DC has no shortage of speedsters. It’s one of the areas where they’ve
undoubtably 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 13 speedsters
and rank them from slowest to fastest. Obviously, the bulk of this list
consists of Flashes as well as Flash family and flash enemies.


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. Eliza, 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-met
humans 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. It looked as if Trajectory would have a bright future in front of her but
the only weakness being that she had to inject herself with a drug called
velocity 9 in order to gain super speed. 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.


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 (Joe West) 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
by killing them. 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 in a car accident, leading Daniel to beg Flash (Wally
West) to fix things. Soon after, this event 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.


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 Bart Allen and become the original Impulse. 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 his death.


In Waid's origin of the character, he was originally a scout with the US Cavalry
in the 1830s. A friend of the local Indian tribes, he was shocked and dismayed
to find them massacred on the orders of his commanding officer. Enchanted by
a dying Indian shaman, he gained super-speed. In the years that followed, he
became known to the Indians as Ahwehota ("He Who Runs beyond the
Wind"), and to everyone else as Windrunner. 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 Dr. Morlo and
Savitar villains that would antagonize speedsters for generations. Mercury has
repeatedly traveled through time, seeking to enter the so-called Speed Force.
He usually bounces off and finds himself decades in the future. His first
attempt left him in the 1890s, where he created a new identity for himself as
Whip Whirlwind. Later, he travelled ahead again, and was active in the 1930s
and 1940s as Quicksilver when he acted as a mentor to the fledgling Jonny
Quick of Earth ONE.


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 the golden age Flash, where he learned that his speed
formula wasn’t permanent like that of Garrick’s. Edward Clariss has also made
his apprance in arrow verse as the archenemy of Wally West/The Flash in the
Flashpoint timeline in the series of The Flash.


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.


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
Death stroke, which resulted in him abruptly being kicked off the team by
Robin. In The Flash: Futures End #1, the Flash from 20 years in the future is
able to prevent Wally's death by killing Daniel West. After the Future Flash

cripples his younger self in their fight and disappears into the past, Barry finds
that Wally has been imbued with the Speed Force. He makes Wally promise to
stop his future self and Wally dons a silver and red Flash suit, becoming the
new Flash, and trains for years to travel back and stop the Future Flash. In
Flash #35, Wally arrives to see the Future Flash fight the present Flash. Wally is
badly injured when he shields the younger Flash from high-speed rocks that
the Future Flash flung. Wally absorbs the excess Speed Force energy that is
tearing apart the present Flash and tells him to not give up and that he only
learned to be a hero because of him. Wally dies and releases a blast of Speed
Force energy that closes the rupture but unintentionally traps the present
Flash in the Speed Force.


Bartholomew Henry Allen II is a fictional superhero in the DC Comics Universe.
Allen first appeared as the superhero Impulse, a teenage sidekick of the
superhero the Flash, before he became the second hero known as Kid Flash.
The character first made a cameo appearance in The Flash #91 in 1994, while
his first full appearance in issue #92, and appeared as the lead character in
Impulse (1995–2002) and The Flash: The Fastest Man Alive (2006–2007). In
the latter series, the character became the fourth hero to assume the identity
of The Flash. After Infinite Crisis, he’d fulfil 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.


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 rogue’s gallery. He is an immensely powerful speedster that leads a cult

dedicated to the Speed Force, and he has battled Wally West, Jay Garrick and
Barry Allen. A Cold War pilot for a third-world nation, the man who would
become known as Savitar was to test a supersonic fighter jet. As he reached
top speed, his plane was struck by what appeared to be lightning, and he went
down in hostile territory. Discovering he could defeat the enemy by moving at
super-speed, he became obsessed, naming himself after the Hindu "god of
motion" Savitr. 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.


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 travelled forward in time to learn that he
would become Barry’s arch enemy. There began his intense hatred for Barry
Allen and his Flash family. In Thawne's first appearance, he found a time
capsule in the 25th Century containing Barry Allen's Flash costume, and was
able to use a Tachyon device to amplify the suit's speed energy, giving himself
speedster abilities as long as he wore the costume. Reversing the costume's
colours, Thawne adopted the moniker of "Professor Zoom" aka the "Reverse-
Flash", and went on a crime spree. However, the time capsule also contained
an atomic clock, which a scientist from Allen's time discovered would
eventually cause a nuclear explosion upon being removed from the time
capsule containing it. To prevent that disaster, The Flash travelled forward in
time to find the clock. Encountering Zoom, Flash pursued and defeated him in

the hope Zoom knew where the clock was. Unfortunately, that was not the
case and the Flash later barely found the clock and brought it to an isolated
area before it exploded in time and subsequently destroyed Thawne's
costume. Obsessed with this Eobard goes back in time to kill Barry’s mother
thinking he has defeated the Flash forever


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 fulfils the role of Death for those who possess super-speed, returning
them to the source of their powers: the Speed Force. It was reportedly seen
before the deaths of Barry Allen and Johnny Quick; Max Mercury, having had
several near-death experiences, also saw the Black Flash. It is not clear
whether the Black Flash exists because the speedsters are simply too fast for
traditional Death to capture, or as some sort of bizarre side-effect to their
connection to the Speed Force. Barry Allen later became the new Black Flash
after the old one was found "apparently dead’’. Soon after, the title was taken
by Professor Zoom in his corpse Black Lantern form. As the aspect of death for
speedsters, the Black Flash draws power from the extra-dimensional energy-
field called the Speed Force.


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. During a visit to the Central City police laboratory where Barry Allen
worked, the freak accident that gave Allen his powers repeated itself, bathing
Wally in electrically charged chemicals. Now possessing the same powers as

the Flash, West donned a smaller-sized copy of Barry Allen's Flash outfit and
became the young crime fighter Kid Flash. Wally had a strained relationship
with his own parents and often looked to his beloved aunt and uncle for moral
support and guidance. He also operates as a lone superhero in his hometown,
Blue Valley, when not partnering with the Flash. 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.

1. Barry Allen

Barry Allen aka The Flash, the fastest man alive. Using his super-speed powers,
he taps into the Speed Force and becomes a costumed crime-fighter. His
position is a legacy in the Flash Family, successor to the original Jay Garrick and
predecessor to Wally West. He is a founding member of the Justice League of
America. When he was a child, his mother was killed and his father was
convicted of the crime. The drive to prove his father was innocent gave Barry a
strong belief in justice. Barry went on to become a police scientist where in an
accident involving lightning and chemicals that bestowed upon him giving his
powers of super-speed. Deciding to use his powers to help humanity, Barry
designed a special costume. He used a special cold cast polyester he developed
in college, which could be moulded into miniature outfits from liquid material,
that, when submerged in a special liquid, became sensitive to hydrogen,
expanding on contact with the hydrogen in the air. A charge from a battery-
powered ring he wore on his finger caused the fabric to release the extra
hydrogen and shrink into the ring. He later revised the process, making the
fabric sensitive to nitrogen instead. He called himself the Flash. He briefly
considered wearing a costume that would show his face, like Jay had, but
decided that it would be best to wear a mask to conceal his true identity. The
first villain he ever faced was the Turtle Man who was considered as the
slowest man alive.

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