In a universe where heroes travel through time, battle ungodly villains, and come back to life as easily as they die, a meaningful relationship can bring everything back into focus — and that's exactly what Iris West does for Barry Allen. But who is this mysterious woman out of time?
It's probably worth knowing that Iris West isn't like any old superhero love interest. She's not a damsel in need of saving, or a simple shoulder to cry on. In fact, Iris's story is deeply ingrained with the strange and knotted mythos of the Flash. The most important thing to know about her, however, is that she comes from hundreds of years in the future.
See, most people tend to think of the Flash as a guy who runs really fast.
Indeed, while that's not untrue, the truth is that a significant portion of the Flash universe is centered around the idea of travelling through time. Barry Allen frequently journeys to the past or future to right wrongs or prevent great atrocities, often finding that his meddling causes as many problems as it solves. Even the smallest change to the timelines can have life-changing consequences for Barry and the people he cares about.
1971's The Flash 203 provided a good example of Barry Allen's chronological shenanigans, in which the speedster discovers that his wife Iris is actually a time traveler from the 30th century. Though different versions of the story have her coming back in time at different points in her life, one of the most prominent puts Iris' time travel in her infancy, leaving her with little recollection of the far-off future.
Watch this video for the history of DC's Iris West explained!
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Who is Iris West? | 0:00
Iris and the Flash | 1:42
Tragedy | 2:36
Back to the future | 3:52
Race for the cure | 5:00
Hot commodity | 5:57
Flashpoint | 6:59
Rebirth | 8:23
Into the Arrowverse | 9:28
Vanished | 10:41
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