If Flash is so fast, why are most of his enemies human?

#1 Posted by xxxddd (3593 posts) - - Show Bio

Wally as Flash.

I don't get it.

#2 Posted by jashro44 (22885 posts) - - Show Bio

This should be in the flash forum. But most of the rogues have some pretty impressive abilities.

#3 Posted by Jayfournines (4024 posts) - - Show Bio

@xxxddd said:

Wally as Flash.

I don't get it.

That's the whole point IMO...the fact that his villains ARE humans is what makes them some of the most interesting antagonists in comic books.

#4 Posted by xxxddd (3593 posts) - - Show Bio

@jashro44 said:

This should be in the flash forum. But most of the rogues have some pretty impressive abilities.

Yeah, but they're nowhere near as fast as Wally.

How does Captain Cold last two seconds longer than zero seconds against someone who can outrun the expansion of the universe?

#5 Posted by Nefarious (21271 posts) - - Show Bio

Not a battle.

#6 Posted by AngryHulks (3001 posts) - - Show Bio

@xxxddd said:

@jashro44 said:

This should be in the flash forum. But most of the rogues have some pretty impressive abilities.

Yeah, but they're nowhere near as fast as Wally.

How does Captain Cold last two seconds longer than zero seconds against someone who can outrun the expansion of the universe?

Either consistent PIS or Flash is holding back significantly.

I think if Flash is out of character, he'll destroy most of his enemies in almost no time at all (Mirror Master have his gun dismantled and he didn't even noticed that Flash did it before), except for anyone related to Zoom.

#7 Posted by Jayfournines (4024 posts) - - Show Bio

To be fair...most characters, if played at their actual potential, would destroy their enemies and make for some terrible stories.

#8 Edited by xxxddd (3593 posts) - - Show Bio

@AngryHulks said:

I think if Flash is out of character, he'll destroy most of his enemies in almost no time at all (Mirror Master have his gun dismantled and he didn't even noticed that Flash did it before), except for anyone related to Zoom.

Wally disabled that gun one picosecond before he started talking to Mirror Master(I may be thinking of someone else) But even then, he didn't utterly destroy Mirror Master.

#9 Posted by AngryHulks (3001 posts) - - Show Bio

@xxxddd said:

@AngryHulks said:

I think if Flash is out of character, he'll destroy most of his enemies in almost no time at all (Mirror Master have his gun dismantled and he didn't even noticed that Flash did it before), except for anyone related to Zoom.

Wally disabled that gun one picosecond before he started talking to Mirror Master(I may be thinking of someone else) But even then, he didn't utterly destroy Mirror Master.

Because he chose not to, unless Flash was an anti-hero, he would not kill unless really desperate.

When Wally disable his gun, that prove that Mirror Master don't have speed or reaction that is on superhuman level. Honestly, in straight-up fight, he won't fares a picosecond against Flash, but he did it with prep.

#10 Posted by xxxddd (3593 posts) - - Show Bio

@AngryHulks: Fair enough.

#11 Posted by PrinceAragorn1 (18812 posts) - - Show Bio

Hmm. It may have something to do with how this thread was placed in battles :p

#12 Posted by Skit (2615 posts) - - Show Bio

Well before they introduced the speed force,Flash could only go to Mach 10(that was the max his body could handle).So when that was his limit it made sense for most of his villians.Then they brought it into the story storyline,so there options where to get new characters,give his rogues gallary new powers,or go off the fact that if Flash was going that fast everything around him would get destroyed.They went with the last one,though the issue with this is that it depends on wrighter if his speed actually affects the environment hes going through.

#13 Posted by Killemall (18635 posts) - - Show Bio

@xxxddd: Lets start with a sentence: "They say a Hero is only as strong as his villains. Meaning the flash is the more powerful than the whole Justice League of America Combined "

Here is some explanation from @CitizenBane: blog

I didnt no write it, i simply copy pasted it from Bane's blog, everything bottom are his words so all credit to him , the scan above is mine though :p

Making this blog because a lot of people who don't actually read anything with Flash in it (generalization? maybe) keep insisting that people like Thor and Gladiator and Hulk should be able to tag and defeat the scarlet speedster, simply because 99% of his rogues' gallery consists of humans who don't have super speed but presumably still manage to cope with him. The comments range from.....

I keep telling people this on every Flash thread, if he was so invincible his books would be boring as hell

.....and go all the way to:

SO Deathstroke can Tag Flash but Thor,Or Gladiator can`t ? Dc Fanboys make me sick !

Since I have a major chunk of the second volume of Flash, I've collected showings from Flash's major villains to illustrate how regular humans are able to cope with the fastest man alive. I don't really like the idea of using a few select showings as a concrete indication of how a fight will play out, but these showings have been picked because they give you the general idea of how certain powers can be used by people slower than the Flash to deal with someone as fast as the Flash.

Firstly though, let's get this out of the way: just because Flash can move at speeds faster than light, that does not mean he's always moving at speeds faster than light. Superman doesn't hit Toyman as hard as he hits Darkseid. Thor doesn't hit Ulik as hard as he hits Mangog. So why would Flash move at the speeds with which he fights Superman-level opponents against people like Captain Cold and Weather Wizard? Flash only really gets tagged while moving at slow to moderate level superhuman speeds. Moving at the peak levels of his speed, he is simply too fast for Thor or Superman or Gladiator or *sigh* Hulk to do anything about it. You'll also notice in several of the scans below that Flash is often fighting several members of the Rogues at once. That's because the Rogues aren't like the Batman or Superman villains. They're going up against an opponent who can have them in cuffs before they blink, so they band together most of the time to stand a better chance.

That said, here are the rogues in action:

Captain Cold

Firstly, Captain Cold is very fast for a human. His reflexes are a major aspect of his character that's been brought up in the comics several times. He's commented on them as well:

Cold's strategy is usually either icing the ground that Flash runs on so that there's not enough traction for him to run (scan 1) or creating a "cold field" that greatly slows down the molecules of anything inside it or anything that passes through, including Flash (scans 2 and 3).

Weather Wizard

In the past, the Wizard has taken advantage of Flash not being in a position to let civilians get hurt by creating a thick fog that reduces the area's visibility to practically nothing (scan 1). The extreme heat and lightning that he produces quickly causes leg cramps that make running tough (scans 2 and 3).

Mirror Master

Out of all the Flash rogues, it's easy to see why Mirror Master gives him so much grief. He has one of the most amazing powersets in comics: he can teleport through mirrors, create holograms and vivid illusions, produce a nearly infinite number of mirror copies of himself, and enter and leave dimensions as well as trap people inside them. The following three scans show Flash's biggest problem with Mirror Master: it doesn't matter how fast you can run through a group of opponents if your opponent isn't really there. Flash can't hit McCulloch, but McCulloch can hit Flash.

The Top

Dillon has a degree of superhuman speed that's enough to impress Wally (scan 1) and can alter someone's perception of reality in an area around himself (scans 2 and 3). Get near him and your world turns upside down.

Abra Kadabra

Like a typical stage magician, Kadabra is big on misdirection. He uses illusions and holograms to lure Flash into dangerous traps......and that's pretty much his whole schtick.

Doctor Alchemy

Alchemy's strategy is usually similar to Captain Cold's (making the surface that Flash runs on, hard for him to run on, like in scan 2) but he can also protect himself with transparent, practically invisible walls (scan 1) and create deadly gases that Flash can't safely breath (scan 3).

Grodd

Grodd's not human, nor is he a Rogue for that matter. But I'm including him here because he's a prominent Flash foe nonetheless. Firstly, Grodd has an astonishing level of strength and durability that lets him take several hits from Flash and still stand, even with a shattered jaw (scan 5). Flash can run or accelerate his thoughts to a level where telepathy doesn't affect him or only affects him a bit (scan 4), but he doesn't usually move at those speeds, and so Grodd can stop him from running by sticking nightmares in his head (scans 1 and 2).

Deathstroke

Not a Rogue or even a Flash villain, but I'm including Slade here because he's the one person whose Flash-tagging feats are brought up most often on the battle forums. But there's not that much to add here since it's the same principle at work: Flash usually moves at low to moderate superhuman speeds, and Slade's reflexes are superhuman enough to tag Flash at those speeds. In the most famous/infamous example quoted, the fight in Identity Crisis, you get some idea of how fast Flash was actually moving since several explosions go off before he reaches Slade:

I like to think writers leave in minor details like this to explain feats that seem unlikely at first glance. Devil's in the details.

That's not very fast by Flash's standards. Even Quicksilver's faster than that. I'm not 100% on this, but I think even Krypto's faster than that.

Another factor that goes into this is that Slade is familiar with Wally's movements from his days as Kid Flash, and can thus predict with some accuracy where he'll go:

At the same time though, Slade isn't remotely fast enough to keep up with Flash moving at his best or close to it. This is what would actually happen in a fight between Slade and Flash moving at speeds beyond his ability to react:

You have your Thawnes and Zolomons as well, but they need no explanations. That aside, the majority of Flash foes are people without superhuman reflexes. They can cope with Flash for three reasons:

  • Flash rarely ever uses the upper limits of his speed against them, unless he's pissed
  • They have abilities/powers/skills/tech that affect his ability to run directly (like Top's perception warping and Cold's cold field) or indirectly (Weather Wizard's extreme heat)
  • Failing that, they have abilities/powers/skills/tech that affect his ability to hit them (like Abra Kadabra and Mirror Master's illusions) or that take advantage of his unwillingness to let civilians come to harm (Wizard's fog and Alchemy's poisonous gas)

Thor, Gladiator and the like could only tag Flash if they were moving at their best and he was moving like he normally does. In other words, if the conditions were slanted in their favor. In a setting where they're all moving at their best, they cannot tag Flash. Simple as that. And that's leaving out the more eccentric abilities that the Speed Force grants.

#14 Posted by Pokeysteve (8417 posts) - - Show Bio

The simple answer is that Wally is kind of an idiot lol can't help but love em though.

#15 Posted by Saren (25899 posts) - - Show Bio

Short answer, it's because Flash holds back just like any other hero does. He's not always outrunning tachyons. When he stops holding back, he can in fact casually solo his entire rogues gallery at once (except for Thawne, Zolomon and Mirror Master depending on the circumstances) the way Barry did in the Flash Annual:

Moderator
#16 Posted by jashro44 (22885 posts) - - Show Bio

@xxxddd said:

@jashro44 said:

This should be in the flash forum. But most of the rogues have some pretty impressive abilities.

Yeah, but they're nowhere near as fast as Wally.

How does Captain Cold last two seconds longer than zero seconds against someone who can outrun the expansion of the universe?

For reasons killemall and citizenbane mentioned. Captain cold can slow the flash down with his cold field so that helps as well.

#17 Posted by jwalser3 (5170 posts) - - Show Bio

Well I always thought he was holding back. I mean look at Kigndom Come, didn't Flash run around the city so much there was no crime and everything was safe?

I know it was a different universe but still.

#18 Posted by MisterGuyMan (2044 posts) - - Show Bio

@jwalser3 said:

Well I always thought he was holding back. I mean look at Kigndom Come, didn't Flash run around the city so much there was no crime and everything was safe?

I know it was a different universe but still.

I loved that Flash but I don't feel like they answered what he was supposed to be doing in that last battle at all. He was shown being knocked back in two panels but how is that possible with his reaction speed?

My issue with Flash is hos reaction speed. Is his reaction speed dependant on his actual moving speed? Because otherwise regardless of what Slade did, his sword should be going in slow motion to Flash's senses anyway.

#19 Posted by logy5000 (5928 posts) - - Show Bio

I have he same question about Batman. If he's so ludicrously powerful, why does he spend most of his time with common bankrobbers.

#20 Posted by xxxddd (3593 posts) - - Show Bio

@CitizenBane: @Killemall: Thanks for the help.

@logy5000 said:

I have he same question about Batman. If he's so ludicrously powerful, why does he spend most of his time with common bankrobbers.

What do you mean by powerful?

#21 Posted by Killemall (18635 posts) - - Show Bio

@CitizenBane: I think the Flash being > Justice League scan would go perfectly on your blog. Also cant say enough, thank you so much for your blog, its bookmarked on my browser,and i totally love Martian Manhunter thread. For a guy who has read 0 solo issues on Martian Manhunter that blog is a perfect place for information everything i have to debate on Martian Manhunter. :)

#22 Posted by Saren (25899 posts) - - Show Bio

@Killemall said:

@CitizenBane: I think the Flash being > Justice League scan would go perfectly on your blog. Also cant say enough, thank you so much for your blog, its bookmarked on my browser,and i totally love Martian Manhunter thread. For a guy who has read 0 solo issues on Martian Manhunter that blog is a perfect place for information everything i have to debate on Martian Manhunter. :)

I actually think I should redo that Flash blog because there are a lot of details I should have added. Thanks for the MMH thread approval, though :)

Moderator
#23 Posted by Jayfournines (4024 posts) - - Show Bio

@logy5000 said:

I have he same question about Batman. If he's so ludicrously powerful, why does he spend most of his time with common bankrobbers.

to be fair, Bats is only superbats in JLA related titles...in his solo series he's not the insane prep god he is in the team books

#24 Posted by serpent222 (319 posts) - - Show Bio

I don't really get it. Is this topic predicated on the idea that humans can't combat someone that fast? There is much more to conflicts than just speed. Even being at his fastest doesn't make Flash invulnerable, especially when things like emotions, blackmail, and mind control come into play. Not to mention, each of his villains do seem to usually have some ability that can counter act his speed in some way.

#25 Posted by MisterGuyMan (2044 posts) - - Show Bio

Can any Flash fan explain Flash's inconsistent reaction speed? I get that he's not always going light speed which explains how he can get tagged, but regardless of his speed, his reaction time should be fast enough that he should be able to avoid any incoming blows.

I always assumed that to go that fast everyone must be going super slow according to your senses. if that's true even if he's going Mach speeds, any level of light speed reaction time should let him avoid 99.999% of attacks.

#26 Posted by Esquire (3833 posts) - - Show Bio

@MisterGuyMan: The Flashes can control how fast their perceptions move relative to normal human perception. He can accelerate his perceptions to a speed such that the world seems to be standing still:

However, he doesn't ramp up his perceptions like this all the time. If he did, he wouldn't be able to interact with normal people. There's a scan I've seen floating around where he's at dinner with his wife and almost doesn't notice a speedster attacking him. (I think it was Reverse Flash.) Only once he speeds up his perceptions can he detect the attack and fight back. But I can't find the scan. :/

#27 Posted by jobbernos (1420 posts) - - Show Bio

all superheroes hold back.

#28 Posted by Gammbitt (133 posts) - - Show Bio

@MisterGuyMan: moving fast and thinking fast are two different things. when the flash does think fast it gives precognitive like abilities

#29 Posted by thrashmoney (8 posts) - - Show Bio

Most of his villains use optical illusion (mirror master's mirrors) to create a trap he won't notice he ran into until its too late. Others use something to make the terrain (captain cold) hard for him to run on. Captain Boomerang knows how to throw a boomerang so that even after he throws it and misses, it will come back and hit him. Trickster does all of these except the last one......

#30 Posted by Teerack (7069 posts) - - Show Bio

For story purposes.

#31 Posted by CaptnMcDeadpool (969 posts) - - Show Bio

Tradition. The Rogues have been Flash villains for decades now. It's just that simple.

#32 Posted by dum529001 (1635 posts) - - Show Bio

Good question.

#33 Posted by Nathaniel_Christopher (1680 posts) - - Show Bio

What? lol how exactly is this only applicable to Wally and not Barry, Jay, or Bart?

In the end it's because they were created that way. Comes down to the same reason that most of Superman's villains aren't anywhere near as strong as him, but they're still his villains.

This edit will also create new pages on Comic Vine for:

Beware, you are proposing to add brand new pages to the wiki along with your edits. Make sure this is what you intended. This will likely increase the time it takes for your changes to go live.

Comment and Save

Until you earn 1000 points all your submissions need to be vetted by other Comic Vine users. This process takes no more than a few hours and we'll send you an email once approved.