By Kal'smahboi 8 Comments
Who would win in a footrace: Superman or the Flash?
But what about other super speedsters? Surely Superman doesn't tap his speed from this mysterious force. His powers are explained in a much different way: a biology different from human beings. With an energy source as infinite as the sun itself, Superman's physiology converts electromagnetic radiation into chemical and physical energy in his cells and uses it to power his extraordinary feats. Put simply, Superman's power RELIES on normal physics instead of defying it.
But then, what is the source of Superman's super speed? Could the extraordinary force that his muscles provide propel him fast enough to keep up with a man that can ignore atmospheric friction? Probably not. That force would give him the ability to, say, leap the tallest building and would definitely give him a bit of a speed boost but it wouldn't give him the ability to run as fast as he's shown to without greatly increasing his stride distance. In a footrace, Superman would appear to be bounding or even skipping instead of running.
How then does Superman achieve great ground speeds without moving like a kangaroo? The answer might be simple, at least to a super man. Flight. The ability to propel oneself in any direction would definitely benefit a speedster.
So Superman's been cheating...and still losing? Well, kind of. Although it isn't necessarily fair that he uses a force other than his leg muscles in a foot race, he might not be aware of it. Flight is probably as much a part of running for Superman as breathing is of speaking for you and I. He's probably never known another way. Flight might be a small and unconscious part of everything movement that he makes. Imagine mild mannered Clark Kent eating his morning bowl of Wheaties and defying gravity in order to lift the spoon to his mouth.
Flight could be a natural part of every day and every movement and likely a considerable portion of Superman's strength.