Ever wondered who the fastest man alive is? Your local advertising office will most certainly say The Flash (it’s a brand thing, trust us), but your neighbor from down the hall might say it’s Superman. Both are certainly fast, but who’s faster, The Flash or Superman?
The Flash is faster than Superman. He has won five of their nine races, with three ties and only one win from Superman. Still, even the fastest Speedster, Wally West, stated that given enough motivation, Superman could get a big enough boost to gain extra speed and become faster than any of the Speedsters.
In the rest of the article, we will take a closer look at the races that have occurred between The Flash and Superman and how fast exactly are two of the most popular characters from the DC universe.
Who Is Faster: Superman or The Flash? [Detaily Explained]
Both Superman and Flash are known for their speed. And while the Man of Steel has a lot of other qualities, speed is The Flash’s primary skill and power. Superman can be fast, but can he be fast enough to cope with the fastest man alive?
A Brief History of the Rivalry
Whether you may believe it or not, the debate on whether Superman is faster than The Flash is pretty old. The two superheroes raced each other on several occasions, sometimes for the sport of it, sometimes because of an important reason, but whatever the reason might have been – it was always an interesting thing to see.
Their first race happened way back in 1967, when Barry Allen organized a charity race around the world against Superman, at the behest of the United Nations. It was a truly epochal event as shown in the story “Superman’s Race With the Flash!”, published in Superman #199.
Despite all the excitement, the race ended as a tie, as both Superman and The Flash arrived at the finish line at the same moment.
That same year, Barry and Clark again raced, this time throughout the whole Milky Way Galaxy. This time, the stakes were higher because two aliens (which later turned out to be two disguised villains) threatened to destroy Central City (Flash’s hometown) and Metropolis (Superman’s hometown) in case they refused, while also holding the rest of the Justice League hostage.
Published in Flash #175, the story “The Race to the End of the Universe!” once again ended in a tie, despite the fact that Batman declared Superman the winner, while the rest of the Justice League saw Barry crossing the finish line first.
The two superheroes raced against each other seven more times, with Superman taking on every Flash except Bart Allen. Some of the races were important, some were just for fun and some weren’t even races, but the two of them did test each other’s speed.
Before we give you a list in table form, we can briefly state that out of the seven remaining races, Superman has won only once, along with one tie, meaning that the three Flashes won the five remaining races. Now let us see all of them:
|1||Superman #199||1967||“Superman’s Race With the Flash!”||World||Tie|
|2||Flash #175||1967||“The Race to the End of the Universe!”||Milky Way||Tie|
|3||World’s Finest #198-199||1970||“Race to Save the Universe!”||Two galaxies||Flash (Barry Allen)|
|4||DC Comics Presents #1–2||1978||“Chase to the End of Time!”||Time||Tie|
|5||Adventures of Superman #463||1990||“Speed Kills”||World||Flash (Wally West)|
|6||DC First: Flash/Superman||2002||“Speeding Bullets”||United States||Flash (Jay Garrick)|
|7||The Flash #209||2004||“Fast Friends”||World||Flash (Wally West)|
|8||Flash Rebirth #3||2009||“Rearview Mirrors”||Central City – Metropolis||Flash (Barry Allen)|
|9||Superman #709||2011||“Grounded, Part Seven”||Metropolis||Superman|
So, as you can see for yourselves – in almost every iteration of the famous rivalry, Flash was more successful. This is additionally confirmed by the recent The Flash #49, where Barry Allen and Wally West are engaged in a chase that could potentially destroy the planet.
Being the only character capable of challenging them, Superman tries to follow them to see what’s going on but ultimately has to stop – exhausted – stating that they were just too fast for him.
As far as the Flashes go, the fastest among them is Wally West. Barry Allen comes second, with Bart Allen in the third spot. Jay Garrick is the slowest among the four, but even he was quick enough to beat Superman in a race.
Who Is Faster
Based on what the comic books have taught us, The Flash is certainly faster than Superman. It is not much, as it was stated on multiple occasions that Superman is practically the only non-Speedster that can challenge the Speedsters, but as far as the comics go – it’s just not enough.
The issue here is that DC Comics never outright confirmed this, meaning that even though the comics cheer for The Flash, the publisher just doesn’t want to definitely solve the mystery, which is good when marketing is concerned, so we can understand the logic behind that reasoning.
Plus, a lot of derivative materials actually support the thesis that Superman is faster, despite the comics not providing any solid proof for that thesis.
An interesting thing, though, is that even some Speedsters remarked that Superman could beat them. Namely, generally speaking – Superman is slower, but even Wally West – who is the fastest Flash and has beat Superman in a race – has stated that given enough motivation, Superman could get a big enough boost to gain extra speed and become faster than any of the Speedsters.
Luckily enough for them, this has not happened so until it does, we can safely assume that the Flashes are faster than Superman.