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Candice Patton ('The Game') Will Play Jesse L. Martin's Daughter in The CW's 'Flash'

by Tambay A. Obenson
February 4, 2014 3:34 PM
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Candice Patton

Candice Patton (likely best known for her appearance on The Game) has joined Jesse L. Martin in The CW's Flash pilot, which stars Grant Gustin as Barry Allen aka The Flash, the title character. 

Patton has signed up to play Iris West, daughter of Detective West (Jesse L. Martin's character), a respectable, blue-collar cop and surrogate father to Barry Allen/The Flash. Iris West is also Allen's best friend.

Based on my research, in the comics, the character West is white, and is the father of Barry's/The Flash's eventual wife, Iris West, who is also white.

But character breakdowns for both Detective West and Iris West, which circulated the web last month, indicate that they will be African American (obviously, based on this casting), and give us a bit more background on each:

IRIS - 22-28 - African American - As smart as she is beautiful, Iris is in grad school studying psychology. She's also Barry's mile a minute, fast-talking, quick-witted best friend. Her father, Detective West, took in Barry when his mother was murdered, and his father was wrongly accused and imprisoned for her murder. In a tough childhood for Barry, she was the one "not tough" thing. She's unaware of Barry's strong feelings for her. 

DETECTIVE WEST - Late 40s to Early 50s - African American - Detective West is an honest, blue-collar cop who's seen it all. A soulful, funny caring father to Iris, and a surrogate father to Barry, West came up through the foster system himself. He took in Barry after his mother's murder and his father's imprisonment. He believes in Barry and supports Barry's efforts to prove his father's innocence.

I believe that a romance also springs between Iris and Barry in the comics. Those in-the-know can verify that.

I'm sure this casting "race-change" news will attract the usual onslaught of racist comments. 

The show is actually a spin-off of The Arrow, and will be executive-produced by Arrow executive producers Andrew Kreisberg and Greg Berlanti, as well as DC Comics' Geoff Johns

In addition to The Game, Patton also saw stints on Entourage, The Young and the Restless, and Heroes.
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  • Kim Jong-Un | February 4, 2014 6:09 PMReply

    Hooray! Glad to know the light-skinned sisters are finally getting some representation in this business!

  • Akimbo | February 5, 2014 9:39 PM

    The CW ONLY casts biracial and/or light-skinned black women. The only exception to this rule in the last 5-6 years was Aisha Hinds on Cult. They also cast biracial Jessica Lucas as the female lead on the show so it "balanced out."

    I'll be shocked if they ever cast a brown or chocolate ingenue on that net.

  • Sweeta | February 4, 2014 8:29 PM

    HA! Kim, stop startin shit. Lmfao

  • Accidental Visitor | February 4, 2014 5:00 PMReply

    Iris West ends up being Iris Allen, the wife of Barry Allen. She ends up dying tragically at the hands of Reverse Flash in the comic book, but the comic book story was spread out over decades. It ain't as if this series is really following the comic books' lead anyway.

    Iris West wasn't much of a character. She was best known for being the girlfriend to Barry Allen and the aunt to Wally West (who would become Kid Flash). Detective West I believe is a creation of the show. I'm unaware of any such detective in the comic book, nor did the comic book ever have a storyline involving Barry being raised by some Detective West after his father was killed. That simply sounds like cliche city TV writing.

    There will be some teeth-gnashing over a black Iris West but there isn't likely to lead to an onslaught of racist comments because of the following reasons:

    1-Iris West is not that much of a character in the first place and hasn't been around in the Flash Comics/DC Universe for probably over 35 years considering she died in the early 1980s I believe.. She isn't some iconic girlfriend like Lois Lane or Mary Jane so it isn't as if fanboy nation will take that great a stand on this revisionism.

    2-Not only isn't she an iconic girlfriend of a superhero, she also isn't a superhero either. And folks complain most about superhero characters being changed. Now, if Wally west is introduced and he is black as well, then you will start seeing some major negative feedback. (Wally West, formerly Kid Flash, took over the role of Flash when Barry Allen died).

    3-It isn't as if they made Barry Allen black and kept Iris as white. People would take more issue with that and not just because Barry Allen/Flash is an iconic hero, but because the most hate mail comes in whenever it is a black guy/white female pairing. It's just like that Cheerios commercial. Some dupes in the media still think racists are hating on a little mixed girl simply because she is part black. Nope. It is because her character came from a happy, married union of a black man and a white woman.

    This lady will likely be accepted just fine as Barry Allen's love interest. But make a series about Wonder Woman and turn her love interest, Steve, into a black male and then you will see the racist onslaught you were referring to.

  • Miles Ellison | February 5, 2014 9:42 PM

    I think that this kind of nuanced intellectual reasoning is lost on the illiterate racists that proliferate on the internet.

  • James | February 5, 2014 7:55 AM

    @AV ...Wonder Woman already had a black love interest in the comics. I believe his name was trevor.

  • G. Boney | February 5, 2014 12:04 AM

    Just to clarify: Barry Allen and Iris West are both alive and well in the comics again...ever since dc comics latest continuity reboot. So some fanboys will indeed bitch and moan about a black Iris but obviously nobody will care lol.

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