Ira West

Joe Ira WestJust like it happened with Larry Lance in Arrow, who went through a name and profession change, the same happened with Ira West in The Flash. In the show, Iris West‘s father will be named Joe West, and will be a police detective, who acts as a surrogate father for Barry Allen after his mother is killed and his father is arrested for the murder. Portrayed by Jesse L. Martin, Joe will be one of the recurring members of the cast, trying to cover Barry for his many lateness on work, or just giving wise advices to his putative son like we see him doing in the trailer. Needless to say, the comicbook version is pretty different: Joe is actually Ira, he’s not Afro-American but quite similar in look to Albert Einstein, and he’s not a policeman. Let’s see together.

Ira West was born in Central CityMissouri, and from his very childhood he developed a taste (and an impressive skill) for science and physics in particular. Following his interest and feeding it with study and researches, Ira grew up to become one of the most brilliant physicists the country, and maybe the planet, had ever known, and became renowned by teaching in many of the most prestigious universities in the USA, earning awards for his work; he even got a Nobel Prize for his discoveries. Extremely absent-minded despite his genius, Ira kept losing everything irawestcomics1(Nobel included), and many of his inventions were lost even before seeing the light. Definitely, Ira needed a woman’s touch in his life, in the hope it could bring some order in his chaotic life (and mind). Luckily enough, Ira met Nadine, a girl who actually liked him, and the two ended up getting married. The two moved together, and oddly enough, Ira proved to be also a good family man, despite being always distracted by something. Ira and Nadine had a daughter, Charlotte, who became the light of his father’s eyes; soon after, they had a second son, Rudy, but Ira kept preferring Charlotte to him (thus creating quite some issues in the boy’s personality). When they were both quite elder already, Nadine got pregnant a third time, but the baby died in childbirth. Distraught, Ira and Nadine became quite shocked when, shortly after their infant daughter’s death, another child appeared: the baby was accompanied by a note, saying she was Iris, a baby from the future, and that her parents had sent her back in time in order to save her from a nuclear holocaust. Ira and Nadine decided to adopt Iris and to raise her as she was their own, without telling her anything about her true origins.

While Iris grew up, Ira realised she was actually his favorite daughter, the one he could see himself the most in among his children: the only thing he wanted to forget was that she wasn’t her natural daughter, and that he felt like he didn’t deserve to have her, but ironically it was the only thing Ira never forgot. Eventually, Nadine died, and Ira was left alone. He followed Iris’ progresses in her studies, and supported her in her dream of becoming a photojournalist. When she finished college at Columbia University, Ira used the royalties of his inventions to send her traveling across the world, to gain experience and to make a name for herself. Ira, in the irawestcomics2meanwhile, kept teaching in universities from time to time. In Central City University, a brilliant former student of him, Barry Allen, approached him seeking advice: since he trusted him, Barry told Dr. West he had gained super speed during a lab accident, and asked him for advices and help. Ira studied Barry’s phisiology and got fascinated by it, and helped the boy build his costume and ring, thus being one of the men who contributed creating The Flash. Unfortunately, Ira was attacked by robbers shortly after his cooperation with Barry: when he was saved by the superhero, it became crystal clear he had already forgotten about the hero’s secret identity, or even his role in creating the costume. In time, Barry ended up marrying Iris, and shortly after the two had come back from the honeymoon, the girl found out the truth about her origins while searching among his father’s stuff and finding the note she had arrived with. Iris got angry with Ira, and decided to exclude him from her life…until they finally made it up, when Iris realised Ira truly loved her despite she wasn’t even his natural daughter.

Ira West is an absolute genius, one of the most powerful minds of his era, a scientist who has the potential to change the world with his research and inventions. Unfortunately, he’s also extremely absent-minded, and he forgets almost everything in short periods of time. For the years of their marriage, Nadine West has been the living reminder and agenda of her husband, but since her death, he’s alone with his limitless brain, and extremely limited memory. The only things he always remembers are the ones related to his adopted daughter, Iris, whom he considers more valuable and important than life itself.



  1. […] one: Patty Spivot, who’ll be portrayed by Shantel VanSanten. In the show, she’ll be Joe West‘s new partner, replacing the late Eddie Thawne, and she’ll also be Barry […]

  2. […] who’ll probably will be a recurring one, although a secondary one. In Tricksters, when Joe West and Barry Allen arrive in Iron Heights Prison to interrogate the first Trickster on his […]

  3. […] and use them for nothing good, obviously. In order to hunt him down and arrest him, detective Joe West will have to ask for the help of the original Trickster, who doesn’t seem to be too happy to […]

  4. […] an old, imprisoned criminal who is contacted by Central City Police Department to help detective Joe West hunting down and arresting a copycat. In the original series, he was one of The Flash‘s most […]

  5. […] the first visitor he ever saw to go through the tour twice in a row, and proceeds to call Detective Joe West and to point him to the robber. He’s Dexter Myles, portrayed by Bruce Harwood, another […]

  6. […] the explosion of Harrison Wells‘ particle accelerator. It seems he’ll directly threat Joe West‘s life, since he’s been the one to arrest him while he was still a normal human. This […]

  7. […] last character appeared (sort of…) in City of Heroes, first episode of The Flash: when Joe West tells David Singh the responsibles for the bank robbery are Clyde and Mark Mardon, he shows […]

  8. […] Chyre, portrayed by Al Sapienza. In the episode, poor Chyre exists only to be killed: he’s Joe West‘s partner, and investigates with him on the bank robbery. Following Barry Allen‘s […]

  9. […] a bank robbery committed by the Mardon Brothers, a duo of renowned criminals. While speaking with Joe West, he’s shown to be pretty exasperated by the continuous lateness of young forensic scientist […]

  10. […] 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 […]

  11. […] once during the series, but never actually appeared. In the Flash of Two Worlds ending, in fact, Joe West is visited in the police central by his (ex?) wife, Francine, portrayed by Vanessa Williams. […]

  12. […] promo. In Untouchable, the apparently doomed Iris is caught in the crossfire between her father Joe and serial killer Clive Yorkin, portrayed by Matthew Kevin Anderson…and that’s not […]

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