DC Comics superhero fans Superman and The Flash have debated which of the two superheroes is the fastest. Long before Mark Waid introduced the concept of the Speed Force into The Flash Vol 2 # 91, the question was left in the hands of writers like Jim Shooter, E. Nelson Bridwell and Denny O’Neil.
In the recent continuity, the Superman and Flash racing trope still pops up from time to time, but it has been more impromptu or unauthorized “races” that are smaller parts of the overall story. To determine who is the fastest or at least has the best record, the Pre-Crisis and Post-Crisis races can help answer this question.
10 The first race between the two in SUPERMAN # 199 ended in a draw
The first race between the Man of Steel and The Fastest Man in the World took place in Superman # 199, written by Jim Shooter with art by Curt Swan. The race is the result of the UN secretary asking the two to compete as a charity event to raise funds for the organization. The race, which takes place on Saturday, June 10, 1967, draws the attention of US and European criminal gangs who are betting on the result.
Americans support Superman, while Europeans choose Flash, each hiring scientists to tip the race in their favor. The two heroes race around the world as criminals enact plans to win, replacing the two with imposters. The real Superman and Flash end the race in a draw, leaving the question of who is the fastest unanswered.
9 Superman and Flash were duped in a second race by two of Barry’s Rouges in Flash # 175 which ended in another tie
Fans didn’t have to wait long for the rematch between The Flash and Superman, which took place in The Flash # 175 (December 1967), written by E. Nelson Bridwell with art by Ross Andru. The rematch was staged by Rokk and Sorban, two intergalactic gamers, after taking the Justice League hostage and telling Superman and Flash that the loser’s hometown will be destroyed.
As the two heroes race through the universe, they struggle with the fact that their loved ones risk dying if they lose. The two soon realize that Reverse-Flash and Abra Kadabra are cheating on them after Superman sees Rokk and Sorban in another world. The race once again ended in a draw, with the Justice League seeing different results.
8 “The race that a winner must have” was ranked in the best comics in the world # 198-199 and saw the flash advance
The third race, billed as the “where there must be a winner” race, took place in two 1970 numbers from The best of the world Issues 198 and 199 were written by Denny O’Neil, with art by Dick Dillion. When the faster-than-light Anachronid robots appear on Earth One, the Guardians of the Universe recruit Superman and The Flash to run in the opposite direction to counter the time warping effects their arrival has caused.
The two decide to turn it into a competition to encourage themselves to run at their maximum speed. Along the way, the two find themselves trapped in the Phantom Zone, eventually breaking free and The Flash gains the crawl to the finish line to shut down the machine, allowing Superman to destroy it.
7 DC COMICS PRESENTS # 1-2 Had the two heroes running through time to save Earth, ending in a third tie
In 1978 DC Comics started DC Comics Gifts featuring a two-part story with The Flash and Superman racing through time to save Earth from a rogue alien scientist who hopes to change his world’s past, altering Earth’s in the process. The heroes meet in Rosemont as they investigate a strange vibrating beam hitting the small town.
After being trapped by the aliens, the two heroes agree to help them as the two race through time to stop the alien scientist who, if successful, could alter the fate of Superman and Earth. The story, written by Martin Pasko with the art of José Luis García-López, is not really a competitive race, so it ends in a draw. Throughout the story, the two meet Reverse-Flash and the Legion of Super-Heroes, along with creatures from the past.
6 ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN # 463 is the first post-crisis race between the two heroes and sees Flash taking his second victory
Superman Adventures # 463, written and drawn by Dan Jurgens, was the first time Wally West had competed with Superman since he took over The Flash. Mister Mxyzptlk tricks Flash and Superman into competing after saying that it is the only way he would return to the 5th Dimension, and Wally, seeking to prove himself, agrees to run after Superman claims it is an unfair fight as Wally he’s not as fast as barry. .
As the race unfolds, Mxy continually sets traps on the track to keep things interesting. With one last push of effort and momentum, Flash crosses the finish line first, confusing and frustrating Mxyzptlk, who returns to his dimension. Wally is sure that Superman let him win until Superman says that Wally won fairly and is the fastest man in the world.
5 DC FIRST: FLASH / SUPERMAN # 1 pitted the Golden Age Flash against Superman to save Wally West, with the Flash triumphing once again
DC First: Flash / Superman # 1 is the 2002 one-shot written by Geoff Johns with art by Rick Burchett, with Superman and Golden Age Flash Jay Garrick running for Wally West’s life. After escaping from Iron Heights, Abra Kadabra goes back to his old trick when Superman shows up hoping to help the Flashes, only to find himself racing against time to save Wally West.
To prevent Wally from dying, Superman and Jay must beat him in a race. Jay wins the race after cheating and stealing Superman’s momentum, a trick Wally taught him after returning from the Speed Force. The trio captures Kadabra and returns him to Iron Heights after revealing his ultimate plan to drain the life force of humans through time and space for himself.
4 Flash # 209 sees Wally considering his escape from Superman as a race between the two, a “race” that he won.
Geoff John’s streak The flash included Linda losing her unborn twins after an encounter with Zoom, forcing Wally to make a deal with Hal Jordon, The Specter, so that everyone would forget that he was The Flash. Wally forgets he is Flash until an incident triggers his memory and his connection to the Speed Force. Once Wally tells her that he is Flash, Linda, unable to cope with the loss and still blaming Flash, leaves.
Batman, who has realized that Wally is Flash, forces him to confront League, clarify the deal with Hal, and reveal his identity again. Wally runs, causing Superman to follow him as he searches for Linda. The two end up at West’s apartment with Wally declaring that he won “the race.”
3 Flash: Rebirth features Barry leaving Superman in his dust, securing another victory for the flashes
During Flash: Rebirth, the Geoff Johns and Ethan Van Sciver miniseries reintroduced Barry Allen to the DCU following the events of Final Crisis and was the eighth race between the Flash and Superman. The Justice League tries to figure out a way to disconnect Barry from the Speed Force to save his life; breaks free from Hal Jordon’s containment field created with his ring.
As Barry runs away, hoping to re-enter the Speed Force, Superman chases after him, telling him that they will find a way to save him and that they will not lose him again. Superman says he will follow, even stating that he won some of the races they had over the years. Barry reminds him that those were for charity, before leaving Superman in the dust and entering the Speed Force.
two Superman wins the Improptu race in SUPERMAN # 709 with Flash claiming he let Superman do it
The two of them have a candid conversation about the recent events they have experienced and have left a legacy. As the two talk, they watch the charity race between Kid Flash and Superboy (which takes place in Super Boy and won by Krypto). As the two leave, Flash says that while Superman “won” the impromptu race, he let Superman catch him and is still the fastest man in the world.
1 Up In The Sky tells the story of a charity race between the two heroes that happened sometime in recent continuity, giving Superman another victory.
Tom King and Andy Kubert’s Up in the sky, from the Giant 100 page special Released in 2019, it tells the story of one of the charity races as part of the overall story arc. The story is told by a young girl that the aliens have kidnapped as she sits in her cell, holding her Superman action figure. She recalls how few believed that Superman would win all ten laps around the Earth, while everyone, including Lex Luthor, believed that Flash would win, demoralizing Superman.
During the race, Superman faces many physical struggles but, in the end, achieves victory, and Lex’s donation was used to house the first place that made Alice really happy and gives her hope that Superman will save her.
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