Sonic the Hedgehog and DC’s The Flash are two of the fastest beings in media. Who takes the cake in a head-to-head match-up, though? To answer that question, we’ll compare the speedy hedgehog with DC’s red speedster across a few different areas: comics, movies and TV, games, and, of course, an outright test of speed. Who do you think will snag first place?
The Blue Blur and DC’s famous speedster have both made their marks on many forms of media. The Flash has primarily surfaced in comics, TV shows, and movies, while Sonic the Hedgehog has dominated the video game space as one of the medium’s most popular mascots. The popular hedgehog also recently raced into the box office with a successful movie that promises to spawn at least one sequel. As such, we’ve got a wealth of content with which we can compare the two characters, so let’s get started, shall we?
Movies and TV – Flash, for now
The Movies and TV category provides one of the closest bouts that we’ll see today. Each character here has appeared in a handful of beloved TV shows; Sonic X for Sonic and Justice League Unlimited and a self-titled CW show for Flash. Recently, each has expanded its movie presence as well. Sonic appeared in a well-received live-action solo movie in early 2020, and Flash has appeared in the current DCEU in Justice League in 2017, as well as the Zack Snyder-led Director’s Cut in 2020. Sonic’s movie has a sequel on the way, and Ezra Miller is set to star in a solo Flash movie (a movie that sounds absolutely bonkers, by the way) in the near future.
It’s hard to pick a winner right now, but I’ll currently give a narrow advantage to Flash. Justice League Unlimited is a better show than Sonic X, in my opinion, and CW’s The Flash has a few excellent seasons (even if it flew off the rails since). With pending movies for each character, however, this match-up could move in the other direction in the near future. The upcoming Flash solo film could have huge implications for the DC Extended Universe, and the Sonic the Hedgehog sequel has a shot at establishing a bona fide movie franchise for Sonic. If either movie succeeds or bombs, we could see the Flash cement his lead or get passed up by Sonic.
Games – Sonic
For video games, the Blue Blur clearly laps the competition. Sonic has starred in dozens of video games over the years, beginning with his toe-to-toe bout with Mario in the SNES versus Genesis days and continuing ever since. Sonic has starred in several wonderful games, such as the original Sonic the Hedgehog trilogy (and Sonic & Knuckles), Sonic Adventure 2, Sonic All-Stars Racing Transformed, Sonic Colors, Sonic Generations, and, most recently, Sonic Mania. Sure, he has also starred in his fair share of duds (Sonic Forces, anyone?), but there’s no denying his overall pedigree.
Conversely, the Flash has appeared in a mere handful of games, most of them failing to make a lasting impression. He did have an open-world action game in the works during the Xbox 360 generation, but that title never came to fruition. You can play as him in a handful of fighting games like Injustice: Gods Among Us, or Justice League Heroes: The Flash on GBA, but the pickings are pretty sparse overall. While Sonic has struggled with great games in recent years, his assortment of classics propels him to a clear lead in the video game arena.
Comics – Flash
This one is a no-brainer. The Flash is one of the most widely-known and respected comic heroes of all time, while Sonic’s comic presence is much more limited. The Flash initially debuted in 1940 (in Flash Comics #1), and has remained a DC centerpiece in the years since. Four different characters have acquired the power of the “speed force” and become the Flash over the hero’s history: Jay Gerrick, Barry Allen, Wally West, and Bart Allen. While maintaining each of their own solo comic lines, the respective Flashes have also played major roles in DC Comics superhero teams and in universe-level crises that have broken out in the DC Comics Multiverse over time.
Sonic has appeared in plenty of enjoyable comic storylines that develop and showcase the Blue Blur and his beloved cast of friends, but his role in the industry simply cannot compare to that of the Flash. Flash is a comics industry icon, and Sonic’s comic offerings simply cannot compare to that.
Speed – Flash
Sonic is really, really fast, but Flash is at a whole other level. Sonic moves faster than the speed of sound, while Flash can move, process thoughts, and react to attacks at light speed. Light speed. In some situations, he can tap into the speed force and move several trillion times faster than the speed of light, unlocking the ability to move so fast that he can traverse entire galaxies in the blink of an eye, or even traverse through time. The Flash’s super-speed essentially melts the laws of physics, making him one of the fastest fictional characters in existence. As far as super-speed goes, Flash runs circles around Sonic.
After analyzing the cultural footprint and the speed profiles of each of these famous speedsters, we’re able to reach a verdict. For now, we can safely crown the Flash as the king of speed. With an expansive presence in comics, a strong (and growing) catalog of TV and movie appearances, and some truly incomprehensible speed, Flash takes the cake. Sonic is still no slouch, though – he’s got some fun comics of his own, a promising live-action movie series, decades of beloved games, and is pretty darn fast himself. Even though Flash wins the head-to-head match-up, both of these characters are worthy wielders of super speed.