How do we know the Flash is faster than Superman?
I have heard from many people that the Flash is faster than Superman.
But how do we know this? Can you give me the comic issue/continuity and the basic plot summary?
This is a fascinating article describing some of the times Superman and various Flashes actually went head-to-head
You may find this interesting: http://scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/12679/why-did-superman-hold-back-against-the-flash-in-justice-league . Flash seems to be faster than Superman, but this manages to catch the Flash, apparently predicting his movements
It's already been established that all of the Flashes can move past light-speed via the Speed Force. As for Superman, he's never shown to move at light-speed while running inside a planetary atmosphere.
- This image should answer your question, though. This scan was taken from Flash v2, #220.
Flash states that Superman is moving at over 2000 miles/sec, which is also over 120,000 miles/minute, and also 7,200,000 mph. That's Mach 9350. I believe this is that fastest that I've seen Superman move under the Earth's atmosphere. He can, however, break light speed in the vacuum of outer space.
Superman has raced the Flash several times over their history but it is considered a given that if the Flash decided to run at his maximum, Superman who lack the environmentally-protective speed-force aura, is unable to move at his maximum without causing catastrophic environmental damage due to his moving near light speed.
- Barry Allen reminds Kal-El, even though we have raced several times in the past, ultimately, "I allowed you to participate and ultimately YOU CANNOT beat me in a race. Not now, not ever."
An important caveat to this statement is that Superman CAN move faster than light in space and has been shown to do that on several occasions in the New 52.
- Outside of a planetary atmosphere he has proven to be able to achieve speeds faster than light, traveling from Pluto to Earth in a matter of minutes. Whether this is due to him achieving superluminal speeds or by warping space around him has not been discerned or disclosed. His current top speed is estimated by this travel time at 16 to 20 times the speed of light!
As to why Superman cannot move faster than light in atmosphere, I submit to you an XKCD article explaining what happens when something moves at near-relativistic speeds in atmosphere: Relativistic Baseball. Totally worth the read.
`That's Mach 9350` I know the speed force allows Flash to move really fast without creating harmful sonic booms... What's Superman's excuse.
You may want to point out that the Flash in the top panel is Wally West, while the one in the lower panel is Barry Allen. Not a huge deal, but the uninitiated may be confused by the dialogue otherwise.
Superman hasn't been limited to the speed of light since 1949, when he went faster than the speed of light and "broke the time barrier".
The new 52 solar system is 1000th the size of ours. Otherwise, the scope-creep on superman's abilities is beyond any project I've worked on. "He needs to be faster than a locomotive! Able to leap small buildings in a single bound!" became "He needs to be able to be at least Mach 9000, and able to leap from Pluto to Earth in a single bound"
How do you account for this? http://static5.comicvine.com/uploads/scale_super/11/111099/2477877-flash_combat_speed.png
The question isn't limited to the New 52 so you might want to add these to your answer http://i.stack.imgur.com/duDTX.jpg http://i.stack.imgur.com/6gxJo.jpg I don't see any instances of Flash breaking the bonds of infinity!