Thursday, December 07, 2006

Super Speed = Super Thought

Burton MacKenzie, connecting some dots laid out during the great Silver Age in an article entitled "Why Superman Must Be Super-Smart (and Can We Trust the Flash?)," poses an inevitable question. Are Superman and the Flash thinking at the same speed? Does this mean that the scarlet speedster can perform complex calculations in his head impossibly quick, just like the man of steel? We've seen each of the Flashes perform miraculous mental feats in the heat of high-speed battle throughout the years. It must be so! Perhaps instead of demanding to see the two fastest men alive race each other around the globe we should be calling for the first ever chess match between Superman and the Flash.

I remember as a kid reading Superman comics, in which some of them had him running super calculations on that super brain/intellect of his. I always found this the most dubious of his powers. It just struck me a few days ago that this is a necessary consequence of his ability to run with super speed... But wait! To my knowledge, it has never been implied that the Flash can super think. If the Flash can run just as fast as Superman, he should be able to do the same super thinking as Superman!... I think perhaps the Flash isn't telling us the whole story. What are you hiding, Flash!?


NewSpace: The Brownstone said...

The comic has implied that the Flash thinks at Super Speed, At least it did with Wally West. There is a point where they were discussing the conception of Wally's children (somewhere between 200-225) being nearly impossible due to the "speed", and Wally also discusses being able to percieve and think extremely fast (this is an introduction to one of the comics). So, yes, the Flash does think, read, and understand super fast.

Dixon said...

Naturally, I agree. I can think of several instances in which Wally West was presented as being able to think and perceive at a speed that matched his speed of movement. Take, for instance, his single-handed reconstruction of the Van Buren Bridge in The Flash #188. This is a character who can read an entire library in a matter of seconds, and then put that information to instant use.