Iris Ann West

Iris WestAnother character from The Flash trailer (not in order of appearance), and she’ll be one of the main ones: Iris West, portrayed by Candice Patton. In the show, she’ll be Barry Allen‘s love interest, and the daughter of his mentor inside the police of Central City. This is not the first live action appearance of Iris: she was already present in the original The Flash tv series, albeit she only appeared in the first episode Pilot: this version of the character, portrayed by Paula Marshall, was a computer graphic artist, who started as the girlfriend of Barry. During the first episode, however, Barry proposed to her, but she refused to marry him, saying their relationship was moving too fast, and she wasn’t ready for marriage. Just to underline her decision, she moved to France, never to be seen again in the show. In the comics, Iris is quite different from both version: she’s not African-American, and she’s not a designer. Let’s see together.

Iris’ story begins in 2945 AD, when the planet was (will be) divided between Earth-East and Earth-West, two blocks in war. Just before the West part of the planet attacked the East part, the two scientists Eric and Fran Russell sent their infant daughter to the past, to a more peaceful era, in order to avoid her the horrors of iriswestcomics1the war, in a last attempt to save her life. The baby arrived in the Missouri of the XX Century, and was taken in by a orphanage in Central City. Shortly after her arrival, she was adopted by physicist Ira West and his wife Nadine, who raised her as she was their own, without telling her she was actually adopted (even if Iris, very smart since her childhood, always suspected it). The curiosity about her origins brought her to develop some impressive investigative skills, and she demonstrated this abilities in high school already, becoming one of the best journalists of the school’s newspaper and winning more than one award. Her skills gained her an easy access to Columbia University, where she started studying journalism; during college, she also spent her internship in Metropolis, working for the Daily Planet. After college, Iris wanted to make a name for herself, and used the money his father had made with the royalties of his inventions to travel the world. She arrived in Markovia, where she witnessed the riots and the civil war plaguing the country: she took many exclusive pictures, and wrote some pieces for it: once she came back to the USA, she easily got a job as a freelancer, and she kept touring all the States working for a newspaper or another.

It came a time, however, that Iris needed a little bit of stability, and chose to stay in Central City. In her birthplace, Iris found a job as a reporter and photographer for the most important newspaper, the Picture News, and imposed herself as one of the most iriswestcomics2talented journalists of the rag. While her professional life went great guns, her private one wasn’t so bright, as Iris kept finding herself involved in a disastrous relation after the other. Finally, while covering the story of a homicide for Picture News, Iris met Barry Allen, a forensic investigator, who immediately impressed her for his intelligence and honesty. The two dated for a while, and Iris eventually fell in love with Barry, although she sensed he was hiding something from her; she however decided to trust him, and when, in Central City Amusement Park, Barry proposed to her, Iris agreed to marry him. Their marriage was almost thwarted by Professor Zoom, who was in love with her as well, and used his powers to substitute Barry, but the latter managed to defeat him in time, and to marry his rightful bride. During her honeymoon, Iris finally realized what Barry had been hiding from her: he sleep-talked his secret identity as The Flash, Central City’s superhero. Iris faced her groom about it, and she learnt he wanted to keep it a secret as long as he didn’t understand his condition: not even sure if he was human anymore, he didn’t know if he could have children, and wanted to be sure he was “normal” before telling Iris. Not entirely convinced by her husband’s motivations, Iris however forgave Barry, and started in the best way their life together.

Iris West Allen is a strong and determined woman, one who knows what she wants and has all the means and the intelligence to get it. A brilliant reporter, Iris has proven herself to be even more skilled than police detectives, and managed to solve some cases herself while covering the stories for her newspaper. Independent and self-confident, Iris is the source of the strength of one of the greatest heroes ever lived, his life partner and best friend.

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  1. Pingback: Pyro | Who's Who

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