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The Speed Force is an energy field that grants all speedsters their power. Several speedsters have merged with it, including Barry Allen, Johnny Quick, and Max Mercury.
Quote1 A flowing world of mystery, silver, morphing hyper-dimensional gels. Speed Heaven, the source of my power. Quote2
--Wally West

History

Pre-Flashpoint

The Speed Force is an energy field that grants all speedsters their power. Several speedsters have merged with it, including Barry Allen, Johnny Quick, and Max Mercury.

Scientists on the planet Savoth had a deep understanding of the Speed Force and there were many universities devoted to its study. One of these scientists, Gorflack, built a Speed Force cannon to defend his planet from a force of alien invaders. Instead of performing its intended purpose, it brought Jay Garrick, the first Flash, to Savoth. After Garrick helped drive away the invaders, Gorflack gave him a lightning-shaped piece of solidified Speed Force which he and his successors could use to transport to Savoth.[1]

While fighting Superboy-Prime, Wally was nearly swept into the Speed Force. Wanting to see his family one last time, he visited his wife Linda and twin children. However, Linda was holding the Speed Force fragment and the entire family was swept off to Savoth.[2] Bart Allen volunteered to absorb the entire Speed Force so that he would be fast enough to stop Prime.[3] After this crisis had been averted, Bart found that his new connection to the Speed Force threatened to kill him. He refused to use his powers for a year. It wasn't until Tina McGee and Valerie Perez of S.T.A.R. Labs were able to modify a Flash costume to contain his abilities that he was able to return to action as the fourth Flash.

Shortly thereafter, Inertia; who had lost his connection to the Speed Force when Bart absorbed it, was forced to use Velocity 9 to maintain his super-speed. Inertia built a machine in Los Angeles which was designed to transfer the Speed Force from Bart to himself. However, the machine also threatened to cause an explosion which would have resulted in the deaths of millions. Bart sacrificed himself distracting Inertia and a group of Rogues while Valerie shut it down.[4]

The deactivation of the machine caused a disruption in the Speed Force which not only resulted in Wally West and his family being transported back to Earth from their stay on Savoth, but also restored powers to all speedsters.[5]

The sole survivor of the alien invasion forces that had attacked Savoth decades prior was sent back to his home dimension in a Speed Force explosion which resulted in a rapid evolution of his species. His descendants targeted the Flashes' solidified fragment of Speed Force and invaded Keystone City to avenge their defeat on Savoth. Wally destroyed the fragment to send them back.[2]

New 52

At present, this source of energy remains the same but with a host of different, much broader effects and conceptual attributes. The Speed Force is the representation of reality in motion, being the very cosmic force that pushes space and time forward.[6]

This source of energy has existed since the beginning of time, acting as a 3-D projection detailing past, present and future events of both reality and all those touched by the Speed Force. Throughout history the force has sought to reach out and alter those with its wondrous gifts, usually in the form of trans-dimensional plasma storms. It does this as a means to finding the one worthy to expend the built up energy it creates as it pushes time forward, acting as its runner to maintain the delicate fabric of existence.[7]

The Speed Force can become incredibly volatile without an outlet to help expend it's excess energy, often snatching people, places and things from across the eras into the Speed Force dimension, as well as depositing some of it or affecting anything and everything within it's immediate vicinity in odd ways whenever it built up to critical mass.[8] The powers bestowed upon those touched by the force revolve around motion and progression ranging to acceleration, time, space, momentum, development, even evolution and enlightenment to name a few.

Since The Speed Force causes existence to move forward affecting both the individual and the whole, there have been a great many who came under its influence over the years. Dropping down, absorbing and more often than not discharging a great many abstracts from within its confines of space and time, appearing in the form of wormholes opening up from all across history bestowing its mysterious powers to whoever it came in contact with.

Stretching from the Mayan period to present day bestowing a host of different powers and abilities to a great many individuals long before finding a proper host in the wielder of its light.[9] Such as the apes of Gorilla City who had been accelerated to the point they unlocked a higher consciousness from within after a lost civilization was destroyed by it. Enabling the increase of their mental capacity and ingenuity, growing into psychic powers coming with age and the viewing of the past, present and constantly shifting futures as well as traversing known history. Snatching a man out of time trapping him within its dimension giving him abilities over centrifugal force and hurricane winds, bestowing others with a myriad of other physics bending powers and abilities before finally finding its proper vessel in Barry Allen after suffering a lab accident.[10]

Individuals changed by The Speed Force can achieve a number of feats dependent on a couple of factors. Such as Speed Energy intake, experience in its usage and exposure to The Speed Forces clairvoyant dimensional space, those who were effected by it have the ability to sense the presence of other recipients of it as well as cloak themselves from each other.[11]

The Speed Force also has a direct connection to the timestream. Speedsters commonly use the Speed Force as a gateway into the timestream. The timestream can also be seen from inside the Speed Force.[6]

Inside the Speed Force

The Speed Force is a massive extra-dimensional space, having various "islands" within it, as described by William Selkirk. Known islands of the Speed Force include the "Savage World", the "Theatre", and "Big Ben".

Timestream
Speed Force 0002

The Timestream from inside the Speed Force.

One location inside the Speed Force is a large area of floating rocks. From here, the timestream can be viewed in the sky. This location is likely the "Theatre", as described by Wlliam Selkirk.

This was the location where various objects and people were pulled into the Speed Force, due to built up energy that had not been expended by the Flash.[6]

Savage World
Speed Force 0003

The Savage World.

Another location within the Speed Force is known as the "Savage World". This is a jungle-like area where people and animals from various points in time were pulled in through a rip in the Speed Force. Because of this, prehistoric creatures, primates, and other animals such as elephants dwell in the Savage World. There is only one human settlement in the Savage World, called the "Outpost".[12]

Time does not move normally inside the Savage World. There is no sunrise or sunset, as well as no seasons or years. People who reside within it do not age, despite being trapped inside for centuries.[12]

Powers

Those with access to the Speed Force can use a large number of abilities, usually revolving around speed. Powers vary throughout each Speed Force users.

Speed Force conduits have one main ability above all else. These characters immediately understand how to run at superhuman speeds and their bodies instinctively understand how to react at high-speed situations. Older speedsters have a reduced but maxed speed of 770mph which is just below sonic booms allowing them to react to situations without causing civilians undo stress. Speedsters in their prime can travel at much faster speeds such as the max level of recorded aided speed on Earth and even reach the speed of light with enough willpower. It is possible for conduits to travel much faster than the speed of light however such levels require an incredible amount of stress. Speedsters unaccustomed to their max level of speeds may detach themselves from the Speed Force or even become part of the Speed Force by accident. Speedsters commonly use their speed to manipulate and control airflow, as well as vibrate their bodies to intangibility and phase. By exceeding the speed of light speedsters can enter the speed force or travel throughout the timestream.

Speedsters also possess superhuman physical characteristics, such as heightened stamina, agility, healing, senses, and sometimes strength, as well as increased mental capacity. The Speed Force also manifests a protective aura around speedsters that protect them from the harsh effects of moving at super speeds, greatly heightening their durability.

Speed Force conduits bodies generate Speed Force energy that manifests itself as electricity. This Speed Force lightning varies in color from yellow, red, blue, and white. The lightning's properties are either identical or very similar to common electricity, as it reacts magnetically to metals and can shock people on contact. Some speedsters can learn to manipulate their lightning to which they can project it and manipulate electromagnetism.

Certain speedsters can use the Speed Force for more advanced applications such as time manipulation, energy construct creation, creating copies of themselves, or stealing/lending speed.

Conduits of the Speed Force who were gifted other powers instead of superhuman speed include: age manipulation, spacial-time mimicry, atomic inhibition, and process speed manipulation.


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Notes

  • Different conduits throughout the multiverse excel in different Speed Force-related abilities, and it furthermore has differing effects on all of its users. Some examples being the original Flash, Jay Garrick's decelerated aging as opposed to Bart Allen's over-accelerated aging process. Others examples being how the Tornado Twins excel in using their speed to create high velocity whirlwinds that allow them to take flight, while Bart Allen has shown the ability to divide himself into multiple physical selves. Lady Flash, who is the keeper of the Speed Force in Earth-33, casts electrokinetic blasts that are capable of temporarily draining the movement of her target. And as the third Flash, Wally West learns how to manifest his costume at will, being created purely from the solidified Speed Force. Prior to the loss of his connection to the Speed Force, Jai West's super-speed could temporarily accelerate the growth of his muscles, giving the child super-strength. Notably, there is also the Negative Speed Force, which as the name suggests, negates and opposes the average Speed Force energy. Professor Zoom is a user of this force that manifests as red electricity.
  • The effects of Speed Force users' connections to the Speed Force while in other universes are treated inconsistently. In JLA/Avengers, Wally West had no connection to the Speed Force in the Marvel Universe, forcing him to create a "Speed Force battery" to retain his super speed. In Justice League/Power Rangers, Barry Allen suffered no power fluctuations at all crossing into the universe of the Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers.


Trivia

  • Although he is not a conduit of the Speed Force, Green Lantern (Hal Jordan) was able to fly a plane construct so fast that he nearly entered the Speed Force.[13]


Links and References

  • None.


Footnotes