Flash and Superman come near the top when we’re talking about the most powerful Justice League members. Their speed and strength are unmatched, and when they are at their best, hardly anyone can beat them. The question is, if Flash and Superman ever fought each other, who would win and why?
In a straight-out race, Flash would win against Superman, although closely. When they raced in the comics, sometimes Flash won, and sometimes it was tied, but Superman never bested him. However, in a one-on-one fight, I think Superman eventually wins simply on durability.
Flash can match him in almost every category, but when it comes to their durability, Superman wins, hands down. I’ll break down the two characters and compare their mightiest traits against one another to see who would eventually come on top, in what type of a fight, and why.
Let’s get the obvious out of the way first. Both Flash and Superman are extremely fast. However, if the fight we’re talking about weren’t actually a fight but rather a race, Flash would probably win without a lot of trouble. Yes, he’s that fast.
Superman had shown he could eventually reach just a bit higher velocity than light speed – at least in the movies when he turned back time to save Lois Lane. In the comics, though, his top speed is Mach 9350, or 9350 times faster than sound speed. While it’s pretty fast, it can’t come close to what Flash can do. I’ve got a couple of examples I want to point out.
In JLA #48, a nuclear detonation hits Chongjin, a town in North Korea with about half a million residents in precisely 13:57. In 13:57 and 0.00001 microseconds, all the people are safe on a hill around 35 miles away from the explosion. Flash traveled at such speed where he picked them up individually (sometimes carrying two) and got them to safety in only 0.00001 microseconds.
The math behind it is unfathomable. Flash carried one or two persons each trip, so we’ll take an average of 1.5 people a trip. The hill is 35 miles away from the town, meaning he needs to travel 70 miles each trip. He had to take 354 667 trips, traveling 24 826 690 miles to save them all – in only 0.000001 microseconds, or 10-11 seconds.
That means Flash moved at about 2.5 quintillion miles per second, or 13 trillion times the speed of light. 13. Trillion. C. And that’s not including the mileage required to find each person. And you know what? That might not be his top speed.
In Flash – The Human Race storyline, flash leaves the space-time continuum to travel at trans-time velocity. He beats the Planck instant, or the tiniest unit of time possible. That’s the same time that takes a photon to cover a Planck length – the shortest distance possible.
That means, when Flash taps into the Speed Force, he can literally go beyond the concept of speed. Not just time travel but deconstruct the fabric of what we find perceivable.
When we’re talking about speed, Flash is unbeatable.
Point: Flash (1:0) Superman
When it comes to pure strength, I would say that Superman has the potential to take this one – but it would be extremely hard. As you probably know, Superman gets his powers from absorbing the radiation from our yellow sun. The more “charged” he gets, the stronger he becomes.
At his strongest self, Supes became so strong he could virtually lift the Eath with one arm – which is around 5.972 sextillion metric tones. Take that number as you please; I’ll just say that it’s unfathomably strong. However, thinking that the Flash is just a fast guy and not much else is wrong on so many levels.
His spectacular velocity means that he can use the Speed Force not to get hurt himself but literally disintegrate objects on impact. Such speed would cause a massive explosion of energy, but the Speed Force absorbs all the destructive energy that would shatter the galaxy if Flash only moved.
That means he’s capable of an Infinite Mass Punch – an unfathomably strong punch, only one of which was able to knock Superman out. Well, the Flash can bang out a billion of those in a single second. If he can catch Superman off guard, it’s night-night for the alien.
It’s not that simple, though. He would have to catch Superman off guard first, and that’s not something a whole lot of folks were able to do. I’d say they are somewhat tied in the strength department, as it would highly depend on who can strike first. Both characters get points for strength.
Point(s): Flash (2:1) Superman
Durability is a category I believe Superman eventually takes. He and Flash have some weaknesses that the other could exploit. But, if they are in a no-holds-barred fight, it would all come down to who’s outlasting who – and Superman can outlast anyone.
Flash uses tons of energy to move as fast as he’s moving, which he needs to replenish by ingesting tons of calories – or tapping into the Speed Force, which is energy-consumable itself.
Also, although he heals extremely fast due to the Speed Force, Flash can get hurt – bruised, bloodied, and even killed. He rarely takes a hit due to his speed, but if anybody could clip him, it’s Supes. On the other hand, Superman’s energy levels don’t diminish over time, as long as he’s not exposed to Kryptonite, and there’s a source of solar radiation from a yellow sun.
So, if nobody could catch the other by surprise, it comes down to who’s more durable. While Flash eventually needs to replenish his energy, Superman can seemingly fight forever.
There’s no way for Flash to harm Superman physically other than finding Kryptonite or taking him away from the Sun, while Supes can harm Flash physically if he somehow manages to hit him. Therefore, although both of them are quite durable due to their superpowers, Superman is just a step beyond Flash.
Point: Superman (2:2) Flash
Apart from invulnerability, superhuman strength, speed, and stamina, Superman has a variety of other powers that make him so scary powerful. First of all, he can fly at incredibly high speeds.
He also has many ocular powers, such as X-ray, infrared, or heat vision, while having extremely strong wind/freezing breath. To add to it, Superman is much more intelligent than any human, capable of perceiving things in a whole different way. You might think that he beats Flash with versatility, but you’d be wrong.
Almost everything that Flash can do comes from the mysterious Speed Force he can tap into. Sure, it gives him unimaginable speed, but it comes with so much more. First, it absorbs all the breakout energy that happens when he bursts into his top speed.
Remember we talked about him reaching 13 trillion times the speed of light? Well, moving at that velocity with him being a bit under 80 kg would produce an energy blast equivalent to 1011 x 300 megaton nuclear bombs going off in the same moment. It wouldn’t just shatter the Earth – that kind of force could threaten the entire Solar System.
However, the Speed Force takes care of that. It’s why the people Flash saves from the nuclear explosion don’t get shattered into pieces by hitting air molecules as he carries them. Flash can phase-shift through objects and absorb others’ kinetic energy as it’s moving etc.
Additionally, the Speed Force allows the flash to generate astonishing amounts of lightning and use it as a weapon. But, moving at such spectacular speeds has one more advantage that’s a nail in the coffin to give Flash a point in this category.
Not only can the Flash move at incredible velocities – his brain works just as fast. In Superman #709, Flash reveals that he can perceive events in less than an attosecond. The shortest period that humanity could ever measure is 12 attoseconds, so yeah, it’s fast.
An attosecond is a time needed for light to move from one end of a molecule to the other. So, as fast as Superman’s brain works, it’s nowhere near the Flash.
Point: Flash (3:2) Superman
Flash Vs. Superman: Who Would Win and Why?
In the end, the scoreboard says it’s 3:2 for the Flash against Superman, giving him the victory in a potential fight between the characters. While I’d agree that some of his powers simply can’t be matched – not by Superman nor anyone else – It would depend on what kind of a fight we’re talking about.
Against a regular Superman, he wins any battle, hands down. If it’s a race, no matter how powerful Superman gets, Flash wins again. However, if we’re talking about a fight to the death, things get more complicated.
You see, Flash has the power to knock Superman out, but he would have to surprise him, and that’s not easy against Kal-El. Still, even if he knocks him out, nothing can kill him unless he’s stripped of his powers with Kryptonite – and there isn’t much of that stuff laying around, is there?
On the other hand, if Superman can find a way to hit Flash just once (it’s almost impossible, but even weaker characters than Superman have done so), it’s game over. And we’re still not talking about the strongest possible version of Superman, but just your good old regular Supes. If we’re talking about Superman Prime One Million, Flash wouldn’t even know what hit him.
Superman Prime One Million (SPOM) is Supes powered with a millennium of being at the core of the Sun, absorbing its energy. Remember, only one blast of solar power gave Supes powers he couldn’t even control. Now, imagine what a thousand years inside the Sun would give him.
That kind of power is universe-breaking, and there’s simply nothing the Flash could do against that.