Is the Speed Force, in the world of the Flash, the source of all movement and acceleration in the universe? In the same sense that I'm using the force of gravity to drop a ball, am I tapping into the Speed Force when I drive my car?

Or is the Speed Force just a special something that super-speed characters can tap into, more like wizards tapping into the energy of the universe while non-wizards simply don't?

1 Answer 1


The Speed Force was the extra-dimensional energy that once powered all of the Flash's superhuman abilities. It is not like gravity or any other fundamental electromagnetic phenomenon. It's origin is likely the same as most superhuman abilities found in the DC Universe, a byproduct of the mysterious omni-energy known as The Source/The Godwave.

several speedsters including Wally West

  • The Speed Force is also seen as a physical space to which speedsters can travel. Max Mercury traveled through time as a result of his efforts to enter the Speed Force and ended up several decades into the future every time he made an attempt.

  • Bart Allen could control the Speed Force and could "commune" with the spirits in the Speed Force through meditation. When speedsters die, they become one with the Speed Force, as it is an afterlife for them. Max Mercury's own spirit is trapped inside following his possession by The Rival.

  • The ability to access the Speed Force has been limited to only a few individuals in the DC Universe and when DC characters travel to the Marvel Universe, they are unable to access the Speed Force.

  • The Speed Force has most often been discovered or accessed by accident as in the hard-water radiation accident which gave the Golden Age Flash, Jay Garrick, his powers. (Pre-Crisis)

  • Barry Allen and Wally West acquired their powers from an accident in a laboratory (later retconned to be Barry traveling through time to give his powers to himself) (Pre-Crisis)

  • Bart Allen acquired his ability to access the Speed Force genetically, but had to be subjected to experimentation to prevent his power from hyper-accelerating him into old age.

  • Professor Zoom/The Reverse Flash was able to, using technology, recreate the ability to access the Speed Force in the distant future.

  • Others have had unique origins or specialized technologies or powers which gave them limited access to the Speed Force and the powers therein.

Please Note: The Speed Force concept has been altered, remixed, rehashed and rewritten over the thirty years it has been in use. It has not been clearly defined to exist in the DCnU, and if it does, its parameters have not been specified. All references are from the Pre-Crisis, Post-Crisis, and Zero Hour continuities. The DCnU Multiverse is not included.

  • Excellent explanation! I miss the days of Wally West and the Speed Force... -huff- Mar 29, 2014 at 2:36
  • Bart Allen and meditation - two things that go together like orange juice and toothpaste.
    – RDFozz
    Oct 25, 2018 at 17:13

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