How many superheroes can you name? You can probably hit the main ones: Superman, Batman, Spider-Man, The Hulk et al. With the success of The Avengers, you've probably become intimately familiar with Robert Downey Jr.’s portrayal of Iron Man and Chris Hemsworth's performances as Thor. In reality, these are but a fraction of the number of superheroes created by artists and comic book writers across the globe.
With all these superheroes to choose from, it would be hard to try and categorize all of them. After all, you're talking about taking hundreds (probably thousands) of these characters and putting them into an online database. However, people have attempted this and your favorite superheroes are logged into these databases based on their abilities, universe of origin, etc.
When comparing your favorite superheroes, one of the attributes that gets talked about the most is speed. While power and beauty get tossed around from friend to friend in fierce debate, declaring who the fastest superhero is is a daunting task. Why? Well, some of these superheroes don't have defined speeds. They just get defined as "going over the speed of light" (186,000 miles per second).
Hopefully, this list will help settle some of these debates. The top five superheroes all travel over 186,000 miles per second, so they could technically share the same spot on the top. But, I've still given them a rank to spark some thought and debate. Their speed has been calculated using miles per second (mps). From Superman clones to popular entries like The Flash, this list compiles the top 15 fastest superheroes and their top speeds.
15 Green Lantern - .40 Miles Per Second
With all of the superhero movies being released, the Green Lantern film adaptation is one of the rare duds that failed to make an impact. Ryan Reynolds portrayed one of the Green Lanterns as they tried to protect the Earth from imminent destruction. Whether it was the production quality of the movie or the perspective take on the story, the film failed to generate much of a buzz in theaters.
However, this doesn’t take away the fact that the character of the Green Lantern succeeds in beating out a lot of other heroes in terms of speed. Whichever Green Lantern you choose, they all move about .40 mps. Since there are numerous Green Lanterns, you may think they all move at varying speeds. But, this is not the case. While not the fastest, they do beat out most of the other superheroes in the universe.
14 Sentry - .42 Miles Per Second
The character of Sentry is a unique and fascinating one. While he preceded some of the most popular characters, he also aided them as well. He helped the X-Men when they needed another body to fight. He helped the Fantastic Four battle Dr. Doom and he acted as hero whom Peter Parker could look up to. His role seems to be important, but one that isn’t known by many. He’s one of those superheroes who would be an excellent character study for an in-depth and emotional superhero film.
His powers were granted to him via secret formula. One of the more surprising things to learn about him is his age. He’s only a student in high school when he becomes a superhero. With all his powers, Sentry can move at speeds around .42 mps. Not the fastest, but a character full of heart and wonder none the less.
13 Makkari - .43 Miles Per Second
Aliens. You probably don’t think they look like you. You probably imagine them as tentacle creatures with fangs and five eyes. But, what if they looked similar to you? While Makkari isn’t necessarily an alien, he is a diversion from the normal human being.
Known to the people of Earth as Eternals, Makkari and a group of similarly powered beings possess a variety of super powers. One of the cooler powers Makkari has is his ability to completely control his mind. He doesn’t age and is immune to almost every disease. To complement this, he’s also pretty fast.
Since speed falls into one of his lesser abilities, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Makkari doesn’t measure up to heroes such as the Flash. Makkari can travel .43 miles per second.
12 Superboy - .64 Miles Per Second
Superboy’s history is a convoluted one. While tweaking and changing comic book characters over decades isn’t out of the norm, Superboy has been seen in five different incarnations. The first version was Superman as a boy. Then, the comics were altered so that Superman wasn’t costumed until he was an adult. Either way, Superboy could fly. And do it extremely fast.
According to sources online, Superboy’s speed was around .64 mps. This is nowhere near how fast he would be later in adulthood. Or, if you prefer another version, Superboy is actually the clone of both Superman and Lex Luthor. If you think this sounds crazy, you should check out the other versions of Superman as a kid. The writers definitely took more risks with Superboy in almost any version you read. Whichever version of Superboy strikes your fancy, he’s absolutely one of the fastest things moving on (and around) planet Earth.
11 Aquaman - 1.8 Miles Per Second
It may seem odd to think of Aquaman as a fast superhero. After all, doesn’t he reside in the sea? The answer is yes. Aquaman was the brainchild of the DC universe. The character is a bit of a quirky one, even for comic books. A man travels down under the ocean and discovers the lost city of Atlantis. Over time, he studies the secrets of the city and helps configure his son to live under water. However, that doesn’t mean he’s not incredibly fast. He can shoot through the water as quick as a hiccup. And for this ability, he is revered for his speed.
In the comics, Aquaman can travel up to 1.8 mps. That’s pretty fast for a superhero who generally gets cast aside as a joke. While Aquaman may be misunderstood by the general populace, he is a superhero worthy of being feared. If only for his speed.
10 Supergirl - 2 Miles Per Second
Ah yes, the creation of Superman has spawned many images in its wake. With Superboy and his many friends flying around in comic book universes, it probably isn’t a shock to see a superhero named Supergirl. While the name isn’t that fancy or even that creative, Supergirl has carved her own place into the world of comic books.
While Superboy was never the actual son of Superman, Supergirl can actually claim to have the Man of Steel’s blood (or whatever runs through those veins). Following the lore of the comics, Supergirl is the daughter of Superman’s uncle. And, here’s the twist: Supergirl is older than Superman! She’s about 15 years ahead of him.
However, she still lacks the speed that her baby cousin has. She can fly 2 miles per second.
9 Quicksilver - 2.5 Miles Per Second
If you’re introduced to the Marvel Cinematic Universe (the universe in which all the Marvel movies and television shows are based), then you’ve probably heard of the Avengers. If you’ve heard of the Avengers, you probably have also run into Quicksilver. Quicksilver appeared in the second Avengers film, Age of Ultron.
Quicksilver’s claim to fame includes running at ludicrous speeds and flying. Yes, flying. While he is more known for his unnaturally fast legs, he has been documented in the comics as flying. Much like Northstar, Quicksilver (real name Pietro Maximoff) has a twin sister, Wanda. Her powers lean more towards the mind-altering variety. She is able to bend time and space at her will. Quicksilver’s speed has been logged in the comics as being able to run 2.5 miles per hour. Faster than Supergirl, it would be an interesting race none-the-less between the two. Sadly, you’ll probably never see this as one is Marvel and the other DC.
8 Kid Flash - 2.8 Miles Per Second
When you think of some of the fastest superheroes in the world of comic books, it’s hard not to think of someone who has the name of “the Flash”. I mean, the Flash connotates speed and quickness. Ever heard of something happening as quick as a flash? Thanks in part to this comic book hero, speed has been boosted in popularity ever since the television network The CW has picked up The Flash TV show.
But, did you know that The Flash had a sidekick? Like many of the greats, The Flash had a partner in crime that helped him beat up the bad guys. And, ironically, Kid Flash is faster (in some comic book universes) than the regular Flash. Kid Flash has been known to move up to 2.8 mps. If you blink, you’ll probably miss him.
7 Thor - 6.6 Miles Per Second
The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) has brought a lot of popularity to superheroes who hadn’t always been given the spotlight. Thor is one such hero, going from a Viking character forgotten in the comics to the hulky, handsome god we see today. Thor’s origin is a bit of a stretch for the MCU, but the movies have done the best they can to deliver an experience that ties in Earth and Thor’s home of Valhalla. With Thor’s origin residing on a planet deep in the universe, planting him on Earth is a challenge. However, the producers and writers have found a way to tie it into something that is both memorable and exciting.
Since Thor is basically a god, he has the powers of one. He can zip through the universe with his trusty hammer at an astounding 6.6 mps.
6 Living Lightning - 61.1 Miles Per Second
Did you know that the Avengers had over 70 members at one time or another? With the movie franchise being the box office juggernaut that it is, you can only fit so many without confusing everyone. Living Lightning is one of dozens of members of the Avengers you’ve probably never heard of.
Technically, Living Lightning is known as Miguel Santo. After an accident, he gained the powers of lightning (hence the name). After being bestowed these powers by fate, he joined the Avengers West Coast. The group patrolled the western coast for threats and acted accordingly. Living Lightning was a key member of the team, and he used his quick speed to his advantage. Although not a super popular character, he does have a decent following in the comic world. Living Lightning could fly 61.1 mps (which is how fast lightning travels in nature).
5 Silver Surfer - Over 186,000 Miles Per Second
With a movie franchise that didn’t do well, it’s hard to remember the Silver Surfer was actually in movie theaters. In 2007, Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer released to terrible reviews. It also didn’t make much of its money back. With this failure, some may have thought of the Silver Surfer as a character who just wasn’t that interesting. As the film failed to make a splash at the box office, it almost seems as if some characters just aren’t destined to shine on the silver screen. But, there’s one thing Silver Surfer has that he can brag about: he’s one of the fastest superheroes. Ever.
The Silver Surfer can exceed the ever-elusive 186,00 mps (the speed of light). He uses his unique abilities to absorb the universe’s energy and manipulate it. This, in part, is why he can fly absurdly fast.
4 Captain Marvel - Over 186,000 Miles Per Second
Captain Marvel is an enigma. Known by a multitude of names, alter egos, and personas, she possesses a variety of skills that would make any superhero jealous. She can fly, has excellent hand-to hand training and is even a skilled pilot. Her powers seem to overwhelm her enemies and her group of tools is hard to beat.
Carol Danvers entered the Air Force, only to have her whole world shaken up when she was recruited by the CIA. Since then, she’s worked with Nick Fury and was even a potential lover of Wolverine. With a ridiculous slate of abilities and powers, one of her biggest assets is her ability to fly. She clocks in at well over the speed of light (186,000 mps). She is definitely in the conversation for the fastest superhero, and rightfully so.
3 The Flash - Over 186,000 Miles Per Second
When you get into an argument with your friends about who the fastest superhero is, it’s likely to come down to two or three people. Superman is a given in this conversation. He’s always going to be in the running as the fastest. Inevitably, the Flash is also going to be mentioned in this conversation. Forensic scientist Barry Allen has a right to be in the conversation, as the Flash can travel as fast as 186,000 mps.
The Flash is in great company, too. His nephew, Kid Flash, can travel almost as fast as him. There’s also been a couple of other people who took up the mantle after Barry Allen gave up being the slick, quick superhero. Each one of them can travel at ridiculous speeds. However, the Flash as a character is adored in the comics.
2 Northstar - Over 186,000 Miles Per Second
The X-Men comic books have been around for a long time. Since at least 1979, comic book readers have been delighted by the varying teams of super mutants that try and save the day time and time again. With the more popular members of the team being superheroes like Wolverine and Storm, there’s a member of the ever-growing team that’s fast. Like, the one of the fastest superheroes ever created.
Northstar’s speed is said to be 186,272 mps. That’s 99% the speed of light. Although you probably haven’t heard of him, Northstar is of Canadian descent. His origin story is a sad one (as most superhero stories are) due to the death of his parent’s in a fiery car crash. He does have a twin sister, Aurora, who has similar powers to her brother. They both travel at insane speeds, and you can also count Aurora on this list right next to Northstar.
1 Superman - 2000 Miles Per Second
The man who defined speed in comic books, the alien from Krypton is arguably the king of speed. Posing as a human on Earth, Superman has a knack for blending in to society. Working for the Daily Planet as a reporter, Clark Kent (Superman’s alter ego) could gather the scoop on the crimes being committed in Metropolis and act fast. Like, super-fast.
It’s been said in the comics that Superman can travel well over 2,000 mps. In Superman (1978), the Man of Steel even reverses the Earth’s orbit by flying around at insane speeds. He’s also performed other feats in the other Superman films that would make your jaw drop. It’s hard to beat the Last Son of Krypton in a race. And it looks like no one else can even come close when it comes to the man with an “S” on his chest.