I was recently watching the mid-season finale of The Flash, and one notable event in that episode is that...

...Wells gets the crap kicked out of him by the Reverse Flash, and then ultimately reveals that he (maybe? possibly?) IS the Reverse Flash.

It's an awesome moment, but then I had a confusing thought:

We've been told again and again that Barry heals incredibly fast, so it's safe to assume the Reverse Flash does as well.

But given that,

...if Wells is the Reverse Flash, it's unlikely that the gang, especially Caitlin Snow the biologist, would fail to notice him healing more rapidly than normal. This means that either, A) Wells is not the Reverse Flash, or B) he has some way of slowing his healing down to normal levels.

This, of course, is impossible to determine on the show at this point, so I'm not even going to ask. But it raises the question: can the Flash turn his powers off? If he needed to not heal rapidly, such as to keep from giving away his identity, could he? If he was threatened with starvation, could he slow down his metabolism to normal human levels? Could he go even slower than normal human levels?

I'm fairly confident we haven't seen Barry deliberately slow down on the show, but is that something the Flash can do in other media? Or if not, is there some established way for him to hide his powers, equivalent to Superman using careful, precision control of his muscles to keep from breaking an attacker's hand if he's gut-punched as Clark Kent?

  • Thaddeus sort of answered this one here. Basically, Reverse-Flash doesn't actually have powers, but uses his suit to fake them Dec 19, 2014 at 1:25
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    That addresses the thought process about the Reverse Flash that led me to the question, but it doesn't address whether the Flash can turn off his powers, which is what the question is actually about.
    – Nerrolken
    Dec 19, 2014 at 1:30
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    @JasonBaker "Later versions of the character had different origins which did not create an empowered suit." He also said seems to. Until they show how Wells does what he does its speculative.
    – user16696
    Dec 21, 2014 at 2:21

1 Answer 1


The Flash's powers are normally under his control but things like regeneration are going to happen automatically whether Barry thinks of it or not.

  • However, if Wells was the Reverse Flash and wasn't wearing the suit, he would not have access to the regeneration aspects of the Flash powers...since he wasn't wearing the suit.

  • This would be a nice dodge since no one would think the Reverse Flash would be using technology to create his powers.

  • But Barry's powers (such as accelerated regeneration, metabolism, etc) cannot be stopped, even if he wants to?
    – Nerrolken
    Dec 19, 2014 at 16:55
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    Not as much as we have ever been told. When Wally West's powers were being broken down and analyzed back in the 90's we were led to believe the Flash can control his powers but not his metabolism. He needed to consume a certain number of calories or lose access to the fundamental aspects of his powers. Dec 19, 2014 at 22:51
  • To be noted: Wells himself says that his powers come & go... He says so in his private chamber while charging. So his healing will be affected just as well.
    – Stark07
    Feb 12, 2015 at 7:05
  • If the show is using canon and the Reverse-Flash is the same as the comics version, HE DOES NOT HAVE ANY NATURAL SPEED POWERS. All of the Reverse-Flash's speed powers came from the suit... Without the suit, the Reverse-Flash is supposedly as human as the rest of us. Feb 12, 2015 at 23:36

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