For 80 years, the Flash has been a fan favorite of comic readers. Starting with the helmeted Jay Garrick and continuing with Barry Allen, the legacy of the Fastest Man Alive has spawned countless characters and almost as many classic stories. Without the Scarlet Speedster bringing in the Silver Age with Showcase #4, there may not even be superhero comics today.
Everyone knows that Flash can run fast, but that’s just a hint at the crazy kind of powers the hero of Central City actually wields. When it comes to the number of skills and abilities a single character has, Flash rivals Superman for most powers. It’s just that Flash isn’t so, if you’ll excuse the pun, flashy with what he can do. While Superman has named each of his abilities, Flash barely ever uses his. Here are 10 weird powers you didn’t know the Flash had.
10 Speed Aura
If you go on a long road trip, you may notice that the windshield of your car ends up with a lot of splattered bugs all over it. That may make you wonder, how does Flash not end up with bug guts on his suit? For that matter, how does he deal with the wind, rain, snow, or sleet that is sure to get in his way?
Thanks to a Speed Force Aura that surrounds Flash, those things aren’t a big problem for him. The aura, which grows the faster Flash is moving, allows in enough air and wind to keep him cool, but blocks all debris that could hurt the speedster or anyone he is carrying.
9 Speed Sleep
When you can move faster than the speed of light, some fights can feel really slow. Sure, Flash will want to keep his head on a swivel when he’s dealing with the likes of Reverse-Flash or the Legion of Doom, but when he’s battling it out with some random bank robbers, Flash can relax a little. He can even nap if he wants. Flash can fit in a nice little catnap in a picosecond, which is one-trillionth of a second, when he needs to. This helps keep him focused during a fight and well-rested at all times.
8 Telepathic Immunity
To keep up with his legs, the Flash’s mind has to be even faster. After all, if you can run at the speed of light but your brain can only comprehend and think at the speed of a normal mind, you would run into a wall before you even knew what was happening. Flash’s mind works so fast that telepaths are unable to mess with it. This has proven to be a huge help when the Justice League has gone up against the likes of Despero or when he has taken on Gorilla Grodd on his own.
7 Speed Speak
He has fast legs and a fast brain, so it only makes sense that the Scarlet Speedster would also have a fast mouth. When needed, or sometimes he gets nervous, Flash will speak at super speed. While regular humans and many of the other heroes can’t understand him when he does this, other speedsters and Superman can.
This is one of those powers that Flash rarely shows up, because to most people it just sounds like he’s talking in gibberish, but he does use it when he is working with other speedsters or Superman. In the novelization of Kingdom Come, it is explained that this is the only way that version of the Flash can speak, and the only person left who could understand him was Superman.
6 Speed Force Constructs
While he usually keeps his costume in a ring, using a special formula he created that can shrink clothing to shockingly small sizes, Flash can also make his costume out of the Speed Force is he wants to. It does take some concentration and comes with the risk of him ending up naked if he gets knocked out, but when he finds himself in a situation where his actual costume has been badly damaged or he doesn’t have the ring on him, the Fastest Man Alive can still suit up and fight evil.
5 Speed Bank
Like all speedsters in the DC universe, Flash gets his power from the Speed Force. It was Wally West who first learned how to really control the Speed Force, but Barry Allen picked up the ticks pretty quickly. One very useful trick that both Wally and Barry have been shown to have is the ability to act as something of a “speed bank.”
These two Flashes are so well connected to the Speed Force that they can give, or take, speed away from others. It uses a fair amount of concentration, leaving Flash open to other attacks, but if he wants, the Scarlet Speedster can make anyone a temporary speedster to help in a fight, or he can take away the speed from people or objects, stopping them in their tracks.
4 Speed Reading
Every speedster in the DC universe can use their powers to quickly read books or anything else they want. This has proven to be helpful a number of times, most notably when Wally West used this power to learn engineering and construction so he could build a bridge connecting Central City and Keystone City in the blink of an eye.
Both Barry and Wally are unable to retain the knowledge of what they read at super speed. It will stay in their minds for a little while, but after a day or so, it will be gone. Bart Allen and Jay Garrick have both mastered this ability and can retain everything they read. Jay has bragged that he has read every science book in the world and can recite them word for word.
3 Dimensional Travel
One of the weirder concepts in comics, Barry Allen turned a treadmill into a machine that could travel in space and time. Calling it the Cosmic Treadmill, Flash uses it to travel in time and visit alternate realities. As time moved on, the Flashes, most notably Barry, learned how to properly use the Speed Force to travel in time, or how to vibrate his molecules just right so he could travel to other Earths in the multiverse without the use of the Cosmic Treadmill.
Way back, writer Mark Waid hinted that there was a reason why Wally West never mastered the ability to travel to other realities because of something that happened to him when he was Kid Flash. The issue came up a few times during Waid’s run, and Wally always said he wasn’t ready to share what happened with others. Waid never got around to writing that story.
2 Speed Clones
Easily one of the Flash’s weirdest powers, the speedster is able to create duplicates of himself by quickly entering and exiting the timestream, essentially creating versions of himself that are one second older or younger. These “clones” aren’t actually clones, but moments of the Flash that are cut off from time.
When he was Impulse, Bart was the first to do this, and it led to disastrous results as the teen hero watched a version of himself die. In general, the speedsters of the DC universe don’t do this, though there has never been an in-universe explanation of why they wouldn’t do it all the time.
1 Quick Metabolism
Every speedster has a faster metabolism, but it affects each of them differently. They all heal at a faster rate than normal people, but Barry Allen has shown the ability to focus on an injury and heal it almost instantly. When his connection to the Speed Force was weak, Wally West would have to eat massive amounts of food in order to keep his metabolism up and running, but once he was able to fully connect to the Speed Force, the need to chow down on 10 pizzas after a fight was gone. The super metabolism also means that Flash can’t get drunk, no matter how many whiskeys he slams. He is also virtually immune to any gases that would knock him out or cause him to hallucinate, but he can be poisoned.
Everyone knows about Flash's super-speed abilities. However, he has an array of powers that most people have no idea about.