Which hero is the most super?

And why this power matters.


Norm Rapmund & Brett Booth

Wally West as the Flash in Titans: Rebirth vol. 1: The Return of Wally West

Caden Melnick, Staff Writer

Superheroes have been around since ancient times in myth and legend. Today, they can be found in comic books. But who is the most powerful hero of all? Who can triumph over the rest? I have found this hero.

I believe this mysterious hero is the most powerful for many reasons. The fact that his powers allow him to be stronger and more durable than any other character, to access realities that other characters can not, to run faster than anyone else can travel, to permanently immobilize any opponent he sees fit, to hit harder than anyone in all of fiction, and to even outrun Death. Considering this, I think it is safe to say that Wally West, the third Flash, is the strongest hero that ever was.

I can hear you saying “but Flash’s only power is running fast! How could he possibly be stronger than So & So?” Well you are partially correct, Wally does have superhuman speed; however, it is not limited to running fast, Wally exists fast. He lives in his own time frame that allows him to spend as long as he wants to make a split-second decision. He can think just as fast as he can move, and he can move pretty fast.

First of all, Wally West is faster than any other character in fiction. Big claim, I know, but I can prove it. In Flash Forward #5, Wally pushes himself “further and faster than anyone has ever moved before. Faster than light and thought. Faster than the Speed-Force.” But what is the Speed-Force? Essentially, it is the sum total of all kinetic energy in the multiverse; it acts as the cosmic speed limit, it is as fast as anyone can go, except for Wally. Not only is he faster than anyone and everyone before him, but he’s even faster than the gods. 

But obviously that is in DC. So what about Marvel? Well, it has been proven that Barry Allen, the second Flash, is the ‘Fastest Man Alive’ in the Marvel universe. The comic Quasar #17 introduces a character named Buried Alien. If you’re thinking that his name sounds suspiciously like Barry Allen, that’d be because this is a character who had amnesia and could only remember that his name sounded “something like that”(Quasar #17).  Upon Buried Alien’s appearance, he proclaims that he has “form again” (a reference to Barry’s vaporization in Crisis on Infinite Earths), along with many physical similarities (blond hair, blue eyes), a vague memory of a wife (Barry is married to Wally’s aunt, Iris). It’s safe to say that this character is in fact Barry Allen. In Quasar, a race was held, featuring characters across the Marvel Multiverse, and Barry won, and was declared to be the ‘Fastest Man Alive’. With the fact that Wally is faster than Barry, then it is safe to say that Wally West is faster than anyone in Marvel’s lineup.

But even if someone is somehow faster than Wally, he has a unique ability: he can steal speed. This ability allows him to absorb the kinetic energy of a moving object, and to add that energy to his own, allowing him to go even faster. In All Flash #1, he used this ability on a villain named Inertia to “[immobilize] him. Permanently.” Wally then stated that Inertia would be able to see and think in real time, but that “he’s trapped for eternity in a frozen body…forced to stare, with eyes that take a hundred years to blink.” Clearly, this ability is extremely powerful, and no other character is as proficient with it as Wally. This means that he can become faster than anyone, and he can even trap someone in their own body.

Surely Wally is not very strong because apart from his super-speed, he is a normal human, after all? Wrong. Wally can hit harder than anyone in fiction. How does he do this? Physics. Wally’s epcial punch is called the  ‘Infinite Mass Punch’. In JLA #3, as he is approaching a villain, Wally states that “relativistic effects take over as a body approaches lightspeed… my body’s mass will increase towards infinity… I could hit him a thousand times before he had a chance to blink. Once ought to do it… [even if] he is as tough as the ‘Man of Steel’.” That was Wally approaching lightspeed.  What happens when he goes beyond lightspeed as he is capable of doing? Well, reality would simply break from the unimaginable force.

But Wally has a few weaknesses, right? He used to… not anymore. In the past, Wally could only use his powers if he ate an exceptional amount of calories. It makes sense that if he runs a long distance and his metabolism is super fast, then he needs to eat lots of food. Well, Wally no longer needs to eat, drink, or breathe to survive. He can draw upon the Speed-Force to satisfy any of his needs. It is not openly declared when this ability first appears, but was a slow development that started after Flash #79, where Wally fought Eobard Thawne, the Reverse-Flash, Barry Allen’s arch-enemy. After this, Wally did not need to eat nearly as much. In fact, he was shown to be eating less and less with no consequences, and in Flash: The Human Race, Wally had ran for ten days without food and water with no issue. He was also running through space, with no breathing apparatus, showing that Wally does not need to breathe either.

Surely if you sever his connection to the Speed-Force, he can’t fight? That was true until Flash Forward #5, where Wally West becomes “unmoored. One with nothing and everything at once.” Wally is his own Speed-Force, he can access it anywhere and it is tied permanently to him. Meaning that even if he is taken completely out of reality as a whole, he will have all his powers and abilities.

He is killable, but he can outrun Death. In Flash #139, Wally West ran from the personification of Death, and got away. Add that to the fact that the afterlife for Speedsters is literally the Speed-Force, something Wally has repeatedly escaped from, it is safe to say that it is almost impossible to actually kill him, and even if he is killed, he can just come back.

All these powers paint a terrifying picture. Wally West, once a normal human, can transverse any timeline he pleases; Wally West, once a normal human, can shatter reality with a single punch; Wally West, once a normal human, is effectively immortal; Wally West, once a normal human, has more power than literal gods. But even more crazy is that Wally was able to do all this and more in a relatively short lifetime, it makes me think that given enough time (something that he has in excess), he will surpass the powers of all characters in fiction, including the most powerful of villains, anti-heroes, anti-villains, and the morally gray. 

With all that in mind, it is clear that Wally is the most powerful hero in fiction. He excels in nearly all aspects of heroics and is pretty much unstoppable. 

What does this mean though? Why does this matter? Well, Wally is so unimaginably powerful, but he chooses to be human; he chooses to be sympathetic towards his Rogues; he chooses to get to know everyone around him; he chooses to be seen as a goofball; he chooses to be constantly underestimated, treated as nothing but the teenage sidekick he used to be. It is these choices that make this so meaningful. He has realized that his humanity is worth more than his power, and that is something that should always be known when considering who Wally is.