Super-Speed (or Super Speed, Enhanced Speed, Celerity, Sonic Speed) is a super-power that allows a person to move faster than humanly possible. While most people can move at 12-15 miles per hour while sprinting, a possessor of super-speed can move much faster with (usually) a minimum of effort. This power also normally requires a great deal of strength, traction, and flexibility, though there are always exceptions, depending on the source or the nature of the power. A person with no such powers, even with the highest level of training and preparation, could not reach these speeds under their own power.
In some cases, in order to attain super-speed without destroying their own body, many possessors' powers also bend the laws of physics. In the case of The Flash, the most iconic of super-speedsters, his power is tied to "the Speed Force", which allows his body to experience super-speed while avoiding most of the potential pitfalls of that power.
In others, what is perceived as super-speed is a form of time manipulation. Zoom's and, for a while, Quicksilver's powers in this way, giving the appearance of super-speed and, for all intents and purposes, acts as super-speed. This can involve slowing time around the subject, speeding time up within the subject or it could even be a different form of time manipulation.
Characters who have the powers of super-speed tend to be leaner in build than many superheroes, as bulky muscles often get in the way.
Many abilities may come with this power by default. Some are:
- Ability to generate powerful winds using rapid arm movements .
- Ability to create a vacuum in the same method or by rapid circular movment.
- Ability to vibrate at such speed that the user can occasionally move through solid objects.
- Ability to travel through solid objects at such speeds as to pose no bodily harm.
- Perceiving time as being slower than the average person (and in some cases, to control this sense).
Super-Speed in Superhero FictionEdit
Super-Speed is a common power and Superman is the first major superhero to be known for it. However, the most famous character to have the power would come soon after; The Flash, who was one of the many superheroes introduced after the popularity of Superman created a deluge of superheroes. The Flash would be the most iconic super speed-based superhero and the character would later be brought back in the Silver Age with a new origin story.
This new Flash also used his powers in different ways, including being able to travel through solid matter by vibrating at the correct speed. Later, this approach to his power allowed him to travel through time with the help of an invention called the Cosmic Treadmill and even travel to other dimensions. This actually opened the doors for the DC heroes to visit Earth 2, an alternate dimension where the Golden Age stories took place, which paved the way for many crossovers between the two worlds. Later, it would be established his powers would come from a source known as the Speed Force, which actually have connections to all "speedsters" in the DC Universe.
Quicksilver, a villain-turned-hero in the Marvel Universe, is another significant super speed based superhero. Much like the Flash, the character initially was shown to have fairly straightforward super-speed powers, though after he joined X-Factor, he revealed that he actually experienced the world in slow motion, comparing the other people in his life to slow people in a bank line.
In John Byrne's superhero comic Next Men, one character with super-speed discovers that it damages his feet when he uses his power on hard ground, as well as ripping up his clothes when they aren't specially prepared.
Weaknesses and LimitationsEdit
- Though super-speed is among the most impressive and useful powers, it can have limitations. In some cases, the momentum is very hard to stop and even experienced speedsters may have difficulty stopping at a crucial moment. Without maneuverability and agility, a possessor of super speed may not be able to turn at crucial moments or must slow down to do more complex tasks.
- In some cases, due to the particular nature of that speed power, super-speed may actually age the user, as they are speeding up the time of their own biology.
- Though not a physical weakness, super-speed can cause frustration to some who experience the world in slow motion, such as Quicksilver, who explains that's why he constantly has a chip on his shoulder.