Being the Man of Steel comes with a lot of big expectations. Superman is expected to be the best at absolutely everything. He has to be the strongest, the smartest, and the fastest. But that comes with the territory when you’re the greatest hero your world has to offer. Don’t tell Batman, though.
The problem is that there are a lot of fast heroes in the DC Universe. There are approximately 93 speedsters named Flash running around at any given moment. And they have access to the Speed Force, whatever that is. Exactly how fast is Superman? And how does he stack up against other fast heroes?
The Many Powers of Superman
Since he’s been around for the better part of a century, Superman’s powers have gone through a lot of changes. They get altered drastically depending on the creators working with the character. Things got weird back in the day as everything became super. Super thought. Super language. Super urination. That last one might not have been specified.
He’s even gone through more than a few massive changes. At one point, Superman was made of blue electricity, which was a whole thing. When he returned from the dead after the butt whooping Doomsday gave him, Superman’s powers were at an all-time low. Honestly, he barely had powers at that time.
But the core of his abilities has always remained the same. Superman is the archetype of the flying brick powerset which includes flight, speed, strength, endurance, and more. Others have imitated Superman in this regard but few can truly emulate him. When it comes to being a flying brick, no one comes close to the Last Son of Krypton.
How Fast Can Superman Fly?
Speed has long been a core ability in Superman’s arsenal. It’s arguably the most important of all his abilities. While being able to take a punch is great, getting out of the way is better. And being fast makes Superman great at getting out of the way. It also makes him great at hitting someone before they know he’s even moved.
Back in the Golden Age of DC Comics, his max speed was somewhere around 60 miles per hour. That’s pretty fast but nowhere near the speeds he reaches today. Superman’s fantastic abilities are derived from Earth’s yellow sun. Reputedly, long-term exposure to that energy has caused his powers to increase dramatically over the years.
These days, Superman is depicted as being able to move faster than light, usually when he’s flying outside of Earth’s atmosphere. This means that Superman can move faster than 186,000 miles per second. Yes, per second. But as the solar energy drains from his cells, he’ll inevitably slow down. To be fair, all of his powers decrease at that point. The real question is how this stacks up against a certain Scarlet Speedster.
Who is faster – Flash or Superman?
The Flash is on a different level than any other speed-based hero or villain. His access to the mysterious Speed Force takes him to another level. Keeping in mind that there have been more than a few heroes using the same name, the Speed Force remains a constant. It allows Flash to break a lot of rules about time and space no one thought could be broken.
It’s the Speed Force that gives Flash the advantage in a race against Superman. At the same time, Flash should make sure Supes doesn’t get his hands on him. He has the Scarlet Speedster beat in most other categories. Fortunately, Flash can go fast enough to keep outside of his reach.
While Superman isn’t faster than Flash, he’s faster than virtually everyone else around him. That ability has given him an edge more times than he can count. Being able to move at light speed certainly has its advantages. That being said, there’s more to being Superman than being able to move fast. But he also wouldn’t be Superman without that speed.