How many times have people discussed what the best superpower would be? Often super-strength or flight are at the top of the list. People looking for personal gain might choose invisibility or telepathy to get an inside edge on things. Super-speed isn't a superpower you usually hear people choose.
Being able to move faster than anyone would give the hero a huge advantage over enemies. If a thug tried pulling out a gun, the Flash could speed behind him and smash him in the back of the head before he can finish pulling it out. If someone is in danger, Flash can zip over to the scene before the situation gets deadly. And changing from civilian guise to superhero attire is easy if you can change faster than someone can take off a sock.
With all his powers, it turns out he's getting some more that could give him an even bigger advantage. It makes sense that Flash should be able to do everything quickly. But with his new powers, there are some potentially big dangers that Barry and writers of The Flash will have to deal with.== TEASER ==
When Barry was trying to figure out if it was possible for him to go even faster. His friend, Dr. Elias, found some interesting information. It turns out that Barry's body is using the speed force to its full extent but his brain is not. In other words, Barry has to use his brain to gain more speed.
I've often wondered how his brain operates. If his brain can send the nerve impulse signals to make his body move at high speed, why couldn't he just process things at those same high speeds. If Flash can move between moments of time, that gives him time to consider what the best route or option would be to take. Barry is now able to use "augmented cognition."
By being able to think faster, Barry will be able to process more information and make even quicker decisions. While in the comic Barry says to himself he can now see everything before it happens, that isn't exactly what's happening. Flash co-writer Francis Manapul said this:
It's important NOT to confuse this with being able to 'see the future.' What the Flash is doing is improving his decision making skills, his ability to see probabilities, and take the appropriate course of action.
This new ability really gives Barry the upper hand. Now that he can map out all the possibilities and plan out the best course of action to defeat any problem that comes, how can he be stopped? Isn't that an enhanced version of what Batman does? Flash can now be prepared against anyone at a moment's notice. Why would this be a problem?
For one, does this mean he will be able to out-think all his opponents? Writers already have to be creative in coming up with ways for Barry not to simply mop the floor with the bad guys. If you can move as fast as the speed of thought, the Flash should almost be untouchable. Readers often looked down at Superman because he was too powerful and, at times, the stories could get a little boring.
The other area it could cause problems for is with Barry directly. We've already seen from the moment he first discovers this ability, he describes it as being able to "see everything before it happens." That sounds like a big heaping spoonful of overconfidence.
Just because he can see the probabilities doesn't mean he can know with complete certainty how events will unfold. He can try to make the most logical or probably choice but all it takes is one tiny discrepancy to make things go the wrong way. Innocent lives could be put at risk if he thinks defeating a villain is a piece of cake.
Also, he may be thinking over these probabilities at super-speed but that could also be a distraction. Would he do it while running at high speeds? Being distracted for a mere moment could result in him running into a person at high speed or some object. Trying to figure out how everything will unfold could be a never ending process. There could always be one more thing that could happen after each event.
We have to imagine that Francis Manapul and Brian Buccellato have given all this some thought. Barry is a smart guy and friends with an even smarter person. This new power could be a huge advantage to his superhero career but hopefully he won't become too dependent on it. Perhaps by using his brain more, he'll figure out that this new ability may not be the answer to making things easier.