I remember, from years ago, a big, fascinating issue of Comics Buyer's Guide where the various writers, artists and editors involved were asked about the death of Gwen Stacy, in an effort to find out who
(among the Marvel staff) was the one who killed her.

I was wondering if anything similar had been done with the death of Iris Allen. With Flash #270, Ross Andru took over as editor, and the style of the book completely changed from Julius Schwartz's more lighthearted fare (although even he brought the book into somewhat dark territory with the possibility of infidelity with the Ringmaster saga some issues before).

So I wonder, who was it who wanted Iris dead? Was it Cary Bates, the writer (for both Andru & Schwarts, as well as for Len Wein who followed, and all the way through the end of Barry's run). Was it Ross Andru (the likeliest culprit, in my mind). Was it the publisher or editor-in-chief at the time? Jenette Kahn, Dick Giordano, Paul Levitz?

Ross Andru edited the book for about a year (issues 270-283), when the rogues pretty much disappeared and crime got more realistic (a ring of heroin smugglers; a Clockwork Orange-like prisoner experiment) and the stakes got higher (Iris is killed, Barry gets dosed). The darker tenor of the book in general, I'm pretty certain Andru is responsible for. But who signed off on offing Iris? Anyone know?

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In an issue of Back Issue, number 28 to be exact there was an article about the Trial of the Flash, but I don't remember if it went into details or not about who's decision it was to kill off Iris. Naturally, I don't have that issue handy as it is in storage. I do have to go by there to drop another box off, so if no one has answered better by then I will dig it out and see if any other info is provided.
I do recall Cary Bates had quite a hand in the stories they were telling, well besides obviously, being the writer. I mean as far as the direction of the series. Unless I am misremembering which is always possible with me.
I don't know the answers, but I certainly am curious about what they are. I saw a similar post-mortem about the death of Gwen Stacy, but I read it in Wizard. I wonder how it stacks up against the Comics Buyers' Guide version.

As for the actual death of Iris Allen, I don't believe I've ever read that story, but I got the whole "Trial of the Flash" run dirt cheap, up to the end of the series. It was a chore to get through it, as Cary Bates was allowed to let it drag out far, far, far beyond its natural and proper length. The title was slated to die in tandem with The Flash's death in Crisis On Infinite Earths, so I suppose Bates preferred to extend the story he was already doing rather than invest any energy in other tales before the #350th issue rolled around.

Bob Ingersoll's criticisms in his "The Law Is An Ass" column of the "Trial of the Flash" story were a lot more entertaining than the actual tale.
I might have that issue of Back Issue, come to think of it. I'm not sure it touches on the death of Iris, though, which happened 5-6 years before. Certainly the Prof. Zoom thread calls back to it, though.

And now I'm just realizing I never got around to picking up TwoMorrow's Flash Companion. If my question's answered anywhere, it'll be there, I bet.

Bates certainly had an ever-larger hand in the stories -- by the end of the run, he was both writer and editor, IIRC.
I think Iris was killed (by an obsessed Reverse-Flash) in order to shatter Barry's status quo and get people talking about "Flash" again. Now a widower, Barry moved out of his suburban sanctuary and meets new neighbors and a new love, Fiona Webb. He gets involved with more actual police work than lab duty. He even wants to date Zatanna! It may have prolonged the book by a few years since this wasn't the same, dull Barry Allen.

Also I think they always planned to use, or least have, Iris coming from the future as an out!
"Trial of the Flash" was truly a chore. I remember buying these on the stands and thinking that they were just treading water (and I wasn't even aware that the Flash was slated to die). I'm more curious as to who decided that so little effort should be put into the title in it's last days than I am about who wanted to get rid of Iris. It was terribly unfair to the readers.
Strangely enough, I might be the only person on the planet who enjoyed the Trial of the Flash. It was definitely drawn out more than it should have been, and there were some truly awful moments (Big Sir?)But there were also times when I really was on the edge of my seat, wondering what would happen next.
I also loved the Trial of the Flash - for young me, anyway, it worked great as a "What will happen next?" cliffhanger series.

Though I have to say it hasn't aged well for me since then, particularly as I got a law degree between then and now and can see how utterly ridiculous the very premise is, to say nothing of the nitty-gritty details.

As for Iris... the very first Flash comic I ever read was 273, the one just preceding her death. Made a pretty big impact on me at the time.
I'd been reading Flash for a few years by the time Iris died -- I'd started around issue 252, an issue that emphasized the friendship between the Allens and the Dibneys. By the time the death issue rolled around, I was already a very faithful reader. Flash was my favorite hero.

And yet, somehow, I missed the issue where Iris gets killed. The next issue had a flashback to it -- heck, it's where Barry (and the rest of us) found out for sure that it was true. But it took me a few years to track down the issue with the fatal costume party.
Sure the trial was drawn out and complicated. Aren't they all in real life??
One of the elements of both Bates's Flash and Superman stories is an emphasis on the hero's finding ways to solve problems using his powers. But he also wrote stories for both characters based around putting them on an emotional rack (Superman examples include the "Lois and Lana contract the fever plague" story in Superman ##362-363, and the "Clark Kent gets fired for writing a false story" story in ##410, 412-413). So it wouldn't surprise me if killing Iris was Bates's idea and Andru let him do it because he was willing or wanted to shake the book up, or if he asked Bates to come up with something daring and that's what he came up with.
Good points, Luke -- Bates later put Flash through the wringer with the Trial of the Flash, and the attempted murder of Fiona Webb that led up to it.

(At first I thought the Superman story you were referring to was written by Marty Pasko, but it turns out I was thinking of a different time Lois got really sick and nearly died. (Superman 311-314... whole lotta pathos in those, too!)

I really *am* gonna have to break down and buy a copy of The Flash Companion, aren't I?
What did you think of Fiona? It seems to me she didn't have much personality, but I'm spotty on the post-Schwartz issues of the Flash. The Bates/Novick Flash was one of my favourite comics at one point, but I lost sight of the series for reasons having to do with how it was handled by the local republisher.

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