‘Justice League’: What Are the Flash’s Powers?

Kim Taylor-Foster
Movies Comics
Movies Comics The CW Arrowverse DC

We’ve seen The Flash in various incarnations, but the latest sees him appear on screen in Justice League, alongside Aquaman, Batman, Cyborg and Wonder Woman. The Flash we’ll see in the newest entry into the DC Extended Universe (which hits screens later this month) is the founding member of the Justice League, Barry Allen. Other characters to call themselves The Flash include Wally West, Jay Garrick and Bart Allen.

But just what are the Scarlet Speedster’s powers, and which might we see in Justice League? More to the point, does he have too many? Because he doesn’t just run really fast. While that’s definitely his USP, he’s actually got plenty more skills hidden under his sneakers. Many of these are a result of him tapping into the Speed Force, an extra-dimensional energy that gives speedsters in the DC universe their powers.

These additional abilities make him so dominant, you could argue that he’s almost too powerful. Leaving you asking whether he really needs any help from the other members of the Justice League anyway. Of course, when you take his weaknesses into account you’ll realise that’s nonsense. The Flash has been known to get cut off from the Speed Force from time to time and also to suffer from burnout — so he can pretty easily become overwhelmed. At these times, he’s clearly in need of a support team.

Remember this time in particular when he totally needed them?

We don’t know the extent of what Ezra Miller’s version of the character in the Justice League movie is able to do yet, but here’s a rundown of some of The Flash’s powers as we know them from previous incarnations.

He has superhuman speed!

Although The Flash’s top speed isn’t documented, we know he can run faster than the speed of light, and it’s this ability that, according to the comics, allows him to travel through time and dimensions. Although, in the Arrowverse TV series his top speed (so far) is discussed; it’s put at a little over Mach 2 — the speed he reached when he time travelled. This is somewhat slower than the speed of light which suggests that in this incarnation, it’s not so much the speed as the Speed Force itself that enables time travel.

He has other superhuman abilities!

OK, so if it wasn’t enough to run really fast — faster than Superman in case you were wondering – The Flash’s other abilities are also greatly enhanced by the Speed Force. His reflexes, stamina and agility, as well as other senses and abilities, are all boosted meaning that his body is able to cope easily with moving at superhuman speeds, adjusting accordingly. He can also perceive the world at a rate in step with his actions and reaction speed. Heck, he can even READ fast.

He can generate a Speed Force Aura!

What would be the good of running really fast if it meant you got a severe wind burn from moving at that velocity? Fortunately for The Flash, the Speed Force creates a kind of shield around him that protects him from any knock-on effects of travelling that fast, rendering air friction, kinetic impacts, G-Forces and the like, well, ineffectual.

The Flash Speed Force Aura
There's that aura in all its glory.

He can create vortexes!

This is an awesome one. The Flash can create super-strong whirlwinds by manipulating the airflow using his arms, which he rotates really, really fast. He can do the same by running in circles, enabling him to cut off the air supply at the centre of the vortex.

The Flash vortex
It's a useful skill, creating vortexes.

He can steal speed!

The Flash can take speed from others to boost his own velocity, by absorbing the kinetic energy. He can even steal the kinetic energy from objects. If he does this to a bullet in flight, the bullet loses its power. He can also give speed to objects or others temporarily.

He can generate electricity!

When drawing from the Speed Force, The Flash is able to generate electricity which he weaponises to use against his enemies. This electricity can also be used like a defibrillator to shock a person back to life.

He has enhanced strength!

Specifically, he is able to generate what’s known as an Infinite Mass Punch… Which is basically just a really hard punch. All you need to know is that if he went up against Superman, he’d come off best. Although, Superman has been known to make use of the Infinite Mass Punch himself in the comics, and if the two came up against each other and called their individual IMPs into play, Superman would probably win. That’s assuming they’re only going head-to-head with their punches and no other powers, of course.

He can pass through solids!

Also known as phasing, or quantum tunneling, The Flash is able to vibrate fast enough, and at the right frequency, to allow himself to pass through walls. He can also do the same to objects he’s carrying. Which is convenient. This ability has also been known to play a hand in him travelling to other dimensions.

Which is your favourite of The Flash’s abilities, and which do you think we’ll see in the upcoming film? Let us know via our social channels @getfandom. Justice League hits screens on November 17.

Kim Taylor-Foster
Kim Taylor-Foster is Entertainment Editor for Fandom in the UK. She was raised on an unsteady diet of video nasties and violent action flicks.