In DC comics, speedsters play a pretty big part, with Flash being one of the better known heroes.

Speedster powers are impressive and formidable, which is partly why Flash is such a prominent hero.

Since Marvel has the equivalent of a speedster in Quicksilver, why is he not as prominent in the Marvel universe as Flash is in the DC universe?

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    "Speedster powers are impressive and formidable" - well, yes, but only because DC writers made them up to be so. "How can we create a reality-threatening event to allow us to reboot our universe and thus boost sales?" "Make the Flash vibrate his atoms really quickly or something?" "Works for me, where shall we go for lunch?" – Paul D. Waite Jan 28 '13 at 16:19
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    And regarding Quicksilver’s prominence, Aaron Taylor-Johnson may look to change that. – Paul D. Waite Mar 28 '14 at 15:30
  • Depends on the age of who you ask and when they got interested in anything cartoon/comics/X-Men/Marvel. I've known this version of Quicksilver as long as I knew anything Marvel, and I think that was before I knew who Batman was. – Izkata Aug 15 '14 at 3:37
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    The earliest Marvel speedster I can track down is called "the Whizzer", who debuted in 1941, and evidently derived his powers from a transfusion of mongoose blood. With such a profoundly risible name and origin, later editors probably wanted to avoid reminding anyone of his existence, thus avoiding the inevitable ridicule. – Doug Warren Oct 22 '15 at 14:27

The Flash was invented in 1940. Quicksilver was invented in 1964. As the son of Magneto, Quicksilver was more of a sidekick / second class character to the comics. It is also impossible to believe that Quicksilver wasn't partially inspired by the Flash. Given that the comic industry already had a well established speedster to follow (The Flash) there likely wasn't much appeal to a new character with the same powers.

Why aren't speedsters more common or popular in general? It may be due to the challenges of making them interesting to the reader:

"Speedsters make me nervous, because if you play them accurately, they're impossible to beat...The moment someone sees him coming, it's too late. You shout, "It's the Flash!" and you haven't even got "It's" out before you're done...I could deal with Impulse because he was easily distracted." - Peter David (Young Justice)

There are also scientific challenges (Wikipedia Speedster):

The use of speedsters in fiction requires artistic license due to the laws of physics that would prohibit such abilities. Moving at the speed of sound, for example, would create sonic booms that are usually not heard in such stories. An enormous amount of energy would be required to sustain such speeds, and as some speedsters can actually move close to or at the speed of light, this would cause them to gain near-infinite energy, according to the laws of relativity.

In addition to Quicksilver there are other super fast meta-humans in the Marvel universe, they are just even less well known. Taken from the Marvel.com/Universe/

This list is not meant to be definitive, but rather an example to show that Quicksilver is not the sole speedster running around the Marvel universe.


I would say two reasons.

1) Marvel has a tendency to be grounded more in reality (real locations, attempts at realistic explanations). For example "running around the earth backwards really fast to turn back time" wouldn't work for most Marvel fans.

2) Marvel has a prevalence of teleporters. IIRC DC doesn't have many people who can outright teleport. Thus in a world where I can instantly travel through a rift in hell, who cares if I can run fast?

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    I don't read comics, but surely "realistic explanations" and "prevalence of teleporters" are a bit of a contradiction? – Daniel Roseman Mar 7 '12 at 9:15
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    Not really. Marvel tends to have some actual science (or pseudo-science) to back up the powers their characters have. Whereas DC tends to have magical or alien origins to explain their characters powers. – Kevin Howell Mar 7 '12 at 15:43
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    I did not say it WAS scientific, only that it attempts more to be grounded in reality then DC, this is a comparison not an absolute. – Ashterothi Mar 7 '12 at 17:22
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    @KevinHowell I've always thought DC was more realistic. Aliens with different abilities seem far more realistic to me than mutants having the powers they do. – Julie B Mar 12 '12 at 21:48
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    @KevinHowell I find the generalization Marvel = pseudoscience vs. DC = Magic/aliens really tenuous. Dr. Strange, The Silver Surfer, Venom… And on DC side look at Batman and Green Arrow. Their powers are purely mundane technology and training. – ghoppe Mar 30 '12 at 18:37

Marvel also tends to underpower their characters compared to DC. like Batman (big fan, favorite comic character) never being able to get hit because of years of training or Superman being completely and utterly indistructable. In comparison, Spiderman is pretty much "heightened body functions" with "spider sense" and wall-climbing or Cyclops who can only shoot optic blasts out of his eyes (I do not know too much about Cyclops).


The Flash is the most popular speedster. When you try to make a hero as or more popular then him, it's really hard to do. The Flash also is way to OP for Marvel to make something similar. With the power used correctly, the Flash pretty much has infinite power. DC has no use for another super hero speedster, it doesn't make sense. Another DC hero speedster wouldn't make it far at all.


I don't know about speedsters but as I see it marvel tries to be accurate to the premises of the hero powers in a world that apparently works like ours to some extent.Even if this is something too general,they try to at least make characters that make sense and the powers are tangible and measurable.Sure there are times when this does not apply and I call it bad writing,unless the omnipotent being fits to the stories.The little I know about dc though tells me a different story.Vague divine powers that contradict the plots,beings with limitless/vague/ potential that could end the plot in one or two frames,and too much iconic stuff.Too iconic to be sci fi or superheroing for me.And too wannabe serious to be purely surreal.

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