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View Full Version : Whose idea was the Speed Force in Flash comics?



The Hodag
07-17-2007, 08:51 PM
Was that a Waid or Morrison thing? Editorial?

Anyone know for sure?

I ask because I was reading a preview copy of All Flash and was surprised by some of Wally's narration where he says the energy that came to be called the Speed Force was named with a "stunning lack of imagination."

Now I always thought it was Waid who came up with it, so is he taking a shot at himself or just trying to show Wally acting snarky? Just seemed a little weird.

jfp2004
07-17-2007, 08:56 PM
Pretty sure it was Waid that came up with it, probably by himself. He was the writer at the time, at least. He was probably just having a bit of fun by having Wally say that.

Dreg
07-17-2007, 08:57 PM
Was that a Waid or Morrison thing? Editorial?

Anyone know for sure?

I ask because I was reading a preview copy of All Flash and was surprised by some of Wally's narration where he says the energy that came to be called the Speed Force was named with a "stunning lack of imagination."

Now I always thought it was Waid who came up with it, so is he taking a shot at himself or just trying to show Wally acting snarky? Just seemed a little weird.


Waid's idea, I think, but "Speed Force" was only supposed to be a placeholder name. He always hated the term, but somehow it stuck.

Patrick J
07-17-2007, 08:58 PM
Waid's being self-deprecating with this. Arguably breaking the fourth wall to a degree. I like it though.

Jerome Gibbons
07-17-2007, 08:59 PM
Well, it's true. 'Speed Force' always sounded stupid to me.

The Hodag
07-17-2007, 09:00 PM
Waid's idea, I think, but "Speed Force" was only supposed to be a placeholder name. He always hated the term, but somehow it stuck.

Ah, that makes sense! Kinda seems to me that taking a potshot in one of the comics meant to reinvigorate the Flash series ain't such a hot idea, but what do I know?

jfp2004
07-17-2007, 09:01 PM
Well, it's true. 'Speed Force' always sounded stupid to me.

It does sound kinda odd. I can't think of what else to call it though, but I haven't put much thought into it either.

Jerome Gibbons
07-17-2007, 09:03 PM
It does sound kinda odd. I can't think of what else to call it though, but I haven't put much thought into it either.

They should've kept it simple. Something like The Source or whatever.

The Hodag
07-17-2007, 09:04 PM
Well, it's true. 'Speed Force' always sounded stupid to me.

If there's gotta be such an energy I'm okay with the name. It fits the wilder science of the DC Universe and echoes a Silver Age tone. If I had my druthers, though, I'd rather the comic not worry about explaining it at all.

That said, some of the stuff Johns did with it during the peak of his run was pretty cool. I don't know if he made it up, but stealing inertia from other people and objects...bonus power stuff like that...I dug it.

The Human Target
07-17-2007, 09:05 PM
I like the idea of making the Speed Force clearly intelligent and calling it the "Speed God" or something would be fun. And making it not entirely altruistic. Cause really, would the personification of motion care about good or evil?

The Hodag
07-17-2007, 09:06 PM
I guess the biggest problem I have with the Speed Force is that it sounds like something that lots of people can tap into and, indeed, there's like a dozen speedsters in the DCU. It's too many knock-offs and I'd rather there only ever be one major speedster hero at a time. Keep Flash unique.

Dreg
07-17-2007, 09:07 PM
I like the idea of making the Speed Force clearly intelligent and calling it the "Speed God" or something would be fun. And making it not entirely altruistic. Cause really, would the personification of motion care about good or evil?

I think the Black Flash element adds a lot to that. All speedsters must be returned to the source.

Jerome Gibbons
07-17-2007, 09:09 PM
If there's gotta be such an energy I'm okay with the name. It fits the wilder science of the DC Universe and echoes a Silver Age tone. If I had my druthers, though, I'd rather the comic not worry about explaining it at all.

That said, some of the stuff Johns did with it during the peak of his run was pretty cool. I don't know if he made it up, but stealing inertia from other people and objects...bonus power stuff like that...I dug it.

I used to really hate the concept of the Speed Force. Seeing how much it's transformed Flash over the last decade though, and how it's added to his mythology, I've sort of transitioned to the point where I don't really mind it and accept it as an intricate part of the character.

I still think the name sounds stupid, though.

The Hodag
07-17-2007, 09:09 PM
I like the idea of making the Speed Force clearly intelligent and calling it the "Speed God" or something would be fun. And making it not entirely altruistic. Cause really, would the personification of motion care about good or evil?

I think that'd be a cool idea for an Elseworlds or alt. universe Flash or something, but otherwise it reminds me too much of JMS going nuts with the totemic stuff in Spider-Man. I miss the days when Flash was only created by an accident and it wasn't all "legacy this" and "time loop that." Flash mythology seems to go too much against his origin story.

Dreg
07-17-2007, 09:12 PM
That said, some of the stuff Johns did with it during the peak of his run was pretty cool. I don't know if he made it up, but stealing inertia from other people and objects...bonus power stuff like that...I dug it.


That was Waid. Waid also gave him the ability to explode stuff by vibrating through it.

The Hodag
07-17-2007, 09:13 PM
Alt. Speed Force names:


The Fasty Force

The Lube Continuum

Ye Olde Friction Shoppe

Oiled Scotsman Vortex

AAlgar
07-17-2007, 09:13 PM
I think the Black Flash element adds a lot to that. All speedsters must be returned to the source.

No offense to you directly, because you didn't come up with the word, but I think "speedster" sounds way stupider than "speed force."

Jerome Gibbons
07-17-2007, 09:15 PM
Alt. Speed Force names:


The Fasty Force

The Lube Continuum

Ye Olde Friction Shoppe

Oiled Scotsman Vortex

I like The Lube Continuum.

Jerome Gibbons
07-17-2007, 09:15 PM
No offense to you directly, because you didn't come up with the word, but I think "speedster" sounds way stupider than "speed force."

It's a short way of saying "Guy who only runs really fast as opposed to Superman who can also fly really fast".

The Human Target
07-17-2007, 09:15 PM
I think that'd be a cool idea for an Elseworlds or alt. universe Flash or something, but otherwise it reminds me too much of JMS going nuts with the totemic stuff in Spider-Man. I miss the days when Flash was only created by an accident and it wasn't all "legacy this" and "time loop that." Flash mythology seems to go too much against his origin story.

See, I like that kinda stuff. Hell, I liked the Spider Totem idea a lot.

I totally admit though that in relation to all the speedster (god that is a dumb label) character's previously established origins the SF doesn't make a ton of sense.

"He got some chemicals spilled on him and was struck by lightening" is the kind of old school "magic" superhero explanation I just can't wrap my head around really.

The Hodag
07-17-2007, 09:16 PM
That was Waid. Waid also gave him the ability to explode stuff by vibrating through it.

Gotta say, then: ups to Waid. Those are damn cool additions.

I think my fave Wally West Flash moment, though, is still from Morrison's first JLA arc. Wasn't so much what Wally did - some kind of Superman-level punch with the inertia of 10000 punches or something - but the cadence of the narrative as he explained it. You know the scene..."Flash Fact."

Jerome Gibbons
07-17-2007, 09:18 PM
What I don't understand is the Black Flash. Not really what he does, so much as...why is he dressed like the Flash? I thought the concept of the Flash (name, costume, etc.) was something that was invented by Jay Garrick/Barry Allen, and it's not like the Flashes are the only guys powered by the Speed Force. There are people like Max Mercury and stuff. So why does the Speed Force dress up its concept of death like the Flash?

The Hodag
07-17-2007, 09:21 PM
See, I like that kinda stuff. Hell, I liked the Spider Totem idea a lot.

"He got some chemicals spilled on him and was struck by lightening" is the kind of old school "magic" superhero explanation I just can't wrap my head around really.

I like that DC got a little "more Marvel" after the first Crisis on Infinite Earths - it's what prompted me to get into DC in the first place - but I still always want there to be a bit of Silver Age silliness allowed. It's just one of those things that makes DC different than Marvel, and it's a difference I like. Homogenization ain't no good.

I liked the Spider-Totem pretty well when it was just a one-off story that didn't pass itself off as definitive. It was when JMS really fell in love with his big idea and started returning to that well again and again that I started to hate the Spider-Totem.

The Hodag
07-17-2007, 09:22 PM
So why does the Speed Force dress up its concept of death like the Flash?

This is a reasonable point.

Alas, the alternative is the Grim Reaper in track shoes. Test audiences just weren't feeling it.

The Human Target
07-17-2007, 09:35 PM
What I don't understand is the Black Flash. Not really what he does, so much as...why is he dressed like the Flash? I thought the concept of the Flash (name, costume, etc.) was something that was invented by Jay Garrick/Barry Allen, and it's not like the Flashes are the only guys powered by the Speed Force. There are people like Max Mercury and stuff. So why does the Speed Force dress up its concept of death like the Flash?

A cool idea would be that the Black Flash looked like a scarey version of the last speedster it "killed."

Thus, it was then Barry Allen and now looks like Bart.

Jerome Gibbons
07-17-2007, 09:38 PM
A cool idea would be that the Black Flash looked like a scarey version of the last speedster it "killed."

Thus, it was then Barry Allen and now looks like Bart.

That's a very cool idea.

The Hodag
07-17-2007, 09:41 PM
That's a very cool idea.

Agreed. Black Flash seems like a weird idea to me unless it's some awesomely cheesy blaxploitation concept, but that idea I could get behind.

Dreg
07-18-2007, 05:52 AM
What I don't understand is the Black Flash. Not really what he does, so much as...why is he dressed like the Flash? I thought the concept of the Flash (name, costume, etc.) was something that was invented by Jay Garrick/Barry Allen, and it's not like the Flashes are the only guys powered by the Speed Force. There are people like Max Mercury and stuff. So why does the Speed Force dress up its concept of death like the Flash?

Doesn't Death from the Sandman series take on several forms?

Joe Kalicki
07-18-2007, 05:59 AM
I like the name Speed Force a lot more than the crazy metaphysical aspects that have been attributed to it.

moonspider
07-18-2007, 08:52 AM
it was waid....and i heard he was trying to apply the theory to a comic the hedgehog comic, but the creator of sonic told him so suck his balls

Lemonade Lady
07-18-2007, 11:37 AM
I think that'd be a cool idea for an Elseworlds or alt. universe Flash or something, but otherwise it reminds me too much of JMS going nuts with the totemic stuff in Spider-Man. I miss the days when Flash was only created by an accident and it wasn't all "legacy this" and "time loop that." Flash mythology seems to go too much against his origin story.

Agreed. He was struck by lighting and covered by a random bunch of chemicals - how much simpler can you get?

Jerome Gibbons
07-18-2007, 11:42 AM
Doesn't Death from the Sandman series take on several forms?

According to Wikipedia, the Black Flash and Death are two different things. Not sure if that's true, though.


And even then, why dress like the Flash, specifically? I mean, the Flashes are only some of the people who are powered by the Speed Force. Why choose them over any other Speed Force-powered character? I figure there must be some sort of reasoning, like the Flashes usually tend to be the best Speed Force wielders and are thus the most notable or something like that, but I don't know if it's been established in the comics.