|Flash vs Quicksilver by Edgar Manjarrez|
But is that why we like super-speedsters? We simply want to mooch off their Speed Force? It has to be more than that. One possible reason is that we recognize the "runner" as sports hero or mythical archetype. Since running is an ability common to most humans, characters with uncanny speed have found their way into the myths and folk tales of many cultures (including my own - the French Canadian Alexis le Trotteur!). We're wired to admire these guys, whether in stories or on the Olympic track. Beyond running, vehicles allow us to move faster, and get our hearts pumping faster too. Speedsters feel the literal "rush" you get when driving a fast car, plane or boat, only more so. If we, as a species, are excited by speed, these superheroes surely hold an attraction.
But my interest is more scientific. Speed is made of pure physics and super-speed has traditionally been used to create all sorts of effects. They're not just runners, not if they have imagination. They can be used as weather controllers, teleporters, super-learned geniuses, sonic boomers, inertia absorbers, water walkers and more. The faster they run, the crazier the physics and effects. That's why I respond much better to the Flash than I do Quicksilver, for example (or, Wally West just after the Crisis). I don't want realism, I want mad mad science. Such a simple ability, but so much potential variety.
What about you? Do you have a "need for speed"? What attracts you (or doesn't) to the Speedster set?