Iris West Allen
|Iris West Allen|
Art by Francis Manapul
|First appearance||Showcase #4 (September–October 1956)|
|Created by||Robert Kanigher (script)
Carmine Infantino, Joe Kubert (art)
|Full name||Iris Ann West Allen|
|Place of origin||Earth|
Iris West Allen is a fictional character who appears in various DC Comics publications. She is a one-time wife of the second Flash (before Flashpoint), Barry Allen, the aunt of the third Flash, Wally West, and the grandmother of the fourth Flash, Bart Allen. Iris Allen first appears in Showcase #4 (September–October 1956).
Fictional character biography
In her first appearance, Iris is a reporter for the Picture News, based in Central City, and the girlfriend of Barry Allen, who is secretly the Flash. Unaware of his secret, Iris often chides Barry for his frequently being late. Eventually, she learns that Barry is not only the city's heroic speedster, but her step-nephew, Wally West, is Kid Flash. In Flash #165 (November 1966), she marries Barry, discovering on their wedding night that Barry is the Flash (through Barry talking in his sleep). During this time, the couple discovers that Iris was born in the 30th Century (c 2945 AD), and had been sent back to the present shortly before "Earth-East" attacked "Earth-West," when Central City was a self-contained city. After years as a prominent presence in the Flash's life and Central City, she is killed by Professor Zoom during a costume party. Zoom vibrated his hand into her head, solidifying it just enough to kill her. Years later, Barry killed Zoom while trying to prevent him from murdering Barry Allen's new fiancee, Fiona Webb.
Iris did not stay dead for long. As Iris' biological parents, the Russells (with the help of a future Flash, John Fox), sent the then-infant Iris to the past, where she was adopted by Ira West, her "death" caused a paradox that was resolved after the Russells placed her consciousness into a new body. Barry is reunited with Iris in her time, and they are able to spend a month together. However, the couple knows if Barry returns to the past, he will die in the Crisis on Infinite Earths. During their time together, they conceive the Tornado Twins, Don and Dawn. Don marries the descendant of Professor Zoom, Meloni Thawne, hoping to end the feud between the two families. They have a son, Bart, whose powers manifest at an early age and cause him to age at an accelerated rate. Dawn marries Jeven Ognats of Aarok and has a daughter, Jenni. Her powers eventually manifest when she witnesses her father being tortured, and she becomes XS of the Legion of Super-Heroes. Don and Dawn die saving 30th Century Earth from an invasion by the Dominators. Iris takes Bart to the past to enlist the aid of her nephew (by then, Wally had taken the mantle of the Flash) in saving her grandson. After Bart's accelerated aging slows down, he takes the name of Impulse. Not much is known about her after that, but Iris volunteers to take care of the Weather Wizard's orphaned son. Wally West later names his daughter Iris in honor of his aunt.
One Year Later
A mysterious hooded figure enlists the help of Zoom to attack Bart while he confronts Captain Cold, and later reveals herself as Iris. Her plan is to somehow put her grandson, who, by then, had taken up the Flash mantle, out of commission for a week to protect him from a future she is determined to change. Unfortunately, a weakened Bart is killed by the Rogues, thanks to an elaborate plan by his clone "brother" Inertia.
In Final Crisis: Rogues' Revenge #1, Iris is seen tearfully looking over photographs of her late husband, when a disembodied voice calls her name. Barry returns to life in DC Universe #0 and Final Crisis #2. Iris spends some time as part of a Darkseid-resistance cell operating out of the Hall of Justice. Other members include Black Lightning, Green Arrow, the Ray, Linda Park and her two children. In Final Crisis #4, Iris is shown to have been corrupted by the Anti-Life Equation; Barry is able to break its hold over her by kissing her and enveloping her in the Speed Force. Iris starts crying at the sight of Barry, who reassures her everything will be okay.
After the return of her husband, Iris is shown fully returning to her life alongside the rest of the Flash family. Still overjoyed by the return of Barry, she does not get much time to spend with him, as Barry is still mentally scarred from his deathly ordeal and staunchly refuses to stop and enjoy even a moment of "normal" life. She is also shown to be much younger than she previously had appeared, later implied by the resurrected Professor Zoom that Iris's currently youthful appearance is a side effect of closet contact to her husband's Speed Force since Final Crisis. She resumes her career as a crime reporter at Central City.
In September 2011, the Flash title was rebooted with a new continuity. In this new timeline, Iris is not married to Barry, but they still know each other because of their respective occupations. It is hinted that Iris has a romantic attraction to Barry. She is later accidentally trapped in the Speed Force by Turbine. She is later freed by Barry's alter-ego, and later issues confirms that she is in love with Barry, however Barry is not yet reciprocate of Iris's affections.
In the Flashpoint miniseries (an alternate timeline is created by the Flash), Iris West is unmarried and in a relationship with someone called "John" at the Central City Citizen, where she works. Later Iris is seen with her nephew and cameraman, Wally West, covering a battle between Citizen Cold and Mister Freeze. Iris was invited to dinner by Citizen Cold. When she asks him for an interview, he is interrupted by his emergency calls. Later, Citizen Cold is injured during his battle with the Rogues and while collapsing in his car, confronts Iris. Iris then brings him to her home. After he recovers, he gives her a key to his penthouse, and an offer to join him when he leaves Central City. When Citizen Cold returns home, Iris learns from Pied Piper, that Citizen Cold is a criminal and murdered her nephew. Citizen Cold attacks Pied Piper, but Iris uses one of his own weapons to freeze him in a block of ice, just as he had Wally. Afterwards, Iris visits her nephew's grave along with her husband John.
In other media
- Iris Allen made a guest appearance in the two-hour pilot episode of The Flash played by actress Paula Marshall. Here, she is portrayed as Barry's girlfriend, just as she is in the comics, but they break up and she went to France, and so they do not get married. Unlike the comics books, she's a graphic artist, not a reporter.
- Iris West appears in Young Justice voiced by Nicole Dubuc. In "Downtime," she and Barry are shown attending Jay Garrick's birthday party with Wally West. In "Failsafe," Iris was reporting on an alien invasion before being killed. The entire situation is later revealed to be part of Martian Manhunter's mind-training exercise. During "Coldhearted" Iris gives a shout out to Wally on the news as a birthday present before reporting school closings. She later reports Queen Perdita's death on the news. In the episode "Bloodlines," she is revealed to be pregnant with twins. Her time-traveling grandson Bart tells her that her unborn son will grow up to be his father.
- Iris West will appear in The CW's pilot for a potential Flash series, which if ordered, will act as a spin-off of Arrow. She will be African-American rather than Caucasian.
- Iris Allen appears in the animated film Justice League: The New Frontier voiced by Vicki Lewis. Here, she is also portrayed as the girlfriend of Barry Allen and having deduced his identity.
- Iris Allen appears in the animated film Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox voiced by Jennifer Hale. In an alternate timeline created by Flash/Barry Allen, she is no longer married to Barry and instead had a child with someone else. Once Barry corrected the timeline, his marriage to Iris is restored.
- Iris Allen is featured in the Justice League novel Flash: Stop Motion by Mark Shultz. The novel explains that Iris and her deceased husband Barry Allen raised Wally West after his parents died. As an adult, Wally now has to defend her from a creature called the Superluminoid that can travel faster than the speed of light. Wally discovers that both he and his Aunt Iris possess the 'metagene' that gave the former his powers when the gene was triggered by the lightning bolt in the lab that gave him his superspeed. The novel indicates that Iris' metagene has never manifested itself with any remarkable powers, although the potential is there under the right circumstances; the Superluminoid is revealed to be a creature developed from Iris' own metagene, while Wally is given vital aid in determining the nature of his foe and powers by an entity that is later revealed to be an alternate version of Iris.
- Greenberger, Robert (2008), "Iris Allen", in Dougall, Alastair, The DC Comics Encyclopedia, London: Dorling Kindersley, p. 10, ISBN 0-7566-4119-5
- Flash #275 (July 1979), Flash #283 (March 1980).
- Jimenez, Phil (2008), "The Flash", in Dougall, Alastair, The DC Comics Encyclopedia, New York: Dorling Kindersley, pp. 124–127, ISBN 0-7566-4119-5, OCLC 213309017
- Flash #324 (August 1983).
- Flash #350 (October 1985)
- As depicted in Crisis in Infinite Earths #8 (November 1985)
- Flash: The Fastest Man Alive #10
- Flash: The Fastest Man Alive #13
- The Flash: Rebirth #1 (April 2009)
- The Flash vol. 3, #1 (April 2010)
- The Flash #1
- The Flash #7
- Flashpoint #5 (August 2011)
- Flashpoint #1 (June 2011)
- Flashpoint: Citizen Cold #1 (June 2011)
- Flashpoint: Citizen Cold #2 (July 2011)
- Flashpoint: Citizen Cold #3 (August 2011)
- Flashpoint: Kid Flash Lost #3 (August 2011)
The Flash: Stop Motion by Mark Schultz ISBN 0-7434-1713