He'll be there before you know it, and gone before you see him.
"Keystone City has become a utopia— a protectorate relentlessly patrolled by a gale force once human. No one sees him... no one hears him. He runs a lonely race... but all who live here have felt his presence. He is everywhere at once... a guardian angel who rights even the most harmless of wrongs with lightning speed. He lives between the ticks of a second. He is The Flash."
When it's not incorporated with Flight
, it's at least the next best thing. Super speed means super speed
. Super speedsters are not just faster than your average human (otherwise, they might as well be cheetahs). They're faster than a speeding bullet.
Whether it's permanent or only for a single TV episode or comic book issue, whether it's from being struck by a lightning bolt
, defying forces like gravity and air resistance
, or using Super Serum
, "speed" usually only manifests through running. However, several teen and kid heroes
have used it to quickly clean up
after a wild house party
or to finish in five minutes all that homework that had to be put off to defeat the Monster of the Week
writers love to apply this trope to the Theory of Relativity, The Theme Park Version
of which says, "If you go fast enough, you'll alter the flow of time, and you can Time Travel
to the future or the past." Characters who can't travel through time get the opposite effect: They can speed up so fast, it's as if time stops
for the rest of the world. (Unfortunately, the speed factor is usually forgotten, and time is treated as if it really did just stop.) A (slightly) less egregious option is simply to have the speedster move so fast that he appears to duplicate himself - appearing in two places with so little real time passing in between that the brains/sensory equipment of any observers see him in two places at once. Extremely skillful speeders are capable of creating multiple "light clones" in this fashion.
No matter the character, there's only one Super Speed: Really Fast. Any race between such heroes will probably end evasively
. It's less common than flight, which makes it neater, but still ends up being tacked on to a few Flying Bricks
Curiously, characters with Super Speed tend to also have super acceleration and deceleration
: they usually reach their regular running speed instantly and are able to stop on a dime without harm
. You only see them "speeding up" if they're trying to reach some extreme level of speed they usually aren't accustomed to. They also probably need some sort of Handwave
as to why they (and anyone/anything on their person) don't catch on fire
from the atmospheric friction. Finally, a lot of speedsters have incredible levels of stamina as well, even if only when they're in speed mode — the amount of ground they cover is more than any human being should cover without a good rest and perhaps a protein bar.
Characters with Super Speed almost always have Super Reflexes
as a Required Secondary Power
. The two are not
the same; while someone with Super Reflexes
may have the same perception of slowness as Super Speed, the user does not actually move
any faster than normal, just react faster.
May show up as a Handwave
for Artistic License – Martial Arts
— after all, a "highly telegraphed" roundhouse is a lot less easy to counter when your opponent's foot meets your face in the time it takes for you to blink.
Also see Super Speed's younger sibling, the Flash Step
. A Sub-Trope
of Art Major Physics
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Anime & Manga
- Bleach: Ichigo's Bankai allows him to perform hyper-speed combat against Byakuya, who is noted for his extreme Flash Step talent. Ichigo moves at such great speeds that he leaves after-images of himself as a side effect and can counter multi-directional, high-speed attacks from millions of tiny blades without injury. His movements become so fast and intense that his bones begin breaking under the pressure of his ability. After this battle, he never again performs combat at such an extreme level of speed.
- Super Speed is a staple in Naruto, having been used by several characters.
- In Part II, Kakashi makes hand-signs are now too fast to see (which leaves you wondering what his bones are doing in the meantime).
- The main character has speed that resembles the speed of a series teleporter. This is a recent development, as for most of the series he had merely average speed (for a ninja). The first time he used this new ability, literal Lightning Bruiser Killer Bee mistook it for the Flying Thunder God Jutsu, the teleportation technique used by Naruto's late father. At his highest speed, a long trail of chakra forms behind him, and he is able to deflect attacks with the resulting shockwave alone.
- Joe Shimamura a.k.a. Cyborg 009 of, well, Cyborg 009 has the power to accelerate to freeze time (or greatly slow it down, from his subjective view), therefore allowing him to move at the blink of an eye. One episode actually had his power malfunction for the whole episode.
- He's not the only one, either. Jet aka 002 also had it (though it's not his main skill), and IIRC several enemies had that same skill too (Magnificent Bastard Vog Bogoot and Blood Knight Cain among them)
- Lampshaded, by showing what happens to things when they face sudden acceleration. Paper burns, for example...
- J Soldat, the cyborg in GaoGaiGar that's a shout out to Cyborg 002, also possesses the super speed and flight present.
- Vampires in Hellsing are all faster than humans. The fastest thus far was minor antagonist Luke Valentine, who was complimented on it by none else than super-vampire and series Sociopathic Hero Alucard.
- Much of the fight scenes in Dragon Ball Z feature sequences of "colliding blurs" where characters fight at Super Speed. Sometimes it is taken to the level where all we can see are random shockwaves in midair as the camera jerks around to track them.
- Lyrical Nanoha:
- This is a default power of all Saints in Saint Seiya. Even the Bronze Saints are making a few Mach numbers, the Silvers are an order of magnitude or more faster, and the Gold Saints are explicitly said to move at lightspeed (and then have battles in which one Gold will say "your lightspeed is slower than mine!")
- Straight Cougar from S-Cry-Ed. His alter power (named "Radical Good Speed") enables him to transform objects (including his own body) to reach their fullest speed capacity. He also both drives and talks very quickly. ("I love it! Two more seconds to live...")
- Yuki Nagato of Haruhi Suzumiya. How fast is she? Well, remember the Mikuru Beam? Turns out, thanks to a certain Reality Warper, she really was firing laser beams. And these were not the usual slow laser beams. These were actual, fast-as-light laser beams. Still, in a blink of an eye (Mikuru's, specifically), Yuki moved from her position two meters away to block the laser headed for Kyon with her palm, then continued blocking every other laser heading for him until she was able to nullify the Mikuru Beam.
- Misora's artifact in Mahou Sensei Negima! are a pair of shoes that grant her super speed. She uses them to bravely, bravely run away whenever danger rears its ugly head.
- In a recent chapter, the lead Negi learned how to use his Black Magic to fuse with his own lighting magic to become a being of lightning speed. He pin-balled his enemy though the air with it.
- Essentially all of the top-tier fighters in Mahou Sensei Negima! can use this at least since they entered Mundus Magicus, to the point of some battles resembling the fights in Dragon Ball in its prime.
- As far as normal humans are considered, Ookochi Akira is able to use this with no apparent training whatsoever. She was able to catch the above mentioned Misora, while using said artifact, with next to no effort and did it so fast and completely unprecedented that even her three strongest classmates were greatly surprised.
- In the Pokémon anime, Ash's Pikachu, Cyndaquil, and Turtwig were trained to take advantage of their speed in battle. Turtwig subverts it however when it evolves into Grotle and has to adjust to a Mighty Glacier battle style. In the games, Speed is the most important stat. Ninjask and Jolteon would be pretty useless without that blinding speed to Baton Pass.
- This is the secondary power of Wrath/Bradley from the Fullmetal Alchemist manga. The combination of bullet-dodging speed with his primary power of the Ultimate Eye, which lets him always see the best move to make in combat makes him a terror to behold. Most fights he enters end up being horribly one-sided.
- It's also the primary power of Sloth. Somewhat subverted, however, because he does not have Super Reflexes as well.
- Played with in the second season of Darker Than Black. A Contractor who briefly appears has Super Speed, yes, but he lacks nearly all the Required Secondary Powers. He complains that his muscles will be sore the next day when he has to Flash Step twice, he can't change direction fast enough to avoid crashing face-first into a tree, and it turns out that when you're moving fast enough to dodge bullets, everything else is moving towards you just as fast. So when April makes it rain...
- In Ranma ˝, as with Super Strength, anyone who practices the right style of martial arts gets this ability. Ranma Saotome himself, in the first volume/second episode, manages to jab at Kunō's forehead fast enough to leave bruises in the pattern of insulting kanji without this being seen or even being felt by Kunō. Later on, he kicks Kunō about a dozen times so fast that, to an observer, he seems to just be sweeping his leg up in front of him. A subsequent story has Ranma hitting Mikado Sanzen'in five hundred-plus times in the span of a few seconds. And he does all of these feats before undergoing the Kachu Tenshin Amaguriken training.
- The training above makes him even more ungodly fast, to the point where he has been known to punch water at villains with enough force to cause serious hurt. Whereas before he was kicking Kunō a dozen times in the blink of the eye, he later learned to punch HUNDREDS of times fast enough so that no-one (Including Ryōga, who was being punched), noticed more than one blow.
- In Claymore, Clare first develops this power during the fight against Rigardo by applying her demonic transformation to just her legs instead of her whole body; before then, any sort of controlled "awakening", as it is referred to in the series, was unheard of.
- Sena of Eyeshield 21 to a "human degree" from time to time. While never running at "super speed," he's able to run 40 yards in 4.2 seconds (exceptional even for an NFL player, and this kid's still in high school), when the average players runs at 5 seconds or so (which is a huge difference). He's still shown in the manga zipping around people, and the Devil Bat Ghost allows him to run through people by changing the pace of his footsteps but keeping the same speed, leaving the foe unable to predict where he will turn.
- Sena also parodies this in non-football situation. During a football (soccer) kick-off match, due to his inability to kick, he instead ran around the ball at high speeds to confuse the goalie... but he got tired, had to catch his breath, and the goal didn't make it in. In another chapter, during a sumo match against Monta, he rushed around the ring, but lost when his foot just barely stepped out of the ring.
- In Rurouni Kenshin, Kenshin himself is trained in battou-jutsu (i.e., quick draw with a blade, effectively) techniques, and his speed is called "God-Speed" In-Universe. Unfortunately for him, he meets an opponent who's even faster: Soujirou—The Dragon in the Kyoto Arc—who can move faster than the human eye can even see and is capable of Le Parkour to the point of being able to run on ceilings, and whose Dissonant Serenity makes it difficult for Kenshin to read his body language.
- In Kiddy Grade, main character Éclair has this ability, as does minor character Foxy Fox.
- In Heroman, Joey has this, to compliment Heroman's huge strength but lack of speed.
- In the Doraemon: Nobita's Little Star Wars movie, Doraemon has a gadget that makes a person capable of Super Speed fast enough to become invisible as long you have the stamina.
- Nobita and the Birth of Japan movie has a tether like rope that he makes the gang hold on to, which makes them capable of running like a train.
- Black Star from Soul Eater has a "Speed Star" technique that temporarily emulates super speed. Friction with the ground is actually a problem for him; the first time he uses it on-screen, the fresh mud he was running through caused him to slip during a sharp turn.
- Mosquito's form from 400 years ago is so fast he was able to tear Free in half and cut off one of Death the Kid's arms in 1 second. He claims his form from 200 years ago to have been his fastest, though Free and Kid handled him considerably better.
- In Rosario + Vampire, while vampires are renowned for their Super Strength, werewolves like Ginei are known for their speed. Not that vampires themselves aren't pretty damn quick.
- In Samurai Deeper Kyo Bikara of the Twelve's insane speed combined with his considerable strength was enough to reach a draw with Kyo in his prime after fighting for a day.
- Loz in Final Fantasy VII Advent Children is capable of short bursts of speed that take him from one place to another almost instantly. It doesn't make so much difference when everyone has Super Reflexes anyway, but it does enable him to take out Tifa in an instant after nearly losing to her before using the speed.
- In JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, Jotaro's Stand Star Platinum and Dio's Stand The World are both incredibly fast. This is actually the basis for Dio's and eventually Jotaro's ability to freeze time. The World and Star Platinum are so fast that time can't keep up.
- One application of the Rise power from Psyren is this. Two characters in particular are so fast that another character, after teleporting to a point maybe thirty feet above the battlefield and falling at normal speed, feels trapped in mid-air while the other two fight it out below. They finish the fight before he hits the ground.
- In One Piece, many characters are so fast that they can literally vanish from sight in combat.
- Specifically, Luffy's Gear 2nd as well as Kizaru's literal light speed play into this trope quite easily.
- Even Brook fits in as he often attacks and even goes right by opponents without them noticing his presence or even the very pain they received in the first place. It's only until the sword sheathes that the enemies react.
- Not to mention how the Marines have their own technique that involves kicking the ground AT LEAST TEN TIMES IN THE BLINK OF AN EYE to move vast distances in short periods, easily surpassing sonic speeds.
- Cavendish's split personality Hakuba is insanely fast, even by One Piece standards. In the Coliseum battle he took out (almost) all the remaining fighters in the blink of an eye.
- One of the stock powers for Heretic Gods in Campione!. At his top speed Sun Wukong was effectively invisible due to his speed, but also lacked the fine control to do anything more than strike once while passing his opponent. Functionally, godspeed is not actually them moving faster but warping space to reduce the distance they travel between two points.
- Godou also possesses super speed from his Raptor authority. At full speed he lacks any form of fine control and so any attack is likely to miss. If used sparingly, it can act as a type of Flash Step and increase his ability to dodge.
- In Kill la Kill, Uzu Sanageyama's Blade Regalia looks massive and hulking, but doesn't stop him from being deceptively fast. The "leaves afterimages in the air" and "so fast he's for all intents and purposes teleporting" kind of fast. Oh, and he also has Hyper Awareness.
- In A Certain Magical Index, several characters can move at incredible speeds, especially Saints. Mark Space was once talking to a little girl named Patricia Birdway. He noticed an assassination attempt, darted out and stopped it, then returned to his original position without Patricia seeing him move.
- The comic book examples are The Flash(es) — a.k.a. "The Fastest Man Alive". They break every single law of physics, and have fun doing it. Their standard cruising velocity has ranged from the speed of light (Pre-Crisis) to the speed of sound (Post-Crisis).
- Deconstructed in the song "The Ballad of Barry Allen", where the narrator (Barry Allen) laments about the inability to slow down his perception, at one point noting that the world is boring because when things happen in an instant, they're almost fast enough for him.
- Which indicates a lack of knowledge about Barry beyond "Is really fast".
- Such is their speed that Flash-type speedsters (those who draw their power from the Speed Force) are the fastest living beings in their universe once they get going; yes, even faster than gods. At least one of the Flashes (Wally West) was able to outrun the Black Flash who is the representation of Death for speedsters.
- The Flash's Captain Ersatz in the Squadron Supreme is the Whizzer, who's fast enough to deflect a hail of incoming bullets while in free-fall. Unlike the Flash, however, he needs to sleep a comparable number of hours that he's awake and using his Super Speed.
- It's been revealed that Barry, at least, goes through 300 sleep cycles in a 24 hour period. Pretty sure this applies to the other Flashes.
- You want see how fast Flash can get? This◊ fast.◊ Not for nothing is he called "The Fastest Man Alive."
- Wally West was originally depicted as being slower than Barry, not even being able to break the sound barrier. This was revealed to be a mental block that Wally subconsciously placed on himself because he was afraid of surpassing his hero. Once he got over it he truly became The Fastest Man Alive.
- Superman. Most versions show him as just slightly slower than The Flash, usually because running is much more strenuous for him than flying. However, when the Flash's top speed changes, Superman's top speed has changed as well, usually preceding or following by months or years. This is probably because their races are a classic battle. It took a while for The Powers That Be to decide to stop the Evasive Fight Thread Episode tradition and truly decide that the Flash was indeed the fastest man alive. It went from "Neck and neck then something interrupts the race" to "Supes is just slower, but his running speed is slower than his flying speed" to the Post-Crisis status of Superman being nowhere near capable of even approaching the Flash's top speed. (Immediately-Post-Crisis Superman got quite a power-down from the godlike levels of the Silver Age, as the writers realized that he isn't diminished by not being omnipotent and he's also a lot easier to write for if he has some limits. Power Creep, Power Seep has made him ultra-powerful again; he now outstrips about 90% of the specialised speedsters in terms of speed. The Flash, of course, is still much faster.)
- It has been shown (in Flash Rebirth #3) that the Flash is still much faster. As Barry puts it "Those races were for charity, Clark." He then leaves Supes completely in the dust.
- Most fans agree that The Flash is the fastest being in the DCU, since, his only power being super speed, he should be the one who does it best. While Superman is the swiss army knife of the DCU, Flash would be compared to a scalpel: not as versatile, but MUCH more effective in its intended use.
- One very important practical distinction is that Supes cannot think or perform complex actions at super-speed (although he does have superfast-but-much-slower-than-Flash reflexes).
- Smallville's Clark Kent probably uses it most frequently, not having mastered the gift of Flight yet. When he's moving and seeing things in super-speed, Impulse is still little more than a red streak.
- Which just goes to show how obscenely fast Flash/Impulse is, being consistently the fastest character on the show, considering that Smallville Clark has proven to be FASTER THAN BLOODY LIGHT.
- Though it should be noted that in the successor comics, once he gets the hang of flight, his running speed decreases, to the point where the Flash remarks on it and Clark explains it as a byproduct of being able to fly.
- Many characters also had Super Speed in Smallville, because Clark time is just so awesome.
- Gets a lampshade moment in Warrior when a superhero with Super Speed wonders why there is no sonic boom.
- Pre Crisis, at least, Superman's speed matched or was a notch below the Flash's; this was the era during which most of the classic Flash-Superman races took place. (One race featured the two forced to race to the edge of the galaxy and back, with Flash surviving in space via a means rigged up by the Guardians of Oa.) While not involving running, Superman also was shown pre-Crisis (and in a few post-Crisis stories, despite the canonical powering-down) as able to fly through interstellar space (without being gone from Earth for months/years). Finally, like the Flash, Superman in the Silver Age and Bronze Age could travel through time via use of his super-speed, which also came up in a Superman/Flash race, this one through the timestream. (The ability to time-travel under his own power was also how Superboy could be a member of the Legion of Super-Heroes.) Even pre-Crisis, however, what sets Flash's speed apart from Superman's was Flash possessing finite control over his body's molecules, allowing him to do various stunts Superman couldn't do...vibrate through walls being the most famous one.
- Captain Marvel is canonically faster than Superman, having been blessed with the speed of Mercury, and while he also cannot outrun Flash, he is fast enough to sneak up and grab him if Flash were at rest.
- Quicksilver from the Marvel Universe can "only" go about 700 MPH. He's explained to a psychologist the reason he's quick-tempered, irritable, and impatient — imagine a world where everyone is that annoying person who doesn't know how to work an ATM and you're behind them in line. note
- Though amusingly this attitude was once reversed during the Marvel vs DC crossover. Quicksilver fought the Flash and found himself just as annoyed to find someone who was faster than him.
- Though when the Flash found himself in the Marvel Universe, with no Speed Force, the tables were very quickly turned...
- 616 Quicksilver's speed has always been a tad inconsistent, but ever since M Day he has been depicted as much faster than 700mph.
- He had some limiters that were removed after a feverish dream which somehow restored his original powers. (Before that, he'd use the Terrigen Mists that powered the Inhumans to try and restore his powers. That didn't work well for most mutants who tried it, but for him, it gave him altered powers: while he could no longer run fast, he could vibrate his molecules at faster than light speeds, allowing him to time travel at will.)
- Ultimate Quicksilver is much faster. He once gave an enemy speedster an object lesson in what real speed is by taking hold of her and running so fast her skin was stripped off and then she burst into flame.
- As of Siege, Quicksilver is comfortably moving at FTL speeds (outrunning radio signals).
- Tommy, AKA Speed, from Marvel's Young Avengers, who not only has superspeed, but can accelerate matter of objects to the point that they explode. He's the reincarnated nephew of Quicksilver, and has proven to be much faster than Quicksilver.
- An example of Speed's speed, he ran from New York to Genosha (off the coast of Africa IIRC) before Wiccan could teleport there. He also searched the entire place in the time he spent waiting for Wiccan's near instantaneous teleport. As Wiccan put it "Um, Tommy, how fast are you exactly?"
- While always inconsistent as mentioned above, Quicksilver and Speed are both tiptoeing much closer to the "Flash" end of the Speedster scale lately.
- Aurora and Northstar, from the Marvel Comics super-team Alpha Flight, have both super-speed and flight, making them ridiculously maneuverable. Unusually, they don't have superhuman reactions or reflexes.
- Marvel comics has a character from Power Pack and Loners named Julie, nicknamed Light Speed. She can move fast, react fast and heals fast. However, despite being called "Lightspeed", in one comic, upon breaking the sound barrier, she claimed she was at her limit.
- Marvel also partially subverts this trope, however, by providing characters with a range of speeds to their name. You have the top speedsters, Quicksilver and the Beaubier twins, who can easily break the speed of sound and have been rated as capable of 99.99% of the speed of light. Then come Herald class characters such as the Silver Surfer, whose speed is mentioned below and Thor, who in flight has exceeded three times the Speed of Light. Then you have Iron Man and other tech heroes; most of these can fly and at least keep up with jets. Further down the scale come the various superstrong types like Hulk and Hercules, who don't get instant acceleration but can run several hundred miles an hour once they get a good buildup (thanks to their Super Strength). Next up come characters whose powers are super-everything: Warpath and Monet are two examples, being much stronger, faster, and with better senses than most. Warpath can run at around a hundred miles an hour while Monet is likely more around thirty to forty MPH depending (her strength seems to fluctuate). Even Spider-Man has a shadow of Super Speed, able to run at around 65 MPH for about two miles before getting too tired from the exertion (assuming no other factors are involved).
- DC Comics' Captain Carrot and His Amazing Zoo Crew! featured as a team member Fastback, a turtle with super speed powers. The "Just'a Lotta Animals" from Earth-C-Minus also featured the Flash's counterpart, the Crash (a turtle with super speed and Flash's costume). And to top it all off, Fastback's uncle was DC's Golden Age funny animal superhero (and speedster) the Terrific Whatzit (yet another turtle wearing a version of the Golden Age Flash's costume).
- Marvel Comics once saluted the Flash, and in so doing showed that it does not have "all speedsters have one speed", during a race to the moon on an artificial bridge made by The Runner. Only running speed was allowed (thus the Beaubier twins were not competing), and by the end of the race, some speedsters either fell out because they didn't have the endurance, or simply weren't as fast. Makkari the Eternal was in the lead and perhaps a mile from the moon, when "Buried Alien", in the tatters of a red costume, appeared on Earth. He just RAN, reaching the moon just before Makkari did. Since Makkari's running speed is 3,000 miles per hour, this means he achieved a speed of roughly 900 miles per second, or about less than half a percent of the speed of light. A slow jog for the Flash...
- The Mighty Thor is so fast, he catches artillery shells in mid flight, swings his hammer at twice the speed of light, and is described as "faster than the lightning he commands." In flight, he has exceeded three times the speed of light.
- The Silver Surfer (thanks to his Power Cosmic) is so insanely fast that he can travel LIGHTYEARS in SECONDS!◊. Just to elaborate: 1 Light year = Approximately 9,460,730,472,580.8 Kilometers. In order to travel just one light year in sixty seconds his minimum speed is about 525,960 Times the speed of Light.
- For someone who neither possesses super speed as his hat, nor is supposed to possess superhuman abilities of any sort beyond "photographic reflexes", Taskmaster is hideously, terrifyingly fast, being capable of casually snatching bullets out of the air with his hands and bisecting, with a katana, 5 men spread out over an area of roughly 30 feet in less than a second.
- Taskmaster's is more or less just jacked-up Super Reflexes. By watching things on fast-forward, his photographic reflexes let him duplicate it at the same speed. This trick is hard on his body.
- Likewise, Taskie's drinking buddy Deadpool, who has been seen outrunning thrown swords, striking symbiote tentacles, a jetliner about to take off from the runway and high-velocity sniper bullets.
- The Beano's Billy Whizz, a long-running strip about the "world's fastest boy". His speed and reactions are so fast they even allow him to stay dry in a rainstorm by dodging between raindrops.
- To put it into perspective, a "slow jog" for Billy is about 100mph or so. He can easily outrun sound - he once went supersonic at school to prevent a teacher from hearing an insulting remark his friend had just made about the teacher. His greatest moment to date though was when his father wanted to change the TV channel to watch some boring football match, and Billy outran the signal from the remote control in order to negate the channel-change command. Yes, he went consideraly faster than light across the living-room and back!
- In October 2013, Billy was introduced to his female cousin, Wilma "Billie" Whizz; who turned out to be about as fast as him. The first thing that they decided to do was challenge each other to a race. Surprisingly enough for a speedster race, it did not end in a draw.
- The first race was a short sprint across Beanotown (several miles) and was won by Billy by about an arms-length. Billie challenged him to 2 further races to determine who was the faster, with the prize possibly being who got control of his comic strip in future. Billy agreed.
- The second race was a "middle distance" race from Beanotown (usually depicted as a small town somewhere in the southeast of England, surrounded by countryside) to Dundee, Scotland (a distance of abut some 400 miles). Billy was leading early in the race, but was overtaken in the latter stages and lost by several metres.
- The third challenge was a long distance race around the world. It started in Beanotown, travelling south and across the English channel, through France, Germany, and shortly afterwards passing through Transylvania (during the Hallowe'en 2013 edition of the comic). At this point, Billy and Billie were still level.
- In All Fall Down, Pronto had this before his accident. Later, so does the Modern Prometheus.
- A-Train of The Boys. Unlike most examples, he doesn't really care about the physical effects of running into someone at speeds fast enough to Walk on Water, which starts the plot.
- Scaredycat and Wind of Strikeforce: Morituri had this ability.
Films — Animation
- Dash from The Incredibles is another example of a speedster. He initially uses this power to pull pranks on his teacher and annoy his sister, but in time he learns to use this power effectively in battle, managing such feats as outrunning attack pods, delivering Rapid-Fire Fisticuffs, and even running on water.
- The titular character in Turbo.
Films — Live-Action
- Older Than Feudalism: According to Vergil, the Thracian Harpalyce (daughter of Harpalycus, king of the Amymnei) was capable of outrunning horses, the river Hebrus and the East Wind.
- The 1901 H. G. Wells short story "The New Accelerator" was about a man who had invented a serum that would accelerate a human to time-stop speeds.note
- In Animorphs one book has the team morph cheetahs. Cue a Villain of the Week with this ability.
- The Shrike from the book Hyperion, who can move at... 70-ish trillion times lightspeed. Yes, trillion.
- What's worse, he has time manipulating powers meaning there was no good reason to make him so ridiculously fast in the first place.
- In Heretics of Dune, Miles Teg gets this power as a result of a botched interrogation — implied to be a result of the unique mechanics of the interrogation device unlocking a latent genetic talent. His speed also includes accelerated reflexes, slowed time perception, a form of Super Senses (explained as an amplification of his Mentat training), and massive boosts to his metabolic rate and the oxygen storage capacity of his blood to handle the increased energy demands. The effect also turns him into a Big Eater, which is played for both drama and laughs. Fortunately, he can turn the ability on or off at will.
- John D. MacDonald, who normally writes mainstream detective fiction starring Travis Mc Gee, once wrote a novel titled The Girl, the Gold Watch, and Everything, which featured a watch that could slow time down to near-timestop levels. The inertia that ordinary objects would have at such superaccelerated perceptual speeds played a key role in the story.
- Anne Rice's vampires have this ability.
- Shown to great effect in the first chapters of Interview With A Vampire. Louis stands in a darkened room with his human interviewer and tells him, very calmly and very thoroughly, that he is going to step across the room and turn on the light. The man is baffled, wondering what the big deal is. When Louis moves, at a speed he later assures the man is nowhere near his top speed and in turn nowhere near the speeds of many other vampires, it appears to human perception that Louis' arm grew to incredible lengths to reach the light switch and turn it on, while to Louis, he very deliberately reached out his arm, walked across the room, turned on the switch, and walked back to where he had been standing.
- As do the vampires in The Saga of Darren Shan. All vampires (whether they're still part-human or "fully-blooded") can move so quickly over short distances that it seems instantaneous to humans. Mr Crepsley uses this to fake Mind over Matter, snatching things out of people's hands so quickly they don't see him take them. Full-blood vampires can cover much greater distances via "flitting".
- The Runelords have super speed if they take endowments of speed from their Dedicates. It averts Art Major Physics, though, in a section that explicitly spells out (and demonstrates) a speedster leaning into turns, being careful not to break his legs, and arcing through the air after cresting a hill.
- Akane Akiyama of the web-novel Domina has this power.
- In Codex Alera, talented Windcrafters can draw on their Fury's power to move really damn fast. But, if they don't have metalcrafting, they can damage themselves pretty badly in the process.
- In The Vu Sabella Hall can move at incredible speeds which increase her reaction times and allow her to perceive the world as if in a time dilation.
- In the Discworld books, iconographs are externally just like cameras, but they have little imps inside that paint the pictures. This means that the imp can paint a photorealistic picture in a split-second. They may not do any running, but that's very fast indeed.
- One of the more common gifts granted by the titular Bond Creatures in the Spirit Animals series.
- In Marion G. Harmon's "Wearing the Cape" series, all speedsters are similar in powers. Their personal speed can vary between normal and up to 10x normal. Beyond that they "jump the wall" into "hypertime". Essentially everything is stopped, and they're moving at normal speeds along with whatever they bring (one speedster brings his motorcyle with him so he can get around in the "instant" faster). It's lampshaded in the filler text that the laws of physics for hypertime are hideously inconsistent and make no sense whatsoever.
Myths & Religion
- Norse Mythology: In one legend, Thor's servant Thjalfi nearly outruns "Thought". ("Thought" being a raven in this context. But a really fast one.)
- Greek Mythology:
- Hermes. Those winged sandals ain't just for show. He's such an influential Ur Example that The Flash's wing decals are direct homages to Hermes' sandals.
- Though not so well known today, Iris, the Nymph of the Rainbow, is swifter even than Hermes; he is the god of messengers, but she is the messengers of the gods. Daughter of sea and sky, kin to earth and the underworld, she can go anywhere and be welcomed.
- Possible UrExample of the trope can be found in Lugalbanda, either ancestor or deity of Gilgamesh (depends on which legend mentioning his name you're reading at the moment), which received a blessing from Anzu bird (spirit of Storm and Thunder) - ability to run really really fast. At that time he was a simple footsoldier in a current ruler's army, later he was promoted to messenger (justified), ended up as the next King, and after his death, a god, although somewhat minor.
- Dungeons & Dragons wizards have the happy opportunity to cast the "Haste" spell, which grants a small dose of super speed to the party. In 2nd Edition, this boost came at the cost of a year of the targets' lifetimes, as their metabolism kicked into overdrive. 3rd Edition removed this drawback, and also added magical weapons that move fast enough to grant extra attacks per round.
- The partially martial arts-inspired 3rd Edition supplement The Book of Nine Swords draws on the super speed concept with the "Diamond Mind" school, whose practitioners are described as acting in moments others aren't aware of. The ultimate Diamond Mind technique is named Time Stands Still, which lets the user take two full attacks in one round. To actually receive a Time Stop effect, you have to take a Diamond-mind focused prestige class.
- Vampire: The Masquerade has the vampiric Discipline of Celerity which accelerates a vampire to superhuman speeds, often becoming quite a Game Breaker in combat-oriented campaigns. In fact, using Celerity above level one in front of Muggles is an instant breach of The Masquerade.
- Oddly Celerity is only a partial example. While effect is Super Speed, what's actually happening is the vampire is moving at normal speed, but has speeded up time for just themselves. Most vampires don't know they are doing this, which is probably for the best. Those that did know made a mess.
- Vampire: The Requiem manages to tone down the brokenness, seeing as multiple actions are no longer a huge part of the game system. However, the Discipline still does allow a vampire to outrace a car, jump up the initiative roster, and apply their Defense against firearms attacks.
- In GURPS, you can get either Enhanced Move which lets you accelerate to high running speeds. However Altered Time rate is a more traditional speedster power, allowing you live at double speed (or tripe, quadruple etc).
- The game also suggests that you to take Resistant To Acceleration, if you don't the character is liable to blackout if he tries to start too fast.
- Mutants & Masterminds has a Super-Speed power, but it essentially deconstructs into a combination of the Speed (run faster) and Quickness (perform skill checks in a shorter duration) along with an array of alternate powers (things like being able to use your super-speed to run up a wall, spin and deflect projectiles, dodge oncoming attacks, etc). The core game does not allow multiple attacks per turn, so the only use of super-speed to attack allowed is in the form of descriptors on alternate powers.
- DC Heroes has a Super speed power. Power values in this game system were described by a single number; in the case of Super speed it described your running speed, could be used in place of your Dexterity for dodging attacks/rolling attacks/causing damage (imagine punching someone at the speed of sound, or punching him several times per second), and defined how much "faster" you could perform a lengthy action such as disarming a bomb. An optional rule allowed you to roll dice to see how many extra "simple actions" you could perform on your turn.
- The Unhinged parody set of Magic: The Gathering humbly presents the Rocket-Powered Turbo Slug. It has the ability of Super Haste, which is like ordinary Haste, except it can attack on the turn before you cast it.
- Exalted has a number of speed-altering Charms. The most consistently impressive has to be the "Wind-Born Stride" Adorjani charmset from Infernals, which is based largely around ways to improve your running, including making sprinting as restful as sleep, running on water, and running so fast you set off a small-scale shockwave like a quiet sonic boom. This led to this rpg.net thread, which came up with a build capable of breaking the sound barrier on foot, and outracing the Concorde in a scout warstrider. (Lunars have an even more impressive Charm that allows them to chase and catch this one, but that one requires you to be specifically chasing them.)
- Warhammer Fantasy Battle has the Lore of Light spells Speed of Light and Birona's Timewarp. The first turbocharges a unit's Weapon Skill and Initiative, allowing them to go before most enemies and hit far more accurately. The second doubles movement speed, gives bonus attacks, and bestows Always Strikes First upon the unit. Both are fairly popular with the Lizardmen, whose frontline combat units are generally Mighty Glaciers.
- The hero Tachyon from Sentinels Of The Multiverse, being an Expy of The Flash, is a super speedster scientist. Gameplay wise, her Super Speed means her deck has quite a few cards that grant her extra card plays so she can get a bunch of bursts in her trash to unleash as many Lightspeed Assults as possible (going by the card art, it is Tachyon simply punching the target repeatetly)
- Because the underlying Hero System is "effect-based" and you can potentially do a lot of tricks with superspeed, there's not simply one speed power in Champions — instead, you basically buy and pay for what you're planning to actually do with it. This list may just start with an increased Speed attribute for more actions per turn, extra Running (possibly with an increased noncombat multiplier) to get from A to B more quickly, the Autofire advantage (hopefully coupled with Reduced Endurance Cost) for your character's unarmed punches...
- A creature known as Bitey of the Brackenwood continuity by Adam Philips has the ability to hop great distances in an instant, or sustain a galloping pace at ridiculously fast speeds; so much so that in the video, the Yuyu, it is heavily implied he encircles the small world of Brackenwood in roughly 30 seconds.
- Red vs. Blue: Freelancer Agent Carolina has an armor enhancement that lets her reach running speeds equal to that of a speeding motorcycle.
- The huntsman and huntresses of RWBY are in general much faster than normal humans, but no one else compares to Ruby, whose special ability is her speed. She can move in any direction, including straight up, she accelerates and decelerates instantly, and while moving at top speed she is completely invisible to the human eye, making it appear as though she is warping from spot to spot. Even carrying another person she is still able to move fast enough to simply appear as a blur. The only real limitation is that she is only able to move that quickly in short bursts.
- Project 0: Ciro, Kareem and Noor have it down
- In It's Walky! and its spin-off Shortpacked!, Robin is a truly troubling combination of Super Speed and Genki Girl. It's specifically stated that her powers come from consuming large amounts of sugar. At one point she eats Cadbury cream egg cereal, and got elected to Congress. At another, eating the same resulted in her sleeping with another congressperson and passing a bill that brought about world peace. Recently it's been shown that she asked the Head Alien for super speed specifically so she could never be caught and could get away from her family.
- Saiko of Saiko and Lavender has superspeed to such a degree that is also grants multipresence.
- Sluggy Freelance has a couple cases of this. Hyperactive ferret Kiki enters a Caffeine Bullet Time state whenever she eats candy (to the extent that she can circle the globe several times before anyone can react). Santa Claus, meanwhile, can move at tremendous speeds by harnessing the same power that lets him deliver presents all over the world in a single night. After acquiring the position of Easter Bunny, Bun-Bun can do the same thing using his egg hiding abilities. When the two fight, the rest of the world appears to be frozen in time.
- Neuria's soulstone power in Earthsong.
- In Everyday Heroes, Dot Dash is the speedster on the S.A.V.E.U.S. team. Her top speed hasn't been clocked; one treadmill got up to 400 mph before blowing up.
- The Sonoda ladies in MegaTokyo appear to have super speed as a primary ability. It certainly helps with their inclination toward thievery. Yuki has been seen to leave to type on her computer and return to the dinner table without being missed (except by the other speedster), as well as steal things between sentences.
- Grace from El Goonish Shive, seems to be capable of this if this and this is any indication.
- In The Specialists, both the Specialists and the Ubermenschen have a speedster.
- In Blue Yonder, Jared soon meets the speedster at Clairmont Apartments.
- In Bob and George, Elec Man can also move like lightning.
- There are lots of speedsters in the Whateley Universe. However, the Whateley world has much lower power levels than the DCU, so top speed for these speedsters typically ranges between 80 and 250 mph, depending on the individual. The Super Hero School Whateley Academy currently has more speedsters than any entire country except the U.S. and maybe China.
- Tachyon, a member of the Global Guardians is just the most prominant example in that setting. He's not even the fastest... that honor goes to the supervillainess Quick, who has no idea yet just how fast she can move.
- Several characters in the ASH universe. Lightfoot is notable because he makes anything he's touching faster. This includes motorcycles, cars, spacecraft and his own body.
- Worm has a few: Velocity can move extremely quickly, but has a reduced effect on the world to avoid being killed by the friction, Battery can charge up to gain greatly increased speed and durability for short periods of time, and Chuckles is a Monster Clown who moves and thinks at extremely high speeds, which makes it impossible for him to speak.
- If you remember the Wizard of Speed and Time...you are ooooold.
- Velocity Raptor, Dino Superheroine. She teaches special relativity.
- Ivy from the Noob franchise, thanks to Bio-Augmentation.
- The Powerpuff Girls
- The girls get into the relativity scenario while racing home from school, and travel 50 years into the future, during which time Him conquered the city of Townsville.
- Bubbles ran a race against E-Mail, a superhero who could circle the earth in 7 seconds, and won by the time Major Glory had counted down to 3. Bubbles started after E-Mail and ran at his side to talk for a few seconds to verify whether she should be trying to win or just keep up.
- Cheetara of ThunderCats and ThunderCats (2011). All of the clerics have this in the new series, and they are not all cheetahs, implying this is a mystical or trained ability, rather than a racial one. Though Cheetara in this version already had super speed even before being trained as a cleric, which made her even faster.
- Kim Possible receives a pair of shoes that allow her to move at "hyper speed" to combat the Beebees who have developed the ability since their first appearance. After Kim uses them to help manage her hectic schedule, the shoes speed up to "the rest of the world looks like it's standing still" speed, despite the viewers' ability to see the obvious passage of time.
- Avatar: The Last Airbender: An Airbender's power to control air currents and wind resistance allows Aang to "run faster than the wind".
- Ulrich's "Super Sprint" ability on Code Lyoko.
- Blurr, from Transformers Generation 1, is the fastest land-based Transformer on any side, faster than some jet-based members of his species. He moves fast, talks fast, shoots fast, and annoys you only a hair slower than Wheelie.
- His Transformers Animated incarnation is admitted to be the fastest thing on wheels even by the immodest Bumblebee.
- Also from Animated is the human villain Nanosec. However, if he uses his speed too often, he will suffer from Rapid Aging. He later teams up with and starts dating the villain Slo-Mo, who can use her time manipulation abilities to make him young again whenever she chooses.
- Red energon introduced in Transformers Prime dramatically increases the speed of ordinary Cybertronians for a limited amount of time.
- One of Bravestarr's animal-based powers is "speed of the puma".
- The Road Runner (accelerati incredibilus) from Looney Tunes is a famous super-speeder...
- ...as well as the basis for Little Beeper of Tiny Toon Adventures and Rev Runner from Loonatics Unleashed.
- Speedy Gonzales. "ˇŔndale! ˇŔndale! ˇArriba! ˇArriba!"
- In accordance with the trope, the crossover race ended inconclusively.
- A Latin American Cartoon Network promo features a race between the Flash (DCAU version), Speedy Gonzales, and the Road Runner, which (after racing around various world landmarks) proves inconclusive.
- The Rabbit Talisman from Jackie Chan Adventures grants the carrier the ability of super speed.
- As seen when Jade used it to run from California to Florida in a few minutes.
- In one episode of Jonny Quest The Real Adventures, while traveling in Japan, Jonny wears an experimental device on his ankle that grants him super speed. At his fastest, he's able to chase down a jet airplane as it's taking off. The downside is it hyperaccelerates his metabolism; any scene in which he's not running he's eating a sizable amount of ramen.
- Hunter from Road Rovers, who even leaves a trail of fire behind him.
- Obviously The Flash in the DCAU. Less so Superman, in keeping with the show's producers generally keeping Supes a little more powered-down than his comic equivalent. (They did still have one of their traditional races for charity in Superman: The Animated Series, but Flash was far faster when he became a main character in Justice League.)
- Temporarily happened to Fry on Futurama, after he spent his entire $300 tax refund on coffee.
- Rainbow Dash of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic is an absurdly fast flier, as she demonstrated on her Establishing Character Moment by zooming through the skies to clear it of clouds in "ten seconds flat". According to calculations by a fan, at a normal pace she can go mach 5, and when she engages the Sonic Rainboom, she can reach mach 10 (over 7000 miles per hour). Even these numbers don't reflect what the creators intended, it's clearly stated that the Sonic Rainboom is a sonic boom, so at least her top speed exceeds the speed of sound. The only other pegasus who may have achieved that onscreen was Rainbow's idol Spitfire, who once, in "Hurricane Fluttershy", created a puff of cloud while flying somewhat like an airplane breaking the sound barrier in real life.
- Pinkie Pie somehow has demonstrated this ability as well, being able to keep up with Rainbow Dash in "Party of One". Later on, in "Power Ponies", Pinkie Pie becomes "Filly-Second" in the comic book world, a parody of The Flash.
- Ben 10 has five, it may be worth noting that this means there are at least five entire planets full of these:
- An episode of Jimmy Neutron has our boy genius spraying his shoes with a special chemical that will let him run incredibly fast. He uses it to try to beat Cindy in a rematch to a race that he lost, and then continues to use them to move so fast that he appears invisible, letting him play pranks on people. This backfires when he starts running so fast that he can't slow himself down or stop.
- Sheen also gains this power (and low bladder control) when he becomes "Vibrating Lad" in "The N-Men".
- In the Family Guy non-canon Viewer Mail episode segment "Super Griffins", the family gets superpowers when a truck of toxic waste crashes on their lawn. Brian gets Super Speed and twice does the comedic version where he disappears briefly, then returns wearing the hat of the nation he just visited; he also uses it to steal drinks at a bar.
- In Young Justice, Kid Flash (Wally West) is a member of the team in the first season, though he's since retired to focus on college. Interestingly, he's depicted as being slower than the Flash (Barry Allen) and Flash's future grandson Impulse (Bart Allen). The latter two can easily lap Wally, and when they speak to each other with Super Speed Wally can't follow it. It's also demonstrated throughout the series that while Barry, Bart, and even 97-year-old Jay Garrick can stop on a dime, Wally has to accelerate and decelerate, and is subject to inertia when Barry and Bart have to drag him along at one point.
- Teen Titans also uses Kid Flash, who can vibrate his molecules fast enough to move through solid objects, but still slips and falls on a puddle of water if you move the yellow caution sign.
- Más y Menos have this power, but only when they're touching.
- Anagan in Winx Club has super speed.
- In the Quack Pack episode "The Really Mighty Ducks", the trio gain superpowers. Huey's is Super Speed, and he dubs himself "The Really Incredibly Fast Guy" because he couldn't think of a better name.
- Mace Windu and Shaak Ti have this in Star Wars: Clone Wars.
- Frantic from The Awesomes is stated to be able to run at least 500 MPH, and true to the usual personality of superhero speedsters, he's a Motor Mouth and a huge Keet, and is described by the other characters as being "batshit crazy." He is a good guy nonetheless.
- Zilla Junior is able to run incredibly fast for a creature of his size; he's able to keep pace with vehicles on the Brooklyn Bridge; which means he can go somewhere around 50 miles an hour or more.
- Agent Jay in Men In Black once got this ability by being exposed to some alien reactor. He also became extremely agile (capable of Wall Jumping). At one point, he runs away from an alien who has been given wings by the same energy and realizes he just ran halfway across Washington, D.C., in a matter of seconds. He turns around, accelerates, and jumps high enough to drop-kick her to the ground. Since Status Quo Is God, he is turned back at the end of the episode.
- Birdman episode " Versus the Speed Demon". The title villain's power was moving and acting so quickly that no one could see him. Unfortunately for him, his metabolism sped up as well until he suffered Rapid Aging.