The term Speedster refers to any comic book character that possesses the gift of Super Speed. These days, the term is synonymous with the Flash Family from the DC Universe. In truth, any character who thinks, moves, and acts fast qualifies as a Speedster.
To distinguish their high-speed heroes from the rest, DC tied their Speedsters to the Speed Force. As a result, the Flashes have a wide range of abilities at their disposal beyond running fast. Today, we're going to examine 10 Speedster powers that most fans might not know about. Here's hoping that we'll see some of these powers on the big screen someday!
Anyone who knows basic physics can tell you about inertia and friction. When objects move, forces of gravity proportionally act against them. To quote the words of Paarthurnax from Skyrim, "as you push the world, so does the world push back." Aerodynamic vehicles like jets and airplanes have to contend with g-forces all the time, sometimes making for very bumpy rides.
Thank goodness that the Speed Force protects Speedsters while they're running! 'Speed Force Aura' protects people like Jay Garrick, Barry Allen, and Wally West from the forces of gravity. Furthermore, a Speedster won't experience whiplash thanks to the Speed Force.
The world, as we know, it is held together by molecular bonds. The stronger the bond, the harder it is to penetrate certain objects. Imagine you're a Speedster who's running towards a solid wall at full tilt. Impenetrable barriers flank you on either side, setting you on a collision course with said wall. What can you do to prevent the inevitable?
Thanks to your connection with the Speed Force, you can vibrate the heck out of your molecules. If you're fast enough, you can phase through that wall as if you were a ghost! Speedsters like the Flash and Impulse are rather fond of this ability.
We're not hyperbolizing for this entry - anyone who's connected to the Speed Force can control the air around them. Most shows, games, and movies that feature Speedsters show them create tornadoes by running in circles. However, the Flashes can use this ability on a much more nuanced level.
When going up against insanely strong opponents, Wally West will often create vacuums of air to choke out enemies! Barry Allen, on the other hand, is fond of creating typhoons by rotating his arms. All Speedsters can also control their slipstreams - allowing them to carry people and objects behind them while they're booking it.
Most people would probably describe a Speedster as being 'faster than lightning.' But, in the DC Universe, they can also hit harder than lightning as well! Conduits of the Speed Force can generate electricity at will. They can also shoot lightning bolts from their fingertips and surround themselves with electromagnetic fields.
Get on a Speedster's bad side, and they'll give you the worst case of static shock you've ever felt! Push them to their limit, and they'll generate enough heat to melt you down. Characters like Black Lightning and Static have much better control over electricity than any Speedster. Still, Speed Force Conduits have one more tool in their already impressive arsenal.
A common trope associated with Speedsters is talking inhumanly fast. In Young Justice, Impulse spends most of his screentime talking circle around his friends. Quicksilver was also a motormouth in X-Men: Evolution (shout out to the early aughts!) Ezra Miller also sped up his speech patterns in Justice League in service of this trend.
However, there's a method to the madness. Speedsters talk so fast because of how quickly their minds process information. The average human brain can process certain images as quickly as 13 milliseconds. So just imagine how much info a Speedster's brain can compute? It's believed that the Flash can outthink most supercomputers without even trying!
Thanks to the CW Flash show, we're pretty sure most people know that Barry's capable of Time Travel. In the comics, Speedsters have to use a device called the Cosmic Treadmill to pull off such a feat. Misuse of the Treadmill, or time travel in general, can lead to disastrous results - a la the Flashpoint event.
To stay on the safe side, Speedsters like Barry and Wally will manipulate time in more subtle ways. These guys will 'speed up time,' so to speak - entering a heightened state in which everything else moves slower than a snail. This ability helps the Flashes level the playing field against Negative Speed Force Conduits.
Speaking of Negative Speedsters, let's talk about some of the other forces that affect the DC Universe. The Speed Force empowers folks like Barry Allen and Wally West. The Negative Speed Force, as its name implies, is the antithesis of the regular Speed Force. Recently, Scott Snyder has introduced an array of other powers to the fold.
Synder has hinted as 6 new Forces in total, but we only know of a few so far; the Still Force, the Strength Force, and the Sage Force. The Still Force prevents motion, the Strength Force enhances physical might and the Sage Force enhances one's mind. We're looking forward to learning more about these new Forces.
In the DC Universe, Speedsters don't just move faster than light but can also see at FTL speeds! Us mere mortals are able to see something or someone thanks to the light. Our eyes create images when objects reflect light into them. This ability is so cool, it doesn't even make sense!
Speedsters can drastically increase their perception by vibrating their eyes. Barry once used this trick to see a group of monsters constructed out of energy. That's not all - Barry can also increase his field of vision using this ability. Weirdest of all, the Speed Force grants Speedsters small glimpses into the future.
Let's briefly recap; thanks to the Speed Force, Speedsters can move at FTL speeds, resist the forces of gravity, and bend air and time to their wills! These guys sound pretty OP, right? But every Superman has his Kryptonite. For Conduits of the Speed Force, that Kryptonite comes in the form of extradimensional blasts!
If a Speedster gets hit by someone like Vibe or Captain Atom, they're going to feel it. And even when they recover from the initial blast, their powers will be out of whack. If you ever had to face a Speed Force Conduit, just get some extradimensional energy and throw it at them. Easy peasy.
This is probably the most useful and overpowered ability that Speedsters have. After tapping into the Speed Force, a Conduit can share their powers with others! For a brief time, a Speedster can allow an average human or animal to run just as fast as they can. A Speed Force Conduit can also share their powers with groups of people when experienced enough.
Jay Garrick and Barry Allen are two of the most seasoned Speedsters in the DC Universe. Throughout both of their careers, both men have shared their powers with their Justice Friends and family. If need be, an experienced Conduit can create a small army of Speedsters on the fly!