|Name:|| Iris Ann West|
Iris Ann West-Allen (married name)
|Occupation:||Owner and Founder of Central City Citizen|
Detective (E2 of the Arrowverse)
|Relationships:|| Comicsverse |
Eric and Fran Russell (New Earth biological parents), Ira and Nadine West (New Earth adoptive parents), William West (Prime Earth father)
Rudy and Daniel West (brothers), Charlotte West (sister),
Barry Allen (Husband),
Don Allen (Son), Dawn Allen (Daughter),
Bart Allen and Jenni Ognats (grandchildren),
Wally West and Wally R. West (nephews),
Joe and Francine West (parents), Ester (great-grandmother), Ben West (grandfather), Wally West (brother), Barry Allen (husband), Eddie Thawne (ex-fiancé)
|Fandom:||The Flash, DC Comics, The Flash (Arrowverse), Young Justice (cartoon), Injustice: Gods Among Us, Justice League: The New Frontier, Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox, The Flash (1990s), DCEU|
|Click here for related articles on Fanlore.|
Iris West's first appearance is in Showcase #4 (October 1956).
From her first appearance, Iris was engaged to Barry Allen and worked as a reporter at Picture News. Iris was born in the 30th century to Eric and Fran Russell and sent to the 20th century as an infant, where she was raised by the West family.
In the New 52 Comics, Iris is not married to Barry but they interact because of their jobs.
The Flash (2014 TV series)
Iris West is the daughter of police detective Joe West and the childhood friend of Barry Allen. In the first season, Barry is in love with Iris but she is dating and later engaged to Eddie Thawne. Iris becomes obsessed with the mysterious superhero The Flash not realising that he is her best friend. She is the last main character on the show to learn the identity of the Flash. She loses Eddie when he kills himself in order to stop the Reverse Flash (his future descendent).
In Season 2, it is revealed that Iris has a younger brother, Wally West, who was raised by their mother Francine, after she left Joe and Iris. Iris previously thought her mother died when she was a child. At the end of season 2, Barry and Iris begin dating and they later get engaged during season 3.
In Earth-2 of the Arrowverse, Iris is already married to non-powered Barry and is a detective. In the Flashpoint timeline, Wally had gained his superpowers and became The Flash, he teamed up with his sister to protect Central City.
Iris was in the 1990s' The Flash TV series where she's a computer graphics artist and Barry's girlfriend for the first episode before moving away. Iris appears a secondary character in Justice League: The New Frontier (as the girlfriend of Barry and knows his identity) and Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox (Due to Flashpoint, Iris was married and had a child with someone else, by the end her marriage with Barry is restored). Iris has also appeared in Injustice: Gods Among Us comics (only mentioned in the video game).
Iris appears in several episodes of Young Justice as Barry's wife and reporter, eventually pregnant with twins.
In fanworks, Iris is mainly paired up with her canon love interest: Barry Allen.
The Flash (2014 TV Series)
In fanworks, Iris is most commonly paired with her canonical love interests. As of September 2017, Barry Allen/Iris West and Eddie Thawne/Iris West are the two most popular pairings to include this character. Other pairings include Caitlin Snow/Iris West and Lisa Snart/Iris West. Some fans enjoy the incestuous pairing of Iris West/Wally West.
Candice Patton's portrayal of Iris West in the TV series is an example of racebending a traditionally white comic book character. Initial character descriptions appear to show that this was a conscious decision by show creators.  This initially caused some controversy. Some fans did not like either the actress or the character.  However, many reviewers like her storylines and character development, and many fans believe her race adds both appeal and believability to the series. The announcement that the DCEU would be casting Iris West for the Flash movie, lead to a twitter campaign using the hashtag #KeepIrisBlack.
Since Patton's casting as Iris West, the actor has been inundated with a never-ending deluge of racist attacks, and also suffered from the systemic racism present in the Hollywood production of the series (and the Arrowverse in general). Neither Warner Bros., The CW television network nor her white co-stars have defended her publicly nor attempted to ward off the attacks. Instead, Patton has been subject to micro and macroagressions at her work place to being one among the countless black actors who have reported having to do their own hair and make-up due to unqualified, often white, personnel being hired without consideration for providing a decent working environment for black artists.
The effects of this treatment persist to this day as Iris has not been developed as a character and only now, in the series' 6th(!) season, is getting her own storylines - most likely due to the fact that the new showrunner starting this season is black. Patton also tweeted about her getting to wear her natural hair as Iris in one (only 1) episode in the 6th season - the first time, as she wasn't allowed to do so previously.
Before the start of Season 6 of the show, Grant Gustin published a video apologising for his lack of activism and advocacy on behalf of Patton and the character of Iris, as well as Westallen. With Eric Wallace becoming showrunner, the Flash fandom that supports Patton had hopes that it would mark a change for both Patton and Iris. The workplace conditions for Patton remain uncertain, as no black female writers/producers have been hired to date.
Main page: Westallen vs. Snowbarry
In the fandom, racists have also used the ship of Barry with the other young female character present since the first season - Caitlin Snow - to throw continued micro-aggressions at the character of Iris or incite flame wars either between the ships, the two female characters or the actors who portray them. This has not been helped by the production, which have never understood, or wanted to understand, the need for a public discourse about this and their role in taking a stance on the issue of the racism directed at Patton. The inaction on the part of the production has trickled down to the cast, who have not taking a strong position in denouncing the racism, in contrast with the cast of Titans, who have stood by Anna Diop when she faced racism for her role as Starfire.
While Iris West related fanworks are tagged with Young Justice at Archive of Our Own and FanFiction.Net, many of the works showcase her as a secondary character to Wally West or Bart Allen. Iris/Barry is the main pairing for the character.
- I Bet You Kiss Like Rain by Mikkal. In an inadvertent, roundabout way, Oliver brings Iris and Barry back together, stronger than ever, and Eddie is brought along for the ride. Soon the three of them form something unbreakable, but that's just the beginning. (Iris/Eddie/Barry)
- All the broken hearts in the world still beat by youcallitwinter. The thing is; now that she’s thought it, it’s not like she can just go back and…unthink it. (Season 1, Iris/Barry)
- The mood indigo by gnimaerd, Set in a diner 1947; Iris is a waitress and aspiring novelist, Barry is her favourite customer. Anything else between them would be illegal. But in the face of overwhelming prejudice against her, Iris dares to dream, and write, and fall in love. (1940's Diner AU, Iris/Barry)
Archives & Fannish Links
- Iris West works at AO3
- Iris West-Allen works at FFN (comicsverse)
- Iris West works at FFN (Arrowverse)
- Iris West works at FFN (Young Justice cartoon)
- Kiersey Clemons' Iris West Scene Cut From 'Justice League'. September 22, 2017.
- Iris West Character Description
- The Hate for Iris West is Real: Films of Color, April 2015, accessed Dec 17 2017.
- ‘The Flash’s’ Candice Patton on How Iris West Broke the Superhero Girlfriend Curse, Daily Beast, May 2016, accessed Dec 17 2017
- Why Black Women Need Iris West, BlackGirlNerds, August 2017, accessed December 17, 2017.
- Candice Patton on Representation and the Profound Impact of Playing Iris on The Flash (June 2018)
- ‘The Flash’ and ‘Riverdale’ Stars Detail Suffering Racist Backlash (July 2018)
- Twitter (March 2018)
- Flash Twitter (May 2018)
- Twitter (December 2016)
- Candice Patton Keeps It 100 About Diversity and Representation at SXSW. Posted 19 Mar 2019. Accessed 15 June 2020.
- Patton on Twitter (June 2017)
- Patton on Twitter (August 2019)
- Grant Gustin promises to do better after 'Flash' fans accuse him of not defending his costar Candice Patton from racists. Posted 19 Jul 2019. Accessed 15 Jul 2020.
- Minka Kelly Instagram (July 2018)