The Speed Force.

moonmaster

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What is it exactly?

Last week, I started reading the first issue of the new Flash and only got halfway through because I was confused as hell. Luckily, Wizard had a handy family tree guide to the different Flashes, so the issue no longer confuses me.

But the one thing that I don't understand is what the Speed Force is. I looked it up on Wikipedia and all they could say was that it was a form of energy a sort of ethereal, Valhalla-esque place where Flashes go when they die. That's great and all, but where did it come from and why does it "choose" Flashes. I found a link on Wikipedia with this bit of information:
Things became a bit more confusing during the Genesis crisis. Super-powered beings across the universe found their powers fluctuating due to a common source:

Ages ago, a great world destroyed itself and released into the birthing cosmos a wave of energy such as had never been known! This was the Godwave, and its power seeded all worlds with divinity. From this came the gods your worlds have come to know and worship. That Godwave expanded to the full limits of the universe, whereupon it doubled back on itself, and made a second passage through the universe. Out of the second passing came the potential for power in mortals. This power has been given many names...the speed force, the quantum field, the great energy once channeled by the Guardians of Oa.
—(Highfather, Genesis #2, October 1997)
Unfortunately, it is difficult to merge this view with the one previously shown. When Savitar sapped all the energy from the speed force, it took away everyone’s powers—each Flash, Jesse Quick and Impulse, even the Kapitalist Kouriers. Only Wally kept his speed because he was mainlining the force. Johnny Quick even merged with the field when they took the battle to Savitar. But in this latest crisis, everyone’s powers have become unreliable (or worse), including Wally and other non-speed metahumans...except for Jesse Quick. We can probably assume this is just an error in Genesis.
I kind of like this explanation, but it needs to be refined.

For one thing, I'd like them to establish the idea that the Speed Force is a living thing. It's an intelligent being and almost like a God of Speed.

I'd also like a proper explanation as to how it allows people to tap into it. Maybe it chooses people as guardians, anticipating that they'll serve a special and important purpose. This would be like Jenny Sparks or the Doctor from the Authority. People chosen for specific reasons, to play a part in history.

I don't know. Someone should really straighten this out. Maybe Grant Morrison should tackle this whenever he has some time on his hands...
 

ProjectX2

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I don't know much about it, either.

Morrison wrote the Flash before, maybe he expanded on it a bit then.
 

thee great one

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I always expected it cause I figured it was explained in old Flash comics.

When I first heard of it I thought it was kinda of lame. It does need more depth.
 

Dr.Strangefate

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For years it was assumed that all humans with super-speed abilities derived them from a different source. The first Flash inhaled fumes from an experimental chemical. The next two were struck by lightning. Johnny Quick used a spoken formula derived from an Egyptian tomb. The Soviet teams Red and Blue Trinity were given power by combinations of steroids, gene splicing, and other biological experiments.

However, one speedster was able to learn more about the source of the mysterious power: Windrunner, legend of the American West.


Windrunner

One evening, at the absolute peak of his prowess, he felt the night lightning...calling him. Not with his eyes or mind—but deep in his heart—he sensed a strange beckoning...and chased it. Into the unknown, Windrunner raced faster and faster. He shattered all limits. He moved quicker than the hurricane, more swiftly than the thunderbolt...faster than light itself. Reaching supreme velocity, he approached the threshold of a new communion. For a span razor-thin even to him, Windrunner touched the very source of his great power—and was transformed. The speed force drew Windrunner in...without words, inviting him to the other side of light, to become one with the power...as others had before him.
—(Max Mercury, Flash v.2 #97, January 1995)
Windrunner hesitated at the last moment, and lost his chance at heaven. Propelled forward through time, he landed in 1891. “He had locked eyes with God—and had blinked. From that day forward, he was burdened with an empty ache more painful than the greatest dream dashed...or the greatest love lost.” Windrunner tried many times to recapture that moment, each time arriving in a new era, until he became the present-day Max Mercury.


The Flash

From over a century and a half of experience, Max learned that all speedsters drew their power from the same source: an energy field beyond the speed of light, which for lack of a better term he called the “speed force.” He finally explained what he had learned to the others when Wally West was transforming into energy. His explanation—which held up under the ensuing events—was that Wally’s trip through time during Zero Hour had caused him to brush up against the speed force and set him on a one-way trip that would soon bring him to it.

Wally later became the first person to return from the other side of light, after which he found himself with a direct link to the power and new abilities. The efforts of Savitar to channel all the energy to himself and his army—successfully stealing it from all the others—again indicated a common source of power.


The Speed Force

Over the years, known speedsters who have merged with the speed force by achieving terminal velocity include Barry Allen, Johnny Quick, and Savitar. Wally West is still the only person known to have returned—three times—under his own power, anchored by his relationship with Linda Park[1]. The other two known to have returned, Max Mercury and Rival, both needed outside help.

The way the speed force seems to work is that it powers any super-fast being not naturally fast. A cheetah, for instance, is naturally fast. Superman’s speed is also a natural consequence of his Kryptonian heritage. All Flashes, however, have been normal people “noticed” by the speed force through accidents (lightning, supersonic flight, etc.) or intentional experiments (magic, steroids, etc.).


Genesis

Things became a bit more confusing during the Genesis crisis. Super-powered beings across the universe found their powers fluctuating due to a common source:

Ages ago, a great world destroyed itself and released into the birthing cosmos a wave of energy such as had never been known! This was the Godwave, and its power seeded all worlds with divinity. From this came the gods your worlds have come to know and worship. That Godwave expanded to the full limits of the universe, whereupon it doubled back on itself, and made a second passage through the universe. Out of the second passing came the potential for power in mortals. This power has been given many names...the speed force, the quantum field, the great energy once channeled by the Guardians of Oa.
—(Highfather, Genesis #2, October 1997)
Unfortunately, it is difficult to merge this view with the one previously shown. When Savitar sapped all the energy from the speed force, it took away everyone’s powers—each Flash, Jesse Quick and Impulse, even the Kapitalist Kouriers. Only Wally kept his speed because he was mainlining the force. Johnny Quick even merged with the field when they took the battle to Savitar. But in this latest crisis, everyone’s powers have become unreliable (or worse), including Wally and other non-speed metahumans...except for Jesse Quick[2]. We can probably assume this is just an error in Genesis.


The Other Side of Light

Johnny Quick was recently able to communicate through the speed force and finally say goodbye to his daughter. “The Speed Force is merely a portal,” he told Wally, “to someplace much greater—a place of indescribable beauty...” He also implied he had spoken recently to Barry, suggesting that individual consciousness survives on the other side of light.


The Speed of Mercury

Max Mercury was dying. His connection to the Speed Force had weakened, becoming parasitic and draining him instead of sustaining. His only hope was to reestablish his connection by entering the Speed Force itself, but in his weakened state he could not reach the speed necessary. He enlisted his former foe Dr. Morlo to study his condition and the Speed Force itself, and the two of them planned for Impulse to carry him into the Speed Force.

Morlo developed “map,” finding that within the timestream there is a portal, a tunnel leading to a “speed storm,” and beyond the storm, the Speed Force itself. Presumably it was this maelstrom which had tossed Max aside so often before, launching him forward in time over and over again. With a few complications, Bart was able to bring Max through the storm to the brink of the Speed Force. Max stepped inside, keeping hold of Bart’s hand, and stepped out again, healed.


Infinite Crisis

When three Flashes attempted to trap a murderous alternate Superboy in the Speed Force, Bart Allen found himself facing a monster alone. Jay fell behind, and Wally was pulled out of this reality—somewhere else, as far as he could tell, and not the speed force. Bart managed to force Superboy-Prime as far as the edge of the speed force, at which point the heroes trapped there—Barry, Max, and Johnny Quick—took over, pulling Superboy inside. As soon as they succeeded, something happened to the speed force itself. As far as Jay Garrick—the only Flash left on Earth—could tell, it was gone (Infinite Crisis #4, 2006).

Since Bart returned, it has become clear that the speed force has transformed into something that kills when someone draws on it. Perhaps it’s just as well that Bart appears to be the only human who can still sense it.


- Hyperborea.org (all the Flash info you could EVER want)

The new nature of the speed-force will be explained in the months to come in the Flash Ongoing series.
 
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Random

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thee great one said:
I always expected it cause I figured it was explained in old Flash comics.

When I first heard of it I thought it was kinda of lame. It does need more depth.
I dont think its ever been fully explained, I think writers just leave it vague, though I think they will explain it no that its tapped out or whatever
 

moonmaster

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Dr.Strangefate said:
For years it was assumed that all humans with super-speed abilities derived them from a different source. The first Flash inhaled fumes from an experimental chemical. The next two were struck by lightning. Johnny Quick used a spoken formula derived from an Egyptian tomb. The Soviet teams Red and Blue Trinity were given power by combinations of steroids, gene splicing, and other biological experiments.

However, one speedster was able to learn more about the source of the mysterious power: Windrunner, legend of the American West.


Windrunner

One evening, at the absolute peak of his prowess, he felt the night lightning...calling him. Not with his eyes or mind—but deep in his heart—he sensed a strange beckoning...and chased it. Into the unknown, Windrunner raced faster and faster. He shattered all limits. He moved quicker than the hurricane, more swiftly than the thunderbolt...faster than light itself. Reaching supreme velocity, he approached the threshold of a new communion. For a span razor-thin even to him, Windrunner touched the very source of his great power—and was transformed. The speed force drew Windrunner in...without words, inviting him to the other side of light, to become one with the power...as others had before him.
—(Max Mercury, Flash v.2 #97, January 1995)
Windrunner hesitated at the last moment, and lost his chance at heaven. Propelled forward through time, he landed in 1891. “He had locked eyes with God—and had blinked. From that day forward, he was burdened with an empty ache more painful than the greatest dream dashed...or the greatest love lost.” Windrunner tried many times to recapture that moment, each time arriving in a new era, until he became the present-day Max Mercury.


The Flash

From over a century and a half of experience, Max learned that all speedsters drew their power from the same source: an energy field beyond the speed of light, which for lack of a better term he called the “speed force.” He finally explained what he had learned to the others when Wally West was transforming into energy. His explanation—which held up under the ensuing events—was that Wally’s trip through time during Zero Hour had caused him to brush up against the speed force and set him on a one-way trip that would soon bring him to it.

Wally later became the first person to return from the other side of light, after which he found himself with a direct link to the power and new abilities. The efforts of Savitar to channel all the energy to himself and his army—successfully stealing it from all the others—again indicated a common source of power.


The Speed Force

Over the years, known speedsters who have merged with the speed force by achieving terminal velocity include Barry Allen, Johnny Quick, and Savitar. Wally West is still the only person known to have returned—three times—under his own power, anchored by his relationship with Linda Park[1]. The other two known to have returned, Max Mercury and Rival, both needed outside help.

The way the speed force seems to work is that it powers any super-fast being not naturally fast. A cheetah, for instance, is naturally fast. Superman’s speed is also a natural consequence of his Kryptonian heritage. All Flashes, however, have been normal people “noticed” by the speed force through accidents (lightning, supersonic flight, etc.) or intentional experiments (magic, steroids, etc.).


Genesis

Things became a bit more confusing during the Genesis crisis. Super-powered beings across the universe found their powers fluctuating due to a common source:

Ages ago, a great world destroyed itself and released into the birthing cosmos a wave of energy such as had never been known! This was the Godwave, and its power seeded all worlds with divinity. From this came the gods your worlds have come to know and worship. That Godwave expanded to the full limits of the universe, whereupon it doubled back on itself, and made a second passage through the universe. Out of the second passing came the potential for power in mortals. This power has been given many names...the speed force, the quantum field, the great energy once channeled by the Guardians of Oa.
—(Highfather, Genesis #2, October 1997)
Unfortunately, it is difficult to merge this view with the one previously shown. When Savitar sapped all the energy from the speed force, it took away everyone’s powers—each Flash, Jesse Quick and Impulse, even the Kapitalist Kouriers. Only Wally kept his speed because he was mainlining the force. Johnny Quick even merged with the field when they took the battle to Savitar. But in this latest crisis, everyone’s powers have become unreliable (or worse), including Wally and other non-speed metahumans...except for Jesse Quick[2]. We can probably assume this is just an error in Genesis.


The Other Side of Light

Johnny Quick was recently able to communicate through the speed force and finally say goodbye to his daughter. “The Speed Force is merely a portal,” he told Wally, “to someplace much greater—a place of indescribable beauty...” He also implied he had spoken recently to Barry, suggesting that individual consciousness survives on the other side of light.


The Speed of Mercury

Max Mercury was dying. His connection to the Speed Force had weakened, becoming parasitic and draining him instead of sustaining. His only hope was to reestablish his connection by entering the Speed Force itself, but in his weakened state he could not reach the speed necessary. He enlisted his former foe Dr. Morlo to study his condition and the Speed Force itself, and the two of them planned for Impulse to carry him into the Speed Force.

Morlo developed “map,” finding that within the timestream there is a portal, a tunnel leading to a “speed storm,” and beyond the storm, the Speed Force itself. Presumably it was this maelstrom which had tossed Max aside so often before, launching him forward in time over and over again. With a few complications, Bart was able to bring Max through the storm to the brink of the Speed Force. Max stepped inside, keeping hold of Bart’s hand, and stepped out again, healed.


Infinite Crisis

When three Flashes attempted to trap a murderous alternate Superboy in the Speed Force, Bart Allen found himself facing a monster alone. Jay fell behind, and Wally was pulled out of this reality—somewhere else, as far as he could tell, and not the speed force. Bart managed to force Superboy-Prime as far as the edge of the speed force, at which point the heroes trapped there—Barry, Max, and Johnny Quick—took over, pulling Superboy inside. As soon as they succeeded, something happened to the speed force itself. As far as Jay Garrick—the only Flash left on Earth—could tell, it was gone (Infinite Crisis #4, 2006).

Since Bart returned, it has become clear that the speed force has transformed into something that kills when someone draws on it. Perhaps it’s just as well that Bart appears to be the only human who can still sense it.


- Hyperborea.org (all the Flash info you could EVER want)

The new nature of the speed-force will be explained in the months to come in the Flash Ongoing series.
Yes, I posted a link to it.

It still needs to fully explained.
 

E

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This might sound anti-DC and it's not intended to be, but the idea os a "Speed Force" is one of the stupidest ideas ever created in comics.

And I like The Flash.
 

moonmaster

Without him, all of you would be lost souls roamin
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E said:
This might sound anti-DC and it's not intended to be, but the idea os a "Speed Force" is one of the stupidest ideas ever created in comics.

And I like The Flash.
I like the Speed Force. There are too many problems with somone who can run that fast. Realistically, your body would just disintegrate, start on fire or blow up if you ran close to the speed of light. The Speed Force was just created as a way of explaining how the Flash works.
 

Ice

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moonmaster said:
I like the Speed Force. There are too many problems with somone who can run that fast. Realistically, your body would just disintegrate, start on fire or blow up if you ran close to the speed of light. The Speed Force was just created as a way of explaining how the Flash works.
I'm with Moony. I don't really know about the Speed Force, but what he says is a good explanation about why it's there.
 

E

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moonmaster said:
I like the Speed Force. There are too many problems with somone who can run that fast. Realistically, your body would just disintegrate, start on fire or blow up if you ran close to the speed of light. The Speed Force was just created as a way of explaining how the Flash works.

But....wouldn't those same laws of physics apply whether the body had the inherant ability to run fast by itself or by the influence of a speed force?
 

Frost817

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E said:
But....wouldn't those same laws of physics apply whether the body had the inherant ability to run fast by itself or by the influence of a speed force?


If someone had the inherant ability to run fast they would also have a natural resistance to the strain of moving that fast.
 

E

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Frost817 said:
If someone had the inherant ability to run fast they would also have a natural resistance to the strain of moving that fast.

That's what I always thought. Otherwise, how would they even know they could do it?
 

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