Is Flash From DC or Marvel? How Fast is the Flash? The Flash (Bartholomew Henry “Barry” Allen) is a superhero appearing in American comic books published by DC Comics. He is the second character known as the Flash, following Jay Garrick. The character first appeared in Showcase #4 (October 1956), created by writer Robert Kanigher and penciler Carmine Infantino.
Like other heroes who go by The Flash, Barry is a “speedster”, with powers that derive mainly from his superhuman speed. He wears a distinct red and gold costume treated to resist friction and wind, traditionally storing the costume compressed inside a ring.
Originally created as a reimagining of the popular 1940s superhero The Flash (Jay Garrick), the success of Barry Allen’s Flash comic book helped to bring about the Silver Age of Comic Books, and contributed to a large growth in DC Comics’ stable of science fiction comics and characters. During popular early volumes as the Flash, Barry established his own Rogues Gallery of colourful villains and sci-fi concepts like the Speed Force. Through crossovers with popular characters like Superman, Wonder Woman, and Batman, Barry Allen’s Flash also helped establish DC’s flagship Justice League title, whose success would define its publishing strategy for decades to come.
Is Flash From DC or Marvel?
The Flash’s bizarre foray into the Marvel Universe almost became canon to the DC Universe. Barry Allen’s time as “Buried Alien” was nearly recreated when the Fastest Man Alive lost his memory after a trip through the Speed Force.
During the epic event comic Crisis on Infinite Earths, the Flash made a sacrifice few heroes would be capable of. After being kidnapped by the Anti-Monitor, the Scarlet Speedster escaped just in time to stop the villain from launching an antimatter canon at the Earths that remained from the multiversal extermination. Barry ran around the machine so fast, he disappeared into the Speed Force for years and wouldn’t return until decades later.
In a nod to the Flash, a hero appeared in the pages of Marvel’s Quasar after the event’s publication: A speedster who wore red and yellow, who couldn’t remember his name other than it sounded like “Buried Alien”.
Obviously, that was just Marvel having a bit of fun with their main competitor. But interestingly enough DC almost followed in Marvel’s steps by having Barry lose all of his memories. In The Flash #9 by Francis Manapul and Brian Buccelatto. the Flash finds himself in Gorilla City after being briefly trapped in the Speed Force. Having wound up in a city of talking apes, Barry expresses confusion at his predicament before trying to hightail it out of there.
However, he’s captured by the village’s leader, Grodd before several apes recognize the Flash’s symbol from one of their legends. After inquiring his name, Barry simply can’t recall who he was. The residents of Gorilla City attempt to convince Barry that he is the Runner, a legendary figure endowed with amazing speed, though Flash just doesn’t have the wherewithal to dispute or agree with them.
Not as dramatic as The Flash’s secret visit to the Marvel Universe, but there’s more than a few similarities. Both Buried Alien and Barry Allen escaped the Speed Force only to wind up in completely different dimensions. Buried Alien took on the hero name Fastforward in place of his own identity while the residents of Gorilla City attempted to give Barry the Runner moniker. Obviously the Flash never canonically went to the Marvel Universe, but this was the closest DC ever came to replicating that event.
To be fair, amnesia isn’t an uncommon storytelling device. The Silver Age is positively rife with stories where heroes temporarily lose their memories. But Flash popping up in Marvel Comics and having it justified with memory loss is an interesting factoid from the hero’s history. And, of course, DC isn’t going to acknowledge that experience in canon. But this little event in the pages of The Flash seems to follow similar beats as the Quasar story, even if unintentionally. While the Flash is never going to be a Marvel hero, DC showed how their rivals’ story could have gone if they were the ones to publish it.
How Fast is the Flash?
Let me start with the scene where the Flash races an arrow. I am pretty sure that dude shooting an arrow is The Green Arrow. Pretty sure.
When the arrow is launched, it travels about 1.5 meters (just guessing) in three frames (that’s 0.083 seconds). This gives the arrow an initial speed of 18 m/s (40 mph). That doesn’t seem very fast for an arrow. Typical arrow speeds are around 100 m/s – but I will continue.
Next, the Flash (or is it just “Flash”?) zooms by Green Arrow after a time delay of 1.377 seconds. The arrow finally reaches it’s target (or almost) at a time of 2.67 seconds after launch. If the arrow is traveling at a constant speed of 18 m/s, then I can find the distance to the target.
If Flash is going to just get to the target before the arrow, he would have to travel the same distance but in only 1.29 seconds. This gives him a minimum speed of 37 m/s (82 mph). Not very impressive. But maybe he just didn’t want to show off too much. Maybe he was only running at half speed. That would give Flash a running speed of 74 m/s. No matter what you do, I don’t think you could claim a speed over 100 m/s in this case. And yes, I know. That is just how fast he is running. He could be going slower on purpose. Didn’t I already say that?
The Flash Needs To Do More than Copy Marvel’s Multiverse
In November 2022 the long-delayed full-length version of The Flash is finally coming to theaters starring Ezra Miller reprising his role as Barry Allen. In development in one way or another since 2004, the cinematic journey of The Flash certainly hasn’t been an easy one with directors and writers coming and going and multiple delays for numerous reasons. Now with DC taking time to fully develop a cinematic universe in the same way Marvel has, the scarlet speedster’s solo feature is finally seeing the light of day.
However, from what has been shown of the films’ plot so far there could be trouble ahead. As with any Flash adaptation, the film is following the Flashpoint storyline from the comics.
Time travel, multiple timelines, and multiverses are all plot points and the few bits of footage released have shown looks at multiple Barry Allens, Michael Keaton as Batman, and talk of traveling to any universe or timeline. The problem is, Marvel has already beat DC to the punch when it comes to multiverses.
There is no denying that Flashpoint is a hugely important storyline in DC Comics. It changed the whole trajectory of multiple heroes’ lives. In the hugely popular CW television adaptation of The Flash, the storyline was tackled in season 3 of the show and had a resounding ripple effect on other shows and characters in the Arrowverse. The event caused relationships to be altered, people to be erased and splintered the multiverse.
Now with Flashpoint on the way in the DCEU, how can it differentiate itself from what is going on in the MCU? Marvel has been setting up multiverses in both its television shows and movies. Loki, WandaVision, Spider-Man: No Way Home, and upcoming Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness have all been creating a thread focusing on multiverse theory and travel and the repercussions that come along with meddling with reality. Things look like they are going to come to a head in Multiverse of Madness as Doctor Strange deals with the consequences of the timeline-altering spell he performed for Peter Parker in Spider-Man: No Way Home.
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