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[Ira West]
Known Relatives: Nadine (wife, deceased?), Charlotte (daughter?)*, Rudolph (son), Iris (adoptive daughter), Wally West (grandson)
Base of Operations: Central City, Missouri
Occupation: Nobel Prize–Winning Professor

Shortly after the Wests lost their infant daughter in childbirth, an infant from another time appeared. They adopted Iris, but kept her true origin a secret, raising her as their own.

When a professor at Central City University, Ira West was approached by his former graduate student, Barry Allen, with a stunning revelation: he had gained super-speed, and was asking Professor West (as someone he could trust) to help him create a costume to fight crime as the Flash. West developed the special expanding fabric and ring, but shortly after giving the speedster his costume, he suffered a concussion from a pair of burglars. The Flash stopped the burglars, but Professor West forgot the events of the previous day (and Barry’s secret identity), and has subsequently suffered from regular absent-mindedness.

Since that time, the Flash has occasionally asked Professor West for help on scientific matters, but always in secret. Ira has kept in some contact with his grandson, Wally.

Text by Kelson Vibber. Do not copy without permission.

Top of Page Primary Sources

  • “The Flash’s Wife is a Two-Timer!” - Flash #203 (February 1971), Robert Kanigher
  • “The Origin of the Flash’s Uniform” - Flash (first series) #267 (November 1978), Cary Bates


  • Flash (second series) #65 (Late June 1992) - Greg LaRocque and José Marzan, Jr.

Significant Silver-Age Appearances

  • Flash #134 (February 1963): “The Threat of the Absent-Minded Professor,” John Broome
  • Flash #141 (December 1963): “Slowdown in Time!” John Broome
  • Flash #152 (May 1965): “Case of the Explosive Vegetables!” John Broome
  • Flash #159 (March 1966): “Big Blast in Rocket City!” John Broome
  • Flash #161 (May 1966): “The Case of the Curious Costume,” Robert Kanigher
  • Flash #165 (November 1966): “One Bridegroom Too Many!” John Broome
  • Flash #172 (August 1967): “The Machine-Made Robbery!” John Broome
  • Flash #176 (February 1968): “Professor West—Lost, Strayed, or Stolen?” John Broome
  • Flash #197 (May 1970): “To the Nth Degree,” Robert Kanigher
  • Flash #203 (February 1971): “The Flash’s Wife is a Two-Timer!” Robert Kanigher
  • Flash #217 (September 1972): “The Flash Times Five is Fatal!” Len Wein
  • Flash #221 (May 1973): “Time-Schedule For Disaster!” J. David Warner & Cary Bates
  • Flash #235 (August 1975): “Vandal Savage—Wanted Dead and Alive!” Cary Bates
  • Flash #236 (September 1975): “Nowhere on the Face of Earth!” Cary Bates
  • Flash #237 (November 1975): “The 1,000-Year Separation!” Cary Bates
  • Flash #259 (March 1978): “Black Hand—the Kill-Proof Criminal!” Cary Bates
  • DC Special Series #11: Flash Spectacular 1978: “Beyond the Super-Speed Barrier,” Cary Bates
  • Flash #267 (November 1978): “The Origin of the Flash’s Uniform!” Cary Bates
  • Flash #277 (September 1979): “The Self-Destruct Flash,” Cary Bates
  • (Illusion) Flash #300 (August 1981): “1981—A Flash Odyssey,” Cary Bates

Significant Legacy-Era Appearances

  • Flash #62–65 (May–June 1992): “Born To Run,” Mark Waid
  • Flash #101 (May 1995): “Going the Distance,” Mark Waid
  • The Life Story of the Flash (1997), Mark Waid and Brian Augustyn
  • Flash #142 (October 1998): “Get Me To The Church On Time,” Mark Waid and Brian Augustyn
  • Flash #189 (October 2002): “Messengers,” Geoff Johns

Significant One-Year-Later Flash Appearances

  • DC Infinite Halloween Special (December 2007): “The Speed of Life,” Mark Waid