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For her Earth Two equivalent, see Iris West (Earth Two).
"Hi Barry, um there's something I need to say to you. I love you, and if something's happens, I need you to hear this: I, Iris Ann West take you Bartholomew Henry Allen to be my lawfully wedded husband.To have and to hold from this day forward in sickness and in health to love and cherish and until death do us apart. "
—Iris West recording a video message about her marriage to Barry Allen[src]

Iris Ann West[1] (born June 24, 1989)[2] is a journalist working for the Central City Picture News, a former waitress at CC Jitters, and a psychology graduate student.[3] Iris is also the daughter of Joe and the late Francine West, the older sister of Wally West, the fiancée of the late Eddie Thawne and current fiancée of Barry Allen. In the Flashpoint timeline, Iris and Joe seemed to have some tension since Iris didn't know about Francine being alive. She also knew that Wally was the Flash and they formed a brother-sister crime fighting duo.

In the altered timeline created after Barry let Eobard Thawne kill Nora Allen in an attempt to restore his original timeline, Iris was estranged with her father Joe. After learning the truth about Barry's time traveling, Iris and Joe reconnected.

The life of Iris was threatened by a powerful villain named Savitar, which they could foresee due to Barry accidentally travelling into the future trying to trap the villain, which was a future time remnant of Barry. Iris survived thanks to the sacrifice of H.R Wells, and in the final battle she killed Savitar, erasing him from existence.

Biography

Early life

Iris was born on June 24, 1989 to Joe and Francine West in Central City.  

When Iris was very young her mother nearly overdosed on drugs while Joe was at work. Francine had also left the oven on and subsequently ended up unresponsive on the couch, causing Iris to call the police. Before Joe and his partner were able to arrive on the scene, the stove caught fire and Iris was almost killed; as she was standing in front of the flames when Joe and his partner finally reached her, but the pair managed to get both Iris and her mother to safety. Iris repressed her memories of this event and Joe told Iris that her mother had died, but in reality Francine had left and Joe didn't want his daughter to grow up believing that she'd been abandoned. Instead, Joe told her stories of the mother he knew Iris deserved, not the mother Francine really was. However, both Iris and Joe were unaware that Francine was pregnant with another child - a son - when she left them for a life in Keystone City

At school Iris met Barry Allen and the two became best friends, though Barry secretly harbored a crush on Iris that he was never able to vocalize during their childhood. Another boy, Tony Woodward, also had a crush on her, and frequently bullied Barry. Ironically, Iris held those same feelings for Barry, and though the two never acknowledged their romantic interest in each other, both Iris and Barry's parents were well aware of the connection between their children. 
Young Iris covering for Barry

Iris covering for Barry.

When Barry was 11 years old on March 18, 2000, his mother, Nora was murdered by the Reverse-Flash and his father, Henry, was convicted for her murder. Barry was subsequently adopted by Joe and went to live with him and Iris at their house. Early on, however, Barry repeatedly attempted to run away. One time when Joe went to get groceries, Iris allowed Barry to run away, refusing to tell her father exactly where to, despite him understanding the implication.[4]

When she was 17, Iris' appendix burst and she was sent to the hospital.

After Barry entered a coma, Iris began visiting him frequently.[5] She was said to talk a lot while at S.T.A.R. Labs.[6]

Discovering Barry's secret

Just as Eddie was about to propose to Iris with a ring he got from his grandmother, they were attacked by the Reverse-Flash. Iris quickly recognized him as Nora Allen's murderer and pleaded with him not to hurt anyone else. The yellow speedster refused to answer and moved to kill her, but the arrival of Barry arrived as The Flash prompted the Reverse-Flash to abduct Eddie and fled. The Flash assured a distressed Iris that he would find Eddie and as he sped off a surge of lighting passed from Barry to her. In that second she remembered that she only experienced it before when she touched Barry while he was still in a coma after the S.T.A.R. Labs particle accelerator exploded. In that second she realized and still in shock that Barry was the The Flash.[7]

When Iris figured out that Barry is The Flash, she confronted him about his activity as The Flash, telling him that she was disappointed about why he lying to her about his secret identity, but nonetheless she decided to help Barry and join Team Flash. At the time, the team was searching for Grodd, a psychic gorilla. Iris told them about a news headline from two years prior that linked them to Grodd. They sent Barry, Joe, and Cisco Ramon down to the sewers, where Joe was captured by Grodd while the latter used his psychic abilities to knock Barry unconscious, forcing Cisco to take Barry and flee. Later however, Barry went back and overcame Grodd's psychic attacks and rescued Joe.

Since then, Iris became become an active member of Team Flash, and occasionally used her contact with Barry to deal with some meta-human cases.

Francine's return and meeting Wally

Looking into a housing scheme involving two men illegally evicting people from their homes Iris was attacked by the two men who tried to kill her. When she called Barry asking for help he told her to jump from the building she was in and fell almost 20 stories before Barry caught her. With the facts she needed she wrote a story on the subject and her co-worker Linda told her it had scored the front page, much to her joy. Later that day Joe sat her down and confessed that her mother was a drug addict and told her what happened when she was a child, that she'd almost been killed when Francine overdosed which Iris vaguely remembered as he told her. More shockingly Joe revealed that Francine was in fact alive and wanted to see her.

Reluctantly agreeing Iris visited Francine but expressed understandable anguish towards her for leaving them but wished her no ill regardless, but insisted they keep living separate lives. Later Joe revealed to Iris that Francine confessed to be dying of MacGregor's, but Iris was skeptical to believe her. Iris investigated Francine's claims and discovered she was telling the truth but discovered another shocking revelation, that the latter had another child, Wally West, born 8 months after she left her and Joe. Iris later visited Francine again and confronted her about this and told her to leave and never return. She also told her to never tell Joe about him about Wally, believing if Joe knew he had a son that grew up without knowing him he'd never forgive himself.

Around Christmas time Iris, unable to keep Wally's existence a secret anymore, confessed her secret to Barry who encouraged her to tell Joe, offering to help her. Later Iris told Joe about Wally who was distraught to learn he had a son and needed time to accept it. Later at a Christmas party in their house Joe and Iris were stunned when Wally arrived at their doorstep.

Flashpoint timeline

In the Flashpoint timeline, Iris does not instantly recognize Barry. This suggests that the two do not have a lot of contact with each other in the timeline. It is also shown that Iris seems to have a strained relationship with her father, Joe West. She also knows that Wally is the Flash and is an ally of his missions to fight against The Rival.

Post-Flashpoint timeline

In the post-Flashpoint timeline Iris continued to hold a grudge against her father for not telling her that her mother was still alive and as result doesn't speak with him. She also did not share a kiss with Barry prior to him creating Flashpoint. She however remains a member of Team Flash.

After learning of Flashpoint, Iris begins to patch things up with her father and starts up a relationship with Barry. She continues to assist Team Flash in taking down meta-humans and other threats including The Rival, Magenta, Mirror Master, Top, and Shade taking a supportive role and continuing her relationship with Barry unhindered. She becomes concerned when Wally becomes a target for Alchemy even going so far as to knock him out when Alchemy took control of him. She later begged her teammate Caitlin Snow, who had cyrokinesis, but had no control over it, to use her powers to rescue Barry from the then unknown enemy Savitar. Iris later questions if Flashpoint causes the death of Cisco's brother Dante or Caitlin's transformation into Killer Frost, her cyrokinetic alter-ego.

Potential future

Sometime before 2024 (when original timeline events will possibly happen), Barry and Iris' feelings become deeper and she marries him and renames herself "Iris West-Allen". She is also employed by another publisher called the Central City Citizen. In 2024, her husband engaged in a battle with Reverse-Flash, along with Green Arrow, The Atom, and Hawkgirl atop two oil trucks in the streets. The battle ended with both speedsters vanishing in an explosion of light, and Iris fronts page article on the subject titled "Flash Missing Vanishes In Crisis".

Death

When Barry changed the timeline from being called "Flashpoint" the future changed once more.

Savitar kills Iris

Savitar about to kill Iris.

In one potential future of May 23, 2017, Savitar confronted the Flash with Iris as his hostage. He claimed to finally be "free" of the Flash. Despite the Flash's pleas, Savitar simply told Flash that he "lost". Iris then tearfully told Barry that she loved him and Savitar proceeded to murder Iris before the Flash could get to him in time, and Savitar fled as the Flash was left to his loss. Seemingly unbeknownst to Savitar, Flash, or Iris a younger version of the scarlet speedster from 5 months earlier was watching the event from the nearby trees, though he was pulled back to his own time by Jay Garrick. After this, her name on the article changes to Julie Greer.

There have been many versions of this event, for example one is seen with H.R. with Plunder's rifle fixed on Savitar while another version did not contain anyone on top of the roof.

After the defeat of Savitar, Iris's name appeared on the article once again, meaning that this future was erased.

Personality

Original timeline

Charming and beautiful, Iris wants nothing more than to help and care for those around her. She's highly intuitive and has an innate curiosity, being amazed and intrigued by the fantastical events that are happening in Central City, particularly the Flash. After becoming a reporter under Mason Bridge, she becomes even more so in investigating the mysterious circumstances surrounding Harrison Wells and S.T.A.R. Labs.

Iris can be quite stubborn and holds true to her morals, despite what others may want of her. Iris is also a bit of a risk taker and more often doesn't hesitate to take action when need be; as seen when she helps take down Tony Woodward and William Tockman. Her ability to gather and analyze evidence and come to accurate conclusions is also noteworthy.

When Iris finally figures out that Barry is the Flash - and finds out Barry, Joe and Eddie - people she's explicitly trusted all kept it from her, she feels immensely betrayed and disappointed. However, soon after she came to overcome her feelings of betrayal and proved her worth to the team and reconciled with her father since he pushed for her to be kept in the dark after Grodd's attack.

Iris has shown to care about Barry a great deal since they were kids, having thought of him as a brother figure, unaware Barry has actually been in love with her since childhood. As such she can be seen as a little oblivious in regards to Barry's feelings for her until he confessed he loves her. Despite being in a committed relationship with Eddie, Iris showed slight jealousy when Barry started going out with Linda Park. This suggests, and later confirmed, that she is unaware of her own romantic feelings for Barry. Eventually in the wake of Mark Mardon's impending tsunami threat Iris, fear about they were about to die, finally realized her romantic feelings and she and Barry shared their first kiss. However, since Barry inadvertently erased those events she remains unaware of these feelings deep down.

Alternate timeline

After discovering that Barry is the Flash (though technically for the second time) Iris begins to realize her romantic feelings for the latter. She is a very forgiving individual, when she learned that her mother was alive and her father lied to about her being dead, she forgave Joe, Iris even her mother, Francine never being there for her entire life, especially when she learned of the reason why she was in them to be in her life; that Francine was a drug addict and trying to turn her life around, Iris was generally devastated to to learn that her mother was dying of MacGregor's Syndrome.

Current timeline

After Barry reluctantly allowed Eobard to kill his mother, in order to undo the damage caused when he created Flashpoint, Iris still has a close relationship with Barry, Wally and the other members of Team Flash, but she is not on speaking terms with her father Joe; because he lied to her about her mother being dead. However she later reconciles with him, after learning the truth about Barry's time-travelling actions.

Abilities

  • Adept markswoman: Iris is somewhat skilled in firearms, having been taught by Joe in case of emergency. To which, she was able to shoot off Linda Park's Earth Two doppelgänger mask. She has also shot and killed Savitar to protect Barry.
  • Keen intellect/Expert detective: Iris is very intelligent, she is an excellent detective, as she follows every lead and rumor to discover the truth behind any story; as she eventually discovered that the S.T.A.R. Labs particle accelerator explosion was what gave the Flash his powers in the first place. Iris's background as a psychology student has sharpened her natural wits and intuition which she presumably inherited from her police officer father and grandfather, and gave her a methodical approach to studying and investigating the various metahuman cases around the city, starting off with the Flash. Iris's skills made her a prime candidate for the police academy, which she only backed out of due to Joe's disapproval and passive-aggressive form of emotional blackmail.
  • Skilled hand-to-hand combatant: Since early childhood, Joe, planning for his daughter's safety, taught her extensively how to defend herself. During sparring matches against Barry as children, Iris was never once hit by her friend. As an adult, she was able to knock out the much larger Tony Woodward (when not in his metal form) with a single punch. She also showed considerable reflexes, able to dodge a sucker-punch from the possessed-Wally before knocking him out herself.

Appearances

Arrow

Season 2

The Flash

Season 1

Season 2

Season 3


Comics

The Flash: Season Zero

Novels

Trivia

  • In an erased timeline, under the threat of Weather Wizard's tsunami, Iris admitted to Barry she loved him and they shared a kiss. She also discovered Barry was the Flash. However, because Barry later time traveled he ruptured the time continuum and these events were erased in the alternate timeline.
  • In a second erased timeline, Iris, presumably, along with everyone in Central City, was killed by Vandal Savage using the Staff of Horus in his efforts to kill Carter Hall and Kendra Saunders. However, due to Barry Allen changing the time continuum this disaster never occurs.
  • Iris is shown to have a crush on Oliver Queen, which appears to grow deeper when she learns he is Green Arrow.[8][9]
  • Joe and Francine planned on naming her Wallace if their first born child was a boy, a name later used for Iris' brother.

Behind the scenes

  • In DC comics, Iris West is the fiancée and later wife of Barry Allen, the second Flash.
    • In most variations of the DC comics, Iris is Caucasian and has red hair.
    • In pre-Flashpoint canon of DC comics, Iris actually comes from the 30th century and her real name is Ann Russell. This is referenced in the series by her middle name being Ann.
    • Both in the DC comics and in the Arrowverse Iris had to assume the identity of a man in certain crises; in the DC comics her consciousness possessed Nathan Newbury, one of the jurors in the Trial of the Flash, while in the Arrowverse she used a device that alters perception of appearance to switch identities with H.R. Wells.
  • It is revealed in the episode "The Once and the Future Flash", that Iris's birthday is June 24, 1989 making her a year younger than her actress who was also born on that day the previous year.

References

  1. "Infantino Street"
  2. "The Once and Future Flash"
  3. Iris West "The Flash" Character Description Surfaces Following "Arrow" Ratings Jump - Comic Book Resources
  4. "Fastest Man Alive"
  5. "The Man Under the Hood"
  6. "Pilot"
  7. "The Trap"
  8. "Flash vs. Arrow"
  9. "Invasion! (The Flash)"