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[Iris West, Reporter]
Full Name: Iris Ann Russell West Allen
Known Relatives: Barry Allen (husband), Eric and Fran Russell (birth parents), Ira and Nadine West (adoptive parents), Rudolph West (adoptive brother), Charlotte West (adoptive sister), Wally West (nephew), Don and Dawn Allen (son and daughter), Bart Allen (grandson), Jenni Ognats (granddaughter)
Base of Operations: Central City, Missouri
Occupation: Reporter
See Also: Iris West (TV)

Iris West was determined to make her mark as a reporter for the Central City Citizen (originally the Picture News). While working the crime beat, she met and fell in love with police scientist Barry Allen. When he became the Flash, he kept his dual life a secret, but she figured it out long before he worked up the nerve to tell her. Iris was also her nephew Wally’s best friend during his adolescence, when visiting her allowed him to escape from his difficult relationship with his parents. It was during one of these visits that Wally met the Flash and became his sidekick, Kid Flash.

Iris and Barry married (Flash v.1 #165, 1966), and lived together many years until, to strike at Barry, Professor Zoom killed her (Flash v.1 #275, 1979).

Visiting the Future

Iris’ story does not end there, however. It turned out she had been born Iris Russell in the 30th century. Her parents had sent her back in time a thousand years from the year 2927, where she was adopted by Ira and Nadine West (Flash v.1 #203, 1971). Because she had died before her birth, her parents were able to place her consciousness into a new body (Flash v.1 #350, 1985). First, her consciousness took over the body of Nathan Newbury, a juror in the Flash’s murder trial. She used future technology to show the court critical information they might have missed and ensure that the court’s original verdict—not guilty—would turn out as history had recorded it. (Confused? Here’s a more detailed explanation.)

Iris and Barry were reunited in 2957. It was not long before Barry was kidnapped in the Crisis on Infinite Earths, but it was long enough for Iris to conceive twins—Dawn and Don.

Return to the Present

Iris eventually returned to her adopted era so that Wally could help her grandson Bart survive the side effects of his inherited speed (Flash v.2 #92–94, 1994). Iris went into hiding, afraid of interfering with what to her was history, but appearing occasionally when something important had to be done. During this time, she wrote a biography of the Flash.

While while in hiding, Iris befriended Julie Jackam, believing that Julie was carrying Wally’s son. Iris agreed to take care of Josh if anything happened to his mother.* Shortly after Julie’s death, Iris learned that Wally wasn't Josh’s father after all, and she realized that much of what she thought she knew about “history” was garbled, inaccurate or just plain wrong. She could come home without fear of interfering with the future (Flash v.2 #181, 2002). Iris came out of seclusion and attempted to adopt Josh, but the adoption fell through.

When Barry Allen returned from the speed force (Final Crisis), Iris was once again reunited with her husband. They returned to Central City to pick up their old life. The Central City Citizen even convinced her to come out of retirement as a reporter.

Iris drinks a lot of coffee.

Text by Kelson Vibber. Do not copy without permission.

Top of Page Primary Sources

  • “The Flash’s Wife is a Two-Timer!” - Flash #203 (February 1971), Robert Kanigher
  • “Flashback” - Flash #283 (March 1980), Cary Bates
  • “Flash Flees” - Flash #350 (October 1985), Cary Bates
  • “Reckless Youth Chapter 1: Speed Kills” - Flash (second series) #92 (July 1994), Mark Waid
  • The Life Story of the Flash (1997), Mark Waid and Brian Augustyn
  • “Split-Seconds” - The Flash 80-Page Giant (August 1998), Brian Augustyn
  • “Fallout” - Flash (second series) #181 (February 2002), Geoff Johns

Art

  • The Life Story of the Flash (1997) - Gil Kane, Joe Staton & Tom Palmer

Profiles

Series Regular In...

  • The Flash v.1 #105–277 (1959–1979)
  • The Flash v.3 (2010—)

Other Significant Silver-Age & Bronze-Age Appearances

  • Showcase #4 (October 1956): “Mystery of the Human Thunderbolt!,” Robert Kanigher
  • Showcase #8 (June 1957): “The Coldest Man on Earth,” John Broome
  • Showcase #8 (June 1957): “The Secret of the Empty Box,” Robert Kanigher
  • Showcase #13 (April 1958): “Around the World in 80 Minutes,” Robert Kanigher
  • Showcase #13 (April 1958): “Master of the Elements,” John Broome
  • Showcase #14 (June 1958): “Giants of the Time World!” Robert Kanigher
  • Showcase #14 (June 1958): “The Man Who Changed the Earth!” John Broome
  • Superman #199 (August 1967): “Superman’s Race with the Flash,” Jim Shooter
  • Adventure Comics #461 (February 1979): “The Multiple Murders of Mapleville,” Cary Bates
  • Adventure Comics #462 (April 1979): “The She-Demon of the Astral Plane,” Cary Bates
  • Flash #283 (March 1980): “Flashback,” Cary Bates (flashback)
  • Flash #300 (August 1981): “1981—A Flash Odyssey,” Cary Bates (illusion)
  • Flash #348 (August 1985): “The Final Verdict,” Cary Bates (as Newbury)
  • Flash #349 (September 1985): “...And the Truth Shall Set Him Free!” Cary Bates (as Newbury)
  • Flash #350 (October 1985): “Flash Flees,” Cary Bates

Significant Legacy-Era Appearances

  • Flash 50th Anniversary Special (1990): “Captives of the Atom Master,” Gerard Jones
  • Flash #62–65 (May–June 1992): “Born To Run,” Mark Waid
  • Flash #92–94 (July–September 1994): “Reckless Youth,” Mark Waid
  • Flash #95–100 (November 1994–April 1995): “Terminal Velocity,” Mark Waid
  • Flash #101 (May 1995): “Going the Distance,” Mark Waid
  • Flash Annual 8 (1995): “Kid Flash: Day Two,” Tennessee Peyer
  • Flash #108–111 (December 1995–March 1996): “Dead Heat,” Mark Waid
  • Impulse #10–11 (January–February 1996): “Dead Heat,” Mark Waid
  • Flash 115, 117 (July, September 1996): “Race Against Time” Parts 3 & 5, Mark Waid
  • Flash 118 (October 1996): “Cold, Cold Heart,” Mark Waid and Brian Augustyn
  • Impulse #22 (February 1997): “Played,” Mark Waid
  • The Life Story of the Flash (1997), Mark Waid and Brian Augustyn
  • Flash #139 (July 1998): “The Black Flash Part 1: The Late Wally West,” Mark Millar
  • Flash 80-Page Giant #1 (August 1998): “Dark of the Sun,” John Byrne
  • Flash 80-Page Giant #1 (August 1998): “Split Seconds,” Brian Augustyn
  • Flash #142 (October 1998): “Get Me To The Church On Time,” Mark Waid and Brian Augustyn
  • Impulse #52–53 (September–October 1999): “Tumbling Down” and “Threats,” Todd Dezago
  • Impulse #75 (August 2001): “Dark Tomorrow” Part 3, Todd Dezago
  • Flash #180 (January 2002): “Peek-a-Boo,” Geoff Johns
  • Flash #181 (February 2002): “Fallout,” Geoff Johns
  • Flash #183 (April 2002): “Crossfire Prologue: Tricked,” Geoff Johns
  • Flash #189 (October 2002): “Messengers,” Geoff Johns
  • Flash #198 (July 2003): “Blitz Part 2: Rush,” Geoff Johns
  • Flash #200 (September 2003): “Blitz Conclusion: The Final Race,” Geoff Johns
  • DC: The New Frontier #2 (April 2004): “Fun City,” Darwyn Cooke
  • Flash #214 (November 2004): “The Secret of Barry Allen, Part One,” Geoff Johns

Significant One-Year-Later Flash Appearances

  • The Flash: The Fastest Man Alive #10–13 (May–August 2007): “Full Throttle,” Marc Guggenheim
  • All-Flash #1 (September 2007): “Justice, Like Lightning,” Mark Waid
  • Flash #234 (January 2008): “The Fast Life, Part 2: The Allens,” Mark Waid & John Rogers (flashback)
  • Final Crisis: Rogues’ Revenge (3-issue miniseries, September-November 2008), Geoff Johns
  • Final Crisis (7-issue miniseries, July 2008–March 2009), Grant Morrison

Significant Rebirth-Era Appearances

  • Flash: Rebirth (6-issue miniseries, 2009), Geoff Johns
  • Wednesday Comics (12-issue miniseries, 2009), Brenden Fletcher and Karl Kerschl

Notes

* Continuity alert: Except for some manipulations during Barry’s trial, Iris was out of the picture from the time of her “death” to the time she brought Impulse to the present—long after Wally had moved to Keystone and just as Wally and Linda were moving in together. Josh should already have been born by this time. Either Iris is lying (out of character, and she’s got Julie’s will to back her up), issues 32–100 all took place within the space of about 3 months (meaning Wally came back from heaven for someone he’d only been dating for about a month and a half), or someone’s been seriously messing around with time. This being a comic book, the latter is a far more likely option.

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