- "Zoom never stole your speed. This is what's making you sick. Velocity-6 is killing you."
- —Dr. Caitlin Snow realizing the cause of "Jay Garrick's" disease[src]
Velocity is a series of drugs that allows temporary access to the Speed Force. Initially developed by Hunter Zolomon and then by Dr. Harry Wells as Velocity 6, the current version of the drug (Velocity 9) was created by Dr. Caitlin Snow. Despite its benefits, this drug is also very dangerous, as it causes cellular degeneration and eventually death. In addition, subjects of the serum have demonstrated mental instability or disorder, such as the split personality Eliza Harmon developed.
Wells first started to develop a speed-enhancing drug after Zoom appeared on his Earth, and it was meant to aid "Jay Garrick" in his struggles against the super-villain Zoom. However, the first five attempts (Velocity 1 to 5) were failures. A version of the drug, created by "Jay", seemingly caused the loss of his powers, as well as his cellular degenerative disease. In reality, "Jay" had in fact increased his speed, but at the cost of cell degeneration, forcing him to seek new, untainted sources of the Speed Force.
The drug was first mentioned by Harrison "Harry" Wells after he had traveled to Earth-1 and joined Team Flash. He explained its history to Caitlin Snow. She helped him create a successful version of the drug with her expertise in biochemistry. They produced the sixth version of the drug by adding sodium chlorate, as the drug needed an extra release of oxygen to function.
Though initially appearing reluctant to use the Velocity 6, "Jay" took the drug in order to save Wells after he had been shot by Patty Spivot. When Wells later thanked "Jay" for saving his life, the speedster however told him to keep the drug away from Barry.
When Barry had traveled to Earth-Two, Central City was attacked by Geomancer, and "Jay Garrick" had to take Velocity 7 to stop him. Due to the new serum's short-lived effects, Caitlin made Velocity 8, but was forced to update the formula due to the problems with Velocity 8. Velocity 9 was the first version of the compound to seemingly cause no side-effects, and it also triggered "Jay"'s latent regenerative abilities, temporarily stopping his cellular degeneration. Velocity 9 lasted long enough for "Jay" to save the day in Barry's absence.
During Velocity 9's development, Caitlin had asked Eliza Harmon for help, as she was having trouble with the synthesis. She sent information on 3 of the 8 components to Eliza. Eliza reverse engineered the drug, and used it to gain super-speed. The drug caused Eliza to develop an immoral split personality which became Trajectory, as well as an addiction to the drug which manifested as the voice of Trajectory in Eliza's head. At Star Labs, Trajectory held Caitlin, Cisco, Harrison and Jesse hostage in order to obtain more Velocity 9. She injected Jesse Wells with Velocity 9. This was to ensure the drug worked and wasn't a trick but, Jesse was injected with too much and began to experience an overdose. Jesse's father, Harry, saved her life by undergoing a blood transfusion to flush the drug from her system.
As Trajectory's body disintegrated, due to accelerated cellular degeneration as a result of not having a natural connection to the Speed Force, her lightning turned blue. This, coupled with knowledge about "Jay's" illness, led the team to deduce that Zoom had taken the Velocity drug and was dying, leading to the discovery of Zoom's secret identity as Hunter Zolomon, who masqueraded as both Zoom and "Jay Garrick" all along to increase and then steal Barry Allen's speed, curing himself from cell degeneration.
At some point, Cisco created Velocity X and hid vials of it inside of the pinball machine. When Barry's speed healing was disabled after being infected by Ramsey Rosso, Cisco ran off to get a vial of Velocity X and injected Barry with it to bolster the Speed Force within him in an attempt to help the Speed Force fight for control of Barry against Russo's infection. This version of the drug has shown no side effects in Barry but was presumably kept secret from him due to it being untested and therefore still dangerous to use until it became Team Flash's only option to save him from Ramsey.
In 2049, August Heart presumably recreates the Velocity 9 serum and uses it to steal chemicals while known as Godspeed, artificially becoming a speedster. He wanted to create a Velocity serum that can last forever so he also wanted a stabilizing agent however, he was stopped by Nora West-Allen with help from Eobard Thawne. August used tachyons with the Velocity 9 which made his lightning white, and was one ingredient short, a binding agent, of creating a permanent Velocity serum that would last forever and not wear off.
CharacteristicsThe drug temporarily increases the user's speed beyond normal limits and this speed far exceeds the speed of the Flash at Mach 2.2. The drug has several side-effects, a highly addictive drug, it causes rapid cellular degeneration, in one case, the user developed a psychotic second personality that caused her to commit criminal acts. At some point, the drug causes the lightning generated by a speedster to turn from the usual yellow into blue, also, as seen with Hunter, users of this drug can make their voice sound monstrous and can turn their eyes black.
Certain versions of the drug had more problems, "Jay Garrick's" version of Velocity 6 caused him to lose his connection to the Speed Force and the cellular degeneration he had suffered was slowly killing him, Velocity 7 granted super-speed for too short a time, Velocity 8 had numerous kinks, which led to the immediate development of Velocity 9. While Velocity 9 initially seemed to cure the damage caused by the previous versions by also amplifying one's healing powers, it only delayed the symptoms caused by Velocity 6 (though apparently do not have any degenerative side effects of it's own).
Because Zoom lived a long time with blue lighting, but Eliza lived for only a few seconds with blue lighting, it's implied that a natural connection to the Speed Force is able to slow down the cellular deterioration caused by the serum.
In 2049, August Heart was stealing chemicals as Godspeed in order to make his own Velocity 9, the chemicals he stole include benzene methanol, carbon disulfide and dioxygen difluoride which create the base for the speed drug, a stabilizing agent was all that he needed to make the drug's effects last forever, it is presumed that he also stole sodium chlorate, the most important component of Velocity 9 due to the large quantity of oxygen it releases, August's version of the drug coupled with tachyons made the blue lighting generated from the serum turn white. Whether he found a way to stop the cellular degeneration that the drug causes is unknown.
Users of the drug are vulnerable to radio waves. In 2049, when Godspeed fought Nora West-Allen, she used this fact to stop the villainous speedster. Radio waves disrupt the bonds that hold the V-9 together, causing it to break down very quickly and strip the user of their powers instantly.
- Barry Allen/The Flash/Dark Flash
- Eliza Harmon/Trajectory (deceased)
- August Heart/Godspeed
- Jesse Wells (unwillingly; formerly)
- Hunter Zolomon/The Flash/Zoom (formerly; deceased)
Behind the scenes
- In the DC comics, Velocity 9 was a drug created by Vandal Savage that granted a temporary speed enhancement. It was sold in the illegal drug trade. It too had severe side-effects.