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Comic Legends: Was Iris West-Allen Nearly Killed in the Flash in 1967?

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COMIC LEGEND:

Iris West-Allen was originally going to die in Flash #176 in 1967

STATUS:

True

There are two things that most Flash fans are quite familiar with.

One, as part of an odd little flurry of major deaths in the late 1970s at DC Comics, Iris West-Allen, beloved wife of the Flash, Barry Allen, was killed in 1979's Flash #275 (by Cary Bates, Alex Saviuk and Frank Chiaramonte). The Flash and his wife, Iris, had just decided to have a baby the day that they also attended a costume party. Barry wore his Flash costume and Iris dressed as Batgirl. Later in the party, Barry was drugged by "angel dust" and had to sit down for a moment. While he was sitting, Iris was killed! Barry thought it was a recurring villain of the time, who was in the room with her at the moment. He then passed out.

Later, we learn that it was the Reverse-Flash who killed her.

You can read here about how she was eventually brought back to life. It is kind of nuts.

Okay, the second thing is that 1968's Flash #184 has a gorgeous Ross Andru cover that it is one of the most iconic covers in Flash history...

However, the story behind that cover was a fairly standard Silver Age-style story by Frank Robbins, Ross Andru and Mike Esposito, where the Flash thinks that he has wiped out Central City...

As it turned out, however, Central City was just taken into the distant future...

And eventually the Flash was able to bring everyone back home safely...

So, we know that Iris died in 1979 and we know that Flash #184 had an amazing cover on top of a standard enough (while fun) Flash story.

However, originally, both of those facts were going to be way off!

You see, according to the classic news fanzine, The Comic Reader (in issue #69, during Mark Hanerfeld's stint as the head of the magazine), it turned out that originally Iris was going to die in 1967's Flash #176, one of John Broome's final issues as the writer of the Flash, a story where the Flash has to race Death itself...

as Death tries to come for Iris...

Julius Schwartz ultimately decided to not have Iris killed off at that point in time, but he liked Ross Andru's sketch for the cover so much that he had Andru finish it ANYways, and then later had Frank Robbins come up with the story to match the cover in Flash #184...

While Iris' death was a major deal when it happened in 1979, it's hard to quite imagine what it would have been like back in 1967, when superhero comics really were not killing off major characters like that. It was SIX years before the death of Gwen Stay, for instance!

Things could have been a lot different had that story actually happened. We could be talking about "The Death of Iris Allen" the same way that we talk about Gwen Stacy's death!

Check out my latest Movie Legends Revealed - Was the story for It's a Wonderful Life seriously based on a Christmas card?

Check back later for the final part of this week's Comic Book Legends Revealed!

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