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"You've done a wonderful job, Joe. Better than I ever could."
—Francine West to Joe West[src]

Francine West (died January 2016) was the wife of the late Joe West and the mother of Iris and Wally West.

Biography

Early life

Little is known about Francine before she met and married Joe West with the permission of her father.[1] On June 24, 1989, the two had a daughter, Iris.[2]

Francine with her daughter.

According to Joe, Francine had a severe drug addiction which caused her to overdose several times, despite his attempts to help her with rehab. The last incident occurred when Joe was a beat cop and received a call from a child saying her mother had passed out. The caller turned out to be his daughter; Joe and his partner came home to find Francine unconscious on the couch after a pill overdose and a six-year-old Iris next to an open flame on the stove, as Francine had left the oven on. Luckily, Francine and Iris were both saved.

Francine went into rehab again, but was horrified that her addiction put her daughter in danger. She left her family and Central City a couple of days later, considering it to be the best choice for Joe and Iris. Instead of telling Iris the truth, Joe made up a lie about how her mother was a good person who had tragically died.[3] Afterwards, Francine learned she was pregnant with her second child.[4]

Returning to Central City

"Why are you here? Why now... after two decades?"
"I want to make this right with you."
Iris West and her mother, Francine[src]

Nearly two decades later, Francine turned up at the police department and plead to see her daughter after Joe refused to return her calls. Francine told Joe that she was clean now and wanted to make things right.[5]

Later that evening, Francine and Joe talked at a bar where Francine insists that Iris needs her mother after losing the love of her life. Joe instead handed Francine an envelope with cash and told her that she had 48 hours to leave Central City.[3]

After talking with his foster son Barry Allen on the matter, Joe eventually told Iris the truth about Francine. Iris decided she wanted to meet her mother and they met up with her in CC Jitters. Seeing her daughter for the first time in two decades, Francine told Iris that she was proud of her. However, her joy fell short when Iris told Francine she didn't want anything to do with her.[4]

Afterwards, Francine told Joe the real reason she came was that she was dying from a disease known as the MacGregor's Syndrome and may not live to see the end of the year. Joe relayed this information to Iris, who once again met with Francine, albeit without her father. There, Iris confronted her mother, telling her that, as an investigative reporter, she is well-equipped to find out the truth, and informing her that she is aware of the child Francine gave birth to eight months after she left. Iris angrily asked her mother if she has a brother and if Joe is the father before telling Francine to stay away from her family.[4]

Hospitalized and death

Francine at the hospital.

The disease eventually became so severe that Francine had to be hospitalized. While in the hospital she was visited by Joe, who had just found out about the existence of Wally. Joe took Iris to visit her and gave the two some time alone. Iris told Francine she did not hate her anymore and only wished that she and Wally would have re-entered her and Joe's lives sooner, forgiving her before tearfully leaving the room. Iris later convinced Wally to go say goodbye to his mother and he asked her to go with him.[6] Francine passed away soon after.[7]

Legacy

Original multiverse

Savitar as Francine West.

Following the creation of the alternate timeline Flashpoint by Barry Allen and reversal by Eobard Thawne, Joe and Iris's history with Francine was altered, with Iris remaining angry at her father for keeping the news of Francine a secret from her, rather than forgiving him as she did in the original timeline. However, Iris and Joe were able to make amends once Barry told Team Flash of Flashpoint and its consequences.[8]

Around a year after Francine's death, Savitar used Francine's form to trick Wally West into taking his place in the Speed Force.[1] After Wally was trapped in the Speed Force, he was forced to relive the worst moment of his life repeatedly, namely, the sight of his mother's death, which nearly emotionally broke him apart.[9]

New multiverse

Since Francine was not present to raise Iris, Iris views Nora Allen as the ideal mother-figure; in Iris' fears of not being a good mother, she compares herself to Nora instead of Francine.[10]

Personality

Francine was implied to be a drug addict. Sometime after she gave birth to Wally, this made Francine clean up her act for the better. Before her death, she repented and returned to Central City and asked her family for forgiveness for having abandoned them.

Appearances

The Flash

Season 1

Season 2

Season 3

Season 4

Season 5

Season 6

Season 7


DC's Legends of Tomorrow

Season 3

Behind the scenes

  • In the DC comics, the matriarch of the West family was Nadine West. However, Nadine was only the adoptive mother of Iris, with her biological mother being Fran Russell.
    • Francine's name seems to be a combination of the two.
  • Francine was revealed to have been dying of an illness known as MacGregor's Syndrome. This illness was originally introduced in the film Batman & Robin. Both Batman's butler, Alfred Pennyworth, and Mr. Freeze's wife, Nora, were diagnosed with the illness in different stages. Unlike in The Flash, it was never stated to be associated with past drug use.
  • In a deleted scene from "Fast Enough", Joe stated that Iris got her talent in writing from Francine.

References

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