"If Flash is so unbeatable, why are all his villains humans?"

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Posted by Saren (25681 posts) - - Show Bio

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.

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#1 Posted by RyuHayabusa (2019 posts) - - Show Bio

You stupid DC fanboy :P

#2 Posted by ReVamp (22865 posts) - - Show Bio

My mouth is watering.

#3 Posted by Billy Batson (58031 posts) - - Show Bio

Yeah but Hulk can use a thunderclap.
BB

#4 Posted by RyuHayabusa (2019 posts) - - Show Bio

@ReVamp said:

My mouth is watering.

#5 Posted by Saren (25681 posts) - - Show Bio

I have this horrible feeling that people will ignore all the words, steal the scans and spam them in Flash threads to say Hulk wins.

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#6 Posted by cattlebattle (12790 posts) - - Show Bio

and yet, one of Flashs villains was this guy    :)
 

The Turtle
#7 Posted by Saren (25681 posts) - - Show Bio

@cattlebattle: LOL, that guy got an upgrade that made him a bigger threat than any of the Rogues. He could steal kinetic energy, Wally couldn't get near him without having his Speed Force energy severely drained.

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#8 Posted by Billy Batson (58031 posts) - - Show Bio

@CitizenBane said:

I have this horrible feeling that people will ignore all the words, steal the scans and spam them in Flash threads to say Hulk wins.

You don't say?
BB

#9 Posted by ReVamp (22865 posts) - - Show Bio
Flash usually moves at low to moderate superhuman speeds, and Slade's reflexes are superhuman enough to tag Flash at those speeds.

Not saying this isn't true, but none of those scans even begin to support that theory. Identity Crisis, isn't even an instance of Slade tagging Wally, its simply an instance in which Slade had prep and predicted where Flash would go in such a manner that the latter ran into his sword.

#10 Posted by Saren (25681 posts) - - Show Bio

@ReVamp said:

Flash usually moves at low to moderate superhuman speeds, and Slade's reflexes are superhuman enough to tag Flash at those speeds.

Not saying this isn't true, but none of those scans even begin to support that theory. Identity Crisis, isn't even an instance of Slade tagging Wally, its simply an instance in which Slade had prep and predicted where Flash would go in such a manner that the latter ran into his sword.

There was only one scan, and I mentioned that prediction thing later. Slade obviously had prep since C4 doesn't just lie around on sidewalks. Take this feat:

And apply that rationale to it.

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#11 Posted by Loki9876 (3049 posts) - - Show Bio

Can I ask how trickster hit him. I just want to know I'm gonna collect flash (new 52) in tpb form. I'm a flash noob. I know captain cold uses his cold field I wonder if he has a trick.

#12 Posted by ReVamp (22865 posts) - - Show Bio

@CitizenBane said:

@ReVamp said:

Flash usually moves at low to moderate superhuman speeds, and Slade's reflexes are superhuman enough to tag Flash at those speeds.

Not saying this isn't true, but none of those scans even begin to support that theory. Identity Crisis, isn't even an instance of Slade tagging Wally, its simply an instance in which Slade had prep and predicted where Flash would go in such a manner that the latter ran into his sword.

There was only one scan, and I mentioned that prediction thing later. Slade obviously had prep since C4 doesn't just lie around on sidewalks. Take this feat:

And apply that rationale to it.

If you're attempting to use that as a tagging feat, its not really one.

Flash is already on the floor and is getting up, when Slade shoots him with an energy beam.

If you were trying to say something else, then I haven't understood.

#13 Posted by Saren (25681 posts) - - Show Bio

@Loki9876: Trickster is my least favorite Flash villain, because any time he tags Flash it's because Wally acts like an idiot. Seriously, you'd think after the first encounter he'd realize the guy should just be KTFO'd instead of falling for his tricks, but no.....

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#14 Posted by Loki9876 (3049 posts) - - Show Bio

@CitizenBane: thanks

#15 Posted by Saren (25681 posts) - - Show Bio

@ReVamp said:

@CitizenBane said:

@ReVamp said:

Flash usually moves at low to moderate superhuman speeds, and Slade's reflexes are superhuman enough to tag Flash at those speeds.

Not saying this isn't true, but none of those scans even begin to support that theory. Identity Crisis, isn't even an instance of Slade tagging Wally, its simply an instance in which Slade had prep and predicted where Flash would go in such a manner that the latter ran into his sword.

There was only one scan, and I mentioned that prediction thing later. Slade obviously had prep since C4 doesn't just lie around on sidewalks. Take this feat:

And apply that rationale to it.

If you're attempting to use that as a tagging feat, its not really one.

Flash is already on the floor and is getting up, when Slade shoots him with an energy beam.

If you were trying to say something else, then I haven't understood.

Whoops, wrong scan. Flash was on the floor in the first place because Slade got up and threw a cop at him. Morph might have the scan.

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#16 Posted by Billy Batson (58031 posts) - - Show Bio

@CitizenBane said:

Whoops, wrong scan. Flash was on the floor in the first place because Slade got up and threw a cop at him. Morph might have the scan.

What issue?
BB

#17 Posted by ReVamp (22865 posts) - - Show Bio

@Billy Batson said:

@CitizenBane said:

Whoops, wrong scan. Flash was on the floor in the first place because Slade got up and threw a cop at him. Morph might have the scan.

What issue?
BB

^

#18 Posted by The Stegman (24472 posts) - - Show Bio
Well this is five different kinds of awesome.
#19 Posted by Saren (25681 posts) - - Show Bio

@Billy Batson said:

@CitizenBane said:

Whoops, wrong scan. Flash was on the floor in the first place because Slade got up and threw a cop at him. Morph might have the scan.

What issue?
BB

IIRC, it's Deathstroke #13. Probably. I know Slade has tagged Wally in New Teen Titans #2, #34, Deathstroke #13, and Identity Crisis #3.

Moderator
#20 Posted by venomoushatred1001 (12334 posts) - - Show Bio

Nice job, Bane.

#21 Posted by ArturoCalaKayVee (11636 posts) - - Show Bio

You have done Flash justice

Online
#22 Posted by KenTheProfile (412 posts) - - Show Bio

@CitizenBane:

The Flash a one gimmick hero, so he gets one gimmick villians.

#23 Posted by royale_with_cheese (747 posts) - - Show Bio

@CitizenBane:

So Wally ran into his sword? Cause that makes no sense, if Wally is able to speed up his thought process and react in time. It's like running right into a stop sign.

#24 Posted by Gambit1024 (9890 posts) - - Show Bio

Awesome thread. I'll admit I was one of those ignorant people, but this certainly explains all the questions I had.

#25 Posted by Saren (25681 posts) - - Show Bio

@ReVamp: I just realized that I didn't even post that scan to support the idea of Slade tagging Flash because of his reflexes, it was more of an example to show that Flash doesn't move FTL all the time.

@KenTheProfile said:

@CitizenBane:

The Flash a one gimmick hero, so he gets one gimmick villians.

That's.....eh.....one way of looking at it.

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#26 Posted by Video_Martian (5645 posts) - - Show Bio

@venomoushatred1001 said:

Nice job, Bane.

Agreed. Excellent article and a great read. :)

#27 Posted by Zoom (14668 posts) - - Show Bio

Last "Dr Alchemy" scan is actually the Alchemist, a completely different character with a similar power set.

The Turtle could kill half the Avengers no problem.

#28 Posted by Zoom (14668 posts) - - Show Bio

Wally running into a sword is hardly the most nonsensical part of Identity Crisis.

#29 Posted by blackadamFTW (7867 posts) - - Show Bio

Good job, you really went into detail. I agree with just about everything here.

#30 Posted by desmond006 (596 posts) - - Show Bio

I dont get how this proves your point. It actualy makes me take him less seriously.

#31 Posted by Saren (25681 posts) - - Show Bio

@desmond006 said:

I dont get how this proves your point. It actualy makes me take him less seriously.

I'm curious. What did you think my point was?

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#32 Posted by desmond006 (596 posts) - - Show Bio

@CitizenBane: I understood your point as explaining why flash can barely handle his rogues. In regards to battle forum post.

#33 Edited by Hazlenaut (1960 posts) - - Show Bio

flash's rouges are far more united then the other hero's rouges. They have their acts together by Captain Cold and most are able to take out Batman in one on one fights. they are not martial artist, or have good strategist they know how use their stuff. In alternate reality Top was able put Wonder girl in a coma when he was fighting the other Titans. an army of amazons killed him afterward, but that means they threw an army of Amazons on him

#34 Posted by jnw93 (105 posts) - - Show Bio

I agree i really cant see flash beating up all these marvel characters people claim he could

someone said to me he could take on the juggernaut LMAO

#35 Posted by madmartin760 (48 posts) - - Show Bio

I think u did a great job of clearing the Flashes name, I might even pick-up some of his comics next time. With that being said, Thor or Hulk could probably beat him cuz of thier Invulnerability, but that doesn't mean a cross-over wouldn't b a bad idea. lol

#36 Posted by Video_Martian (5645 posts) - - Show Bio

@cattlebattle said:

and yet, one of Flashs villains was this guy :)


The Turtle

Hey, Turtle was awesome! Having the ability to slow everything around him and steal The Flash's speed... Seriously, if he was used more often in the comics, he could be one of Barry's most powerful enemies...

#37 Posted by Redberry (797 posts) - - Show Bio

I'm not a big fan of flash. He's very inconsistent with using his power. Speeforce seems mostly just a PIS device.

#38 Posted by majestic99 (8637 posts) - - Show Bio

Why would anyone think Thor or Hulk can beat Wally West?

#39 Posted by doomsilver (643 posts) - - Show Bio

nice blog

#40 Posted by AweSam (7375 posts) - - Show Bio

@CitizenBane said:

I have this horrible feeling that people will ignore all the words, steal the scans and spam them in Flash threads to say Hulk wins.

I'm going to have fun.

#41 Posted by nickthedevil (12544 posts) - - Show Bio

I love this.

#42 Edited by Scheiner (27 posts) - - Show Bio

The two key reasons the Flash has some difficulty fighting his rogues are he can't use his upper power limits because that might kill them and because his rogues are armed specifically to deal with him. When the Flash is given an oponent who can take it you get this...

The Flash beats Lex Luthor who had gained enough power to take out the rest of the justice league (superman, batman, green lantern, hawk girl, wonder woman, and martian manhunter).

#43 Posted by AweSam (7375 posts) - - Show Bio

@Scheiner said:

The two key reasons the Flash has some difficulty fighting his rogues are he can't use his upper power limits because that might kill them and because his rogues are armed specifically to deal with him. When the Flash is given an oponent who can take it you get this...

The Flash beats Lex Luthor who had gained enough power to take out the rest of the justice league (superman, batman, green lantern, hawk girl, wonder woman, and martian manhunter).

I agree. He's been fighting his rogues for years. They know most of his tricks and how to deal with them. Whenever someone new enters the picture, Flash handles them in seconds. The problem is, people on the battles forum put down what they think would happen, because it can, but we don't see flash stealing peoples speed or using the IMP in every fight right off the bat. Like every character, he starts off small, then builds up more as the fight progresses.

#44 Posted by PowerHerc (84035 posts) - - Show Bio

Great point!

Why are almost all of the "invincible" Flash's villains non-powered humans?

Maybe he's not all that invincible after all.

#45 Edited by Redberry (797 posts) - - Show Bio

Well, most people are just wagon-jumping after a few posters who made some biased arguments by posting selective scans and arguments. Honestly, depending on the writers, any character can be God-like so saying this character can beat his/opponent in that single instant doesn't mean they can do it again. There aren't a lot of fair arguments on the battle forum when it comes to mainstream DC characters.

#46 Posted by BiteMe-Fanboy (7870 posts) - - Show Bio

As a Flash fan, I have to say, bravo. Great blog, man.

#47 Edited by Farwind (67 posts) - - Show Bio

I always interpreted the Flash-Deathstroke fights as specifically emphasizing Deathstroke's tactical abilities. My theory is that If Deathstroke has reasonable foreknowledge of Flash's presence (for whatever speed the Flash decides to come at him), Deathstroke will be able to tactically position himself such that he will tag Flash (in other words, it doesn't matter how fast Deathstroke can move: he makes up for the speed difference with exceedingly precise planning).

So I've always viewed a match up between the two as a victory for Flash if he gets the correct jump on Deathstroke for whatever speed he's using, and doesn't let off long enough for Deathstroke to prep himself. Otherwise, Deathstroke will be able to hold Flash to a standstill at the least (if not get the upper hand), regardless of how fast Flash decides to move.

EDIT: Changed last sentence because previous version was (more) unreasonable.

#48 Posted by benette_rivera (55 posts) - - Show Bio

Great post! Good to know someone of enough intellect to prove this. Marvel fanboys should read this so that they'll stop thinking that thor or hulk can beat him.

#49 Posted by Joygirl (20003 posts) - - Show Bio

Fabulous. ;D This should be stickied in the battle forums.

#50 Posted by RustyRoy (12772 posts) - - Show Bio

Great blog. In my opinion Flash is the most powerful JL member or atleast have the potential to become the most powerful.

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