as it is, the lack of information on his character means that we can’t rank him any higher than this.

11. ELIZA HARMON

Eliza Harmon made her name as the only female speedster before Jesse Quick came into the picture. In the season two episode “Traectory”, she appears as a mischievous new speedster with a split personality due to her usage of the drug Velocity-9, which was also the source of her powers.

In this episode, she proves to actually be faster than Barry because of the effects of the drug. One would think that this would put her higher on the list, but Barry was able to approach this speed once he pushed himself and, at this point in time, he was said to be three to four times slower than Zoom was. Once she realized that Barry was getting close to her speed, however, she chose to overdose on the Velocity-9, gaining a massive speed boost… until she disintegrated a few moments later. Let this be a lesson that cheaters never prosper.

10. SUPERMAN

tyler-hoechlin-superman-header

While Kal-El may not be connected to the Speed Force, he and his cousin, Supergirl, can still be classified as speedsters by merit of their incredible speed that actually surpasses others on this list. In the comics, Superman and the Flash have had many races that all ended in a tie. But the Flash has confirmed that he’s been slowing himself down tremendously for the sake of the crowd, but if he really pushed himself, he’d leave Superman in the dust.

Still, Superman is a tremendously fast character. His abilities scale to Kara, and she has been shown to perform incredible feats of speed on Supergirl. On top of that, during “Crisis on Earth-X”, Eobard Thawne revealed that he battled Superman, claiming “He’s fast…I’m faster.” When one of the fastest speedsters in existence acknowledges your speed, you have to be moving pretty fast.

9. SUPERGIRL

Kara Danvers in Supergirl

The second Kryptonian on this list, Kara Zor-El has all of the same powers as her cousin and, as we said in the previous entry, her powers scale to his. So why is she ranked above Superman? In the season two finale of Supergirl, she straight up beat Superman in a fight. When Superman was poisoned with silver Kryptonite, he saw Kara as Zod and fought her with no restraint until she managed to beat him unconscious. So since she’s stronger, it’s not too far fetched to assume that she’s faster too.

As for their placement on the list, Kara and Barry raced once before in the Supergirl episode “World’s Finest”. At this point, Barry was enhanced with tachyons and was confirmed to be faster than Zoom. While Supergirl was noticeably slower than a relaxed Barry, she was keeping pace while pushing herself.

8. WALLY WEST

Wally West has a natural aptitude for being a speedster. He was introduced to the show as Joe’s street racing son from his estranged wife and even before he had powers, Wally was obsessed with speed. He studied engineering with a focus on high powered engines and wanted more than anything to be a speedster when Jesse got her powers.

Therefore, it makes sense that once he did finally become a speedster, he was so quick to take his powers and (pardon the pun) run with it. It’s been said that, as of season three, Wally is faster than Barry was as a rookie and would be able to surpass him very soon. However, Wally is still very raw as a speedster and superhero. He had a hard time grasping concepts such as phasing and when he, Barry, and Jesse raced, he was the slowest out of all of them.

7. JESSE WELLS

Jesse Quick in The Flash

Jesse Wells is one character that people tend to overlook on The Flash. This isn’t her fault, however, as she’s very much underutilized on the show. Jesse got her powers when she was hit by the dark matter pulse from Barry trying to get his powers back.

Jesse Quick, as she’s affectionately referred to by her father, is a very powerful character in her own right. Not only is she a genius that Harrison “Harry” Wells claims is actually smarter than him, but she’s also the main version of the Flash on her world and saves the day in the same manner that Barry does. She was shown to be faster than Wally when she raced with him and Barry, and she even held her own one-on-one against Savitar, actually managing to hurt him while he was in his armor.

6. JAY GARRICK

Jay is the Earth-3 doppelganger of Henry Allen and is based off of the Golden Age version of the Flash with the same name. He’s the Flash of Earth-3 and serves as a mentor figure for Barry. Garrick is a veteran speedster who has been doing this long enough to mentor Barry on the mistakes he made. He was fast enough to catch Barry and pull him out of the timestream when he tried to undo the changes he caused from Flashpoint.

In addition, not only was he fast enough to perceive Savitar, who was able to use the Speed Force to essentially teleport at the time, he took him on by himself. He didn’t win, but then again, neither did Barry. The fact that he survived is a testament to his speed. He was, however, defeated and imprisoned by Zoom, implying that he’s slower.

5. HUNTER ZOLOMON

Eobard Thawne may be the most devious and iconic villain on The Flash, but Hunter Zolomon, or Zoom, is definitely the most overtly menacing villain. He came onto the scene in such a manner that many doubted that he was ever human. And this fear was only multiplied in the season two episode aptly titled “Enter Zoom”. In this episode, team Flash tries to trap Zoom, but when he does appear, he’s far too powerful for any of them to handle and ends up beating Barry so bad that he leaves him paralyzed.

This isn’t it for Zoom, however, as when he steals Barry’s speed at the end of the season, he becomes even faster. Even with Barry regaining his powers after a trip into the Speed Force, Zoom was arguably faster at this point because he seemed to have a slight edge over Barry during their race.

4. SAVITAR

If Savitar remained trapped in the Speed Force, he actually would be number one on this list easily. While he was trapped in the Speed Force, he was able to travel between it and the real world at will, even if it was only momentarily. With this ability, he was able to trounce Barry and Jay with ease; they could barely even perceive him. However, once he escaped the Speed Force, he was just a regular speedster and was only very slightly faster than Barry.

Even still, considering Savitar is just a future version of Barry, he’s incredibly fast. He’s fast enough to overpower Barry twice and take on Barry, Jay, and Wally at the same time. Before he was trapped in the Speed Force, he traveled through time and was powerful enough to gain a (literal) cult following and be hailed as the god of speed.

3. EOBARD THAWNE (POST-SEASON ONE) 

No matter what happens, Eobard Thawne just doesn’t seem to be able to die. He’s been erased from time and reclaimed by the Speed Force, yet he is still alive and causing trouble for The Flash. This is the veteran version of the speedster that has made three appearances in the Arrowverse so far.

Thawne is a genius speedster who has invented techniques and devices to increase his speed. He’s fast enough to fight on par with Barry in the “Crisis on Earth-X” finale, meaning that he is close to his speed. However, he was terrified of the Black Flash. He was so scared that he wouldn’t stay in one time period for too long and he didn’t even try to run once the Black Flash caught up with him, choosing to stay still instead in hopes that it wouldn’t notice that he was there.

2. THE BLACK FLASH

Once Hunter Zolomon was caught by the Speed Force’s time wraiths, he didn’t die. Instead Zolomon was transformed into an agent of the Speed Force: the Black Flash, an entity that is more of a force of nature than anything else.

The Black Flash is used as a weapon against other speedsters that get out of line, therefore, it has to be extremely fast. As stated before, Eobard Thawne didn’t even try to run from it, knowing that such an endeavor was futile. When Barry went into the Speed Force to rescue Wally in season three, the Speed Force, unhappy with his intrusion, sent the Black Flash after him and Barry was unable to fight or escape this force of nature. He only survived because the Speed Force decided to let him live.

1. BARRY ALLEN

He’s called the Fastest Man Alive for a reason. If you wanted to be shocked, you came to the wrong list because every season has been about Barry getting faster to defeat his enemies. However, with the main villain of season four not being a speedster and with Barry besting the post-season one version of Eobard Thawne during the crossover, he stands alone atop the speedster totem pole.

The season four premiere does a great job of showing Barry’s top speed when he really pushes himself. When Barry was running after the Samuroid to save Iris, Cisco explicitly stated that no one has run that fast before. If that wasn’t enough, he burst out of his containment cell in the pipeline using only his speed. You know, the containment cells that are supposed to negate metahuman powers. He’s that fast.

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