We see a lot of information about both of them, but is there a specific speed that each one can reach? I'm trying to figure out the current speed of each one, in the current comics line.


6 Answers 6


In terms of pure speed, in their respective universes, the Flash (Barry Allen) is faster, by far, than Quicksilver.

When Marvel and DC have had crossovers between Universes, Quicksilver's powers remained constant due to their mutant origins (which presupposes his body has been organically adapted for the use of superhuman speed) while the Flash's speed is an aspect of an external power which he may not have access to in the Marvel Universe.

  • With great effort, the Flash may reach the speed of light, in atmosphere, without deleterious environmental effects! Quicksilver has been seen at a top speed of four or five times the speed of sound (Mach 4 or 5). This level of speed for Quicksilver is new. He used to max out at Mach 1.

  • Since crossover events are exceedingly rare, it is safe to assume that if you were comparing their speeds, the Flash is consistently faster than Quicksilver, though operationally speaking both could be consider comparable since their feats tend to be done at the same overall speed.

  • Generally speaking, the Flashes of the previous DC Universe continuity were far faster than almost anyone else in their universe with superspeed because they are able to channel a temporal phenomenon called the Speed Force. Other speedsters haven't had as pure a connection and as a result are only a fraction as fast. See: Johnny Quick, Jesse Quick (Chambers), Max Mercury

  • In the New52 universe, Barry Allen appears to be the only Flash on Prime Earth with a connection to the Speed Force. The renewed Jay Garrick on Earth 2 is now receiving his power from the god Mercury and does not (as far as we currently know) utilize Speed Force energies. There was a version of the Flash on Earth 3 called Johnny Quick whose powers were the same as the Flash's of Prime Earth. He is now deceased.

UPDATE: To answer a question regarding both of these speedster's thinking capacities:

  • Both have shown they are able to use their minds faster than an ordinary human. Given their need to have increased perception abilities to handle their bodies moving far faster than any ordinary human's.

  • If they were unable to speed their cognitive abilities they would likely die once they were moving faster than about two hundred miles an hour because they would be limited by their human reflex time.

  • There is already a question here answering Barry Allen's (The Flash) ability to think at superhuman speed. Given Barry's far greater speed, he would also likely need to be able to think at a far faster rate than Quicksilver. Baring that, he would at least need a reaction time far greater than Quicksilver's in order to control his much higher top speeds. See: Can The Flash See the Future Now?

  • 8
    "With great effort, the Flash may reach the speed of light, in atmosphere, without deleterious environmental effects!" Heh, without... you know... like... destroying the entire planet. Plus, he'd escape the gravity of the Milky Way, not to mention the Sun and Earth, by simply running in a straight line of any direction. If he ran straight towards a rising or setting sun, I wonder if he'd have enough mass and velocity to destroy it.
    – Ellesedil
    Sep 12, 2014 at 5:40
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    @Ellesedil In our Earth macroscopic massive objects (like a person) can't achieve speed of light because it would require infinite amount of energy so I would assume that he effectively would destroy anything if he reaches speed of light.
    – Averroes
    Sep 12, 2014 at 7:14
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    @Ellesedil mandatory xkcd reference Sep 12, 2014 at 13:05
  • I'm not a follower of the series but did do a quick read of the relevant wikis. Is there one area in which Quicksilver is potentially faster ? He can think at superhuman speeds. Does Barry also have such ability or is his restricted to physical body movement ?
    – Stan
    Sep 12, 2014 at 18:00
  • @Stan: Hardly. Flash (all of them, essentially) is connected at a biological level to the energy field that permits physics to exist, and that lets him tell it when to sit down and shut up. Quicksilver has a few neat biological tricks. It's like comparing a modern PC to the Apollo 11 computers. Sure, they're both awesome and can do more and faster than a normal person...but one is strictly better.
    – Jeff
    Nov 10, 2014 at 21:31

Depends on the universe. In DC, Flash can beat the speed of light while Quicksilver tops out at Mach 4. However, in the crossover events, we've learned that Flash cannot access the speed force in the Marvel universe and cannot go faster than Mach 1 while Quicksilver has the same speed in either universe. Source


The below image is a common image macro / meme used to address Flash's reaction time and speed. It is taken from the post-Crisis pre-New52 era Superman story arc "Grounded" (part 7, Superman Vol. 1 No. 709) wherein Superman walks across America reflecting on his relation to it and, at one point, asks Flash (Barry Allen) about what he sees.

vulgar meme

There is no explicit proof that such continuity is preserved in the current line except for Grant Morrison's Multiversity project and his position that: “People have this idea of canon, but there is no canon,” he says. “To me, it’s all real. Every comic you ever read is real.” Arguably a philosophical position, but distinguishable as he is an architect of the DCU with the ability to actively shape its continuity.

Nonetheless, it is instructive in the creator's perception as to the magnitude of Flash's speed as conceived of by J. Michael Straczynski, written by Chris Roberson, and vetted by Eddie Berganza. Such sentiments have carried into the New 52 with feats such as these:

enter image description here

By comparison, Quicksilver is generally perceived as a super-sonic, rather tha super-luminal, speedster. The most notable exception is when exposed to the Terrigen Mists which enabled him to time travel and create temporal duplicates of himself. However, the ability took a severe toll on him and such abilities are commonplace to the Flash family.

Impluse (Bart Allen) similarly had temporal duplicates and several iterations of the Flash and members of the Flash family can time travel. Thus, Flash is consistently portrayed as faster by an order of several magnitudes.


Which flash are we talking about?

The Barry Allen flash is technically the fastest thing in both universes[1].

In terms of his max speed, he can "run faster than the speed of thought"[2](which is a really weird way of saying hes infinitely fast).

  • I had not known about the "Buried Alien" universe transplant character. Huh.
    – FuzzyBoots
    Sep 12, 2014 at 17:51
  • How does this add anything new that's not already addressed in existing posted answers ? And is 'faster than the speed of thought' really intended to be 'infinitely fast' ? Something that is infinitely fast can be everywhere at once.
    – Stan
    Sep 12, 2014 at 17:55
  • +1 just for the Buried Alien thing. That threw me for a loop back in the day... Sep 12, 2014 at 19:27
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    @Stan The other answers claimed the flash had a Marvel universe top speed of Mach 1. This is inconsistent with his Buried Alien incarnation. As for being infinitely fast, the flash once ran so fast that he went back in time and won a race against himself (Can the flash run so fast that even he can't outrun himself?). The flash is well understood to be the most powerful DC character by a huge margin.
    – DiscOH
    Sep 12, 2014 at 19:56
  • Buried Alien is not Barry Allen. Marvel made a nod to the Flash during the period when Barry Allen was "dead" but it was never OFFICIALLY said to be Barry Allen (hence his moniker of Buried Alien). In their OFFICIAL interactions, Barry does not have his Speed Force powers when he is in the Marvel Universe. Sep 12, 2014 at 21:56

Flash (BARRY ALLAN) In Flash #150, "straining every muscle," he ran at ten times the speed of light. And lets see this pic - Death of THE FLASH Death of THE FLASH


full size of pic: http://img4.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20121005105640/marvel_dc/images/5/57/Flash_0050.jpg

  • It might be worth cropping out the extra (unneeded) panels and just showing the ones that highlight your point.
    – Valorum
    Nov 26, 2014 at 10:36
  • This is definitely helpful, but without a comparison of Quicksilver's maximum speed, it's an incomplete answer.
    – phantom42
    Nov 26, 2014 at 11:47
  • Ok something about QuickSilver - Quicksilver is a mutant capable of moving and thinking at superhuman speeds. Originally capable of running at the speed of sound; exposure to the High Evolutionary's Isotope E made it possible for the character to run at supersonic speeds of up to Mach 10 and resist the effects of friction, reduced oxygen, and kinetic impact while moving at super-speeds.
    – C14rk
    Nov 27, 2014 at 9:13

To me[Personally] on the comics[and episode 6] The flash made a sonic boom punch[Cisco was fascinated] and the only way to do that is to run faster than the speed of sound and if I am wrong,they say "The Flash" is the fastest man alive,so I would have to say by a landslide,"The Flash" is Faster than "Quicksilver".Of course, the Dc Universe and Marvel Comics Have never collided to make the ultimate race between "The Flash" and Quicksilver so this is just my opinion.

P.s[The Flash Has not reached his full potential yet so I think Flash would win]

  • 1
    Welcome to SFF.SE. Just a heads-up -- we try to reserve opinions for comments and use facts for answers.
    – Null
    Nov 20, 2014 at 5:21
  • Also, as covered in the above answers, they have had crossover events...
    – FuzzyBoots
    Nov 20, 2014 at 14:48

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