The Flash has been unanimously acknowledged as the fastest man alive. This is a guy who runs so fast that he can do what Cher could only sing about, which is to turn back time. But how does that compare to the famously speedy video game character, Sonic the Hedgehog?
Sonic can run at the speed of sound, which is about 767 mph. The Flash tops out at over 17,000 mph. It would seem that The Flash would easily win a race, but that’s not the whole story.
Before you can thoroughly analyze who would beat who in a race, it helps to gain an idea of how both characters achieve these incredible speeds. Both Sonic the Hedgehog and the Flash have varying abilities that make their outrageous speeds possible. What are the advantages of turning into a ball or tapping into the Speed Force?
Speed Force vs Form Change
The Flash is able to go into other dimensions and timelines by tapping into the Speed Force. This elemental thread of the universe is an extra-dimensional form of dark matter, in addition to being a run boost. That energy is the catalyst that provides ultra-fast humans, speedsters, with these super abilities.
Speedsters are born with the innate ability to tap into the Speed Force, like a reflex. While Flash might be the most prominent, and perhaps most successful user of the Speed Force, he isn’t the only one. Here are a few others who are only as fast as they are due to this incredible advantage:
- John Fox
- Max Mercury
On the other hand, like speedsters, Sonic is born with the ability to be insanely fast. Also, like the DC characters, Sonic has tools to boost his natural quickness. To start with, he is the best type of double-jointed you can be. In the midst of a sprint, Sonic can turn into a blue blur or ball if you can catch a good glimpse of it. This rounded form provides him with an acceleration boost. Not to mention, he can use this form as a weapon against enemies. I mean, why use limbs if they only slow you down, right?
Sonic also has technologically advanced shoes called Power Sneakers. While it isn’t necessary for him to wear the shoes to zoom faster than a typical person, they do provide protection. Sonic isn’t a person, but there is no extraterrestrial skin around that can not be impacted by terrain at those speeds. Those sneakers keep his feet safe as he’s tearing up the track. Fun fact, it was during Sonic’s first session with the sneaker prototype that he broke the sound barrier for the first time.
Sonic Speed Theories
It is believed that the 767 mph that Sonic has clocked at is more of a base speed. Some are under the impression that he can run at over 3,000 mph when he employs extra tools in the right direction. For example, when hitting a power-up in the game, Sonic is propelled forward from his already top speed. That move would be beneficial during a race if they could be on the same plane as The Flash while he and Sonic are in the midst of competition. In-game, these power balls are strategically placed to help Sonic in a time of need. In the real world, he would likely not have this advantage.
Another reason for Sonic being able to hit these quadruple digits might have to do with Dr. Robotnik. During a special edition story on our favorite hedgehog’s origin, the Power Sneakers were revealed to be more powerful than previously intended. As Sonic told the story, he explained that he trained on a kinetic gyratoscope that enhanced his running. His name was Sonny when he started training, but due to the advanced, non-concussive cobalt effect, he turned blue. This came at the same time as the sonic boom that smashed the gyratoscope treadmill. It was then that the suggestion to be called Super Sonic came, which stuck.
The Flash Super Abilities
Even if Sonic the Hedgehog could run at over 3,000 mph, it is still unlikely that he would win. Well, depending on the length of the race, anyway. That’s because, in addition to incredible speeds, Flash has superhuman endurance. An actual race would have him starting fast, continuing fast, and ending fast. He would be able to keep his pace for very extended periods of time. That type of giddy-up and go would be painstakingly difficult to match. That is especially the case when you consider that Flash does not have power-ups or boosts of speed the way Sonic does. Or does he?
So, what else can Flash do?
- Speed thievery. Another way he could win a race would be to steal Sonic’s speed. The Flash has been known to run to the end of the universe and back in a time faster than conceived by absorbing energy and thrusting it into his speed.
- Speed reading. This might not help him as much during a race, but could help with that book club.
- Telepathy immunity. It’s only natural that if you can read a book faster than someone finishes a sentence, your thoughts are too fast for your everyday evil genius to decipher.
- Speed talking. We all know someone who talks fast, but Flash is on another level. So much so, that to a normal person his words would just sound like audible chaos. Only other speedsters could enjoy a back and forth conversation. This also comes with the added bonus of changing your voice.
- Speed avatars. It’s amazing what you can do with a little time on your hands. Flash creates duplicates of himself to place in various timelines. The reality is that no matter how fast you are, you can’t really be everywhere at all times to do important things. Well, you probably could make the argument that Flash is capable due to his time travel running. But, wouldn’t that be exhausting?
A Race Against Time
With the various amounts of speed and resources between the two, and considering the multiple theories around what they are able to accomplish, a finish line would be a feat. There are many factors that would present an advantage for each. The Flash is assumed to be the fastest, but there are plenty of diehard Sonic fans that would beg to differ.
The other thing about comics and games is that there are often multiple versions of the character. There are several Sonic transformations. There are a handful of people who have been Flash. Each iteration comes with their own tweaks to the character and perhaps changes the outcome of any race or battle, for that matter.
But Flash being able to run so fast that he can run reverse time means that he could win the race simply by altering time. Is that cheating? Although, when time travel happens, people around him aren’t necessarily aware of it. So, would we even know if he did alter the timeline? That’s for you to decide.