What’s with speedsters, like the Flash, creating energy constructs like Green Lantern does?

On December 8th, 2014, /u/Hippieslayer555 asked the following on /r/DCcomics:

So, I read up on Flash on the DC Comics wiki, and it is stated that Speedsters have an ability called Energy Construct Creation that allows them to create objects like Green Lantern can, not exactly the same but the principle is still the same.

I’ve got to ask, I’ve read all of the New 52 series and Rebirth and I’ve never seen this ability demonstrated, do speedsters actually have this ability and how often do they use it?

Before I saw it, /u/harryboom offered this:

it was in rebirth, when barry and the rest all created new costumes out of speed force energy. it hasn’t shown up in N52

Then came my answer:

So, two things:

  1. /u/harryboom is correct about the costumes
  2. It’s also correct this power hasn’t (really) shown up in the New 52.

That said, I wanted to expand a bit on it :)

Here’s the relevant info from the Wikipedia page on the Speed Force:

Wally discovered that if he concentrated, the Speed Force could be used to create solid constructs. The first time he used this ability was to create a solid armor enabling him to run despite having broken legs.

That was during Morrison’s run on the character in 1997, specifically the Emergency Stop arc. I’ve copied the sections showing Wally forming the suit so he can go help the others, and some relevant pages below:

Oh, and the douche with the goatee? Actually Nightwing.

The wiki continues:

Later examples included sealing up the openings of his costume against disease, creating pockets for holding things, etc. In JLA, when shot by Prometheus, his suit displayed bullet-resistant properties. Most recently, it was used to repair the damage done to the various speedsters’ costumes, allowing Wally to change his uniform; Jesse Quick to take up the uniform of her father, Johnny Quick; and Wally’s daughter, Iris, to become the new Impulse.

That ‘most recently’ is referring to the The Flash: Rebirth #5 from 2009, as mentioned by /u/harryboom, which I guess is recent but literally worlds away from us now that we have the New 52.

Talking about the suits…

I’m glad they switched back to red but man this was so awesome when I first read it.

While lots of places, including the DC Wiki, list Energy Construct Creation as the same power for both Green Lanterns and speedsters, it’s worth keeping in mind that for the former its their primary thing while the latter shows WAY less skill at it and it’s only been used rarely, so while the description is, as you noted, this…

Speed Force conduits can use the matter generated by their speed to create solid objects such as walls or bridges. This power requires constant concentration and reapplication of the construct for it to remain stable. Flash’s after images are also construct creations.

…it’s not like when Green Lantern creates something. When it says bridges it usually depicted as akin to running on air/light, rather than the way a Green Lantern would imagine something that looks like a real world bridge, complete with bricks and cables, but glowing green. The stuff about the after images is really interesting as I can’t exactly remember but that stuff may have shown up in the New 52 for Barry. For now, it’s mostly a “I wonder when they’ll next revisit this idea?” type of thing.

Bonus: to close this out, here’s one more (kinda) example from Barry Allen during the Blackest Night arc

When it was decided to deputize an individual for each Lantern Corps for 24 hours, the Flash was chosen as the deputy for the Blue Lantern Corps. During the battle, Barry is forced to fight his own grandson, who his ring detects is still alive but would eventually die if not free from the black ring soon. Barry is shown to be skilled with his ring in creating energy constructs based on his imagination (possibly because of the understanding with his friend Hal Jordan’s ring), as he is able to create images of Bart as Impluse and Kid Flash against him in order to make him feel again. Barry’s plan almost works as Bart reacts to the images of his past and the constructs begin to attempt to take the black ring from him, but later is interrupted by the Black Lantern Professor Zoom and Solovar.

Sure, this is probably entirely due to the powers of the Blue Lantern Ring and likely has nothing to do with the Speed Force, but still, it is The Flash creating energy constructs. ;)

Hope this helps!

2 thoughts on “What’s with speedsters, like the Flash, creating energy constructs like Green Lantern does?

  1. Avid Fan says:

    A more basic understanding of it is that they can create around themselves and maybe even leave something behind them, but projecting isn’t really part of the package. It’s basically the advancement of the speed force aura.


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