Superman is in possession of many superpowers.
One that is frequently overlooked is his great speed. He is easily one of the fastest characters in the DC universe.
In many cases when Superman’s speed is mentioned, it is compared to the character Flash.
Superman can fly faster than Flash can run. Flash is typically faster than Superman when running, although on occasions when motivated, Superman can beat him. However, when flying the Flash does not have any chance against Superman, Both, however, are so incredibly fast that against others they both have a huge advantage.
Superman Vs Flash Speed
My challenge today is to establish whether Superman can fly faster than the Flash can run.
A simple race would answer that question.
So, I did some research and there was one occasion where the two characters, Superman and Flash, did enter a competition to publicly run around the Earth three times, but unfortunately, the mob tried to make money out of this and the two superheroes teamed up to thwart this plan, ensuring that they finished in a tie.
So, unfortunately, that challenge taught us nothing.
However, there was one occasion in Flash: Rebirth #3 when Barry Allen was running towards his death and Superman gave chase, all in vain as the Flash demonstrated that he was significantly faster. But that does not answer our question properly as both Superman and Flash were running. We are seeking the answer that compares Superman’s flying speed against the Flash’s running speed.
It looked like this was going to take a bit more work to discover the answer.
Once again, I was hopeful that Superman Up in the Sky #4 would provide the answers.
In this story, Superman and Flash agreed to a charity race around the globe. Lex Luther, convinced that Superman would lose, bet against him, and Superman got to hear about this, which spurred him on to a supreme effort where he just beat the Flash.
Before the DC Crisis Superman was able to travel much faster than in more recent adventures.
In the earlier stories, Superman travelled beyond the speed of light.
For example, in Superman #309 he travelled to Planet Xonn to save Supergirl in a few minutes, even though the planet was over 11 light years away.
This meant he was travelling thousands of times the speed of light.
Moving on to the later story, The Flash #209, Superman was barely able to keep up with the Flash who could never travel at the speeds that superman reached in Superman #309.
Maybe as Superman is aging, his speed is dropping.
When this happened, Flash remarked that Superman used to be faster than him.
But even in later years, on occasions, Superman was once again able to travel past the speed of light.
In Red Hood and the Outlaws #14 Superman travelled back from the planet Pluto, which is 4.67 billion miles, and achieved it in seconds.
Maybe we are getting to the answer here.
There seems to be a significant difference between the speed at which Superman can run, and the speed at which he can fly.
It could be that Superman is concerned about the damage he would do to the planet with repeated strides if he were travelling that fast.
This, of course, is not a problem that Superman faces when he is flying, especially in the vacuum of space.
How Fast Can the Flash Run?
The Flash is one of Superman’s Partners in the Justice League and the two are fairly good friends.
The Flash gets his great speed from the “Speed Force“.
There have been several versions of the Flash, and at some time or other, most of them have had a speed challenge with Superman.
The results varied but most of the results ended in a Flash win.
It seems that the Flash may run at any speed he chooses, although I would imagine there has to be an upper limit.
In theory, if he runs at speeds over Mach 10 there is the danger of damage to the environment and other living creatures.
At Mach 10 the Flash would be traveling at 2.1 miles per second (7,560mph).
This is roughly the same as traveling around the world in 3 hours. If he were traveling at the speed of light, it would have taken him 13.37 seconds.
Because of the danger of damage, the Flash typically travels at a cruising speed of 90 to 150mph.
Any faster than this when traveling through a city, he will not be aware of things he passes, and he could cause disruption.
When he needs to travel faster, he can switch to the “Speed Force” dimension and travel at light speeds (Speed of light = 186,282 miles per second).
Examples of the Flash’s Speed
We have now established that the Flash is fast.
Here are some examples that illustrate just how fast that is.
In his race against the “Black Flash” (the physical manifestation of death), The Flash ran so fast that he moved forward in time, not just minutes, but millions of years until nothing existed and consequently where death no longer existed.
The Black Flash was destroyed, and the Flash had outrun death.
In JLA #48 the Flash’s body was taken over by a supervillain and a missile was fired off at a North Korean city that had a population of half a million.
To save these people, not only did the Flash get to the city before the missile, but he also had time to carry the population some 35 miles to safety carrying one or two at a time.
Either this was the world’s slowest missile, or the flash must have moved them in something like 0,00001 microseconds each.
In issue #38 the Flash gets involved with some weird aliens with gambling habits who decide to run a race.
The losers home planets will get destroyed.
So, the Flash bets them that he can reach Earth before them, this seemed to be an outrageous bet since the aliens have instant transportation devices.
Which technically means it takes no time at all. The Flash gets the population of Earth to run, and he “borrows” their Kinetic energy and win.
From the above examples, we can say that the Flash seems to have access to infinite speed, far more than we mere mortals can possibly imagine
The Flash And Speed Force
Many people think that the Scarlet Speedster (The Flash) only has one superpower, and that is to run fast. In fact, the Flash has many more powers at his disposal.
The “Speed Force” also gives Flash these other powers:
- Extreme Endurance
- Accelerated Metabolism
- Slower aging process
A By-product of his speed is the “Mass Punch” that allows him to punch someone with what is the power of a meteor.
Combine this with his accelerated reaction times and it is a dangerous combination.
Using Phasing, the Flash can pass through solid objects like walls. This power extends to being able to phase objects he touches, for example, he once phase an entire airliner through an obstruction.
Using superhuman speed the Flash has the power of time travel.
The Flash discovered that the |Speed Force| could be used to conjure “Constructs.”
These are objects that can be created to have real-world applications, like suit enhancements.
It is possible for two people with the power of the “Speed Force” to talk to each other at such a rapid speed that it is unintelligible to normal humans.
Another variant on phasing is the ability to vibrate his body at such a frequency that he can travel to other dimensions, by slipping between them.
Lending and Receipt of Speed
By drawing speed from the “Speed Force” the Flash can lend speed to others and borrow speed from them, as he did when he had the population of the Earth running so he could borrow their speed.
Many people wonder why the Flash does not burn up the same way that asteroids do when meeting air resistance. In fact, he has the Aura that protects him from the dangers of speed.
Even the forces that heal us when we are injured. or sick are sped up inside the Flash.
He has raid healing powers.
The Flash can read all the books in a bookshop in just seconds.
Like everything else in his body, his eyes operate much faster than normal ones.
The trick where the Flash travelled faster than teleporting was also accomplished by Superman.
He managed to travel back from Pluto faster than the bad guys could teleport.
He did this without having to borrow kinetic energy and managed this faster than light speed travel just using his own superpowers.
In the race where the Flash barely beat Superman, it seems that the race was confined to running, as if Superman flew it would not be fair, since he can fly at last 100 times faster than he can run.
Even when only allowed to run the Flash only just beat him, and we have already seen how fast the Flash can travel.
A race between The Flash and Superman would be an amazing race to witness, although we would probably have a problem even catching it by the human eye.
Both heroes are very fast, but when Superman is flying, he can beat Flash anytime he wants.