The Speed Force is an energy field that empowers the speedsters of DC’s universe. But in a multiverse of many realities, how does it work?
The Speed Force is an energy field that grants superspeed to those heroes and villains who are able to tap into it. But with DC exploring more and more alternate realities in their storytelling, it’s fair to ask: how does the Speed Force work within the Multiverse? Do multiple dimensions tap into the same field, do different dimensions have their own versions, and how does this affect speedsters like the Flash when they find themselves in another dimension?
First appearing during Mark Waid’s epic The Flash run of the 1990s, the Speed Force completely revolutionized the character, providing an explanation of how his powers worked. The Speed Force is the energy upon which all DC characters with super speed draw. In addition to allowing them to travel at super-high velocities (up to and beyond the speed of light), it provides enhanced reflexes and even heightened brain capacity. Different speedsters can use the Speed Force in slightly different ways, but at its base, all of them can move super fast.
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Within the DC Multiverse, it appears that the the Speed Force works regardless of which universe the speedster finds themselves in. Indeed, the Speed Force is a constant throughout the Multiverse, as it represents motion and the procession of time. However, some speedsters in different universes tap into the Speed Force in different ways. For example, Lady Flash, from Earth-33, uses hers to create kinetic blasts that can drain a target of movement.
In DC’s upcoming Future State event, a new speedster, named Jess Chambers, comes to our universe from Earth-11. How exactly their powers will work is still a mystery, but this precedent suggests they’ll have little problem using them, given they’ll be drawing from the same energy field in the same way, albeit while standing in a different reality within the DC Multiverse. Outside of DC’s Multiverse, however, matters get a little murkier; there have been two crossovers with Marvel, and the two were contradictory – in DC versus Marvel, Wally had no problem drawing on the Speed Force, and neither did Marvel’s resident speedster Quicksilver. Later, in JLA/Avengers, Wally was unable to draw on the Force while in the Marvel Universe, but Quicksilver was able to tap into it while in the DC Universe.
Complicating matters further is that DC now seems to be introducing the concept of multiple multiverses, and it will be interesting to see how the Speed Force works in those other multiverses, if at all. In fact, it may be the the Speed Force is what defines DC’s current mainstream multiverse, being a single field which intersects with all its component realities. The Speed Force is one of the most powerful forces in the DC Universe, and ties all of the speedster characters together. While in DC’s Multiverse, the Speed Force seems to be consistent regardless of where you are; it is only when you travel beyond that it breaks down. Happily, this means that characters like the Flash seldom have to worry about losing their Speed Force connection, even when they’re as far from home as it gets.
Next: The Flash’s New Villain Has Merged With the Speed Force
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