The Flash is one of the fastest characters to have ever crossed the pages of comic books. He has abilities that are beyond anything any other superhero can do, crossing dimensions and crossing the multiverse with his sheer speed.
However, the Flash has been the secret identity of several comic book legends including Jay Garrick, Barry Allen and Wally West.
Both Barry and Wally have had long stretches as the one and only Flash and their relationship is much closer than many superheroes to their mentors, given that Wally is the nephew of Barry’s wife Iris West. However, who is truly the fastest man alive?
If you have ever wondered is Wally West faster than Barry Allen, then this article will give you the definitive answer to your question.
Is Wally West Faster Than Barry Allen – Which Flash Is The Fastest?
To measure who is the fastest it is important to find instances in the comic books in which both Barry and Wally have had to either race one another and or competed.
Given that they have such a strong relationship you would think that there would not be much evidence of that, however that have been several instances when Barry and Wally have raced, most notably and recently during the Flash War story arc.
During that story, in which Barry and Wally reeling from the events of DC Rebirth attempt to get Wally’s kids back from the clutches of their common enemy Professor Zoom.
Barry reveals to Wally that unlike him, Wally isn’t afraid of the Speed Force and that he actually enjoys using its power in a way that Barry simply cannot channel thus meaning that Wally can run faster than Barry and use the Speed Force in ways that Barry simply can’t.
This therefore means that of the two Flashes, Wally is by far and away the fastest Flash. This has since been confirmed during Wally’s various space/time hopping adventures across the multiverse in an attempt to make up for the events of Heroes in Crisis.
During the events of Flash Forward Wally is shown to have gained the powers of the late Doctor Manhattan who caused so much trouble for the main DC universe during the events of Doomsday Clock.
This has given Wally even more speed power meaning that he truly is the fastest man that has ever lived in DC continuity and therefore one of the DC universe’s most powerful heroes.
However, this isn’t thought to be a recent development – despite Barry’s valiant death at the hands of the Anti Monitor as part of the epic story Crisis on Infinite Earths, there were indications that he wasn’t the faster Flash.
During the late 1980s, Wally found out he could make a Flash suit out of pure Speed Force energy (something that Barry hadn’t been capable of) and that he could travel through time and space without the Cosmic Treadmill – a device that Barry had constructed in order to travel to different dimensions.
Wally’s speed has only developed further since his return to continuity after the events of the cross over Flashpoint caused Wally to be erased from existence and trapped beyond the reach and memories of his former Justice League teammates.
Since returning following DC Rebirth, Wally has only become more powerful as mentioned above.
Since Wally is indeed faster than Barry it is worth recapping how exactly Wally got his powers and how it changed Barry Allen’s already strange life into an even stranger one.
How Wally West Got His Super Speed
During a visit to his aunt Iris West’s, Barry Allen discovered that his then girlfriend’s nephew was a massive fan of The Flash, indeed young Wally was president of his local town in Nebraska’s Flash fan club.
Taking Wally to his lab, Barry quickly changed into his secret identity as The Flash to impress the young Wally. The Flash also disclosed the various chemicals which when combined with an accidental bolt of lightning had given him his powers.
However unfortunately for Wally, or perhaps fortunately as it would later turn out, he was struck by another bolt of lightning and has the same chemicals fall on to him that had happened to Barry causing Wally to gain the same powers as his future uncle.
Wally would then take up the mantle of Kid Flash and serve as Barry’s companion and sidekick.
Both Wally and Barry would later theorise that rather than being a random accident Wally had become imbued with his powers thanks to the speed force which had selected Wally because it knew that with the power of the speed force racing through him Wally would become a great hero.
Whether or not this is true has never been confirmed by DC writers though it would certainly make sense that Wally was chosen rather than lighting striking twice.
Wally as Kid Flash would eventually go on to help found the Teen Titans and would eventually become the main Flash of the DC Universe until his mentor returned from the dead in the events of The Flash: Rebirth.
The reason that it is important that we know who the fastest Flash is, is because the Flash is not only defined by his speed but his ability to help people.
Barry Allen was and is one of the greatest heroes in the DC universe but one of his great traits was being able to help his young nephew Wally West become not just a truly great person but a truly great superhero as well.
With his dysfunctional home life, Wally looked up to both Barry and Iris for advice and a direction in life which Barry was able to provide for the man he would almost look on as a son.
That is what is so important about the Flash – that he is able to be an optimist and not use his powers for self-enrichment but rather for helping those weaker than him.
Barry Allen and Wally West both overcame great odds to see the very best in people and to make the world a better place. There truly is a lesson in that for us all.