When it comes to superpowers, speed is arguably better than strength. Strength can only take you so far in the Marvel universe. Besides, there's always bound to be someone stronger. Now, if you're fast, then think of all the things you can do in your everyday life. All your tasks finished in a few seconds, distance is now just an afterthought, and good luck getting hit or seen by enemies.
For that matter, the fastest characters in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) are always the most useful. There's only a handful of them, though; the power of speed can be quite busted especially if the characters possessing them already have other capabilities, to begin with. Here are the 10 certified speedsters of the MCU.
You don't get named after the fastest animal on Earth and not appear on this list. So, here's Falcon with his mechanical wings and EXO-suit to make him on the same level as other Avengers. Falcon is one of the few humans in this speedster list and that's quite an honor. While his wings lack the power and thrust of Iron Man suits, he still proves capable of chasing both Iron Man and War Machine.
One big advantage he has over those bulky suits is his maneuverability. Falcon's certainly lighter than anyone wearing a mechanical suit of armor and has more agility and evasion mid-air. He proved this by being able to dodge Vision's death ray, much to the misfortune of another Avenger...
9 WAR MACHINE
War Machine is pretty much Iron Man but with a bigger gun and heavier armor. While Colonel James Rhodes has gone a long way from his stolen Iron Man Mark II armor, the War Machine suit still falls short of the latest bleeding edge tech Stark outfitted to his Iron Man suits. By no means does that mean the War Machine suit is slow.
It's safe to assume that War Machine in flight is actually faster than the speed of sound. Moreover, they make jet fighter planes obsolete. In theory, the latest War Machine suit has a maximum flight speed of Mach 8, which is eight times faster than the speed of sound.
Ultron is an ever-improving and learning robot and A.I. system that can upgrade itself on the fly. We can even see him being able to keep up with Iron Man in flight presumably using one of his Mach 8 suits. Without a doubt, Ultron can be just as fast if not faster than Iron Man. Considering he was destroyed quite early, he never reached his full potential.
Since he's Tony Stark's creation, Ultron basically has all the powers and capabilities of the Iron Man armors. That includes enhanced speed for combat and flight as well. Additionally, Ultron could even manipulate gravity fields around him, essentially making himself weightless during flight, meaning more speed.
Since Vision is pretty much the perfect machine body Ultron wanted, he's better than the murder-bot in every way. He has superhuman speed, can control his molecules for phasing, is durable, of course, can fly faster than Ultron ever could. Sadly, the only time we see Vision flying fast is in Avengers: Age of Ultron when he chased Ultron bots without breaking a sweat... not that he can actually sweat.
Come Avengers: Infinity War, Vision was underutilized to a fault and somehow made weaker. Thankfully, he and Scarlet Witch might get their own show and we might be able to see the soft-spoken robot in full speed or full power.
6 IRON MAN
Tony Stark is the last human in this list and him being placed in a relatively low rank says a lot about how fast the others are. Still, Stark's no slouch when it comes to breaking the speed of sound. Some of his earlier Iron Man armors were even able to reach Mach 8. Who knows how his latest Iron Man armors in Endgame measure up?
It has been surmised that the Mark 85, which is Stark's suit in Endgame, can reach or even surpass speeds of Mach 10. That's faster than any of his previous Iron Man suits or any weapon other humans have. Even with his earlier Iron Man armors, Tony can easily overtake an ICBM nuke missile at full speed, as seen in the first Avengers film.
Thor is a literal god and he has no shortage of omnipotence. However, much of his speed and capability needs to be channeled through his trusty weapons and without them, Thor will probably be only half as powerful, probably less. His flight and godly speed for that matter, are reliant on either the Mjolnir or the Stormbreaker.
He has used both to travel insane distances in the universe. Mjolnir was able to carry Thor at speeds that would make space vessels unnecessary. Meanwhile, Stormbreaker, which is in all regards a direct upgrade to Mjolnir, can actually teleport Thor by manipulating the Bifrost Bridge, very handy.
One of the biggest troublemakers in Avengers: Age Of Ultron who thankfully became an ally, Quicksilver (a.k.a. Pietro Maximoff) is nigh uncatchable. He's faster than anyone in Age of Ultron though not to the same extent as his X-Men version. Despite the downgrade, Pietro is still a formidable speed demon.
It is worth noting that he was still coming to terms with his powers in Age of Ultron, meaning he could have potentially been faster. Then again, we never got to see his full speed since he preferred to be a bulletproof vest over being faster than a bullet.
Thor's bully big sister and someone stronger, faster, and more durable than he ever will be. Apparently, that's a given rule in Asgardian royalty where age is directly proportionate to their power. Hela, being Odin's firstborn, means she's a lot more powerful than Thor, and many times faster for that matter.
She was even able to catch a Mjolnir at full speed. Additionally, Hela also easily dispatched the best soldiers of Asgard in quick succession. Apart from her quick movements, her reflexes are also lightning fast and she was able to deflect anything Thor or Valkyrie threw at her. Hela is one of the few beings who might actually be able to defeat Thanos single-handedly.
2 ANCIENT ONE
The Ancient One is the reason why Dr. Strange never made it into this list. Strange, prodigious as he is, still pales in comparison to what the Ancient One is capable of doing. Apart from the fact that the Ancient One can teleport anywhere on a whim, he/she can also stop time-- without the Time Stone.
Hence, when everyone is a lot slower (even immobile) than you are, that means you are the fastest being alive in the MCU. We never really got to see him/her utilize such an overpowered ability in the films, though. After all, the Ancient One is quite responsible with its powers and the fate of the universe if he/she interferes too much.
1 CAPTAIN MARVEL
Flying from one side of the universe to the other is no easy feat. For Captain Marvel (a.k.a. Caroll Danvers), however, it's a mere cakewalk. She demonstrated such dizzying speeds when she came to the aid of Earth against Thanos in Avengers: Endgame. Danvers, despite being stationed in some of the farthest flung sectors of the universe quickly traveled to Earth to show Thanos whose boss.
Let's not forget the most important feat Captain Marvel achieved with her speed: she intercepted Thanos and stopped him in the act of snapping his fingers in Endgame. If you're still not convinced: Captain Marvel, by combining her innate speed and flight, can travel at the speed of light. No need for a race, she already won.