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Can the Flash use his powers and super speed outside the DC universe?

If the DC speedsters draw their powers from the speed force, and the speed force exists in the DC universe only, does it mean that the speed force is the only source of speed, and they are reliant on the speed force to even run fast, let alone other abilities such as using the infinite mass punch and time travelling?

As an example, a friend of mine was comparing Quicksilver of Marvel to Flash of DC (mainly Barry Allen, but anyone who uses the speed force is applicable), and he said that outside the DC universe, say in the Marvel Universe, Flash would be powerless with the non-existence of the speed force, and he wouldn’t even be able to run fast.

Is this true?

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    what other universe would he be in? – phantom42 Oct 4 '15 at 14:43
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    I have a strong suspicion this isn't answerable, it's close but not quite "Gorilla vs. Shark". But The Flash himself doesn't exist outside the DC universe, so of course he can't use his powers? – KutuluMike Oct 4 '15 at 14:44
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    @MikeEdenfield Marvel universe say, like in a crossover, where Flash goes to marvel universe to fight, say, Quicksilver. Then what? – CorvetteAB Oct 4 '15 at 14:47
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    in that case, the marvel universe becomes part of the DC universe... you should probably rephrase your question to specify that you're asking about marvel/dc crossover, and also be careful of Gorilla vs. Shark – KutuluMike Oct 4 '15 at 14:49
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    @RobertColumbia technically, there have been Marvel/DC crossovers. While I don't remember Flash in them (but Quicksilver was, so maybe Flash as well), the situation could be encountered, IMO. Voted to leave open. – Jenayah May 1 at 19:31
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The short answer is "he very well might lose his power". The longer answer requires understanding how DC structures their comic book stories, so buckle up.


The terminology is a bit confusing here, because Marvel and DC don't have "universes", they have "multi-verses". Since you're specifically asking about "in another universe", it's important to make that distinction.

The "DC Universe" is not one universe. It's actually a multi-verse, consisting of many different universe with their own separate histories, characters, etc. The Flash from one DC universe (e.g. "Earth One" or "New Earth", depending on what year is it) can travel to a different DC universe within the Multiverse with no problem. In fact, Flash is somewhat unique in this regard, as the Speed Force is often cited as the key element of the multiverse that ties such things together. Thus, if you're using universe in the sense of "the entirety of space and time in a particular physical reality", then Flash can go to all kinds of universes, and be just fine.

However, DC also has the concept of multiple multiverses, which is usually called "The omniverse". The Marvel multiverse exists within this omniverse, and on very rare occasions, DC characters can go there as well. However, there's some things to keep in mind here:

  • Marvel's multiverse consists of a lot of universes, each with their own rules. You can't necessarily apply what happens in one universe to the others.
  • The Marvel multiverse is now officially "part of" the DC omniverse. By definition, anywhere a DC character ends up becomes part of the DC omniverse. Thus, in the sense that the average person uses the word "universe" to mean "everything that could ever possibly exist", it's not really correct to say that Flash can ever be outside of the DC universe.
  • Most Importantly, these crossovers are almost always non-canon -- as far as the primary history of DC's characters is concerned, they never happened. Thus, you have to be very careful not to make any generalization about them; the next author to do a Marvel/DC crossover could very well ignore any previous crossover stories, and make up her own rules.

Having said all that, one of the most popular DC/Marvel crossover events was the "Avengers/JLA" crossover from 2003. In that series, the JLA from DC's main New Earth were pitted against the Avengers from Marvel's main Earth-616 as part of a pan-multiverse game between two really powerful entities.

Flash was able to travel to Earth-616 in person, but once there he found that there was no Speed Force, and so he lost his powers. Eventually he is pulled back into his universe. Quicksilver, on the other hand, has no problem using his super-speed on New Earth -- though he does lose the fight w/ The Flash in that setup.

So, yes, it is true that in at least one case where The Flash found himself in a universe that is not part of DC's usual multiverse, there was no Speed Force and he lost his powers.

  • Relevant source: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DC_vs._Marvel – AncientSwordRage Oct 4 '15 at 16:45
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    Actually, that's a different crossover, and AFAIK Flash never lost his speed there. The one I was referring to is dc.wikia.com/wiki/JLA/Avengers – KutuluMike Oct 4 '15 at 21:48
  • @MikeEdenfield So you are telling me, by that last part of flash having lost his powers, that despite flash having lost his powers, he won against quicksilver, how? Does flash still have his speed, but loses all his speed force related powers like IMP or time travel or other things speed force specific? Also, by your analogy, the Dc multiverse can be a part of the Marvel omniverse, if marvel can also be considered to have a omniverse? – CorvetteAB Oct 10 '15 at 18:30
  • no, you misunderstood. He lost his powers and was forced back to New Earth; Quicksilver fought him on DC territory and lost. – KutuluMike Oct 10 '15 at 18:54
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Well...I can give one sort-of example where Barry Allen traveled to the Marvel Universe and did indeed retain his speed. How canonical you want to consider it is up to you. But, arguably, according to Marvel he absolutely kept it. How DC felt about it is another matter entirely.

Also, Flash did retain his speed during Marvel VS DC when he did indeed beat out Quicksilver.

  • does Marvel vs. DC technically take place in either Earth-616 or New Earth? I got the impression even in Vol 2 (where flash appears) that the universe were starting to merge together but I'm not entirely sure... – KutuluMike Oct 5 '15 at 18:03
  • I was under the impression that before the Merge, the heroes were transported between universes for their fights, but the universes weren't merging yet. We started getting some wonkiness with this with Parker working for the Planet, admittedly, where nowhere else that I recall do we see any type of merging. That said, there's no indication about whether Quicksilver teleported to Flash, or Flash teleported to Quicksilver. Either way, they raced and Flash won. – Broklynite Oct 9 '15 at 23:43
  • yeah I only read someone else's copy when i came out so I can't check but I remember something about people from -616 suddenly finding themselves in Gotham? – KutuluMike Oct 10 '15 at 0:04
  • In the beginning, a villain is transported to Gotham and Batman bags them. I can't remember whom off the top of my head, I have to check my copy. – Broklynite Oct 10 '15 at 1:26
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The answer is YES. He would still have his powers.
Bart Allen aka Impulse, Barry Allen's relative from the future who is also a speedster was missing running through the speed force. Once he comes back out of the speed force he says,

"Crazy day, even for me. One minute I'm running to Canada to join Alpha--Oh Man."

Clearly Impulse was running and jumped into the Marvel Universe and was intending to join the most well know Marvel Universe Canadian superhero team, Alpha Flight. Wolverine has been apart of Alpha Flight along with several others.

Link to article on it.

Now, whether he was faster than Quicksilver, it doesn't say.

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