'The Flash' Has a History of Iris West Suiting Up

Tonight's episode of The Flash saw a new speedster take to the streets of Central City, but while this is the first time Iris West has suited up in the Arrowverse, The CW series isn't exactly breaking new ground. Iris has suited up before, right on the pages of DC Comics.

Spoilers for tonight's episode of The Flash, "Run Iris, Run", below.

As various promotional photos and previews for "Run Iris, Run" have revealed, Iris (Candice Patton) suits up in tonight's episode having been given Barry's (Grant Gustin) speed powers unexpectedly. To help Iris with those powers, she's decked out in a snazzy, purple-toned super suit all her own complete with mask allowing her to fill in as The Flash until the team can figure out how to deal with this power swap.

While many fans have questioned this interesting plot twist, the reality is that Iris has a history of powers, at least via super suit, in comics. As part of the New 52, in 2013's The Flash #22, Barry gives Iris -- who is just his friend and not his love interest at this point -- a special, protective suit to make Iris undetectable from the mysterious "Speed Force killer" who has been killing anyone touched by the Speed Force, even if they aren't speedsters themselves. The suit doesn't give her speed powers but does allow her to comfortably travel at super speed, something Barry/The Flash quickly has her experience as he races her to the Utah Salt Flats as he investigates a death that is likely connected to the killer.

Interestingly, that Speed Force killer Barry is trying to protect Iris from? It turns out that it's Daniel West, Iris' brother who had become the villain Reverse Flash. In the New 52, Daniel and Iris didn't have a great relationship after Daniel -- who had pushed their abusive alcoholic father down the stairs and crippled him -- ran away from home and fell in with the wrong crowd. Iris, never able to forgive him for abandoning her with their father, was unwilling to make amends with Daniel when they came into contact again. Daniel, wanting to go back to the past to fix things with Iris by killing their father instead of just crippling him, began killing those touched by the Speed Force to power his ability to go back into time.

Unfortunately, Iris never forgives Daniel after he admits he doesn't regret anything he did to try to fix things between them. Iris goes on to live her life, sans speedster suit, while Daniel is eventually recruited by the Suicide Squad and supposedly dies a hero after saving children from a time bomb.

While Iris' time as a speedster tonight on The Flash definitely takes a different course, it's nice to see the show tip their hat a bit to the comics in a fresh and unexpected way while also letting Iris have a chance to truly be the hero.

The Flash airs Tuesdays at 8/7c on The CW.

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