DC has no shortage of speedsters. It’s one of the areas where they’ve undeniably got their rival, Marvel, beat. In terms of both the sheer quantity of speedsters that DC has to offer and the reality-splitting power of those speedsters, Marvel just can’t keep up. To celebrate DC’s illustrious history of super-fast characters and the ongoing “Flash War”, we’ve decided to take a look at their top 25 speedsters and rank them from slowest to fastest. Obviously, the bulk of this list consists of Flashes — as well as Flash friends, Flash family, Flash enemies, and Flash frenemies. We’ve got every major Flash that took the lead role, from the Golden Age to modern day.
Along with them, we’ve included major enemies of the Flash — the rivals that are themselves endowed with super-speed, and who’ve consistently pushed the Flash to his limits. Plus, we’ve got lesser-known Flash enemies that have given him a run for his money. Aside from characters directly related to Flash, we’ve listed some of DC’s other top speedsters. These speedsters are the dark horses, often overshadowed by the Flash family. However, we have reason to think that they’re faster than a couple of the Flashes. Here are DC’s 25 speedsters, ranked from slowest to fastest.
Eliza Harmon, aka Trajectory, first appeared in 52 #17, created by a team of writers that consisted of Grant Morrison, Greg Rucka, Mark Waid, and Geoff Johns. Harmon, who’d dreamed of super-speed her entire life, received the opportunity of a lifetime when she was selected by Lex Luthor for his Everyman Project. The Everyman Project granted superpowers to non-metahumans in an effort to usher in a new generation of superheroes. The first wave of recipients, which included Trajectory, joined Luthor’s superhero team, Infinity, Inc. It looked as if Trajectory would have a bright future in front of her — her only weakness being that she had to inject herself with a drug called Sharp in order to slow down. But shortly after her debut, in 52 #21, Trajectory met her demise. Luthor had a nasty habit of depowering members of his team at crucial moments during power and did so to Trajectory during a fight the team had with Blockbuster. It cost Trajectory her life.
Poor Trajectory didn’t last long at all.
She had dreams of climbing the ranks of speedsters, hopefully, to become the Flash at some point. And maybe she could have, too, if it weren’t for the ill-timed interference from Lex Luthor. Of course, nothing is permanent in comics, and she may rise from the dead to actualize some of her promised potential.
24. REVERSE-FLASH (DANIEL WEST)
Daniel West, aka the Reverse-Flash, made his debut in Flash (Vol. 4) #0, written by Brian Buccellato and drawn by Francis Manapul. Daniel had a rough childhood and grew up to become a common thug. It looked like his luck finally changed for the better after he stumbled upon a speed force battery that gave him the power to turn back time. Daniel decided on the name Reverse-Flash and made a plan to travel back in time to kill his father — what he thought would heal the relationship between him and his sister, Iris. In order to do so, Daniel had to drain the energy of those touched by the Speed Force. Eventually, Daniel acquired enough energy and went back in time to complete his mission. Things didn’t go as planned; his younger self and Iris were traumatized by the event, motivating Daniel to beg Flash to fix things.
Soon after, Daniel is recruited by the Suicide Squad where he receives a shot at redemption. It’s here that we receive a strong indication of his speed as he’s described to be considerably slower than the Flash, hence where he’s placed on this list. Despite this, Daniel is fast enough to save a group of children from a bomb and ends up sacrificing himself in the process.
23. LADY FLASH
Ivana Christina Borodin Molotova, aka Lady Flash, first appeared in Flash (Vol. 2) #7, written by Mike Baron and drawn by Jackson Guice. Christina was the Soviet Union’s answer to Barry Allen’s Flash. Looking to re-create Flash-like speed, Soviet scientists conducted experiments that eventually produced the Blue Trinity, a trio of speedsters that included Christina. Later on, Vandal Savage kidnapped Christina and experimented on them by giving them Velocity 9. After Flash’s apparent death at the hands of Savage, Christina filled in for Flash, even going so far as to wear Barry’s costume. When Flash resurfaced and confronted Savage, Christina chose Barry’s side.
As an award for her decision, Barry allowed Christina to keep the costume.
Despite her decision to help out Barry in his moment of crisis, Christina quickly returned to the opposing side. She ditched the Lady Flash gimmick and again worked alongside Vandal Savage, still primarily fueled by Velocity 9. Her dependence on Velocity 9 makes her one of the slower speedsters on this list, given that those who are connected to the speed force have much greater potential. It’s unfortunate that she didn’t stay on Barry’s side as the idea of a female Flash is yet to be something that DC’s seriously explored.
Thadeus Thawne II, otherwise known as Inertia, was introduced to the DC universe in Impulse #50, written by Todd Dezago and drawn by Mike Wieringo. Inertia is the ‘Reverse-Impulse’. He was created by Thadeus Thawne in the 30th century as a clone of Bart Allen (Impulse) mixed with some of Thawne’s genetic material. Unlike Impulse, who aged at an accelerated rate, Inertia was allowed to develop normally. During this slower development, he was brought up to be patient and methodical — and was taught by the elder Thawne to hate the Allen family with a burning passion. The plan was for Inertia to travel back in time and replace and replace Bart Allen — which, of course, didn’t work.
Inertia’s genetic composition is a recipe for top speed. Although he hasn’t made much of a mark during his time in comics, we’re convinced that he has reserves of speed that he simply hasn’t tapped into yet. One thing is clear though, he can’t hang with his rival Bart Allen. However, evidently, he doesn’t need to in order to beat Bart. Inertia was responsible for gathering a group of Bart’s rogues after Bart became the Flash. Led by Inertia, the rogues beat Bart to death, before turning on Inertia, who’d they learned had been using them to steal Flash’s powers all along.
21. BARONESS BLITZKRIEG
Baroness Blitzkrieg first appeared in Justice Society of America (Vol. 3) #2, written by Geoff Johns, and drawn by Dale Eaglesham. The story followed the terrorist organization known as the Fourth Reich, which Blitzkrieg was apart of. Her team was composed of a number of Nazi-loving supervillains, including Captain Nazi, Shadow of War, Count Berlin, Baron Gestapo, and Captain Murder. The Fourth Reich was formed by Vandal Savage for the purpose of killing off descendants of the patriotic heroes from the Golden Age. Baroness did her share by targeting and murdering several of Commander Steel’s descendants. After that, she went on to target Stripesy’s son, Mike Dugan. Luckily, Jay Garrick stepped in for the save before any more blood could be shed. It’s also worth noting that’s it’s been heavily implied that Baroness is related to Baron Blitzkrieg, an enemy of the Golden Age team of heroes, All-Star Squadron.
Baroness is probably the least-known speedster on her this list — and with due reason.
She hasn’t had much time to shine on the page, making it difficult to gauge just how fast she is in relation to DC’s other speedsters. But we know enough to have her at the beginning of this list. The Baroness has proven to be fast enough and ruthless enough to make an impact in the brief time that she’s appeared in the comics.
20. JOHN FOX
John Fox is the Flash from the 27th century. He first appeared in Flash Special #1, written by Mark Waid and drawn by Mike Parobeck. Fox started out as a historian, for the National Academy of Science, but went above and beyond the call of duty when the villain named Manfred Mota came to his city. The Academy sent him into the past to get one of the Flashes for help. Although he failed, he ended up gaining powers from the radiation he was exposed to during his journey. Fox defeated Mota and took on the Flash codename. Shortly after, Fox joined Wally West in his era to stop Polaris and Abra Kadabra from beginning a new Ice Age.
Although we haven’t seen a whole lot of Fox, we’ve got to assume that the man is pretty fast. Aside from the fact that he is the Flash of his timeline, Fox is what is known as a Speed Force Conduit — meaning that he has a strong link to the force that gives the top speedsters their powers. That’s nothing to sneeze at, but we aren’t sure that Fox could handle the enemies that the likes of Barry Allen and Wally West go up against.
19. MAX MERCURY
Max Mercury was introduced into the DC Universe in National Comics #5, written by Jack Cole and drawn by Chuck Mazoujian. During the Golden Age, he sometimes went by “The Whirlwind of the West”, and teamed up with other speedsters from the era, including Jay Garrick and Johnny Quick. Mercury fought with the likes of Dr. Morlo and Savitar — a villain that would antagonize speedsters for generations to come. Mercury popped up a couple of decades later and took on the responsibility of mentoring Impulse. After a run-in with Rival, Mercury found himself imprisoned in the speed force.
He wouldn’t appear again until Infinite Crisis, where he helped the other speedsters in an attempt to stop Superboy-Prime.
Max Mercury is a classic speedster whose experience is only matched by Jay Garrick and Earth 1’s Johnny Quick. This has to count for something. With experience comes efficiency and mastery, so Mercury most likely knows how to get the most out of his power even if he can’t access the reserves the, say, Wally West can. Still, the guy is clearly somebody you’d want on your side, perhaps made most evident in how aided the other speedsters in the attempted takedown of the ultra-powerful Super-Boy Prime. Mercury hasn’t been seen much since, but there’s always a chance he’ll pop out of the speed force to help a Flash in need.
18. JOHNNY QUICK (EARTH 3)
Jonathan Allen, otherwise known as Johnny Quick, made his debut in the DC universe in Justice League of America (Vol. 1) # 29, written by Gardner Fox and drawn by Mike Sekowsky. Johnny is the evil Earth 3 counterpart of the Flash. He was introduced as one of the core members of the evil version of the Justice League known as the Crime Syndicate of America, a team that has repeatedly come into conflict with Earth 1’s heroes, most notably being behind the “Forever Evil” event that took place a few years ago. During “Forever Evil”, Johnny and his comrades invaded Earth 1 in hopes of making it their new home. They went around capturing and imprisoning members of the Justice League but were eventually stopped by the Injustice League. Then, the New 52 version of Johnny Quick met his end at the hands of Mazahs.
Johnny played an instrumental role in Forever Evil. His super speed helped a lot in rounding up members of the Justice League. Lack of speed wasn’t to blame for his demise. He went up against Captain Cold, who froze and broke one of Johnny’s legs, setting up Mazahs to seize the opportunity to kill Johnny. We’re sure he’ll be back again soon to run circles around the Justice League.
17. DARK FLASH
Walter West, aka Dark Flash, made his first appearance in Flash (Vol. 2) #150, created by writer Mark Waid and artist Paul Pelletier. Walter came from a different timeline than Wally West, and much of their two lives were the same. The part where the two timelines diverged occurred when Linda Park was killed by Kobra. Losing Linda drove Walter half-mad. He didn’t hold back on criminals anymore and ventured into morally questionable territory, becoming more anti-hero than hero. After believing Wally West and his Linda to have died, Walter comes to Wally’s reality to replace him. Eventually, Walter has to head home. His presence in a different reality has caused an imbalance, attracting other realities to interfere with the one he’s in.
Although he leaves Wally’s timeline, it’s unclear if he ever makes it back to his.
Dark Flash is an older and darker version of Wally West. Given how fast Wally is, we have to assume that Dark Flash is up there with his less battle-scarred counterpart. The only reason he isn’t higher up on this list is that we didn’t see that much of him, and thus can’t gauge just how close in speed he is to Wally.
Edward Clariss, aka Rival, made his first appearance in Flash Comics #104 way back in 1949. Created by writer Jack Broome and artist Joe Kubert, Rival was introduced as an antagonist for the Golden Age Flash, Jay Garrick. Clariss, who was a scientist and a University professor, was convinced that he’d re-created the formula that gave Garrick his speed. His work was rejected by the skeptical scientific community, motivating him to test the formula out on himself and express his resentment through criminal acts. Clariss donned a darker version of Garrick’s Flash costume and started going by the name of Rival. Eventually, he went toe-to-toe with Flash, where he learned that his speed formula wasn’t permanent like Garrick’s.
Rival has been enough to cause speedsters some serious trouble, especially Jay Garrick. What really separates himself from some of the speedsters on this list, and the reason he’s fairly high up is the fact that he disappeared into the Speed Force at one time. If there’s one thing you should know about the speedsters, it’s that you have to be pretty darn fast to disappear into the speed force. This makes him somewhat of a dark horse, as you typically don’t think of Rival when thinking about the fastest characters in the DCU.
Jenni Ognats, otherwise known as XS, first appeared in Legionnaires #0, created by writers Mark Waid and Tom McCraw, and artist Jeffrey Moy. Jenni, who’s the granddaughter of Barry Allen, was targeted by Professor Zoom shortly after her birth. Her family relocated to another Earth before Zoom was defeated the Legion of Superheroes. Years later, after her powers had emerged in response to a crisis situation, Jenni joined the Legion of Superheroes, going by the codename XS. Eventually, she met up with her cousin, Bart Allen, and the two became great friends. The two of them united with the rest of the Flash family against Savitar in the Flash event “Dead Heat” where Jenni proved herself among DC’s top speedsters.
Like some of the other speedsters on this list, it’s unclear just how much potential XS has.
Cut off from the main timeline where the Flash family primarily operates, XS is often seen within the context of the Legion of Superheroes. In other words, she doesn’t get a whole lot of solo time. However, the fact that she does have some of that Allen blood running through her does ensure that she can run with the best of them, even if she has yet to have the opportunity to really push her limits.
14. BLACK FLASH
The Black Flash made his first appearance in Flash (Vol. 2) #138, created by writers Grant Morrison and Mark Millar, and artist Ron Wagner. The Black Flash plays the role of the Grim Reaper for those connected to the Speed Force. Whenever a speedster is close to death, they will catch a glimpse of the Black Flash as he prepares to whisk them away into the speed force. The Black Flash has had a number of run-ins with Wally West, evidently keen on taking the former Kid Flash. His most notable conflict with Wally involved a team of speedsters trying to help Wally against Death. Wally managed to defeat the Black Flash by racing it to a point beyond time where death became meaningless.
We think it’s safe to say that the Flash-equivalent of Death is pretty fast. It was rumored that the Black Flash had appeared before Barry Allen right before his death in Crisis on Infinite Earths and that he had also shown himself before Max Mercury during several near-death experiences. The fact that Wally managed to outrace the Black Flash isn’t so much proof that the Black Flash is slow as it is simply a testament to Wally’s incredible capacity to continually surpass his limits when he goes up against other speedsters.
13. JESSE QUICK
Jesse Chambers, aka Jesse Quick, first appeared in Justice Society of America (Vol. 2) #1, written by Len Strazewski and drawn by Mike Parobeck. Jesse is the daughter of the Golden Age speedster Johhny Quick, who taught her how to tap into and utilize the energy from the Speed Force. Jessie helped out the Justice Society for a while before developing a feud with Wally West. Wally had told her that he wanted her to be the Flash in his absence, although it was clear to Jesse that this was only done to motivate Wally’s true heir, Bart Allen. She resolved her problem with Wally after the two confronted Savitar, who’d stolen Jesse’s powers. Jesse regained her powers but lost something much more precious during the battle. Her father sacrificed his life to protect her from Savitar.
Jesse is one of those speedsters that tend to pass under the radar when considering DC’s top speedsters.
One of the reasons for this is that unlike some of the other speedsters, she’s developed comparatively slowly. Bart Allen, Iris West II, and Wally West all matured quickly, taking on increasing amounts of responsibility in a short span of time. However, Jesse has played pivotal roles as a solo hero, and as a member of the Justice Society, the Teen Titans, and the JLA. We think it’s only a matter of time before she steps into a larger role.
12. JAY GARRICK
Jay Garrick, otherwise known as the original Flash who got his start in the Golden Age in Flash Comics #1, written by Gardner Fox and drawn by Harry Lampert. After a laboratory experiment at his University went wrong, Garrick found himself with superpowers. Among his early exploits, Garrick fought as a core member of the Justice Society of America and battled with the likes of the Shade, the Fiddler, and the Thinker. He faded from the public eye once Barry Allen took on the role of Flash but later resurfaced to help out the younger generations of heroes. During one notable post-Golden Age story, Garrick teamed up with his old pals Max Mercury and Johnny Quick to take on Professor Zoom. Things didn’t go well for Garrick, and the conflict ended with Garrick getting his leg broken.
Like Max Mercury, Jay Garrick has been around for a very long time, which means that if anybody could be considered a master of the Speed Force, it’s none other than the original Flash. While he’s slowed down with age, as can be expected, we still have to think that he could keep up with the best of them when he was in his prime. Garrick, as we see him most of the time, is an old man. Imagine how fast he was when he was younger.
11. WALLY WEST II
Wally West II, aka Kid Flash, first appeared in Flash Annual (Vol. 4) #3, written by Van Jensen and Robert Venditti, and drawn by Ron Frenz and Brett Booth. Wally, the son of Daniel West, received his powers of super-speed from a future version of himself. With his new powers, Wally decided to follow in the footsteps of his hero, Flash, and fight crime. After a friend of Wally’s is killed by Godspeed, Wally teams up with Barry Allen. Barry mentors Wally, and the two stop Godspeed. After the event, Wally finally adopts the codename Kid Flash. Recently, he had a short run with the Teen Titans, before being tricked by Deathstroke, which resulted in him abruptly being kicked off the team by Robin.
2Wally West II is one of the newest characters to make this list.
By extension, he’s also one of the speedsters we know the least about in terms of just how fast he can run. Little time in comics means that he’s had little time to live up to the feats of speed put on by his predecessors. However, given his namesake, we have reason to think that he has untapped reserves of speed just waiting for the right moment to emerge.
10. BART ALLEN
Bart Allen has played several roles throughout his time in comics, including Impulse, Kid Flash, and Flash. He made his debut in Flash (Vol.2) #92, written by Mark Waid and drawn by Mike Wieringo. Bart is the offspring of Meloni Thawne and Don Allen (Barry Allen’s son). Bart was born with super-speed and aged at an accelerated rate. He was brought back in time so that Wally West could teach him how to master his power. From there, Bart took on the codename Impulse, worked alongside Max Mercury, and founded the team of super-powered youths called Young Justice. Bart matured quickly. It wasn’t long before he was called up to join the Teen Titans, where he decided to become the new Kid-Flash. After Infinite Crisis, he’d fulfill his destiny and suit up as the fourth Flash.
Bart Allen had done it all. He started out as Impulse, graduated to Kid Flash, proceeded to become Flash, died, and then became the Black Flash for a period. Having had super speed in both life and death provides him with a unique relationship to the Speed Force, which we’d have to think would give him an advantage over some of the other speedsters.
Superman made his debut way back in Action Comics #1, written by Jerry Siegel and drawn by Joe Shuster. Superman has a laundry list of super-abilities, which, as made evident by his multiple races with Flash throughout the years, includes super-speed. However, his power has fluctuated from era to era. In the Golden Age, his powers were relatively modest. He was actually much closer to the super soldier Captain America than future versions of himself. Superman was super strong, could leap small buildings, and could run faster than a train — but by no means was he god-like. As the years went on though, his powers grew and new ones sprouted. He developed heat vision, ice breath and the ability to fly. During the peak of his powers, he was a veritable god, so invulnerable that many fans found him boring.
It stands to reason that at this time he was also at his fastest.
In Superman (Vol. 1) #199, Superman raced Barry Allen around the world, and the two of them tied. Years later, in World Finest Comics, Barry finally beat Superman and has consistently done so ever since. In fact, Barry admits to holding back against Superman in Flash: Rebirth #3, claiming that didn’t want to destroy Superman in a race for charity.
August Heart, aka Godspeed, made his initial appearance in The Flash: Rebirth (Vol. 2) #1, created by writer Joshua Williamson and artist Carmin Di Giandomenico. Godspeed is a formidable new addition to the Flash’s rogue’s gallery. Heart started out as Barry Allen’s detective partner and stood witness to the event that granted Barry his powers. Sometime later, Heart received his own powers after a Speed Force storm hovered over his city and lightning struck him. For a time, Heart acts as Flash’s partner. Unbeknownst to Barry, Heart is also the vigilante known as Godspeed — an anti-hero desperately seeking vengeance for the death of his brother. Eventually, Barry finds out and confronts Godspeed over Godspeed’s violent ways. The conflict ends thanks to Wally West II, who helps Barry to incarcerate Godspeed.
Since Godspeed’s initial conflict with the Flash, he’s been on the path towards reformation. That’s a good thing for Barry Allen and company because Godspeed is really fast. It looks like he would’ve gotten away from Barry the first time around if it weren’t for Kid Flash coming to the rescue. Only time will tell if Godspeed can actually outrun Barry. Then again, we might not get the chance seeing as how he’s gradually aligning himself with the side of the angels.
Savitar made his first appearance in Flash (Vol. 2) #108, written by Mark Waid and drawn by Oscar Jimenez. Savitar is yet another super-speedster in the Flash’s rogues gallery. He received his powers after his plane was struck by lightning. Savitar hones his powers and achieved abilities that no other speedster had yet to master. He learned how to transfer speed into objects and people, as well as how to almost instantaneously heal his injuries. A cult known as the Thunderbolt Agents emerged around him and Savitar used him to his benefit, and at one time gave them the speed of some of the Earth’s greatest speedsters. He then sent them to murder Wally West, Max Mercury, and XS, among others. DC’s top speedsters rose to the occasion and were able to apprehend Savitar and his cult.
About a decade ago in Flash: Rebirth #1, it looked like Savitar met his end when he suddenly disintegrated after the recently returned Barry Allen touched him.
Considering how fast and formidable Savitar appears to be, the baddie is fairly underused. We hope that changes soon. The fact that he is more of a student of the speed force than his academic-minded adversaries sets him apart from many evil speedsters. His ability to learn from and manipulate the speed force in new ways suggests that his potential has hardly been touched.
6. EOBARD THAWNE
Eobard Thawne, whose gone by both Reverse-Flash and Professor Zoom, made his first appearance in The Flash #139, created by writer John Broome and artist Carmine Infantino. Thawne is Barry Allen’s greatest enemy, but the feud stretches beyond the two of them. As stories from future eras point out, the Thawne family has a generations-long rivalry with the Allen family. Thawne was born in 2451, and in his time period, he vigorously studied the Speed Force and hero-worshipped the legendary Barry Allen. He received an operation to make himself look like Barry and traveled back in time to Barry’s time period — where he learned that he would become Barry’s archnemesis. Thawne posed as the Flash for a while but slowly lost his mind until Wally West had to find a way to send him back to his era. There began his intense hatred for Barry Allen and his Flash family.
Thawne is an unpredictable evil genius who hates nothing more than the Allen family. In addition, he has the capacity for negative Speed Force generation — the ability to appropriate the speed from other speedsters, which grants him godly levels of speed. Because of these reasons, Thawne is not only the scariest Flash villain but also one of DC’s overall most terrifying villains.
5. BLACK RACER
The Black Racer, otherwise known as the God of Death, made his debut in New Gods #3, written and drawn by Jack Kirby. Like the Black Flash, the Black Racer is Death personified. However, the Black Racer isn’t as impersonal as some physical manifestations of death. Rather, he serves a master, most notably, Darkseid, who’s proved capable of keeping the Black Racer under his control. During “Darkseid War”, the Black Racer was used against Darkseid by the Anti-Monitor when the Black Racer merged with Bart Allen. The Black Racer ended up killing Darkseid, much like did during Final Crisis.
Bart’s spirit clashed with the entity that possessed him and eventually the Black Racer was ejected from Bart’s body.
The Black Racer is like the Black Flash except he has one huge advantage: The Black Racer has the ability to possess a host, and corrupt that person. This means that the already fast Black Racer can take hold of any of the top speedsters– as he did with Bart. The only thing scarier and faster than an evil Bart Allen is an evil Wally West — which the Black Racer is fully capable of creating. But even without possessing a speedster, the Black Racer has nearly caught up to the Flash on several occasions.
4. HUNTER ZOLOMAN
Hunter Zoloman, who’s gone by both Zoom and Reverse-Flash, was introduced into the DC Universe by writer Geoff Johns and artist Scott Kollins in Flash Secret Files and Origins #3. After experiencing the startling revelation that his father was a serial killer, Zoloman became obsessed with criminal psychology. He became a criminal profiler where he met and befriended Wally West. Soon Zoloman had an accident that paralyzed him from the waist down. After Wally refused to go back in time to alter the event and risk significant change to the timestream, Zoloman took matters into his own hands. Zoloman gained powers after an experience with the Cosmic Treadmill and then decided that the reason Wally wasn’t willing to take necessary risks was that he hadn’t endured the type of tragedy that Barry Allen had. Zoloman proceeded on a dark path, intent on killing Wally’s wife, Linda Park so that Wally could finally become the hero he was meant to be.
Surprisingly, Zoloman doesn’t have a connection to the Speed Force. Instead, he uses something called localized chronokinesis, which is essentially a version of time-travel that mimics super-speed. This allows him to travel at speeds that rival Wally West. Unfortunately, he was depowered during the events of Final Crisis, likely preventing us from ever seeing him at his fastest.
3. IRIS WEST II
Iris West II, aka Impulse, made her first appearance in Flash (Vol. 2) #225, created by writer Geoff Johns and artist Howard Porter. Iris West is one of Linda Park’s and Wally West’s twin children. Like Bart Allen, Iris’s inherited powers caused her to age at a rapid rate. In order to help her get a handle on her powers, Wally embraced how quickly she was maturing and decided to mentor her. Even when she was still quite young, Iris proved herself against some of the Flash’s most formidable foes, including Gorilla Grodd and Spin.
Soon, Iris adopted Bart Allen’s old codename and became the new Impulse.
Iris may be one of the youngest characters on this list, but don’t let that fool you about her tremendous potential as a speedster. Has she yet to prove herself as the fastest of them all? No. But does she have the potential to be the fastest? Absolutely. Like her father, Wally, she has a direct line to the Speed Force and unlike Wally, she was born with this link. If that’s any indication of her potential, Iris has a bright future in front of her. She may even take over the role of Flash from her father someday.
2. BARRY ALLEN
Barry Allen, the second Flash, made his debut way back in Showcase #4, written by Robert Kanigher and drawn by Carmine Infantino. Barry’s interest in justice grew largely in response to the fact that his mother died when he was younger and his father was falsely convicted of her murder. Barry went on to become a police scientist where he’d have his accident involving lightning and chemicals that bestowed upon him his powers of super-speed. Things moved quickly from there. Barry became the second Flash, helped to found the Justice League, and mentored Iris West’s nephew Wally, who’d also stumbled into becoming a speedster.
The pre-new 52 Barry Allen was no joke. It was said that he was the source of the speed force, giving him perks that no other speedster had. For one thing, other speedsters can’t drain him of his energy due to the fact that his energy is essentially limitless. But what solidifies Barry’s place near the top of this list is the fact that he’s one of the rare characters to have escaped the Speed Force — a rare feat of super speed for any Flash. For these reasons, it’s often argued that he’s indeed faster than his successor, although we’ve judged otherwise.
1. WALLY WEST
Wally West, the first Kid Flash, and third Flash made his first appearance in The Flash (Vol. 1) #110, written by John Broome and drawn by Carmine Infantino. Growing up, Wally looked up to the Flash. His Aunt Iris introduced him to his hero, and the Flash mentored Wally as soon as Wally had received his own superpowers. Wally became the Kid Flash and joined the Teen Titans for a time. After Barry died during the Crisis on Infinite Earths, Wally reluctantly filled the role of Flash. Over time, Wally proved himself to be just as worthy of the name as his predecessor and even reached the point where he was considering his own legacy, looking at Bart Allen as his potential replacement whenever the time came. Why do we think that Wally West is fastest speedster of them all, even topping Barry Allen?
Once upon a time, Barry Allen was the only one to escape the Speed Force — and then Wally did it.
So much for that feat. Wally also seems to travel faster than the speed of light with ease and has done so frequently. And unlike many of the other speedsters, he mainlines from the speed force, granting him permanent access to the speed force. The fact that Wally seems to continually outdo himself is why we have him edging out his predecessor as the Fastest Man Alive.
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