That's not a 2E thing, it's a D&D thing, regardless of edition.
I told a story a while back about how I was trying to talk a guy I knew, who loved comic books, into giving D&D (5E, which isn't my edition of choice, but which seemed like the easiest access point for a newcomer) a chance. He asked if he could make a character who was just like The Flash. I hesitated, then started to describe how there were certain builds (which I was reasonably certain were out there) which could get him up to more than twice the movement speed of most characters, along with one or two extra attacks per round. He just shook his head and said "That's not even close to what The Flash can do."
Ok, wow. Yeah, that's a huge disconnect. The most difficult time I ever had was with a new player that said, "I want to play a character that rides a dinosaur that shoots lasers out of their eyes."
I said, "You can do that, but it's not really a concept for a new character. It's more of a goal to work towards. But I can tell you how to build a character that is like "Tarzan of the Dinosaurs" and then by the time your character is powerful enough to meet dinosaurs, you'll be able to befriend them and ride them." And, I could do this because I have the house rules for that and he was OK with that explanation. Of course, he split the party and got the character killed before he ever met dinosaurs but I really did have a plan for him meeting dinosaurs and a potential path to getting a cyborg techno-magic dinosaur that shot 'lasers' from its eyes.
But yeah, there is a whole different level of disconnect in saying you want to be The Flash. Like, most actual Superhero RPGs break down and are unplayable with characters of The Flash level of power. He's right off the bat certainly hit the nail on the head for what sort of character a power gamer would choose to play if the options were unlimited. I've yet to see any rule system that really deals well with the problems Speedsters bring to the table. If I ever ran a supers game, I'd be strongly tempted to ban Speedsters or at least ban Speedsters with more than single digit multiples of human normal speed.
The problem is of course action economy. And in particular The Flash can play an entire adventure while the rest of the party is leaving for the tavern door.