The Speed Force was an inter-dimensional source of dark matter energy that provided a particular variation of meta-humans known as speedsters with their powers. As a result of events of the Anti-Monitor Crisis, the Speed Force suffered from a critical energy imbalance, eventually resulting in its death, leaving all speedsters with limited speed and powers.
- 1 Overview
- 2 History
- 3 Legacy
- 4 Physical manifestations
- 5 Inside the Speed Force dimension
- 6 Protecting the timeline
- 7 Personality
- 8 Powers and abilities
- 9 Known users
- 10 Appearances
- 11 Trivia
- 12 Behind the scenes
- 13 References
The Speed Force is comprised of tachyon particles infused with dark matter, allowing speedsters access to their main ability of super speed as well as their derived abilities such as time travel and dimensional breaching.
The Speed Force itself is a vaguely explored concept and appears to exhibit forms of consciousness and intelligence; able to manifest itself to communicate with a Speedster, using the visage of a person they know. Fallen Speedsters may find themselves trapped within the Speed Force itself as a kind of purgatory.
The Speed Force also has enforcers called Time Wraiths to punish those who abuse time travel in order to prevent any further disruption of the timeline. Particularly dangerous time travelers or aberrations are hunted down by the Black Flash.
During the Anti-Monitor Crisis, it was revealed that the Speed Force exists even without the multiverse. However, traveling in it is very unstable and without the Spectre's powers, anyone traveling in it could have been spat out into the antimatter void.
The Speed Force cannot handle other extra-dimensional substances like the Spectre's powers, as it will ultimately deteriorate it, eventually "killing" it.
- "When the first subatomic particle sprang forth from the Big Bang to form reality as you know it, we were there. When the last proton decays, stops vibrating, and plunges the universe into heat death, we'll be there too."
- —A manifestation of the Speed Force describes itself to Barry Allen[src]
The Speed Force itself claims to have existed since the beginning of time, and will exist until at least the end of the known universe. Whether this is physically true or just a metaphysical aspect of reality is unknown.
While being imprisoned in the Speed Force, the legend of the time remnant of Barry Allen from 2020/2021 was spread throughout the Multiverse, and across time, with the lie of his power being the first speedster to ever be granted power from the Speed Force, eventually becoming the fastest out of all of them who desired to challenge other powerful speedsters who threatened his power to battle before taking over their Earths.
Between 2180-2190s in an alternate future, Eobard gained a connection to the Speed Force and eventually traveled back in time to an unknown time period and after discovering he'd never become a superhero like his idol, he created his own Speed Force which made him immune to timeline changes, as well as able to avoid detection by other Speedsters, becoming the Reverse-Flash.
After traveling back to the year 2000, Eobard Thawne lost his connection to the Speed Force due to copious amounts of time travel. Fifteen years later, while masquerading as Harrison Wells, Eobard was able to use a tachyon prototype to access the Speed Force, absorbing some of it and allowing him to run at high speeds, and vibrate his body and voice.
Barry Allen gained a connection to the Speed Force in 2013 because of the particle accelerator explosion from S.T.A.R. Labs created by Harrison Wells (which was actually Eobard in the form of Harrison Wells because he killed him and his wife in 2000).
Sometime later, needing to remove a small bomb from the Flash's wrist without it exploding, Eobard motivated the Flash to become one with his speed, thus becoming one with the Speed Force, allowing him to better hone his ability to vibrate and phase through a tanker, leaving the bomb on the other side.
In 2013, on another Earth, a serial killer named Hunter Zolomon became connected with the Speed Force. However, this speedster was proven unworthy due to abusing the Speed Force for his own benefit, such as killing others. He also time traveled recklessly throughout the timeline, forcing the Speed Force to clean up his mess. Hunter later developed a drug to make him go faster, thus further abusing his speed to terrorize more Earths throughout the multiverse. One day, while on an unknown Earth, Hunter found out that the drug was killing him and he attempted to manipulate the Speed Force. Because of all of his selfish actions until now, the Speed Force responded by constantly sending Time Wraiths after Hunter, since he has been proven too much of a threat to the timeline to remain alive. However, these efforts were to no avail since the unworthy speedster went into hiding.
When trying to travel back in time to rescue his mother from being murdered, Barry Allen was able to physically see the Speed Force after passing Mach 2, viewing events from his past, present and future all at once. To travel where he wanted to go, Barry had to think about a specific time and place, before transporting into his childhood home and into his bedroom, just as his younger self was walking down the stairs to see his mother trapped in the tornado of light, that was actually Reverse-Flash and the future Flash fighting over the younger Barry's fate at super speed.
A few months later, Barry traveled back in time to where his former teacher, Eobard Thawne, was alive since he was desperate to run faster to beat Zoom aka Hunter Zolomon. Because of such an invalid reason, The Speed Force sent a Time Wraith after the rookie speedster. However, this Wraith failed to do its mission, as it was obliterated by outside help from Barry's friends.
When Barry tried to regain his powers through a second particle accelerator explosion, instead of him simply regaining his powers, the will of the Speed Force pulled Barry into itself. It was inside of the Speed Force that Barry discovered that the Speed Force had a personality and could be spoken to. Before the Speed Force allowed Barry to regain his powers, he had to prove himself worthy of retrieving his powers again. In order for Barry to regain his powers, the Speed Force gave him a trial, to catch a dark speeding shadow. The shadow at every stop led Barry to places of great personal importance where the Speed Force manifested itself as an important person in his life to speak to him. During the trial, Cisco created a breach to the Speed Force dimension and a vortex of energy appeared to Barry. The Speed Force told Barry that if he did not complete the trial before leaving, he would be returning to Earth without his powers. By accepting tragedy and moving on instead of letting it define him, the Speed Force allowed him to become a speedster again with the shadow appearing before Barry so that he could catch it. The shadow was revealed to be a manifestation of Barry as The Flash before Barry transformed into the figure. Barry then left the Speed Force dimension with the help of Iris calling out to him through the vortex after hugging the Speed Force's manifestation of his mother. After defeating Girder, Barry visited Jesse in her coma where he touched her hand and a spark of energy woke her from the coma. It is unknown whether or not this ultimately helped activate her abilities.
The Speed Force later sent two Time Wraiths after Barry when he created a time remnant during his fight with Hunter. Upon arriving, however, they discovered Hunter and realizing that Barry used the time remnant to clue them into Hunter's location, the Wraiths spared Barry and attacked Hunter instead. Badly beaten and weakened from the race, Hunter could only scream in terror as the Time Wraiths surrounded him and began forcibly transforming him into a demonic-looking skeletal being, changing the lightning-bolt emblem of his costume red as well as its outline and the earpieces as well as turning the emblem circle white and turning his speed lightning red. The Time Wraiths then reopened their portal and dragged the decaying form of Zoom into the Speed Force. This made him lose his remaining sanity, his humanity, his free will and decayed his body to an undead state similar to that of the Wraiths. Whatever punishment he received was unknown but what is clear is that he suffered a fate far worse than death. Months later it was revealed that he was transformed into the worst and most powerful version of time specters.
Later, Jay and Barry Allen attempt to trap Savitar in the Speed Force forever by throwing the Philosopher's Stone into the Speed Force via a wormhole Barry and Jay created. Barry is then accidentally thrown five months into the future, where he sees a possible future where Iris West is murdered by Savitar, explaining that either Savitar was freed after being thrown in the Speed Force, or that the Philosopher's Stone would reappear in the future. This later became known as the Speed Force Prison, where one with a connection to the Speed Force must remain.
It was later revealed that the Speed Force was where the future Barry managed to trap Savitar. Team Flash unintentionally gave him the Philosopher's Stone, except a small piece that had broken off of the whole stone, which Savitar needed to free himself from the Speed Force. Hoping to use it to get rid of her powers, Caitlin kept this piece for herself. She later confessed this to the rest of the team, and when Wally threw the last bit of the Stone into the Speed Force, he was dragged into the prison, freeing Savitar.
When rescuing Wally, Barry enters the Speed Force and the Speed Force shows up in the form of people from his past, such as Ronnie, Eddie, and Snart. With help from Jay, Barry finds Wally, who is trapped in his own personal hell: witnessing his mother's death, over and over in an endless loop. Savitar faced his own personal hell when he was in the Speed Force, and Jay also faced this after Barry and Wally left, as the Speed Force needed an occupant in place of Wally, and Jay took that place.
In the final battle with Savitar, Savitar created a portal to the Speed Force and was using an inter-dimensional splicer to splice himself throughout every moment throughout space and time in order to escape the paradox that would soon erase him since he failed to kill Iris West. In an attempt to stop him, the Speed Force dispatched Hunter to erase him from existence. However, Killer Frost, who was beside Savitar the whole time, defeated Hunter with a cold blast. When Savitar used the splicer, however, Jay was finally freed and assisted Team Flash in defeating the former. This, however, had very destructive consequences as the Speed Force had become unstable due to the vacancy of the Speed Force Prison, which in effect caused a Speed Force Storm which devastated Central City. Realizing that the only way to stop the storm was to go into the Speed Force Prison, Barry voluntarily went with the Speed Force for his past crimes of creating Flashpoint and his use of time travel. However, taking the form of his mother, the Speed Force promised Barry he wouldn't experience the hell that Savitar, Wally, and Jay had.
In 2018, when Barry and Nora West-Allen traveled across the Speed Force in order to build a weapon against Cicada, the Speed Force sent a Time Wraith on two occasions: one due to the many possible aberrations that could occur because of future Barry and Nora's presence in 2017 and the other to take care of a time-traveling Zoom in order to prevent changes to his involvement in the timeline.
In 2019, after Barry was infected by Ramsey Rosso when he saved Ralph Dibny, the Speed Force appeared to Barry as Nora Allen and explained that Ramsey's infection was gradually taking control of Barry, and because the infection was sentient, allowed for Ramsey to be planted in Barry's mind. After warning Barry of Ramsey's true intent to bend him to his will, the Speed Force disappeared, leaving Barry to fight the infection. Later, after Ramsey informed Barry that there was a way to avoid his impending death in the Crisis if he followed him, the Speed Force reappeared and took Barry back to the manifestation of his childhood home. After Barry confided his feelings about his fate and desperation to survive, the Speed Force revealed that Ramsey was telling the truth, although that wasn't the path for Barry, prompting Barry to angrily accuse the Speed Force of wanting him to leave his family behind and being the main reason for his suffering in the first place. After the Speed Force tried desperately in vain to explain that it was on Barry's side, Barry gave in to Ramsey's influence and phased through the Speed Force's manifestation of Nora, just before Ramsey appeared and attempted to fully take control of Barry, leading to a battle between both sides for Barry's mind. Just then, however, Team Flash managed to recover Barry from his hallucinations, although they soon realized that Barry wasn't acting like himself. Barry revealed his infected body and raced out of S.T.A.R. Labs to submit to Ramsey, indicating that Ramsey was able to best the Speed Force despite its power, and fully infect Barry. However, it was soon revealed that Barry willingly submitted to Ramsey so he could defeat him from inside.
- "A few months ago, a substance entered the Speed Force...something that we'd never encountered before. We tried to contain it, but it contaminated us. It upset the balance of our energies."
"The green and white lightning."
"It is infernal power... beyond the laws of our nature."
"During Crisis, I made the Spectre give me his energy so I could enter the Speed Force again. I am responsible. I did this. I killed the Speed Force."
- —A manifestation of the Speed Force tells Barry that it's dying, and Barry realizes that it's his fault[src]
During the Anti-Monitor Crisis, the Spectre used his cosmic energy to give Barry a boost, so Barry could get into the Speed Force. However, his energy contaminated the balance of the Speed Force causing its condition to deteriorate. After the Crisis, Barry began to suffer from occasional "hiccups" while he ran. When Wally West returned to Central City, they discovered the truth of the Speed Force being poisoned. However, they were too late to save it.
- "I wouldn't have... I never would have... I'm sorry. I didn't know."
"Barry Allen, we forgive you. You did the right thing. You saved our universe. You never could have foreseen what that cost. You only have a few steps left before we're gone from you entirely, but I know you will use them well. The lightning chose you, and it was the best decision that we... I ever made."
- —Barry apologizes to a manifestation of the Speed Force[src]
The Speed Force has died and now speedsters only have a residual amount of the Speed Force's energy still within their bodies. Once they run out of that residual amount, they will lose their powers.
With the death of the Speed Force, Barry has slowed down considerably to the point that acts of rescue and heroism that he would normally perform casually have become cumbersome. One example is that Barry was too slow to catch bullets before they hit Joe West. Emotionally, Barry became frustrated, even to the point where his leadership of Team Flash became questioned.
Team Flash attempted to use the knowledge contained in Nora West-Allen's journal to create an Artificial Speed Force, but was unsuccessful. After an encounter with "Godspeed", Cisco Ramon realized that the missing element that they needed in order to create an artificial Speed Force was in Atlantis.
Once a speedster makes a connection with the Speed Force, their speed is physically manifested through the lightning/electricity that trails from their bodies as they run. The color is different with every speedster, as it normally indicates the specific type of connection that they have achieved with the Speed Force.
- Yellow: Yellow lightning represents a pure or natural connection to the Speed Force. At the same time, as speedsters continue to develop their powers, such as Jay Garrick and Barry Allen, they eventually begin to exhibit a more orange coloring. Yellow is seen from Barry Allen, Jay Garrick, Jesse Wells, Wally West, Blitzkrieg, Barry Allen from Earth-90 and also formerly from Hunter Zolomon and Eliza Harmon.
- 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. It is unknown why Clariss has red lightning but it is possible that Clariss exercised his own hate to connect to the Negative Speed Force, unknown to him. In addition, speedsters such as Hunter Zolomon who are taken by Time Wraiths into the Speed Force also have their lightning turned red.
- Blue: Blue lightning generation is the result of an individual speedster who artificially enhances an existing Speed Force connection, or by artificially gaining access to the Speed Force through a strong enough dosage of the Velocity drug. While greatly increasing the user's speed, it also comes with lethal/life-threatening side-effects as seen with speedsters like Hunter Zolomon and Eliza Harmon, causing cellular degeneration, as well as a split personality in the case of the latter. Blue lightning could also be seen coming off of Godspeed due to the Velocity-9 he used to gain his speed.
- White: White lightning is generated by the self-proclaimed "god of speed" Savitar, who is actually a time remnant of Barry Allen. It is a result of his lightning reflecting through his armor when he runs while wearing it. It is also generated by August Heart after using a combination of tachyons and Velocity-9.
- Purple: Purple lightning has been produced by "Accelerated Man" and temporarily Iris West-Allen after Matthew Kim transferred Barry's powers to her. However, the reason for this lightning coloration is currently unknown.
- Yellow and purple: Natural-born speedster Nora West-Allen emitted a combination of both yellow and purple lightning while running, though the reason for having multi-colored lightning is currently unknown. However, Iris has speculated that this may be due to genetics; Nora's father, Barry, produces yellow lightning when he runs, and when Barry's speed got transferred to Iris, Iris (Nora's mother) produced purple lightning when she ran.
- Red and purple: After Nora ran into the Negative Speed Force, her yellow and purple lightning changed; her yellow lightning turned red while her purple lightning remained the same.
- White and yellow: The Speed Force is seen with white and yellow lightning both in physical manifestations and in its purest form.
- Dark: After Barry Allen became infected with black blood from Ramsey Rosso, his yellow lightning turned ghostly white with a dark aura.
- Green: After the Speed Force became infected by the Spectre's energy boost, all of the lightning in the Speed Force was turned green.
- Yellow and blue: After Barry took the Velocity X serum, his lightning briefly turned into blue and emitted the same sound Hunter Zolomon produced when he is running.
By tapping into the power of the Speed Force, speedsters can cause their eyes to transform in some way, either by being filled with yellow electricity, which can cause the surrounding skin to glow yellow, shining blue light, shining dark red light or electricity that can even cause the surrounding parts of the face to glow red, or the entire eye becoming pitch black. The first occurrence is the sign of a natural connection to the Speed Force and can even manifest for users of Velocity before the serum begins to degenerate them. The second, third and fifth occurrences are caused by a speedster tapping into the Negative Speed Force. The fourth is caused after the above-mentioned degeneration.
When a speedster is forcibly transported into the Speed Force, their body/clothing will fragment apart with orange energy. Eobard Thawne also fragmented apart and disintegrated with orange light when he was caught by the Black Flash, though the exact Speed Force mechanism behind this is unknown. A similar effect, but with the color blue rather than orange, is seen when a speedster is erased from the timeline. However, the same thing can also happen to non-speedsters, in which case the fragmentation is more fine-grained.
Running too fast can also cause a speedster to fragment apart in a similar manner, as seen with Eliza Harmon, the time remnant Barry Allen created to defeat Zoom, and Barry Allen from Earth-90.
Inside the Speed Force dimension
When trapped inside of the Speed Force, the body of the speedster will appear in a vortex of electrical energy, while the speedster will be inside a dream world similar to where they are from on Earth, albeit without people. The sentient will of the Speed Force can choose to manifest itself to a speedster as someone in their life and speak to them.
Regaining one's speed
The Speed Force can put a speedster through a trial and choose to give powers to a speedster should they not have them. In the dream world, the trial will manifest as the former speedster having to catch a shadow-like, vibrating blur of motion that moves at superspeed and represents their powers. However, they must be able to remove mental blocks from themselves in order to do so, such as guilt. They must confront the source of their pain and overcome it, which will cause the shadow to come to them and restore their powers. However, the only known way to leave the realm is through a portal made from the outside. While it is unknown if the Speed Force can make a portal for the speedster to travel through in this situation, it most likely can, as it is seen doing so on another occasion.
Speed Force prison
In the possible future from which Savitar was created, the future Barry Allen used a Speed Force bazooka to create a prison within the Speed Force, in which he trapped Savitar. While the true nature of this prison is unknown, it seemed to become permanently inside Speed Force and still existed in a timeline in which the technology was not used on Savitar, even after he was erased from existence by his failure to kill Iris West. As such, the Speed Force would destabilize if there was no speedster within the prison, which would result in an inter-dimensional storm of energy that potentially threatened the entire planet if it was not filled. Aside from Savitar, the prison has been inhabited by Wally West, who was tricked into taking Savitar's place within it, Jay Garrick, who willingly took Wally's place, and Barry Allen, who chose to enter it to keep it from destabilizing after Savitar was erased from existence. The prison has been described as "hell" due to the prisoner being isolated and left unable to age or die, while it also forces them through an endless temporal loop of their most painful experience for eternity. This is what drove Savitar mad with a vengeance for Barry Allen and what nearly traumatized Wally West by having him witnessing his mother's death repeatedly.
Despite this, Barry Allen was told by the Speed Force that he would not experience the hell that Wally, Jay, and Savitar went through when it brought him into it.
Six months later, due to the efforts of Team Flash putting a quark sphere in the Speed Force prison to stabilize it to get Barry out, the Speed Force opened a giant portal in downtown Central City, releasing Barry from it, while at the same time exposing twelve people on a nearby city bus to dark matter, turning them into meta-humans.
Barry later entered the Speed Force and removed the quark sphere Team Flash had put in the prison to maintain its balance, creating a Speed Force lightning storm to create nuclear fusion to stop a nuclear explosion on Earth-1. After the lightning storm fulfilled its purpose, Barry threw the quark sphere back into the Speed Force, stabilizing it once again.
Protecting the timeline
The Speed Force is what protects time itself as well as giving speedsters their powers. After Eddie Thawne killed himself in an attempt to erase Eobard Thawne from existence, the Speed Force protected Eobard from complete erasure to prevent time paradoxes by replacing him in several points in history with time remnants of himself. However, when Barry created Flashpoint, the Black Flash was sent to hunt down all traces of Eobard in history in order to match the current timeline. With Eobard on the run, he sought the Spear of Destiny to protect him from being erased and keep the Black Flash off his tail. It is unknown if this happens with anyone of importance that is accidentally erased or just speedsters whose time travel led to their erasure.
Time Wraiths are interdimensional, corpse-like enforcers with the purpose of hunting down speedsters who recklessly alter the timeline without forethought of the consequences, while leaving the more careful ones alone. They are ruthless in searching for these speedsters and can travel through time (and possibly to other dimensions as well) if needed, and will not stop until they do so.
They can quickly overpower most other speedsters by matching them or by siphoning their speed from them. Most prominently, they are able to drain a target's life force through physical contact and age them to death. They can also drag their targets through dimensions, which typically results in them becoming physically degenerated and taking on a Time Wraith's corpse-like appearance while turning their lightning red, as well as some parts of their uniform should they have one on.
One of the most famous speedsters to fall victim to this is Hunter Zolomon, who after his race with the Flash, was taken by the Time Wraiths and went insane, losing his humanity and free will, and his body decayed. Condemned to serve the will of the Speed Force for eternity, he emerged as the Black Flash, a savage, demonic speedster dead set on hunting down Reverse-Flash since the erasure of Flashpoint.
Even though the Speed Force was an inter-dimensional source of energy, it proved to have it's own personality. It took the form of several deceased individuals that Barry Allen knew and was close with, but it usually took the form of Nora Allen. It proved to be affectionate and concerned, but also scolding and angry.
Powers and abilities
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. The Speed Force is also able to have a sentient will, allowing their energy and properties to be given to a worthy user. As the Speed Force is connected to all of time and space throughout the multiverse, and even the Vanishing Point which is located outside of time and space, it has influence over these forces. Speedsters can move at inhuman speeds and perform acts that the human body is too fragile for because using the Speed Force gives those with a connection to it a degree of conscious and unconscious control over forces like inertia, kinetic energy, space, and time. When speedsters use their powers, it's shown that they are enveloped in a kind of aura or space that is partially separate from standard reality or space. Users of the 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 superhuman 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.
- Enhanced longevity: Due to the speedsters' accelerating healing factors, they age much slower than normal humans; for example, Barry Allen a speedster who had to spend 6 months inside the Speed Force, which possibly could have been 10,000 years, he looks exactly the same from the day when he first became the Flash, also in an erased future of the year 2024, Barry who has been the Flash for 10 years, has not visibly aged. However, as time doesn't pass normally in the Speed Force, the weird time stream may have allowed Barry to survive longer in the Speed Force Prison then should have been possible. This decelerated aging may also have to do with a speedster's partial control over time which is one of the aspects the Speed Force is connected to.
- 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 are 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 too 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 aura: Users of the Speed Force can build up a protective aura over time. This ability allows speedsters to withstand large amounts of gravimetric force and protects the environment from the harm caused by high-speed travel. Some users can even build up their aura to be a billion times more powerful than the force of a black hole. This aura also seems to affect kinetic energy and inertia as Barry was able to throw off the Turtle's ability to steal kinetic energy and increase inertia on his victims. This would also explain why speedsters can grab people at high speed without their momentum and kinetic energy ripping people apart or being able to survive impacts with objects moving so fast with only minor injuries.
- 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. This seems to be an ability that the speedster can control as Barry can shift his perceptions down to normal while interacting with regular people but reflexively move to higher levels of perception. This is due to the fact that a speedster's power is drawn from a connection to an external energy field (Speed Force) and can control how much power they draw from that connection rather than being a natural state.
- Enhanced memorizing: It has been stated and demonstrated multiple times that speedsters' accelerated perception highly enhances their ability to memorize, to the point they can recall each of their memories, at exceptional accuracy, without any difficulty.
- 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 fists or bare hands. 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 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.
- Seismokinesis: 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. Savitar possessed intense enough speed and force to cause a small earthquake near him and Trajectory was capable of causing a bridge to fall apart by running back and forth on it repeatedly with great intensity. Barry Allen managed to shake S.T.A.R. Labs when he passed Mach 2 for the first time.
- 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. Savitar's armor, due to its size and mechanized parts, augmented Barry's evil time remnant's base strength enough for him to effortlessly pick up, drag, throw and send people flying 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 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. This is an ability that's tied into their Speed Force aura, a pocket of influence around a speedster that alters the inertia, kinetic energy, time, and space to protect the speedster and allow them to move at high speeds without being injured.
- 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 superhuman 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, as demonstrated by Barry in the Flashpoint timeline, 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. This super speed is a result of being connected to the Speed Force which grants the user partial control over time and space and when a speedster moves there are being accelerated through both time and space to a degree which allows them to move at such extreme speeds without causing devastation to their surrounding (Barry wouldn't be able to quickly enter and leave a building the way he does without his speed field partially displacing him from local reality as moving so fast indoors wouldn't just create a gust of wind but completely tear apart everyone and everything inside). According to Eobard Thawne; most speedsters' speeds are potentially unlimited.
- Speed mirage: 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. They do with by entering the Speed Force which is connected to all of time and space through the multiverse. This allows them to safely navigate the time stream while being protected from temporal alterations. Harrison Wells referred to it as the Speed Force protecting the user like a "bomb shelter" which is what allows Eobard Thawne to exist as a timeline remnant even after his bloodline is erased from 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. Adept users of the Speed Force can also detect when a speedster is time-traveling and can pull the speedster from the Speed Force. This fact led Eobard into creating the Negative Speed Force so he could time-travel undetected by his nemesis, the Flash.
- 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.
- Temporal regression: Both Barry Allen and his daughter Nora West-Allen have the ability to rewind time. While Barry has the ability to shift through time, he can also reverse the flow of time while running at a certain speed, while he remains completely unaffected. Ultimately, he can even grant himself a time do-over, wherein he enters the past and "merges" with his temporal counterpart to be fully immersed in the timeline. Nora is able to reverse time around her while running, remaining completely unaffected, such as when she stopped Barry from destroying the falling S.T.A.R. Labs satellite alone.
- 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 traveling just a few seconds into the past pulls a version of the speedster from a different timeline.
- Time travel awareness: Some users of the Speed Force are able to sense when other speedsters travel through time. Jay Garrick displays this ability when he senses that Barry was in May 2017. Later, Barry itself claims to have this ability as he states that he will be able to sense if Nora travels in time back to 2019. Because of this, in an alternate future, Eobard Thawne created the Negative Speed Force so Barry can't sense him traveling through time.
- 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. Savitar has demonstrated a complete mastery of this ability, to where he can instantly warp to anywhere in Earth-1's Central City. However, it's possible that the reason for this is because, at the time when he was shown to be able to do this, he was trapped in the Speed Force, and subsequently fast enough that he was completely invisible to non-speedsters, even when standing still as the Speed Force bends space and time allowing him to travel further in less time. After tricking Wally into freeing him from the Speed Force prison, he was slower, enough so that he was visible to non-speedsters.
Speedsters may show one or more weaknesses despite their connection to the Speed Force. Whether this hints towards inherent limitations of the 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.
- Antimatter: The formation of an antimatter wall can prevent the Speed Force from extending beyond a specific point in time, or allowing speedsters to physically travel beyond that point, as seen when Barry Allen, in his attempt to travel to the future and witness the Anti-Monitor Crisis, collided with such a wall and was immediately ejected to his native time. This likely occurred since an antimatter wave was set to hit Earth-1 on that future date, destroying its entire universe and rendering all future dates beyond that point nonexistent and inaccessible.
- 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.
- 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 (such as operating in "Flashtime" for too long), they will cease to be speedsters and lose their powers.
- 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 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 nutrience 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 Eobard Thawne was shot with a nanite arrow.
- Negative tachyons: If a speedster has negative tachyons in their system, it slows them down and they are unable to access the Speed Force. Nora used a device pumping negative tachyons into her system, which slowed her down and allowed her to pretend like she is unable to travel back to her proper point in the timeline. However, Team Flash later learned that negative tachyons don't just offset positive ones; they actually siphon positive tachyons, allowing their user to parasitically steal speed from the Speed Force, thereby allowing an individual to access the Negative Speed Force.
- 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.
- Temporal 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, although they often prioritize repeat offenders, as seen when the Time Wraiths captured Zoom for his violations of the Speed Force despite intending to punish Barry for creating a time remnant. Also, as seen when Barry created "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.
- 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 was unable to scale a sheer building wall after getting hit by a vibe-blast.
Speed Force Weaknesses
The Speed Force itself, although a powerful, sentient interdimensional force, still has some weaknesses.
- Nuclear explosion: According to Jay Garrick, if a nuclear bomb was allowed to detonate in the Speed Force, it could potentially destroy that dimension completely. Should that happen, not only would all speedsters throughout space, time and the multiverse instantly lose their powers, but since the Speed Force is such a vital part of the multiverse, the fallout of its destruction could be disastrous.
- Imbalance of energy: An energy overload in the Speed Force can cause it to break down and "die". The energy suffused into Barry Allen by the Spectre during the Anti-Monitor Crisis; was enough to overwhelm the Speed Force, causing it to break down, affecting the powers of all speedsters.
- Barry Allen/The Flash/Savitar
- Edward Clariss/The Rival (deceased)
- Grodd (briefly; while his mind was linked with Barry Allen's)
- Eliza Harmon/Trajectory (artificially; temporarily using Velocity-9; deceased)
- August Heart/Godspeed
- Oliver Queen/The Flash (formerly; temporarily after swapping realities with Barry Allen; deceased)
- Ramsey Rosso/Bloodwork (briefly; while Barry Allen was infected by Ramsey's blood)
- Eobard Thawne/Reverse-Flash (using the Negative Speed Force)
- Iris West-Allen/The Flash (formerly; temporarily after Matthew Kim transferred Barry Allen's speedster DNA into her body)
- Nora West-Allen/XS (erased from existence)
- Wally West/Kid Flash
- "Accelerated Man" (status unknown)
- "Blitzkrieg" (status unknown)
- Barry Allen (status unknown)
- Libby Lawrence (status unknown)
- "Music Meister" (formerly; temporarily after absorbing Barry's powers)
- Danica Williams (status unknown)
DC's Legends of Tomorrow
The Chronicles of Cisco
- A slight difference found in the lightning generated by various speedsters in the Arrowverse is its shape:
- The red lightning produced by Eobard Thawne is notably more serrated, or unstable in form as it flows off of him.
- Barry Allen's yellow lightning is often smoother, with rounder edges.
- Savitar's white lightning was very blade-like, almost like a scimitar in shape, and whenever Savitar opened breaches, a lightning symbol was formed.
- Zoom's blue lightning had a unique shape to it as it flowed off of him, being very straight, with fewer arcs.
- When speedsters run, they produce a sound-effect:
- When Barry runs, it sounds like electricity crackling, and the same was true for Savitar.
- When the Reverse-Flash runs, it sounds like a squeaky helicopter.
- When Zoom ran, it sounded like a high-pitched warp.
- When Eobard showed a speed mirage to Cisco for the first time, it is unknown why he did not emit red electricity. However, when he killed Cisco, red lightning was shown near his hand.
Behind the scenes
- In the DC comics, the Speed Force is an extra-dimensional energy that allows the various Flashes, as well as most other speedsters, to be able to move through time and reality, as well as enhancing their speed and giving them other powers of movement.
- The Speed Force was given the name HyperHaven in .