Who is the Fastest Man Alive?
Superman #199, August 1967
What happened? Fans like nothing better than arguing about who’s stronger or who’s faster – Hulk or Thor? Superman or Flash? – and 16-year-old writer Jim Shooter knew there was power in giving them what they wanted, as he did in this first ever race between the two. There were even rules – Superman couldn’t fly, for instance.
Why was it shocking? Though the race – after much shenanigans – ended in a dead-heat, the rematches have kept coming, almost all similarly inconclusive. But who cares? It’s the promise of the concept that counts.