- "Breathe. You're reaching out and nobody's there. The loneliness is pain. Pain racing through your mind. Crushing you, wrecking you, shattering your soul into a million little pieces. And suddenly, you are no longer you. You're part of something different now. Part of a negative force."
- —Eobard Thawne to Nora West-Allen[src]
The Negative Speed Force, or "Negative Force" is an extradimensional energy that was created by Eobard Thawne at some point after replicating the Flash's powers. Speedsters with a connection to the Speed Force can gain a connection to the Negative Speed Force by exercising their fear, hate, and anguish to such an extent that it corrupts them from the inside. Gaining a connection to the Negative Speed Force will turn a speedster's natural yellow lightning red. Team Flash have also found that users of the Negative Speed Force users harness negative tachyons but, rather than slowing the speedster down, the negative tachyons allow a speedster to siphon tachyons from the normal Speed Force like a parasite in order to accelerate their own movement. Due to this, unlike normal Speed Force users, Negative Speed Force users produce a huge amount of tachyons that can be tracked.
At some point in the future, after Eobard Thawne discovered that his destiny was to become the exact opposite of the Flash, he created a Speed Force completely opposite to the one of the Flash and called it the "Negative Speed Force" so that he could time travel without the Flash knowing his presence in the timeline.
In 2049 when Nora West-Allen wanted to go back in time without her father feeling her presence, Eobard taught her how to use the Negative Speed Force. He regrets it since it has a negative side-effect.
Eobard later revealed to Barry and Nora that the connection Nora established to the Negative Speed Force was a part of his plan, as a means of preserving her existence after Cicada's dagger was destroyed, as that caused her timeline to be erased. Seeing how it had corrupted Thawne and her, Nora ultimately decided to accept her fate rather than continue to use it.
- Red: Red lightning is typically the result of a speedster having a connection to the Negative Speed Force, which Eobard Thawne created at some point after recreating the Flash's powers. Red lightning is seen in Eobard himself as well as Edward Clariss. In addition, speedsters such as Hunter Zolomon who are taken by Time Wraiths into the Speed Force also have their lightning turned red.
- Red and Purple: After Nora West-Allen managed to run into the Negative Speed Force to return to the present day, the yellow part of her lightning turned red while retaining the purple part of her lightning.
When harnessing the Negative Speed Force, a speedster's eyes and the skin around the eyes can glow red.
Powers and abilities
The Negative Speed Force, like the Speed Force, enhances all movement, momentum, and force exerting capabilities of its user, down to a microscopic level, as well as giving the user conscious control over it. This enhances overall acceleration, agility, reflexes, coordination, balance, and reaction time to inhuman levels. In addition, the body becomes conditioned beyond human potential, allowing them to handle extreme physical exertion and performance, which is also enhanced. Users of the Negative Speed Force have demonstrated the following abilities:
- Accelerated healing factor: All chemical, cellular, and neural processes, as well as brain activity, are far faster than normal, which enhances the speed and efficiency of physical healing and metabolism to inhuman levels. This causes users to be able to be completely healed from non-lethal injuries as severe as broken bones, burns, and even paralysis, in a matter of hours or days without any linger effects, therapy, or treatment, unless the injuries are immediately lethal. Users are also more resilient to physical impacts and collisions, giving them immunity to being stunned, dazed, unbalanced or staggered by great forces, especially while moving at super speed.
- Superhuman longevity: Due to their accelerating healing factors, speedsters age much slower than normal humans.
- Aerokinesis: A user using super speed while moving their entire body, or part of it in a repetitive motion, such as back and forth, spinning, or otherwise circular motions, can manipulate air flows and currents and therefore generate powerful winds and manipulating them with there repeated motions. These motions can also be achieved by the user moving or running back and forth or in a circle. The user can, therefore, create intense whirlwinds, cyclones, tornadoes, vortexes, and vacuums of air with these motions, or propel themselves through the air. This can allow the user to disperse the physical force from oncoming targets or propel them away.
- Bodily vibration/Intangibility: Since these enhanced movements and acceleration capabilities affected the user microscopically, it allowed the user to manipulate the movement and acceleration of their cells, and even their molecules, allowing them to shake and vibrate their bodies or parts of it by willing their cells to do so. These vibrations can enhance physical force produced by physical contact and distort the user's image to the point where the user becomes a vibrating blur of motion, even when they are not using their speed. A user can disguise their appearance with this, as well as their voice by vibrating their vocal cords, which can produce an electronic, distorted voice or a garbled, deep growl. Vibrating also allows a user to cause tremors and jolt through physical contact, enough to perform feats such as breaking metal locks or part of a mug by touching the object or generating enough friction to level a bridge by running on it repeatedly. By vibrating their hand, the user can generate the force of a buzzsaw, enough to effortlessly punch and smash through machinery and saw through metal chains. Some users can even use their vibrations to punch through flesh and bone, much like phasing through solid objects, though it is unknown how they accomplish this without harming themselves.Also by vibrating their bodies at different frequencies allows a user to become intangible and pass through solid objects, even people. Some users can even phase objects into people or infuse various objects with intangible with physical contact, though this is especially straining. through people can be lethal, as villainous speedsters will often vibrate their arms through a target and cause them to drop dead. With this, they are able to phase into people, while still being able to touch and grab tangible objects, which allows them to damage the victim from the inside. However, it is not always lethal, as a user could phase into someone to pull objects, such as bullets, out of the person, to put something they holding inside of a person without breaching their skin, phase their momentum-enhanced punch into the targets of greater resilience to incapacitate them, or even run right through others without harming them. The ability could even cause an opponent's attacks to pass through the user, even if the attacker is someone as powerful as Supergirl. Vibrating through something electrical, such as a computer, can cause it to overload and fry.
- Electrokinesis: Connection to the Speed Force causes Speedsters' bodies to generate electricity, which they can learn to manipulate. It generally acts as a bolster, amplifying their running speed to much higher levels. By running within a circular motion with enough intensity, they are able to envelop their arms in electricity, that they can then throw at a target, though other speedsters may be able to solidify it through touch, and throw it back (however, Savitar does not always need to run in circles as he can throw lightning while running normally, as seen in ""). Also, by focusing friction of a specific part of their body, such as their hands, they can generate a strong static shock that is powerful enough to restart a person's heart. The great amounts of electricity generated from the body have been demonstrated to be able to cause nearby electronics to glitch and fluctuate. This Speed Force lightning has been shown to vary in color between the differing speedsters seen so far. Speedsters' electrical generation seems to have a connection to how they can alter the color of their eyes.
- Speed Force sharing: Certain users can share their powers with other people by physical contact. In one instance, a speedster was able to share a spark of the Speed Force to stabilize the condition of someone who was hit by a wave of energy from a controlled particle accelerator explosion and suffering from the same initial side effects that a speedster usually goes through once went through when they first get their powers. Extremely powerful and advanced users can also use this ability to let non-speedsters converse with them in "Flashtime" and also temporarily give someone Speed Force abilities but not for long as non-speedsters can't survive long at that speed.
- Electricity absorption: Speedsters can charge themselves with electricity from nearby electrical sources, essentially draining them giving them an extra boost when running or throwing lightning.
- Accelerated perception: The increase in speed and activity within bodily systems can enhance the user's physical performance to a great extent, as well as increasing these systems overall reaction speed, resulting in adrenaline, dopamine, and other endorphins to be produced quicker and the user being able to think, read, scan and comprehend concepts and ideas, and retain all said information in seconds while their powers are in use. Therefore, the user's mental speed and efficiency, as well as physical, is also enhanced to inhuman levels. They can see the world moving in slow motion, while others can only see them as a vibrating blur of motion, usually accompanied by an aura of differently colored electricity.
- Superhuman senses: Connection to the Speed Force enhances the user's senses, allowing them to see and hear perfectly normal when moving at superhuman speeds, even at or above the speed of sound, where sound would normally not be heard.
- Superhuman momentum: Users of the Speed Force have an inhuman motion and momentum capabilities, allowing them to generate and channel extreme amounts of kinetic energy, friction, inertia, and other applied and contact forces. This enhanced movement and physical force allow a user to be able to increase the power of physical impacts and collisions and generate the force to simulate superhuman strength by charging their attacks with extreme amounts of physical force. While this can usually be done only at super speed, most users can quickly learn to charge their attacks with force while at normal speed, or by attacking using a brief burst of super speed. With this, users not only can send people flying through the air but to smash through, crush and dismantle machinery and circuitry with only their fist or bare hand. Villainous speedsters have even shown the capacity to use this to punch a gaping, bloody hole through people, with some even tearing out the heart of their victim. In fact, some speedsters have used their speed to kill opponents though fatal high-speed collision. They can also cause tremors and jolt through physical contact, usually while vibrating at the same time, enough to level a bridge by running on it repeatedly. Users of the Negative Speed Force also have inhuman stopping power and can usually come to a full stop despite the fact that they are moving with extreme momentum.
- Geokinesis: Speedsters that exert great amounts of force are able to induce extreme amounts of jolt and friction, either by intensely running past the speed of sound or touching an object while vibrating.
- Superhuman strength: Connection to the Speed Force heightens the user's strength to various levels, enough to exert superhuman force without using super speed. Some users possess strength around peak human levels, while other users possess strength at a near-superhuman level. Users with advanced strength levels have been shown to easily pick up and throw full grown humans with one hand.
- Superhuman durability: Connection to the Speed Force also grants the user superhuman durability. This greatly increases their bodily resilience to inhuman levels, allowing most speedsters to develop inhuman resistance to lack of breathable air, exposure to toxins or sedatives, and impact with physical forces that would easily crush or kill normal humans. Users of the Negative Speed Force can withstand great amounts of physical damage and sustain little, to no injury. Notably, many speedsters are shown to survive being sent flying across city blocks, blasted with energy, falls from buildings and other great heights, and attacks from beings with enhanced strength with little need for recovery.
- Superhuman agility: Connection to the Speed Force also grants the user inhuman agility, coordination, balance, equilibrium, and dexterity, which allows the user to not be tripped by great forces, especially as they move at super speed. Users can also use this to perform feats such as run on vertical surfaces, as well as running and jumping along falling debris.
- Superhuman reflexes: Users of the Speed Force possess reflexes that are also enhanced to inhuman levels, whether they are moving at super speed or not. This allows them to react instantly to almost anything, including fast moving projectiles such as bullets.
- Superhuman stamina: User's of the Speed Force possess stamina that enhanced to inhuman levels. They are able to withstand the stresses of moving at superhuman speeds, without tiring or becoming weak.
- Superhuman speed: Primarily, the Speed Force gives users the ability to move at inhuman speeds. This ability allows the user's overall speed to rival the fastest vehicles at low levels, while advanced levels allow the user to break the sound barrier and moving at supersonic speeds. The user's speed usually causes them to appear as vibrating blurs or streaks of motion. Users are fast enough to move on vertical surfaces and ceilings, as well as on water, with ease. With enough speed, users can enhance their ability to jump, allowing them to leap or spring several feet through the air, to the point where they can jump across the length of a freeway bridge. It was also recently revealed that if a speedster runs fast enough, they can even run inside tornadoes. Recently it has been revealed that prolonged exposure inside the Speed Force greatly amplifies the user's speed growth due to access to its pure energies.
- Speed mirages: Skilled users have been fast enough to distort light and create a holographic, mirage-like projection of themselves and appear to be in two or more places at once by moving from one location to the other fast enough and therefore create an after image of themselves. These projections become less realistic looking when the user is creating more than one.
- Time travel: Advanced users can create a hole in the fabric of space-time and travel through time. Upon doing so, they can enter the timeline independent from themselves, or "merge" with their temporal counterpart to be reinserted with that timeline. When performing the later, should any changes happen to the timeline, the speedster will retain all memories of the previous timeline in addition to the new one, even able to differentiate between the two. This ability is also the most dangerous, as altering the events of the past in the slightest could distort the user's present and future, usually with devastating results. Also, users of the Negative Speed Force can time travel undetected by adept users of the regular Speed Force.
- Temporal dilution: By generating enough energy, extremely powerful and advanced users can slow down time relative to them to a complete standstill (dubbed "Flashtime"). However, doing this for prolonged periods of time is very strenuous as the longer they keep this up, the more time will gradually return to its natural flow while the users will simultaneously grow increasingly exhausted.
- Time remnant construct: The most skilled of users could shift back in time momentarily to manifest a "clone" that, unlike a speed mirage, is as alive and independently thinking as they are. They do not always share the user's current personality as the further back they go, the less like their current self the time remnant becomes, but only if their past self is any different from their current self. If they shift through years, their time remnant will not possess their current memories and most likely not have their current personality. However, the user can shift back minutes and even seconds to create a clone that is truly the same as them. It has been stated that one needed to be willing to kill their time remnant, and therefore willing to kill themselves, in order to be able to create them. This action changes the timeline so it is possible travelling just a few seconds into the past pulls a version of the speedster from a different timeline.
- Time Shelter: Since it exists outside the timeline, a speedster can prevent themselves from being erased from existence by running into and staying in the Negative Speed Force. However, their connection to the Negative Speed Force becomes the sole tether of their existence unless their timeline is restored.
- Interdimensional travel: Like time travel, advanced users can create a hole in the fabric of space-time to create portals between dimensions and travel to different universes.
Like with the Speed Force, speedsters may show one or more weaknesses despite their connection to the Negative Speed Force. Whether this hints towards inherent limitations of the Negative Speed Force itself or just to limitations of its users' control over their connection to it, is not known for certain, but the latter seems more likely.
- Cold temperatures: Because speed is produced by a build-up of heat in the target's atoms, speedsters are vulnerable to extremely cold temperatures. It will also temporarily stunt their healing capacities.
- Electricity absorption: Speedsters' unique biology causes their bodies to produce massive amounts of electricity, which charges their molecular structure and allows them to accelerate their movement. Should a speedster be drained of this electrical energy, they will lose their power. However, the Negative Speed Force is genetically coded to their DNA, meaning they are incapable of losing their potential for enhanced speed. If this electricity is absorbed by another source, all of their powers will be suppressed, including their superhuman healing and accelerated perception. Much like an electrical device, which needs to recharge, speedsters must electrify themselves to a great extent in order to jump-start their powers once more.
- Gravity: While deprived of gravity, a speedster's lack of weight prevents them from accessing their speed.
- Hyper-metabolism: While moving at accelerated speeds, speedsters burn calories much faster than normal people. This requires them to consume large amounts of nutrients (about 10,000 calories from a single day of exertion) to maintain peak physical performance. Continued usage of their speed while deprived of a sufficient quantity of nutrients will render them disoriented and weak before ultimately passing out as a result of low blood glucose. Also, because of their accelerated healing, they are unable to be given painkillers, sedatives, or anesthetics, as their body's metabolism burns through them too quickly for them to have any effect. Likewise, even a highly concentrated drug or toxin will only affect them for a few seconds before completely wearing off.
- Kinetic energy absorption: Because their abilities are derived from movement, the removal of the kinetic energy built up by speedsters will leave them in a state of temporary paralysis. However, if they can build back up enough kinetic energy within themselves, the effect can be instantly negated.
- Nanites: Nanites entering the bloodstream of a speedster will temporarily disable their powers, as shown when a particular speedster was shot with a nanite arrow.
- Viber energies: The Extra-Dimensional energies used by Vibers like Cisco, Cynthia and Josh can temporarily disrupt a Speedster's connection to the Speed Force. This can make them considerably slower than they would usually be or outright stopping them dead in their tracks, as was the case made against Kid Flash with Gypsy as well as Flash with Breacher, with Barry being weakened to the point he can't scale a sheer building wall after receiving a few blasts.
- Time alterations: While a speedster's speed allows him or her to break through the temporal barrier, it is not without drawbacks. In addition to potentially causing unforeseeable, damaging changes to the timeline, reckless travels through time can alert the Time Wraiths. These temporal guardians become instinctively drawn to the careless speedster, driven to capture the person who disturbed the timestream and draw the person into the Speed Force with it. Also, as revealed in "Flashpoint", reckless alterations any speedster makes to the timeline can also affect the user's memory, gradually making even them forget how events originally were before they'd altered the timeline.
- Resonance field disruption: Speedsters create a resonance field when moving at super-speed, which the Cisco Ramon of 2024 made a device capable of disrupting. The result of this device made a speedster unable to move through time despite moving fast enough to do so, though it is unknown if it is capable of otherwise dampening their powers. Harry Wells designed similar technology capable of causing a decrease or even drainage of a speedster's powers.
- Speedster weapon: A special kind of rifle can fire an energy pulse that could render a speedster stunned and cut off from the Speed Force. However, the effects are only temporary.
- Connection severance: The essence of a speedster's powers is their connection to the Speed Force. Regardless of how strong that connection is and how much power they can draw, so long as they are connected to the speed force, they can utilize their speedster abilities. If that connection is somehow cut off or severed, either temporarily by the speedster being in a place that dampens the connection to almost nothing, or permanently by some external force, they will cease to be speedsters and lose their powers.
- Tachyon production: Users of the Negative Speed Force produce huge traces of negative tachyons while running which can easily be tracked.
- According to Eobard Thawne, unlike the normal Speed Force, the Negative Speed Force is comprised of negative energy.
- Eobard has stated that the Negative Speed Force is not meant to be used by every speedster since it has a negative side-effect.
Behind the scenes
- In the DC comics, the Negative Speed Force was created by Eobard Thawne when he got his powers, and he used it to leech off of the Flash's power throughout their history.