Perhaps you comic book aficionados out there should take a break from your Hulk vs. Superman and Spider-Man vs. Batman arguments to settle once and for all a real superhero challenge: Quicksilver vs. the Flash. Before you start talking about how these characters are so different, it might be worthwhile to note just how similar they are. Both Quicksilver and Flash are modified humans (recent events revealed that Quicksilver is not a mutant), both are incredibly fast runners, both have outraced death and both have multiple actors representing them on the big and small screens. The Flash uses the Speed Force and is a part of DC's mightiest team, the Justice League. Quicksilver's speed is biological in nature and he's a member of multiple superhero teams, including the Avengers and X-Factor. So, once and for all, which speedster is the one to root for? That may require a breakdown of abilities.
Abilities? These dudes run fast... what other discussion do you need? This is where it gets complicated. Both characters have been around for decades and have abilities and powers you may not know about. Are you familiar with the Flash's ability to throw an infinite mass punch? Quicksilver may not be able to do that, but did you know that Quicksilver, at one point, could grant certain people with superpowers? Which one of the two can use their powers to create constructs? When Flash and Quicksilver finally raced side by side, which one of them was The Fastest Man Alive? Once you see these 20 facts about the two speedsters, you can finally decide for yourself which one of them is more awesome!
20 QUICKSILVER IS BETTER: COULD GRANT SUPERPOWERS
How many mutants are there in the Marvel Universe? When the island of Genosha was still around, it was estimated that the world contained approximately 30 million mutants. Thanks to the actions of the Scarlet Witch, that number was radically reduced to around 200. Not even Quicksilver was immune to the power loss.
Even the Flash has lost his speed, but here Quicksilver does the Flash one better. Pietro not only regained his powers by exposing himself to the Inhumans' Terrigen Mist, but he also embedded Terrigen crystals into his body, granting him the ability to restore those that lost their powers due to his sister.
19 FLASH IS BETTER: CAN USE THE SPEED FORCE
If you're looking for superhero books to provide realism, then perhaps you might want to go elsewhere. Granted, writers in the past have used somewhat plausible explanations to explain how Superman flies or how Iron Man's armor works, but how can you explain someone's superhuman ability to run and not have their skin ripped off at the impossible speeds they travel?
The Speed Force was introduced for such purposes. The extradimensional energy provides The Flash with his speed powers. Quicksilver's speed is solely based on how fast his legs can carry him, so it seems like the Flash might be faster after all!
18 QUICKSILVER IS BETTER: NO SECRET IDENTITY
The Flash has a pretty vicious gallery of rogues, and at the top of the list is Reverse-Flash, also known as Eobard Thawne. Thawne discovered Barry's identity and Iris Allen, the wife to Barry, met her demise at Reverse-Flash's hands. The Flash has other loved ones as well and takes precautions to protect those in his life.
Iron Man, Captain America, and others don't seem to care that the general public knows who they are in real life. This goes double for Tony Stark, who loves the attention. Quicksilver doesn't have a secret identity to protect, and it seems like his family members are more than able to protect themselves.
17 FLASH IS BETTER: FASTEST MAN ALIVE
Believe it or not, Flash and Quicksilver not only raced, but they also did it several times! In the JLA/Avengers crossover, Flash and Quicksilver raced against each other. Flash won when he had access to the Speed Force and lost when he did not.
In Quasar #17, a galactic race was held to see who the fastest person on Earth was. Quicksilver lost to a strange person that appeared out of nowhere, calling himself the "Buried Alien." His appearance and name were meant to resemble Barry Allen. Even Marvel thinks Flash is faster than Quicksilver!
16 QUICKSILVER IS BETTER: POWERFUL DAD AND SISTER
Who's your daddy? Barry Allen's dad spent time in jail, accused of being the one who caused the untimely passing of his wife Nora (it turns out he was framed by Professor Zoom). As for Pietro, that answer is a bit more complex. Initially, it was thought that Magneto was his father.
Magneto is one of the most powerful mutants on the planet, and so is his sister, the Scarlet Witch. However, recent events have revealed that the Maximoff siblings aren't related to Magneto and were genetically altered by The High Evolutionary. Either way, Pietro has a powerful father figure in his life.
15 FLASH IS BETTER: CAN THROW INFINITE MASS PUNCH
What superhero fights should you avoid? It goes without saying that you don't want to be socked in your mug by Superman, Hulk or even Batman, but what about The Flash? If he puts his impressive speed behind his punch, what kind of damage can he do?
Flash can throw something he refers to as the "infinite mass punch." Flash Fact: the faster an object moves, the more mass it attains. According to the Flash, he can achieve enough speed to hit someone with the equivalent of a white dwarf star. Uh, can we get Neil deGrasse Tyson or VSauce on that one?
14 QUICKSILVER IS BETTER: MEMBERS OF MULTIPLE TEAMS
It's hard to picture The Flash on a team besides the Justice League. Kid Flash was once a member of the Teen Titans, but when we think of the Justice League, a number of heroes instantly come to mind and the Fastest Man Alive is one of them. What about Quicksilver?
Both Quicksilver and his sister, the Scarlet Witch, have found themselves on a variety of teams with and without mutants. Quicksilver was a member of X-Factor and the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, as well as the Avengers and Inhumans, due to his marriage to Crystalia Amaquelin.
13 FLASH IS BETTER: CAN CREATE CONSTRUCTS
Heroes like Spider-Man and Superman hide their costumes under their daily wear. In earlier versions of the Flash, we saw that the Flash's uniform was super-compressed inside a compartment in his ring. However, the Flash no longer does this thanks to the Speed Force.
Not only can the Speed Force provide a protective aura around the Flash, it also allows him to manifest constructs. The Flash's costume, formerly squeezed into his ring, is now comprised of the Speed Force itself.
12 QUICKSILVER IS BETTER: LESS CALORIES
Although the Speed Force powers Barry Allen, other versions of the Flash required that he consumed massive amounts of calories to make up for the energy he expends running. In the 2017 Justice League, Barry mentions that the Speed Force makes him burn a tremendous amount of calories.
Quicksilver is super-fast, and in X-Factor #87, Pietro reveals he thinks everyone around him in the world moves at a snail's pace. What we don't get are scenes of Quicksilver scarfing down snacks, so it appears his super-power also enables him to run without needing to refuel all the time.
11 FLASH IS BETTER: GIVETH AND TAKETH AWAY SPEED
Both Quicksilver and Flash have been known to pluck bullets out of the air, but is it more than them just being incredibly fast? What if there were other forces at bay that were not only speeding them up, but also slowing the bullets down? This is something that Flash can do that Quicksilver cannot.
The Flash can control not only his own kinetic energy, but the kinetic energy of other objects as well as people. He can take kinetic energy he's stored and either take additional kinetic energy from a person or give them extra, allowing someone the chance, for a time, to become super-fast.
10 QUICKSILVER IS BETTER: NO CONFUSION WITH IDENTITY
Jay Garrick was the original Flash and made his first appearance in Flash Comics #1 back in 1940. There's also everyone's favorite Barry Allen, but after the events of Crisis on Infinite Earths, he was replaced by Wally West, then again by Bart Allen.
You may be confused by the Quicksilver that appeared in Avengers: Age of Apocalypse versus the Quicksilver that first appeared in X-Men: Days of Future Past. However, there's only one Quicksilver, and there may be some retconning of his origins to not make him Magneto's kid, you won't be as confused trying to identify which Flash is which.
9 FLASH IS BETTER: SPEED FORCE AURA
On Star Trek, ships have shields to protect themselves from offensive weapons, but they also have deflector screens. These deflectors protect the ship from small objects floating around in space that could puncture holes in the ship's hull. So what's protecting the Flash from a mosquito ripping a hole through him while he runs?
In the film Justice League, Barry Allen wore a silica-based costume comprised of quartz and fabric that was heat and abrasion resistant. It may be good enough to protect NASA shuttles, but the Flash doesn't really need it. The Speed Force creates an aura around him that protects him from friction and gives him increased durability.
8 QUICKSILVER IS BETTER: HIS FAMILY RULED THE WORLD
Quicksilver may not have as many powers as the Flash (lightning throw, infinite mass punch, using vibrations to change your voice... you get the idea) but the man does come from a powerful family. Although it was retconned into a big no, at one point he was considered the biological son of Magneto.
Thanks to the events in the 2005 crossover House of M, mutants are in charge of the world (not humans) and Magneto and his family rule over Mutantkind. Pietro's reign was cut short by Magneto's wrath, but after his passing, he was resurrected by his sister.
7 FLASH IS BETTER: LIGHTNING THROW
Besides being the Fastest Man Alive, what else can The Flash do in terms of offensive power? Yes, he could take knives or darts and throw them at tremendous speeds (something that Speed Demon did against Wolverine), but let's not forget he's wielding the Speed Force, and that has some inherently awesome abilities.
Not only does The Flash sport a lightning bolt on his chest, he can also throw bolts of lightning as well. Lightning and electricity go hand in hind, and Flash can also accomplish feats of magnetism. Quicksilver can't do this, and considering who his dad used to be, that must have been a disappointment to Magneto!
6 QUICKSILVER IS BETTER: ANDROID BROTHER IN LAW
The Flash lineage is an interesting one. Not only was Barry Allen the Flash, but if you take a look into the future, you'll see that the Flash of the 23rd century is Sela Allen and Blaine Allen is the Flash of the 28th century. What about the Maximoff lineage?
Quicksilver has Wanda Maximoff as a sister, and the Scarlet Witch has used her powers to change the reality of the Marvel Universe on more than one occasion. By marriage, Pietro is brother-in-law to the android, Vision. By marriage, he's part of the royal family of the Inhumans. Have fun during family reunions, Pietro!
5 FLASH IS BETTER: IDENTITY CHANGE
Quicksilver's real name is Pietro Django Maximoff, and even though he was once thought to be the son of Magneto (as well as a mutant), he makes no attempt to create an alternate identity for himself. The Flash doesn't want people to know his real name and fortunately, his powers protect him as much as his mask does.
Thanks to his speed ability, he can change the vibrations of his voicebox to modify how his voice sounds. Jay Garrick, the original Flash, didn't wear a mask, but would vibrate his face just enough so that any recordings of his appearance would look out of focus.
4 QUICKSILVER IS BETTER: HAS PLAYED BOTH HERO AND VILLAIN
Pietro Maximoff has had quite the life. He lived on the moon when he was married to Crystal, a member of the Inhuman race. For a time, his sister took away his superhuman speed and he has also come back from the dead. What really sets him apart? His transformation from villain to hero.
Pietro once fought alongside his (former) father and sister on the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants. Pietro's views on life would change, and he would find himself fighting alongside X-Factor as well as the Avengers. The Hero's Journey that Quicksilver has been on has made him the hero he is today.
3 FLASH IS BETTER: GAVE HIMSELF SUPERPOWERS
Although he was initially thought to be a mutant, it was revealed in Uncanny Avengers #4 that he was a human-altered by the High Evolutionary. For The Flash, it's a little more complex: Barry Allen gained his super-speed while in his lab, when a bolt of lightning hit a wall of chemicals that he was standing by. We later find out that Allen gave himself powers!
In Crisis on Infinite Earths, Barry Allen sacrificed himself to stop the Anti-Monitor. Although people thought he perished, he actually turned into energy that traveled back in time. That energy became the lightning bolt that struck himself in the lab!
2 QUICKSILVER IS BETTER: NO NEED FOR SPEED FORCE
The Speed Force is what powers the Flash as well as a variety of other speedsters, but what were to happen if The Flash lost his ability to access it? No more speed! This happened in the JLA/Avengers crossover when Flash found himself on Marvel's Earth-616 where the Speed Force didn't exist.
Pietro has no need for the Speed Force. Both in the comics and the movies, Pietro Maximoff is revealed to be an augmented human (in the comics, he's been changed by the High Evolutionary, in the movies it's the Mind Stone). Regardless, his speed is based on his biology!
1 FLASH IS BETTER: CAN CREATE SPEED CLONES
What makes Jamie Madrox (also known as the Multiple Man) so awesome? He can create dupes of himself and never be outnumbered. Two is better than one, especially when it comes to the Flashes. Bart Allen had that in mind when he created speed scouts.
Whereas some Flashes like Barry Allen are using the Speed Force to create things like his costume, Bart is using the Speed Force to create other Flashes. Bart could create speed clones that would gather information, then they would share the intel they gathered when he absorbed them.