In ‘JLA’ (2003) #87, 20,000 years ago, the Guardians of the Universe battled the Burning Martians. AP Photo/DC Comics
Trial By Fire.
Fernus, Vandal Savage, White Martians.
Joe Kelly, Doug Mahnke, Tom Nguyen, David Baron.
WITH SCORCH’S HELP, MARTIAN MANHUNTER OVERCOMES HIS FIRE WEAKNESS
In “JLA: Trial By Fire,”Martian Manhunter becomes Fernus The Burning. In ‘JLA’ (2003) #84, J’onn J’onnz meets with Superman over barbeque. Joyfully, he tells Superman he has overcome his fire weakness. With Scorch’s help, it has taken training to the limits of his mind and body. Soon, J’onn invites Superman to stay for dinner. But the Man of Steel has to respond to a JLA signal and flies away. As he departs, J’onn tells him he wants to remain on his vacation. Though, he intends to come back soon.
Later, the Justice League of America convenes on the Watchtower. Recently, at Arkham Asylum, Blackgate Prison and other prisons have reported their prisoners bawling over their crimes and watching Sesame Street on television. Green Lantern (John Stewart) hypothesizes it is a telepath. Soon, the JLA also find out that President Luthor is catatonic. Courageously, Superman enlists Martian Manhunter’s help. Unfortunately, J’onn is unable to repair Luthor’s mind. Moreover, he is caught in an energy feedback. And, the disembodied voice of Fernus speaks about its mysterious “gifts” to the JLA.1
In ‘JLA’ (2003) #84, J’onn J’onnz reveals to Superman that he has overcome his fire weakness with Scorch’s help. AP Photo/DC Comics.
FEAT: GREEN LANTERN GOES TOE-TO-TOE WITH FERNUS FOR 60 SECONDS
THE GUARDIANS OF THE UNIVERSE FEARED THE BURNING MARTIANS
In ‘JLA’ (2003) #87, Green Lantern (John Stewart) tells the origin story of the Martian race. 20,000 years ago, Mars was peopled by the Burning Martians. In a few words, the Burning Martians lived on a planet of Chaos. Certainly, they were a “barbaric, ruthless, brilliant” species.2 Moreover, they constantly battled amongst themselves. Eventually, their wars and tremendous power attracted the Guardians of the Universe’s attention. As the self-appointed Guardians of Order, the Guardians felt it necessary to intervene to stop the spread of Chaos. Indeed, Mars was centuries away from achieving space travel.
Battling the Burning Martians, the Guardians wanted to avoid genocide. Then, they turned to genetic manipulation. Brilliantly, the Guardians repressed the Burning Martians with the psycho-somatic weakness to fire. But, as John notes, they were short-sighted. Truly, they neglected to account for the Martian collective consciousness. So, J’onn J’onnz overcame his weakness. Effectively, he gained access to the Burning Martian genetic block through the Martian collective consciousness. As Fernus, he needs the suffering and the burning of the entire human population in order to reproduce asexually.
In ‘JLA’ (2003) #87, Green Lantern tells the origin story of the Burning Martians. AP Photo/DC Comics.
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FERNUS TAKES ON PLASTIC MAN AND THE JLA
In ‘JLA’ (2003) #88, Fernus takes on Plastic Man and the JLA. Previously, Batman recruited Plastic Man (Patrick O’Brian) into active duty. Going toe-to-toe, Plastic Man is able to contain Fernus for some time. Correctly, Batman states Plastic Man’s mind is no longer organic. His shape-shifting which is based on inspiration, can adapt to Martian telepathy. However, Superman fails to destroy the last of the nuclear warheads that Fernus detonated. Unfortunately, the warhead detonates in the city of Chongjin in North Korea.
In ‘JLA’ (2003) #89,Flash runs at light speed to save its 532,000 men, women and children. Suddenly, Scorch turns the tide of the battle. Courageously, the demon absorbs Fernus’ fire allowing Superman and the League to obliterate the Burning. Sadistically, Fernus triggers Scorch’s fire. Jubilantly, Fernus is about to spawn only to find Martian Manhunter ripping through his entrails. The faith of the JLA freed him from the Dreamwalk. Meanwhile, Green Lantern turns off the city-wide flames with a wave of water. Finally, Martian Manhunter obliterates Fernus with his Martian vision.
In ‘JLA’ (2003) #89, Fernus takes on the JLA and Plastic Man. AP Photo/DC Comics.
In the DC Universe, speedsters are capable of moving at tremendous speeds. Indeed, these are metahumans possessing tremendous super speed. To this end, ‘DC Nation’ (2018) #2, lists the Top 10 speedsters in the DC Universe.
For our purposes, let’s list them according to classes: 1. Speed Force Users. 2. Kryptonians. 3. Greek Pantheon and Magic Users. 4. Martians.
I. INFINITE CLASS: SPEED FORCE USERS
In the DC Universe, the Speed Force is the super power that powers the best of DC’s speedsters. In fact, this multiversal energy allows its users to generate an infinite amount of kinetic energy. To sum, DC’s best speedsters are Speed Force conduits that can reach an infinite amount of super speed.
1. FLASH (WALLY WEST), ‘JLA’ (1997) #3
In ‘JLA’ (1997) #3, Flash’s infinite mass punch sends Zum into escape velocity at seven miles per second. AP Photo/DC Comics.
In ‘JLA’ (1997) #3, Flash (Wally West) showcased why he is the Fastest Man Alive. At the time, Wally endeared himself to us. Remembering Barry’s “Flash Facts,” he used a combat technique known as the Infinite Mass Punch.
In a race against the White Martian named Zum, Wally shattered general relativity. Indeed, he accelerated his mass to infinity as he approached the speed of light. Then, he hit Zum with the IMP generating an infinite amount of kinetic energy. At high speeds, Zum hit escape velocity and landed across the planet.
In ‘The Flash’ (1999) #148, Flash hits Reverse-Flash with a white dwarf punch. Definitely, the IMP enables Flash to take on Superman-level foes. Considering this, Wally deserves the top spot on this list.
In ‘Flashpoint’ (2011) #5, Reverse-Flash reveals to Barry that the hero caused Flashpoint over grief for his mother. AP Photo/DC Comics.
Certainly, “Flashpoint” is the most important DC crossover event of the new millennium. In a few words, in ‘Flashpoint’ (2011) #1, Barry Allen awakens at his desk. Strangely, he notices details of his daily routine are off. Also, he has no speed.
Furthermore, the most important detail is that his mother is alive. Afterwards, visiting the Batcave, Barry meets with Batman who is Thomas Wayne. In the end, Barry realizes he is living in an alternate timeline and suspects the Reverse-Flash is the cause.
In ‘Flashpoint’ (2011) #5, Reverse-Flash reveals to Barry that the hero caused Flashpoint over grief for his mother. When Barry found out Eobard murdered his mother, he time travelled to the past. Tragically, he saved his mother which resulted in the new timeline.
In the end, Barry attempts to restore the timeline. Unfortunately, this creates the Prime Earth multiverse. Certainly, the Speed Force grants its users infinite energy. Here, Barry shows his super power: time travel and the ability to recreate the DC multiverse. Definitely, this requires an infinite amount of kinetic energy.
In ‘The Flash’ (1993) #79, Reverse-Flash reveals he replicated Flash’s powers in the 25th century. AP Photo/DC Comics.
Among his rogues, Reverse-Flash is Flash’s most dangerous foe. J. Richland Anderson at CBR.com, lists him third on the “10 Fastest Characters In All Of The DC Multiverse”. In the 25th century, technology has solved the problem of crime. As a result, there are no superheroes.
A wealthy man, Eobard Thawne was obsessed with the Flash. Successfully, he replicated Flash’s powers in an experiment and became… Reverse-Flash! Time traveling to the 20th century, he plagued Flash for years.
Among his super powers are: dimensional travel, time travel, reality alteration and Speed Force Negation. Lately, Thawne has created the Negative Speed Force.
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II. COSMIC CLASS: KRYPTONIANS
In the second class, are the Kryptonians. In a few words, under the light of the yellow sun, Kryptonians are capable of running, reacting, flying and traveling at superhuman speeds. Really, Kryptonians derive their super speed from the yellow solar radiation stored in their super dense cells. In effect, they are supermen who can move at FTL speeds.
Originally, Superboy-Prime was destined to become Superman. Tragically, Alexander Luthor Jr’s machinations during “Infinite Crisis” caused him to become an evil Superman.
In ‘Infinite Crisis’ (2006) #4, believing himself to be the true Superboy, Superboy-Prime attacked Superboy. As a result, the Doom Patrol, Teen Titans and JSA came to the rescue. Critically, many members of the super-powered teams were injured. Left with no choice, Bart, Jay and Wally sent SBP to the Speed Force. There, he was imprisoned under a red sun.
In ‘Infinite Crisis’ (2006) #6, proving no prison could shackle him, Superboy-Prime escaped. Definitely, it requires to be faster than the Speed Force to escape it. Is SBP faster than infinity?
During the “H’el on Earth” storyline, Superman meets a foe unlike he has seen before. In a few words, H’el is Superman with additional super powers: teleportation, telekinesis, telepathy and size alteration.
In ‘Superman’ (2013) #14, H’el teleports Superboy so fast that Superman can’t see his movements. Considering Superman’s perception, this definitely requires FTL super speed. Certainly, this feat is the reason why H’el belongs on this list.
On multiple occasions, the Man of Steel has demonstrated he can travel and react at FTL super speed. Particularly, the speedblitz is a combat technique that allows Superman to punch his foes at tremendous speeds.
In ‘Action Comics’ (2014) #35, Superman demonstrates a cosmic class feat in the New 52. During the Brainiac invasion, Superman succumbed to the Doomsday Virus. On his return to Earth, Superman travels endless space in 60 days.
In conclusion, this is a FTL super speed feat. Definitely, it is the reason why Clark deserves a spot on this list.
III. STELLAR CLASS: GREEK PANTHEON AND MAGIC USERS
Third, is the Greek Pantheon and magic users. In short, these metahumans derive their super speed from divine enchantment and the pantheon of gods. Incredibly, they can move at near the speed of light. As a matter of fact, they regularly compete with DC’s best speedsters.
To begin, Wonder Woman regularly competes with DC’s best speedsters. In ‘JLA’ (2008) #23, the League has been defeated by an upgraded Amazo in Red Tornado’s body. Thus, it’s up to Wonder Woman to save the day. Using their combined super powers, the JLA defeats Amazo.
In the issue, it is stated that Wonder Woman’s combat speed is faster than Superman’s. Though, Superman may have unlimited travel speed potential.
In ‘Wonder Woman’ (2005) #214, a blind Wonder Woman reaches Reverse-Flash moving at near light-speed. Considering the Reverse-Flash is powered by the Speed Force, this is a feat requiring near infinite kinetic energy. Therefore, Wonder Woman belongs in the Stellar class.
2. CAPTAIN MARVEL (SHAZAM), ‘JUSTICE’ (2006) #7
In ‘Justice’ (2006) #7, Captain Marvel (Shazam) outruns the Fastest Man Alive. AP Photo/DC Comics.
Throughout DC continuity, Captain Marvel (Shazam) has been recognized as Superman’s equal. As matter of fact, the “Justice” series proves this to be the case. In ‘Justice’ (2006) #7, the League recovers from an attack from the Legion of Doom.
On the ocean, Superman and Captain Marvel find Flash running. Atrociously, his accelerated metabolism prevents Flash from stopping to run. Sensing the danger, Superman admits only Captain Marvel may be able to save Flash. Then, the Captain has a plan.
Pouring on the speed, he catches up to Flash. In a flash of lightning bolt, he utters the magic word: Shazam! Then, he transforms back to Billy Batson and Barry is knocked out. Quickly, Superman saves them both.
In the issue, Barry states he can run around the planet in a heartbeat. Considering a human heart beats 60 to 100 times per minute, the World’s Mightiest Mortal travelled at 22 percent of the speed of light. Therefore, it is a reason why Captain Marvel may be faster than the Man of Steel.
Finally, the Green and White Martians can think, run and fly at speeds multiple times the speed of sound. Incredibly, they can fly around the Earth in seconds. Some can even travel in space under their own power.
1. MARTIAN MANHUNTER, ‘JLA’ (2013) #5
In ‘JLA’ (2013) #5, Martian Manhunter flies from Mars to Earth. AP Photo/Marvel Comics.
Definitely, Martian Manhunter is a speedster. In the New 52, J’onn J’onnz has demonstrated flight from Mars to Earth. Certainly, this is an inter-planetary feat.
2. ZUM, ‘JLA’ (1997) #3
In ‘JLA’ (1997) #3, Flash reveals Zum has the powers of Superman with some military training. AP Photo/DC Comics.
In the JLA’s first meeting with Hyperclan, Wally West battled Zum. In a race, the White Martian used military tactics and superior speed. As matter of fact, Zum was running so fast, he was creating after images. In some sense, he may have been approaching the speed of light. In fact, that is what it took for Flash to defeat Zum.
Wonder Woman, Batman, Superman, Flash (Wally West), Justice League
Perpetua, The Batman Who Laughs, Robin King, Superboy-Prime
Scott Snyder, Greg Capullo
IN GODS, MONSTERS AND INFINITE POWER
THE JUSTICE LEAGUE LOST THE BATTLE AGAINST PERPETUA
In ‘Dark Nights: Death Metal’ (2020) #1, Wally West in Hellscape on Earth 0 recapitulates the Justice League’s battle against Perpetua to Wonder Woman. In the beginning, Perpetua’s origin story is told: She is a being of the Void tasked with creating multiverses. Wally explains that there are two poles of energy: positive or connective energy also called anti-crisis energy and crisis energy.
To sum, connective energy connects all histories in the DC Universe making the past, the present and the future matter; crisis energy focuses on the present and the self with people not remembering the past. They are both parts of the seven forces of the universe. When Perpetua created the Prime multiverse she used anti-crisis energy in order to restart it infinitely. Destructively, she wanted a multiverse that would be vampiric and prey on others.
When Perpetua’s brothers found out, they trapped her in the Source Wall so she would learn from the growing multiverse. However, Perpetua continued to create crisis after crisis. During Barbatos’ invasion, the Source Wall was shatttered and Perpetua was freed. Not long ago, Doctor Manhattan who is a being of connective energy attempted to heal the fractures in the DC multiverse but with no success.
So the Quintessence gathered Doctor Manhattan’s connective energy and gave it to the Justice League. Finally, they fought Perpetua in a terrible battle that left both forces exhausted and created a blast so powerful it burned out the sun. Using the Batman Who Laughs, Perpetua has a conduit to the dark multiverse where crises are happening forever.
WONDER WOMAN PLANS TO CREATE THE FIRST ANTI-CRISIS
In ‘Dark Knights: Death Metal Trinity Crisis’ (2020) #1, Wonder Woman sets her plan into motion in order to create the first anti-crisis. Meeting the Justice League, she informs them that Perpetua is using the crisis energy from three worlds created in the Dark multiverse by the Batman Who Laughs. In those worlds, the three major crises (“Crisis On Infinite Earths”, “Infinite Crisis” and “Final Crisis”) are occurring forever supplying Perpetua with Crisis Energy. Hence, the plan is for Wonder Woman, Batman, Superman, Jonah Hex and Harley Quinn to infiltrate Castle Bat to stop it.
At the same time, Superman orders Martian Manhunter and Hawkgirl to destroy Perpetua’s throne while the Lanterns destroy the antennae to free people. The ultimate goal is to re-direct the energies stored in three Alfred Boxes to Wally West in order to restart the Prime multiverse. Despite traps and surprises along the way, the DC Trinity makes it to Castle Bat. There, they travel to three worlds: Batman travels to Crisis On Infinitie Earths, Superman to Final Crisis and Wonder Woman to Infinite Crisis. However, their plans are foiled by the Batman Who Laughs though Wonder Woman succeeds in recruiting Superboy-Prime.
WONDER WOMAN SEES ALL DC HISTORY MATTERS WITH THE ANTI-CRISIS ENERGY, FORCING THE HANDS TO RESTORE THE DC MULTIVERSE
In ‘Dark Nights: Death Metal’ (2021) #7, Wonder Woman engages in an epic battle across time and space against the Batman Who Laughs. The Darkest Knight informs Wonder Woman of three things: he is stronger than she is, he can recreate the DC multiverse and kill the Hands, and the Hands are going to erase the Prime multiverse if he doesn’t take her offer. Using the Connective energy, Diana sees the importance of DC history and of how every life is connected.
As the two fighters bolt into the Death Sun that is the end of the DC multiverse, Wonder Woman understands she must allow all of it to end. As she strikes the Batman Who Laughs one final time, there is an explosion at the center of the Death Sun. Then, there is nothing. Finally, there is Light. Wonder Woman is greeted by the Hand who takes her form and informs her that the DC multiverse will be restored with infinite possibilities.
In ‘Outsiders’ (2003) #3, titled “Role Call, Part Three: Joke’s On You”, Nightwing performs a super strength feat. The Outsiders are thwarting a Gorilla City attack on New York that serves as a diversion for Joker to kidnap and torture the president, Lex Luthor. During the battle, Nightwing draws blood on Gorilla Grodd twice with his Eskrima sticks.
How much super strength does it take for Nightwing to draw blood on Gorilla Grodd twice with his Eskrima sticks?
Nightwing and Outsiders are fighting Gorilla Grodd and the army of Gorilla City in New York. In order to interrogate Gorilla Grodd, Nightwing hits him twice on the face, drawing blood.
We will estimate Gorilla Grodd’s durability in order to rate Nightwing’s super strength.
GORILLA GRODD’S DURABILITY
In ‘Flash’ (1991) #47, Vixen, Flash (Wally West) and Pied Piper are held captive by Gorilla Grodd. Flash frees himself from Grodd’s collar used for mind control and hits him with a speed blitz of three thousand punches.
In ‘Flash’ (1991) #47, Flash hits Gorilla Grodd with a speedblitz of three thousand punches. AP Photo/DC Comics.
We will use this feat to calculate Nightwing’s super strength feat.
This is a stress and strain problem. Let’s punch values into the Stress Calculator, on the Omni-Calculator. We get the following results. Refer to the Calculations Toggle Arrow to view the calculations for Area (A) and Force (F).
Nightwing, ‘Outsiders’ #3
Let’s calculate Nightwing’s first hit. The first hit is with a variable force at an angle of 45 degrees. Let’s calculate the acceleration knowing that the Eskrima stick weighs 0.425243 kg.
a = F/m = (15000000 N)/(0.425243 kg) = 35273949.2478 m/s2.
Arc Length = θ × r = (45° × π/180 rad*15000000 N)/(1 rad) = 11780970 N.
Then we calculate the second hit.
Arc Length = θ × r = (60° × π/180 rad*15000000 N)/(1 rad) = 15708000 N.
Total Super Strength = 27488970 N = 3089.8831569002514 Tons.
Nightwing generated 27488970 N of total force making Gorilla Grodd bleed. Nightwing had to generate a Building Level of Super Strength since he hit Gorilla Grodd with 3089.8831569002514 Tons. This is not humanly feasible and is likely a result of martial arts with pressure points.
Toggle the Toggle Arrow below to view the calculations.
Calculations for Nightwing, ‘Outsiders’ #8
Metahuman Strength = 1000 kg = m.
Area = (pi)(10 cm)(5 cm) = 157.07963 cm^2.
Force = ma = (1000 kg)(3000 punches)(5 m/s^2) = 15000000 N.
a = F/m = (15000000 N)/(0.425243 kg) = 35273949.2478 m/s2.
Arc Length First Hit = θ × r = (45° × π/180 rad*15000000 N)/(1 rad) = 11780970 N.
Arc Length Second Hit = θ × r = (60° × π/180 rad*15000000 N)/(1 rad) = 15708000 N.
Total Super Strength = (11780970 N + 15708000 N) = 27488970 N.
Super Strength In Tons = (27488970 N * 1 ton)/(9964.016384 N) = 3089.8831569002514 Tons.
Ratio Of Young’s Modulus = (3805879139 Pa)/(9000000000 Pa) = 0.42287545988.
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‘DC Universe: Rebirth’ (2016) #1. AP Photo/DC Comics.
IN READING GUIDES, LISTS, REVIEWS
THE NEW 52 WAS UNPOPULAR
In 2011, the DC Universe was rebooted with the events of Flashpoint. In an attempt to save his mother from death, Flash ended creating an alternate timeline changing from New Earth to Prime Earth. The multiverse became an important aspect with Prime Earth at its center.
The new DC Universe resulted in the rebooting of the many popular series in DC such as ‘Action Comics,’ the end of the Superman-Lois marriage and the budding relationship between Superman and Wonder Woman, the loss of the traditional families and legacy in DC since Wally West was absent, the shake-up in the founding of the Justice League and in general the loss of heart and hope in story-telling.
One of the biggest issues fans had with the reboot was that it seemingly erased classic characters from the picture. Undoubtedly the most high profile absence was Wally West, who had taken on the role of the Flash for over a decade, and was arguably the version of the character audiences were most familiar with, owing to his presence on the long-loved Justice League animated series.
And yet, the character went completely missing during the reboot, along with other heroes, like the Question (no, the version we got most definitely isn’t Vic Sage), Cassandra Cain, and a whole host of other classic characters – all wiped in the name of keeping things simple. Which is awful, if we’re being honest.
In order from left to right: Aquaman, Green Lantern, Wonder Woman, Superman, Batman, Flash and Cyborg. AP Photo/Marvel Comics.
THE PREMISE OF ‘DC UNIVERSE: REBIRTH’ #1
The premise of ‘DC Universe: Rebirth’ #1, is the dramatic re-appearance of hope, under the form of Wally West. The one-shot argues that the characters are not themselves and it is up to Flash to help them remember who they are. The plot of the comic is Wally West, the Flash, trapped into the Speed Force and attempting to contact someone in order to return Prime Earth otherwise he will vanish forever.
Flash first attempts to contact Batman but Batman fails to recognize him. Then, Flash attempts to contact John Thunder and asks him to contact the Justice Society. Wally West tries to contact Linda Park and return to the DC Universe. However, his attempt fails and he vanishes further. Finally, Wally reaches out to Barry Allen to say goodbye. However, Barry remembers him and pulls him out of the Speed Force before he vanishes forever. Hope has returned to the DC Universe!
WE CO-SIGN ‘DC UNIVERSE: REBIRTH’ #1, AS THE RE-EMERGENCE OF HOPE IN THE DC UNIVERSE
Wally West serves as the character that corrects the Post-Flashpoint DC Universe. Barry and Wally exchange a hug and Barry laments the fact he had forgotten Wally. Then Barry remembers Wally’s life and becoming the Flash. Wally tells Barry about Flashpoint. He tells Barry Flashpoint was not Barry’s fault.
Wally mentions a mysterious force that took ten years of their lives, changing families, legacies. The new battle is between “hope and despair” with a force even more powerful than Darkseid. The storyline thread continues in the “Watchmen” sequel called ‘Doomsday Clock’. The sequel reveals Doctor Manhattan as its villain.