The Flash is famously "the fastest man alive"--at least in the DC Universe. Barry Allen, Wally West, and several other Flashess have all made names for themselves by breaking sound barriers, and traveling through time with their use of the "Speed Force." A cosmic force that controls both time and movement throughout reality.
These incredible skills have led to some incredible feats... but Marvel Comics isn't going to be give up without a fight. The rival comic publisher has their own list of swift speedsters that might not have The Flash's name recognition, but just might have some of his skills. Could any of these Marvel Speedsters actually be as fast as The Flash?
Measuring the actual speed of a speedster isn't easy (and we don't mean how you actually go about doing it). A comic won't stop and tell the readers how many miles-per-hour a superhero is clocking moment to moment. A speedster's speed is determined by measuring what amazing feats of velocity they've achieved, and where their powers originate. Like DC, Marvel has plenty of warriors capable of sprinting past the rest of their superhero brethren. But the two Marvel superheroes with the best chance of outpacing The Flash are Runner and Quicksilver. And hey, if Superman can beat Flash in a race, then Marvel's best have a shot.
Is Marvel's Quicksilver Faster Than Flash?
Marvel's most famous runner is easily Quicksilver. As both an X-Man and an Avenger, Quicksilver has used his unbelievable speed to defeat countless villains--and a few heroes in his early days. He's sped past countless opponents, creating some of the most memorable moments in X-Men history. In X-Men: Apocalypse he shows off his super-speed in one of the most important scenes in the movie. As Xavier's Mansion explodes, Quicksilver saves everyone inside single-handedly. So does that make Pietro Maximoff a.k.a. Quicksilver faster than The Flash?
Saving an academy of students in a matters of seconds is a jaw-dropping feat... but The Flash has saved hundreds of thousands of people in that same amount of time. In JLA #88, written by Joe Kelly with art by Doug Mahnke, The Flash saves every single citizen of a North Korean city before a nuclear bomb goes off. Thanks to his own unbelievable powers The Flash is able to save over 540,000 people from absolute destruction. Saving an entire school of mutants is amazing, but compared to Wally West or Barry Allen those are serious rookie numbers.
But don't count Marvel out just yet! Quicksilver may be speedy, but a literal god is going to be capable of much more than a simple mutant.
Can Marvel's Runner Outrun The Flash?
Quicksilver's power comes from his mutant abilities, but Runner is an entirely different kind of being. Runner (born Gilpetperdon) is one of the Elders of the Marvel Universe. A powerful being whose main goal is to cross countless miles and nearly infinite distances around the universe and witness as many events as possible. While in possession of the Space Stone, Runner is so fast he arrives at locations before he realizes he wants to go there. That's right, Runner beats his own thoughts to his destination. That has to make him faster than The Flash, right?
Runner is a god who's faster than his own mind... but even if the Space Stone doesn't stretch the definition of 'fast,' he doesn't have the Speed Force. The Flash's ace in the hole, the Speed Force is the exact reason why Barry Allen, Wally West, or whomever is taking up the mantle of The Flash will always be the fastest character in comics. With it powering them, speedsters can save hundreds of thousands of civilians in seconds, travel faster than the speed of light, and even alter reality. Barry has gone back in time and even created entirely new DC Universes. By being able to tap into the Speed Force, The Flash can access the very power that makes time move forward.
That's what makes the source of his powers so unique, and so important. The Speed Force is the energy and momentum that powers the entire universe. It can create... or it can destroy. Being able to tap into the energy doesn't just make The Flash the fastest man alive in every comic book--it makes him one of the most powerful superheroes ever created.