Warning - This article contains spoilers for Zack Snyder’s Justice League.
After years of grassroots campaigning and unconventional fan movement, Zack Snyder's Justice League has finally arrived on HBO Max. It was a long journey, but the passion of both Snyder and his supporters eventually prevailed, and the debut of the four-hour-long version clearly cemented that.
At this stage, some fans and critics have already seen the Snyder Cut, and the positive reception towards the film should serve as a good sign. The main selling point of Zack Snyder's Justice League is the fact that it is entirely different from its theatrical predecessor back in 2017, considering that it has a rich focus on the core members of the team.
One of the characters that received a shift in portrayal is Ezra Miller's Barry Allen . After being depicted as merely a comedic character in the theatrical cut, this new version fleshed out Barry in a compelling way, giving the character his own chance to shine.
Not only that, it appears that the story beats of Barry weren't the only aspects that were changed in the director's cut.
BARRY ALLEN'S SPEED EXPLAINED
In Zack Snyder's Justice League , the super-speed of Barry Allen was showcased differently, with the character seemingly stopping time while tapping into the Speed Force.
This was different from Grant Gustin's version of The CW's The Flash series, where the hero's power was visually portrayed as simply being able to run fast.
The depiction of Barry's time-travel in the Snyder Cut is also different, as the speedster appears to rewind time instead of going into a specific point in the timeline. Not much is known if The Flash film will incorporate the same attributes (considering the Snyder Cut's place in the in-universe canon), but it will be interesting to find out if it will stick to honor what Snyder did.
Connecting the dots, it's reasonable to assume that the DCEU's Flash is notably faster than The CW's speedster.
THE SPEED FORCE OF THE SNYDER CUT
It's no secret that Flash's speed is one of the fascinating visual treats from the DC Universe, and it's safe to say that Snyder maximized this element to the fullest. Interestingly, the slow-motion effect of Barry Allen's speed in Justice League was already featured in the theatrical cut, and the fact that Joss Whedon kept this treatment for the character goes to show that this unique feature was necessary for the character to stand out from his TV counterpart.
However, there is an intriguing part of Barry's speed that Snyder didn't agree with regarding its big-screen portrayal: Flash saving people while running at super-speed. To recap, the Scarlet Speedster used his powers to transport the Russian family to safety while also helping several civilians to escape Steppenwolf in Whedon's version.
The director explained that Barry moving people while running “goes against physics,” pointing out that “it would just literally peel the flesh off of somebody’s body.”
Snyder established this during the moment where Barry saves Iris from certain death. In the scene, the speedster tore his shoes apart while everything around him slows down in a dramatic fashion. Instead of grabbing Iris out of the air, Barry gently places her on the ground.
The Speed Force is a vital part of Barry's power set, and the concept's inclusion in Zack Snyder's Justice League proved beneficial not just for the character, but also to the film. After being scrapped from the theatrical cut, the Speed Force made a triumphant return to establish the time-travel ability of the DC hero, with the character pushing himself to run as fast as he can to “rewind” reality.
Given that this is the first time that Barry used this ability in DCEU canon, it naturally raises questions of when exactly the meeting of Grant Gustin and Ezra Miller's versions of the speedster happens in the franchise's timeline. To recap, in the Arrowverse's Crisis On Infinite Earths crossover, the two heroes met inside the Speed Force.
It was made clear that the Speed Force exists as one entity throughout the multiverse, which means that every speedster taps into it. However, considering that Gustin and Miller's iterations each have a different depiction of how they use their speed, this could hint that one is superior to the other.
Whatever the case, the DCEU's Flash is set to take center stage in his own solo film soon, and it is expected that the mystery surrounding the Speed Force will be addressed by then.