Welcome to this week’s installment of Geek Girl Authority Crush of the Week, wherein we shine a spotlight on strong women who inspire us. Each week, we will highlight a favorite female character or creator of geeky media. These ladies are a prime example of female empowerment and how crucial it is for young girls to have said example to follow.
DISCLAIMER: The following contains possible spoilers for The Flash up to season 9. If you are not caught up with the CW show, then you may not want to read on, but if you don’t care about spoilers either way, then continue!
Iris West-Allen, played by Candice Patton is no damsel in distress. She is an award winning journalist, daughter, wife, sister, friend, expecting mom and a hero. The ace reporter not only won the heart of the Flash, aka Barry Allen (Grant Gustin), she also won the hearts of his friends … those I refer to as the Arrowverse. No matter the danger, Iris is always the first to step up to help Barry and his friends. Iris may take risks, but she knows her limits and isn’t afraid to ask for help. Even in the face of danger, Iris remains calm, cool, and collected. She trusts not only in Barry’s speed, but in her own ability to save herself.
Iris first appeared in DC Comics The Flash in 1956. She debuted on the small screen first in 1990, played by Paula Marshall. In the current CW series, Iris is an important member of Team Flash. And she is Barry’s one and only true love. His lightning rod. She is also the daughter of Detective Joe West (Jesse L. Martin), sister to Kid Flash aka Wally West (Keiynan Lonsdale) and one of our favorite ladies of DC!
The Real Deal:
Iris is the real deal because of her virtues. She is honest, compassionate, confident, ethical, humble and the list goes on. There have been many times when Iris could have given up and become bitter. But she always trusted that the good would prevail over the bad. You can credit her positive outlook to her father Joe, who raised Iris on his own after her mother left. Despite feeling abandoned, Iris also felt love. More love that she knew she needed. She even forgave her mother for leaving before her death. And got a baby brother out of the deal.
Being a journalist can be tricky. Some want to get the most details in a story, no matter the cost. Others want the facts and to maintain the integrity of those involved. Iris is the latter. She always writes from the heart and gives only facts. By creating her own multimedia company, Iris found a way to keep humanity and honor in tact for all those whose story she is writing. And she instills those values in the reporters that work for her. That’s why she will become a Pulitzer Prize winner in the future.
Iris had some difficult and sad times. She lost Barry for a short time when he was tethered to the Speed Force. She’s lost friends, like Frost and Caitlin, who have been with her from the start of her hero journey. Iris’ association with Team Flash put her in danger. Her life has been threatened multiple times and she’s been kidnapped a time or two. Through it all, Iris always had faith. Faith in herself, in Barry, and in her Flash family. She knew their bonds were too strong to break. They would always stand together to face any adversity that came their way.
Even though she does not have meta powers, Iris is a hero just by being the best support anyone can have. She has the ability to make others believe in themselves. Her encouragement of Team Flash, Team Arrow, the Legends and every meta she’s ever met gives them the courage they needed to do what’s right. Iris did get a chance to experience meta powers when she switched DNA with Barry once. She took on his speed and was able to help people with responsibility. And she never let the power go to her head; happily giving the speed back to Barry.
Despite every villain’s efforts to destroy their lives, Iris and Barry grow stronger together. They overcome obstacles by never giving up hope in each other or their team. However, Iris is about to face something new and stressful … motherhood. Just before the series finale, Iris went into labor. Her daughter will be born during the final episode and things will change forever. Iris is not too worried though because she’s already met her daughter Nora West Allen (Jessica Parker Kennedy). And Nora is just as tenacious as her mother.
Why She Matters:
Iris contributes so much to Team Flash. She encourages everyone, highlights their best qualities, and teaches the team how to recognize and overcome their weaknesses. The team trusts her and her insight. They know she will be honest, tough and fair when mistakes are made. And at the same time, she is their number one cheerleader.
Iris embodies strength, resilience, and intelligence. She has proven that love is strong enough to overcome any obstacle. Her role as Team Flash leader allows her to watch over her husband and share his success. And at the same time, Iris is brave enough to stand on her own. Her superpower is her humanity and her heart. Sometimes that’s all the team needs to win.
Be more like Iris. Be confident, loyal, and brave. Trust in yourself and your family … and there’s nothing that can’t overcome. Thank you Candice Patton for portraying Iris as one of the strongest women in DC.
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