The Black Flash, also called the Speed Demon or the Black Racer, is a supernatural creature that represents death, manifested from the Speed Force itself.
The imposing creature doesn't appear human at all: being comprised of the dark energies of the Speed Force, appearing completely black and always surrounded by black/dark blue lightnings. It features a grotesque, almost oil-shaped, humanoid form with clawed hands and feet that feature three toes and a fourth talon extending from the heel.
The creature's mouth features an extended animal-like snout with sharp, gruesome teeth and a prensile tongue. Its horns resemble the ear wings the Flash had on his helmet, as well as backward knees to help him run faster and a pair of glowing yellow eyes.
Power and Abilities
- Super Speed - The Black Flash can move and perceive on the same level of superhuman speed as Clark Kent and Bart Allen. This makes it faster than a mature super-powered Kryptonian and certainly faster than a speeding bullet.
- Super Strength - Black Flash is strong enough to hurt Superman with his punches and fight him on equal grounds, to the point where he could have killed him.
- Invulnerability - Black Flash is durable and resilient enough to endure attacks from Superman.
- Super Stamina - Black Flash, unlike his speedster prey, doesn't require rest to maintain his speed.
- Longevity - Black Flash has haunted speedsters as long as anyone can remember. It is seemingly an ageless entity.
- Electrokinesis - Black Flash generates black lightnings from its body as it runs. It is unclear whether it can use them offensively directy. It can also generate Speed Stroms that can "spark" new speedsters so it could feed on them.
As explained in detail at a later time, the Black Flash creature first appeared to Bart Allen while he was captured and tortured by Lex Luthor for stealing LuthorCorp secrets. Trapped in a circular glass cage, Lex forced Bart to run at superspeed to avoid a charged floor that would electrocute him to death if he touched it. Running faster than he ever thought himself capable, Bart discovered he could tap into the very Speed Force itself. Almost immediately, Bart saw the dark creature waiting for him just outside the glass, waiting to grab him. Before he could pass out and fall to the shocked floor or before the creature could grab him, Clark Kent rescued him from the chamber.
Bart visits his friend Clark after he has assumed his costumed identity of Superman. He appears troubled but when asked about it, Bart tells Clark that nothing is wrong. The two are dispatched by Chloe Sullivan at Watchtower to handle an art robbery at the Musée du Louvre in Paris. They agree to race each other to France, but as Clark flies off Bart is tentative to use the Speed Force as he hears an ominous voice call his name.
In Paris, Bart and Clark confront Monsieur Mallah and the Brain and their army of monkeys stealing art from the museum. As Mallah begins firing on the heroes and the crowd of civilians, Bart taps into the Speed Force to catch the bullets. As he runs, the Black Flash appears again, telling Bart "It is time" as it bolts toward him and tries to grab him. After Clark knocks Mallah out and uses a superclap to knock the rest of the primates unconscious, he finds a tired and scared Bart on his knees.
Flying across the Atlantic Ocean back to Metropolis, Bart tells Clark about the dark creature and recounts the story of the first time seeing it. He mentions that it has always waited for him every time that he's used his superspeed and Clark wonders why he wanted to race him to both India and then to France. Bart admits that because Clark is the only one he know who can ran anywhere near the speeds he can, he wanted to see if Clark could see the creature. If he couldn't, then it would prove to Bart that it was all in his head. Clark assures his friend he isn't crazy and that they will find a way to confront the creature together.
Clark and Bart later arrives at S.T.A.R. Labs where the scientists there set Bart and Clark up for a speed assessment.With everything set, Bart wonders how Clark will manage to match his speed, considering he runs a lot faster than Clark. Emil explains that the treadmills they are using for the assessment had been specially designed with a frictionless engine assembly when they began testing Clark's abilities. This will allow Bart to run as fast as he can while Clark's treadmill will accelerate him towards Bart's speed. They all hope that if they can get Clark fast enough, he can witness the creature as well.
As they run, Clark encourages Bart to go full speed, insisting that he has his friend's back. With approval, Bart taps into the Speed Force and runs so fast that he causes the treadmill and the monitoring equipment to explode. As Clark falls to the floor, while in the Speed Force, the horrible creature towers over him, chastising his speed as "not pure." Outside of the force, Bart asks Clark if he was able to see the demon. Now knowing what he is dealing with, Clark assures his friend that he will find a way to save him.
Later Bart and Clark go to find the original Flash, Jay Garrick.
Bart asks what the old man knows about the "Black Racer." The elder speedster tells them his leg was broken when the federal government tried rounding up the JSA and he never wanted it repaired. When Clark attempts to ask why he would never want to run fast again, Bart correctly guesses that he's seen the demon. Garrick admits to it and explains that what is occurring to Bart happened to him. Clark mentions the speed storms and Garrick says it's the racer calling Bart out. Bart asks how the old man survived it and Garrick reiterates that he just stopped running. Bart adamantly refuses that option and the elder tells him the only other option is to die.
Meanwhile, Chloe asks if Clark and Bart had any luck in Utah. A speed storm alert on Ollie's phone tells them no.
As the speed storm crackles in Utah, Clark tries to reason with Jay Garrick that there must be another option to help Bart. Garrick asserts that there is no choice in the matter and that by using the Speed Force, the demon is there to collect the debt. Clark asks why there were no records of speed storms while Garrick was with the JSA. The old man surmises that Bart is so fast that it has made the creature hungry and desperate. Picking up on the thought, Clark reasons that it is sending out the speed storms to try to create a new speedster to take on as its prey.
Bart asks Garrick how many speedsters there are. The old man gives a mealy answer about not being the first and Bart not being the last. Bart confronts him about not having raced the demon himself to stop to have possibly stopped it, and Garrick denounces their abilities as a curse. Clark offers that curses can be blessings if they don't let their powers control their lives. The old man owns up to being proud of how he acted, but it's not good enough for Bart. Riled up, he starts tapping into the Speed Force before Clark manages to stop him.
The scientists at S.T.A.R. created a new suit for Superman so he can battle the demon and they sent it to the young heroes' location in Utah. Clark quickly puts on the suit and speeds to the massive storm in Las Vegas. Boldly, Clark proclaims to the demon that it's "time for round two."
In Las Vegas, Clark Kent saves a man from becoming another victim of a speed storm. He cannot save everyone but he does save as many as he can. Superman stops the speed storms and has everyone evacuate. An angry Black Flash, seeing that Superman is trying to stop him, decides to kill him. Superman and Black Flash begin to fight.
Superman continues to fight the Black Flash. Just as Black Flash seems to be gaining the upper hand just as Bart arrives, prepared at last for the final showdown and his reckoning with the speed force.
Black Flash, finally satisfied that Bart arrive getting to feed on "Pure" speed. Bart then rush to take Clark out of the fight and proceeds to absorb the Speed Force out of Clark's containment suit. Clark tries to talk Bart out of taking on the Black Flash with Impulse revealed that the speedsters he met with told him that he was the only one who can take him down. Bart then confides in Clark that he never been alone, and then rushes to take down Black Flash. Clark then proceeds to try to catch up and help Bart.
Bart rushes to Black Flash with Clark trying to convince him to slow down. They both flashback to back when they first met as teenagers back on the barn. Bart, who thanks Clark for looking out for him. He says he's going to explore the world, and invites Clark to come. Clark asks him to stay, and Bart slyly says he'd consider it... if Clark can catch him. The two superspeed down the roads of Smallville, but Bart easily leaves Clark in the dust. Black Flash then tells Bart it is finally time to feed and Bart agrees and proceeds to give him all of his speed saying a final "Smell you Later" to Black Flash.
There is soon a big Speed Force explosion that took out both Bart and Black Flash out leaving a giant lightning bolt in the desert with Clark mourning and forced to tell Watchtower that Impulse is gone.
In the comics
Black Flash is a death manifestation in the DC universe. The character was created by Grant Morrison, Mark Millar, and Ron Wagner, and first appeared in The Flash vol. 2, #138 (June 1998). The Black Flash fulfills the role of Death for those who possess super-speed, returning them to the source of their powers: the Speed Force. It was reportedly seen before the deaths of Barry Allen and Johnny Quick; Max Mercury, having had several near-death experiences, also saw the Black Flash.
It is not clear whether the Black Flash exists because the speedsters are simply too fast for traditional Death to capture, or as some sort of bizarre side-effect to their connection to the Speed Force.
It came for Wally West to draw him back to the Speed Force, but instead took Linda Park, Wally's girlfriend, into the Speed Force. It later returned to try and take Wally again, freezing time except for those who possessed a connection to the Speed Force. Max Mercury, Jay Garrick, and Jesse Quick all attempted to assist Wally by distracting the Black Flash; Wally finally defeated the Black Flash by racing it to the end of time, to a point where Death would have no meaning, causing it to dissipate.
The Black Flash appeared to the fourth Flash, Bart Allen, immediately before his death at the hands of the Rogues at the Getty Center.
Barry Allen has recently become the new Black Flash after the old one was found "apparently dead". Soon after, the title was taken by Professor Zoom in his corpse Black Lantern form.
- Black Flash is the main antagonist of Haunted.
- Given its raw strength and seemingly unlimited resources of speed and stamina, the Black Flash can easily be considered as one of the most powerful entities in the Smallville universe.
- Bart refers to the creature as "Speed Demon" and "Black Racer". Both are separate DC Comics characters. The Speed Demon is a costumed super-villain and enemy of the Flash. The Black Racer is an Avatar of Death and one of the New Gods created by Jack Kirby.
- The appearance of Zoom in Season Two of The Flash resembles that of Black Flash. In the Season two finale episode, The Race of His Life, the Time Wraiths comes for a defeated Zoom who had just been defeated by The Flash. They punish him for his tampering of time by absorbing his speed and body, causing a physical disfigurement, resembling his comic book counterpart of The Black Flash. They proceed to drag him into the speed force in his new guise.