Superman may be faster than a speeding bullet... but The Flash will always be faster. Both of the Flashes, as a matter of fact. That's according to DC Comics, where the latest "race" between Superman, Barry Allen, and Wally West left the Man of Steel in the dust.
The sheer gulf between the typically-tying superheroes is guaranteed to have some Superman fans crying outrage, but according to Flash writer Josh Williamson, fans have always known that nobody - nobody - can keep pace with a member of the Flash Family.
It will be hard to grasp just how explicitly the winner of the race is communicated without actually reading the latest Flash War event. The entire story kicks off when Wally West remembers his children - written out of continuity, but now apparently still alive... somewhere - and will run right through the Speed Force, shatter it if he must to free them.
When the Justice League arrives to calm him down, and Superman thinks he can "catch up," he barely even registers on either Barry or Wally's radar. A moment of defeat for the Man of Steel, but according to Williamson, one that shouldn't surprise any comic fans:
I feel like it's always been that way. I mean, that's kind of The Flash's thing, right? He's the fastest man alive... it's right there. I feel like we've all been saying it this whole time.
I'm sure there are Superman fans that are disappointed, but I mean... Superman can do everything else. He's Superman.
As consolation, The Flash #50 also confirms that Wally West is faster than Barry Allen. So even if Superman's loss is a sore spot for his fan base, there is plenty of disappointment and bruised ego to go around. Not for Barry Allen's, of course, since Williamson also explained to us why speed isn't Barry Allen's best Flash superpower. And as he points out here, being "slower than a Flash" shouldn't be too much of a knock against Clark Kent. Even if we do hope that Batman saves this observation for a future argument.
More than anything, the scene is a success for what Superman's 'defeat' means to the themes of the story, and the larger Flash Family going forward. As Wally runs to warp reality for the people he loves, it's Barry Allen standing next to him, trying to warn him of the dangers (which he learned the hard way in Flashpoint).
That's a story between the two most beloved Flashes, and one that is only just getting started... although without the risk of another Flashpoint, since The Flash can't travel through time anymore.
The point is, Superman is out of his depth the moment he decides he can bring anything constructive to Wally's situation. It's a moment for Barry and Wally, so the Speed Force just reinforces the fact by telling Superman to simply sit this round out.
But hey... He's Superman. He'll get over it.
The Flash #50 is available now from DC Comics.
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