Blatantly based on the then still hugely popular Sonic the Hedgehog, Krakkl was the energy-based childhood friend of Wally West who was just as fast.
In the DC Universe, The Flash is the fastest living man alive, but there are certainly other non-humanoid creatures that put him to the test. These include a creature called Krakkl, which was much faster than just a puff of static electricity. A former friend of Wally West, Krakkl was also kind of a metatext joke.
His appearance and powers make it clear that Krakkl was DC’s answer to the hugely popular Sonic the Hedgehog at the time. This video game industry subversive saw a version of the Blue Blur compete with its feet against the Scarlet Speedster. Here’s how the Fastest Man Alive met the Fastest Thing Alive, and how the latter has since come back.
Who is Krakkl, DC’s Sonic the Hedgehog?
Created by Mark Millar, Grant Morrison and Paul Ryan, the energetic Krakkl debuted in the flash #136 in the “Human Race” story arc. Here he was introduced as an energetic being that Wally West once contacted via radio waves as a child. Not realizing what he was communicating with, Wally simply saw Krakkl as his imaginary friend. Years later, however, a desperate situation will reveal to Wally that the radio frequency world of Krakkl was indeed real.
As an adult, Wally finally met Krakkl when the fate of their two worlds was weighed in the balance by the alien Cosmic Gamblers. Krakkl revealed that his speed form was actually “cheating”, as he drew kinetic energy from people in his world running around. Desperate to save each other’s home planets, Krakkl and Wally devised a plan to save them both. It involved Linda, Wally’s wife, who also ruled all the people on Earth.
Unfortunately, that wasn’t enough to make Wally fast enough, forcing Krakkl to sacrifice himself in order for Wally to gain the speed he needed. Although his friend was gone, Wally spared his people by having the people of Earth turn on their radios, allowing Krakkl’s race to jump to Earth. However, since the reality reboot effects of the New 52 and DC Rebirth, Krakkl has been restored to life, even aiding Max Mercury and other Flash Family heroes against the evil Professor Zoom.
How is Krakkl similar to Sonic?
Considering Krakkl’s early days (the late 90s), not to mention his blue coloring, spiky appearance, and speed, it’s pretty hard not to compare Krakkl to Sonic the Hedgehog. After all, Sonic was one of gaming’s most popular products at the time, and its success helped make Sega a fierce rival to Nintendo’s dominance of the video game industry. Since both of their powers involve speed, it made sense to feature “Sonic” having a race with The Flash and proving who was the fastest. Of course, DC got the last laugh by mentioning that Krakkl’s speed was due to cheating. Other similarities include the fact that Sonic and Wally West generally have demure, “too cool for school” attitudes, at least compared to the boring Barry Allen.
Krakkl’s only recent revival likely stems not only from his death before Flashpoint, but also from Sonic’s own downfall. The late ’90s was the last time Sonic was a big name in gaming, so the joke of his “being” in the DC Universe wasn’t as relevant anymore. Krakkl’s design even resembles the updated Sonic design that was recently introduced in Sonic Adventure. Nonetheless, he’s back via DC Rebirth, and with Wally West as the Flash again, he might even team up with his old friend for a Speed Force sound boom. This is coupled with Sonic’s resurgence in popularity, both in the world of video games and in TV shows and movies, so it’s unclear where his DC counterpart will head next.
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