A long, long time ago, mankind began to walk. And then, we ran. And ever since that moment, we've been pushing speed to its very limit... or in this case, past the point of absurdity.
Season three's fourth episode heralds a new round in the battle between Marvel and DC, with each company's most iconic masters of super speed stepping up to the plate. The hosts will pit a versatile extradimensional energy against a product of genetic engineering, sheer potential power against training honed through experience, for though the Flash and Quicksilver are more alike in many more ways than they would admit, the true differences between them are just enough to dictate the victor of a death battle.
To start the episode, Wizard and Boomstick take a look at the Flash, specifically the Barry Allen incarnation of the superhero, whose life was already mired with tragedy when Nora, his mother, was found murdered in the Allen household; his father wrongly accused of the crime. The young Barry vowed to clear Henry's name, becoming a forensic scientist in Central City. Though his father died before achieving his goal, this only gave Barry a renewed will to find his mother's real killer, and it would be during an experiment with chemicals that a thunderbolt would strike him into the chemicals that would imbue Barry with his signature superhuman speed, thus setting him up to take the mantle of the Flash.
True as it may be that his enhanced speed is the signature ability of the Flash, it is only just the beginning of the repertoire. His movement speed is complemented by a supercharged body, capable of healing and thinking at accelerated rates, the power to absorb kinetic energy from moving objects, and even some degree of electrokinesis and at his limit, speeding through time. The source of all these powers comes from the Speed Force, an extradimensional energy that can control how a living being perceives time once the Speed Force merges with their bio-electric field, and it possesses a multitude of further powers, absorbing energy capable of sending Barry flying through a tree with upwards of seventy-thousand pounds of force. The speed force is almost a dimension unto itself that the Flash can access should he so choose to; Barry is, in fact, so in tune with the speed force, that he can generate its energy himself, the same energy other speedsters in the DC universe tap into for their own power.
The speed force is arguably Barry's greatest asset, and it has shown throughout his myriad adventures. Able to run at the speed of light, the Flash is also able to perceive time in attoseconds, a minuscule fraction of a second itself, and combined with his accelerated healing, makes him a difficult foe to contend with. Yet, that does not make him truly invincible. His attempts at time travel can often lend itself to disaster, such as his attempt to save his mother inadvertently leading to the Flash recreating the entire DC universe. In addition, others can strip Barry of his connection to the Speed Force, thus rendering him unable to use his powers. But with all of that in mind, Barry Allen is one of the most iconic bearers of the Flash mantle, and his influence in the world of DC Comics makes the threat he poses to those whom would challenge him a justifiable one all its own.
- Flash: (presses a button on his ring while running through a graveyard in casual wear; the ring ejects the Flash costume, which Barry puts on without missing a step)
Having concluded the analysis of the Flash, the hosts shift topics to Quicksilver, born Pietro Maximoff in the small Eastern European nation of Transia. Pietro, alongside his twin sister Wanda, were abducted by the supervillain known as the High Evolutionary, who experimented on the two children to give them superpowers; they were later tricked into believing they were the children of the mutant supremacist Magneto. Magneto would let Pietro join his fellowship, the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, determined to prove mutant superiority over mankind, where he would be given his iconic outfit and alias of Quicksilver; however, Pietro would later go on to join the Avengers.
Having had experience in teams of heroes and villains alike, Quicksilver has had much more than enough time to hone his powers, many of which he shares with his foe; Pietro can recover from injuries, perceive information, react to his surroundings, and move all at superhuman speeds; his enhanced speed is so great, that he can learn and retain information at an enhanced rate, such as perfecting the Moonlight Sonata in a minute. His speed in particular is a noticeable attribute, for with it, Quicksilver can generate tornadoes that can suck the oyxgen out of his enemies, or run over water for stretches of time. If need be, Quicksilver can go so far as to push his speed to its limit, surpassing lightspeed in the process.
Quicksilver lacks an additional source of power similar to his opponent, but on multiple occasions, has shown that such a thing would be superfluous. Pietro's speed alone is sufficient enough to disarm a bomb in a single second, outrace a radio waves travelling at the speed of light, and evacuate an entire military compound in seconds, while also being durable enough to withstand the shock waves left behind by his movements, which in turn pales in comparison to surviving blows from The Incredible Hercules. But speed and durability alone a perfect hero does not make, for Quicksilver is brash and impatient, charging headlong into his problems without bothering to think them through first. But if these flaws have failed to hinder Quicksilver for long before, it seems unlikely they would ever keep him down.
- Quicksilver: (staring down a mutated creature) Oh, I get it, you're supposed to stop me. Go ahead, try. (races circles around the creature, punching it into submission) Next time, try a little harder.
With both sides having their overview wrapped up, the preparations are underway. It's time for a death battle!
The daytime happenings in New York City can add to its list a burning building with lives at stake; Captain America arrives on the scene to offer support to a young woman trapped on a high story, but she stumbles, seemingly to her demise. The onlookers can only watch in horror as she falls off the building, but in the passage of time as she descends, a pair of figures bolt into action, one clad in red and yellow, the other in blue and white; they are Barry Allen and Pietro Maximoff, the Flash and Quicksilver. The product of the High Evolutionary addresses his would-be foe, and upon claims of the Flash being the fastest man alive, proposes they race to Japan to find out, given their enhanced perception of time. Allen accepts, but is caught off guard by a multitude of cheap tricks by Qucksilver, leading up to being socked in the jaw, but the Flash recovers, leaping into action to challenge Quicksilver to both a duel of speed and power.
The duo run past water and vault over a bank, fists and feet flying in the midair exchange. Quicksilver takes an early lead by hurtling the Central City hero away, his troubles seemingly over, yet Flash treats this as little more than a nuisance, and before Pietro knows it, the Justice League founder is back in action, darting past Quicksilver. As the two speedsters weave and dart between themselves, their cross-country race reaching to California in mere seconds, Flash is once more caught off-guard by an overhead slam, knocking him into a sandy beach. Flash can barely recover before he can comprehend the faux-mutant running around him, generating a tornado that engulfs the shore, leaping through the debris sucked up in its wake to land a decisive blow on the Flash.
But Barry Allen nimbly evades, and with his Speed Force in tow, reverses the flow of the tornado, culminating in a punch that launches Pietro and himself out of the swirling vortex, and right into an oncoming field of seabirds. Once more does the Flash channel the speed force, twirling his hands around to create a tornado that blasts Quicksilver into the avians while the second bearer of the Flash mantle using the birds as stepping stones to lunge at the Transian, kicking him dead in the face and knocking him into the waters below.
The scarlet speedster nails his landing as he touches down on the ocean, carrying on the race, but Quicksilver leaps back onto the surface in hot pursuit. A brief pair of blocked blows wears on Flash's nerves, so he decides to tip the odds. Quickening his pace, he zooms out of view, a brilliant light enveloping Quicksilver. As it fades, the former pupil of Magneto finds himself racing through a nigh-empty void, chunks of stone floating midair, him seemingly the only thing capable of moving.
He is soon proven wrong, however, by the Flash introducing the speed force dimension itself, the source of his power. At a pace unseen yet, Barry charges towards Pietro, hammering into him with a volley of blows too fast to be recognized, a straight jab at Quicksilver's midsection sending him soaring. An opening to finish the duel once and for all has presented itself, and the Flash will take it. He generates energy in his palms, slinging a massive thunderbolt at the Avenger, the sheer power of which knocks Quicksilver out of the Speed Force. The unrestrained momentum of Flash's barrage means that for Quicksilver, his stint in both the race and in life concludes in Japan, a katana on the lone samurai statue in a thicket of cherry blossom trees marking Pietro's grave as he rams into it, completely halted. The Flash arrives and attempts to console the now-deceased Quicksilver in that he is now the technical winner of the race, before zipping off to New York for unfinished business.
Quicksilver's surrogate father, Magneto, descends in Japan, overlooking Pietro's corpse, as, back in New York, the Flash races up the building to save the young woman, depositing her safely in front of the worried crowd. The hosts grant Quicksilver his superhuman speed is an admirable trait, but is surpassed by many magnitudes by the Flash's own. Both have been shown as achieving faster-than-light speed, but whereas Pietro has been shown to surpass it marginally, Barry can reach speeds that trump it ten times over. The Speed Force is also an inherent advantage in that Barry can drag foes into it to fight him on his own terms. Movement speed is not only the sort of speed Quicksilver is Flash's inferior; humanity can measure time down to twelve attoseconds, whereas Flash can perceive it down just one, meaning Barry would have more than enough time to figure out every potential action Pietro would consider and counter it accordingly. Comparing it to Quicksilver's memorization of Moonlight Sonata, which the hosts calculate means he can think over five hundred thousand times faster than an average human, the Flash's perception of attoseconds gives him an advantage of trillions of times. The only real advantage Quicksilver had was in hand-to-hand combat training, but this meant little against an opponent who was faster still than he. Both men are unrivaled in their capacities for speed in their home universes, but Quicksilver's own traits were overshadowed too greatly to grant him victory.
- Boomstick: You could say this battle was over... in a "flash".
Wizard: ... the winner is the Flash.
Flash vs. Quicksilver contains examples of:
- Always Someone Better: No matter how skilled at hand-to-hand Quicksilver was, it didn't matter when The Flash's speed in running, thinking and acting was faster than anything he could keep up with.
- Broken Win/Loss Streak: This episode, with Quicksilver's defeat, marks the end of the winning streak Marvel had against DC that started in Deadpool vs. Deathstroke.
- The Cameo: Poison is one of the civilians overlooking the burning building before the fight proper begins.
- Cheaters Never Prosper: As the race continues, Quicksilver takes a pot-shot at Flash and ends getting impaled on a statue for his trouble.
- Curb-Stomp Battle: The fight turns out this way; Barry consistently overwhelms Quicksilver in terms of speed by several orders of magnitude.
- Curb Stomp Cushion: Despite the fight being a Curb-Stomp Battle, Quicksilver does get the first few hits of the fight against Flash. But only because it's implied Flash was holding back for most of it. When the fight takes place on the Pacific Ocean and later in the Speed Force, Barry unleashes his full might onto Pietro and decimates him in just a couple of milliseconds.
- Graceful Loser: Flash is kind enough to admit Quicksilver won the race to Japan, even if on a technicality.
- Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Quicksilver, after being blasted out of the speed force, ends the fight being run through on a samurai statue.
- Lame Pun Reaction: Boomstick's end of fight pun is terrible enough to drain Wizard of his usual excitement with the verdict.
- Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: The culmination of Barry's Badass Boast:Barry: This is the source of my power. And here. I. Am. King!
- Shout-Out: At least twice when addressing the Flash by his superhero alias does Boomstick bellow an "ahhh-ahhhhhhhh!", with the screen flashing to match.
- Super Speed: Two of the best examples in all of fiction comparing their enhanced speed.
- White and Grey Morality: Flash is one of DC's bravest and noblest heroes, while Quicksilver has a long history of switching sides whenever it's convenient.