- "Our badges, your emblem, they're symbols of the strength that we're charged with to get back out there. And we don't make the choice to die. We would never choose to do that. But when we hear the call of duty... we're willing to make that sacrifice."
- —Joe West to Barry Allen[src]
Joseph "Joe" West (born September 9, 1968) is the former police captain of the Central City Police Department, badge number 5936. Joe is also the widower of the late Francine West, the father of Iris West-Allen, Wally West, and Jenna West, the foster father/father-in-law of Barry Allen, and the boyfriend of Cecile Horton.
Joe West was born to police officer Ben West sometime after 1967. In adulthood, he followed his father's footsteps and became a police officer in the Central City Police Department. During this time, Ben gifted Joe a watch.
At some point, Joe met a woman named Francine, and they fell in love. Eventually, Joe asked Francine's father if he could marry his daughter, which the man agreed to. Joe and Francine were married and on June 24, 1989, they had a daughter, Iris. Whilst raising his daughter, Joe apparently never bought a crib for Iris, preferring to "just plop [her] on some cushions and call it a night." Overtime, Joe and Francine's relationship became strained due to the latter's drug addiction.
One day around 1995, Joe and his partner got a call to check a house where a young girl said her mother was unconscious. Recognizing the address as his own, Joe rushed to the scene and was horrified to find his wife passed out from a drug overdose and a worried Iris standing in the kitchen, almost burned from the oven catching fire since Francine had left it on. Fortunately, Joe and his partner were able to get Iris to safety and help Francine just in time.
Joe sent his wife into rehab yet again, but she ran off soon after. He spent weeks searching for Francine, but couldn't find her. Joe then lied to Iris that Francine had died, hoping to spare his daughter from the truth and leave her with a good memory of her mother. However, both were unaware Francine was pregnant with another child when she left them.
Sometime prior to 2000, Joe rose to the rank of detective at the CCPD.
Taking Barry in
On the night of Nora Allen's murder on March 18, 2000, Joe arrived with the CCPD. He comforted her son, Barry, as his father Henry was taken away. He later took Barry in and raised him, as Barry ended up a foster child after Nora's death and Henry's imprisonment.
After an attempt to run and see his father, Joe assured Barry that he had the power to stop him from going, sending him to his room.
Supporting Barry's heroics
Thirteen years later, Joe was at a crime scene with his partner, Detective Chyre, were assigned to a robbery at a bank in Central City. They discovered it was the work of the Mardon brothers, and after discovering that they'd escaped to one of several farms, they visited each farm. At the last farm, they discovered Clyde Mardon. He began shooting at them as he ran away, hitting Chyre in the neck. Also, before he could escape, Mardon's plane was blown to pieces by a shock-wave from the explosion of S.T.A.R. Labs' particle accelerator. On the same night, Barry Allen, Joe's foster son, was struck by lightning, putting him in to a coma. Over the ensuing 9 months, Joe and his daughter, Iris, began visiting Barry. Eventually Joe's visits became so excessive that his superiors were often annoyed by his lack of commitment to the force, and one day Barry began having uncontrollable seizures despite the fact that he had flat-lined in front of a horrified Joe and Iris. As Iris was too distraught to be in the building, Joe began stressing but was approached by Dr. Harrison Wells, who offered his medical assistance in his lab. Initially Joe scoffed at this idea, out of distrust for his role in the particle accelerator accident, but Wells managed to convince him that he had the resources to save him whereas no doctor anywhere else did. Despite knowing that Wells was indeed Barry's best chance, Joe didn't trust Wells and knew something wasn't right about him, yet allowed Wells to take Barry out of desperation to see Barry better.
After Barry woke up from his coma, he ran into Joe back at the police department. He was called to a robbery at Gold City Bank and later returned with various suspects. They viewed various cell phone recordings, noting the freak storm that picked up inside the bank itself. They also noticed a getaway car, taking note of its partial number plate. Joe later arrived at another crime scene at which Barry and Iris happened to be at. Joe scolded both Barry and Iris for being there and became annoyed at the former when he suggested that Mardon was both alive and had gained the power to control the weather. He went on to reiterate that Barry's father was a murder, as had been proven, and it was an obvious fact. This caused Barry to walk off in annoyance. Not long after, more police arrived, including Detective Thawne, Joe's new partner. Eddie showed Joe the sketch artist's illustration from a suspect, which appeared to be the apparently deceased criminal, Clyde Mardon. Suspicious that he could've survived, the two went to Mardon's old farmhouse, where they found him. However, before they could arrest him, he knocked them away with the wind and began to create a tornado around himself, proceeding to move it outside. Joe carried an unconscious Eddie outside by their car while they were powerless against Clyde Mardon. As a piece of debris flew through the air, it almost hit them, however, it was intercepted by Barry with his super speed. Barry soon unraveled the tornado, and before Mardon could shoot Barry, Joe shot Clyde first. The following morning, Joe discussed Barry's powers with him and further apologized for not believing him, admitting that Barry's stories of a man in a blur of lightning killing his mother were likely true. He had Barry promise not to tell Iris about any of his powers.
Joe called Barry to a crime scene which he was supposed to be at. At the scene, Barry surveyed the footprints, comparing them to Captain Singh's, embarrassing himself. Back at the precinct, Joe scolded Barry for embarrassing not only himself, but also Joe and the captain. Barry attempted to apologize, putting it down to a lot of stress from recent events, and Joe mentioned how he related to all of it. He went on to assure that Barry hadn't told Iris anything, which he hadn't, so Joe sent him up to his lab to process evidence from the crime scene. After gunmen attacked an event at which Iris and Barry had been at, Joe was on the scene.
Realizing that Barry had tried to use his super speed, Joe walked off to talk to Barry, scolding him for trying to be a hero, telling him that he wasn't bulletproof (a fact that he had to confirm at first). He also suggested that Barry make better excuses than fainting, or Iris would become suspicious. Later that night, Joe discovered Barry's investigation of his mother's murder behind a map. He headed to S.T.A.R. Labs where he found Barry. He tried to talk Barry out of what he was doing by scolding him, though Barry was adamant that Joe had absolutely no power over him, not to mention that they weren't even technically related. Joe was upset, expressing his hope that they found out the unknown before someone was killed by it, and then left.
At work, Joe brought him some DNA samples of the shooters from Simon Stagg's benefit to Barry to process. Barry hoped to see Simon Stagg with Joe, though he told Barry to stay and do his job. Joe left with Eddie Thawne to visit Stagg. They questioned him about various lawsuits against him, including one from Danton Black, though Stagg assured them that Danton was nothing more than a clinical researcher, definitely not a killer. When he finished with them, he began to walk off, until they were shot at by the same group from his benefit.
As Simon was whisked to safety by Eddie, Joe stuck around long enough to see Danton Black pull off a mask, along with numerous other clones. Barry arrived, taking Joe to safety so he couldn't interfere. Back at the precinct, Joe tried to get Simon to reconsider protective custody, though he assured Joe that he'd upped his security, so if anything he would be happy to see Black coming for him. Harrison Wells arrived and following a short, snarky exchange between him and Stagg, Stagg left and Joe took Harrison to his office to talk.
Joe questioned whether Harrison knew about Barry's abilities during his coma, though he claimed to only have suspicions. Wells went on to describe how Barry had quit their team. However, he was sure that Barry would join before long, though not with the same motivation he once had, doubting himself. After their talk, Joe went to S.T.A.R. Labs to motivate Barry. He quickly saved them from a Danton Black clone that they'd made, and went on to assure Barry that only he could stop meta-humans; the police only had limited resources. He suited up and went to fight Black and despite finding the task impossible, Joe mentioned that Barry himself had shown him that even the impossible was possible.
After he beat Black, Joe brought pizza to Barry in order to apologize. He revealed how he knew about Barry's attempts to prove his father innocent, and wished to join in the crusade, even if it took them the rest of their lives. He apologized for acting like his father, despite not being his actual father, though Barry confirmed that he really was, after all he'd taught him practically everything growing up.
Some days following, Joe and Barry walked through the precinct as Barry took the credit for the capture of a man the night before. Joe assured him that keeping his abilities a secret was precedence. They walked on up to Barry's lab where Joe brought out the evidence from Barry's mother's murder case. Joe promised to take his time going through the evidence, refusing to quit until they found evidence proving Barry's father innocent. Before they could begin searching, Eddie interrupted, alerting them to a murder the night before of the entire Darbinyan crime family. At the crime scene, Barry was able to identify gas inhalation as the cause of death. They figured that it had to have come from inside, but found no canisters. Barry jokingly suggested that the gas had a mind of its own, causing Joe to send Eddie off for them to talk. Barry went in to depth on how he believed it to be a meta-human, while Joe suggested that they get "backup". They left to S.T.A.R. Labs where the team frantically became excited over the prospect of the meta-human.
Joe brought up the problem of putting meta-humans in to a regular prison, which led to Cisco suggesting they use the particle accelerator below them. They went to check the accelerator out and Detective West headed home. He went over the Allen case, watching footage from Henry Allen's questioning. Iris overheard and Joe simply passed it off as misfiled work. Eddie then arrived, under the guise of wanting to re-canvas the earlier crime scene, much to Joe's pride, and they soon left for the scene. That night Barry visited Joe for help with the meta-human. Joe attempted to help, but the conversation quickly led to Barry thinking of breaking his father out with his super speed. Despite the ease of it, Joe reasoned that often there would be some people Barry could not save, Barry's dad included. Finally, Joe went to visit Henry. He apologized for having disbelieved Henry, mentioning that he planned to re-open the murder case.
Suddenly, the Mist entered the room and began suffocating the guard. He soon moved on to Joe, causing him to choke, before Barry came, in disguise, and saved him with a counteracting injection. Joe soon came back to life and Barry ran off to stop The Mist. While in the hospital, Joe thanked Barry for saving his life. Iris and Eddie approached, causing Barry to leave. The couple hesitantly admitted that they were in fact in a relationship, but Joe simply explained that he had known all along, being the detective he was. He also promised not to shoot Eddie, because Iris liked him so much.
At the scene of the failed robbery by Leonard Snart and his team, Joe arrived with Eddie. When Joe noted they failed to steal the Kahndaq dynasty diamond, he was told by Eddie that Iris has been persuading him to take her though Joe did not want to discuss the subject. After Barry told Captain Singh his analysis of the robbery, Joe told Barry that he was slow on his improvising. He was then helped by Barry on identifying Leonard Snart who Joe notes is the son of a former corrupt cop. Later when Joe and Eddie discussed Iris, Joe notes that they are strictly work partners and does not care to discuss further about Eddie's dating life. Joe was later contacted by Dexter Myles, the owner of the Central City Museum after noticing Snart had gone through the tour twice which had never happened before.
Joe chased after Snart but was be nearly shot by him with the cold gun, though he was saved by Barry at the last moment. Joe later revealed to Iris that he does not want the two to be together is that he feared he would lose his focus and would feel responsible if anything ever happened to Eddie because of the work they do. At the train station where they located Snart, Joe told Eddie to stay and wait for back up but was reminded that they are partners. Joe later apologized to Iris, admitting he was wrong about Eddie after he saved his life. Joe then became more supportive of the two.
After Tony Woodward stole a yellow Hummer, Joe and the Central City Police arrive though Tony managed to get away. At the precinct, Joe reviewed the footage of Barry revealing what he saw the night his mother was killed. Joe then told Barry to tell Eddie an explanation to how Tony was not killed after several shots to the head without telling him he was a meta-human. Joe visited Harrison Wells at S.T.A.R. Labs asking to help solve the case of Barry's mother. Joe explained to Harrison what happened at the scene and claimed the explanation of a yellow and red blur was similar to when Barry saved a child the night before. Joe then believed that the man had similar powers and asked if someone existed with Barry's powers at the time of the murder.
Later, Joe is joined by Harrison for a drink where Joe asked if there was a particle accelerator at the time. Wells reminded Joe that there were no dark matter lightning storms. Joe asked when Harrison arrived at Central City, revealing that he was learning if Harrison was involved with the murder. Joe later brought Harrison a bottle of bourbon, apologizing for accusing him after learning about Harrison's wife who died in a car crash. Back at his home, Joe crossed off Wells for possible suspects before the "lightning man" arrived and stole all data and placed a knife on a picture of Iris, threatening if he does not stop, his daughter would die.
On the night that Barry faced Farooq Gibran and lost his super speed at first Joe didn't believe him but after Barry didn't stop his favorite mug from hitting the ground Joe knew he was telling the truth. Joe discussed his concern with him about who was going to stop the rogue meta-humans now. When William Tockman took over the Central City Police Department Joe and Iris were taken hostage. Joe tried to reason with Tockman and expressed his sympathy that his sister died without him getting to see her. Joe begged him not to take Iris as a hostage but didn't listen and took her anyway. Iris was able to shoot Tockman and were both freed.
After meta-human Roy Bivolo used his powers to rob a bank Joe was assigned the case. Joe was able to track down Bivolo to a warehouse but used his powers on a member of his team and turned around and tried to shoot him. Barry as the Flash showed up and saved him and then we're both saved by Oliver Queen. Later at S.T.A.R. labs Joe agreed with Harrison Wells that the Arrow was a bad influence and told him that the Arrow should leave the city. When Barry went on a rampage Joe agreed that The Arrow was the only one who could stop him. After Oliver restrained him he drove the van that brought him back. Joe later thanked Oliver for helping.
Christmas was approaching and Joe and Barry were putting up the Christmas tree but was forced to leave when the D.A wanted to ask some questions. When Mercury Labs was robbed by a yellow blur Joe and Barry both immediately knew it was the man who killed Nora Allen. Joe wanted to use the Mercury Labs tachyon prototype to lure out the blur. The day before they planned to release the trap Joe told Barry that he shouldn't be there as he was to personally attached to it. Eddie found out what he was planning and demanded that his task force should be a part of it. On the night the plan backfired and Joe released the Reverse-Flash and was knocked out by him. Joe invited the S.T.A.R. Labs crew, Iris and Eddie around for Christmas. Joe spoke to Cisco and discovered that there were two speedsters at Barry's home that night.
Head of the Anti-Metahuman Task Force
Joe becomes head of Central City Police Department's metahuman task-force, working with Cisco and Patty Spivot. He relies on Cisco's inventions to deal with superhuman criminals and becomes a mentor to the two. Joe later struggles with his disintegrated marriage with Francine after she resurfaces, leads him to face widowhood after learning that she is dying. Joe ultimately finds out about his son Wally through Iris after she discovers her brother's existence. Once they are introduced, their connection is uneasy; Joe is unsure of how to be a father to Wally, and Wally is somewhat resentful that his detective father was not part of his life. But after the speedster Hunter Zolomon kidnaps Wally, they become close. Joe is proud of Wally's aptitude in mechanical engineering and strong need to help others. After Wally is exposed to Harry Wells' dark matter experiment, Joe suspects that his son has become a metahuman.
Post-Flashpoint and Savitar
Flashpoint causes some changes to Joe's life after the timeline is reset, primarily that he and Iris are not speaking because Joe never said that Francine was alive. However, they settle matters after Barry reveals the timeline changes. Joe fears for Wally's life after discovering Wally's dreams as Kid Flash and that he was badly injured in Flashpoint. After Wally becomes a speedster, Joe eventually accepts his son's destiny thanks to H.R. Wells. Joe also begins to move on from his widowhood by dating district attorney Cecile Horton.
When Iris is kidnapped by Savitar, Joe and the team try to save her, but Savitar ends up killing her, making Joe sad. But later it is revealed that Iris was safe and H.R sacrificed himself in her place. After Savitar's defeat, the rays of the acceleration force begin to fall on the city and Barry decides to enter the Speed Force, leaving the security of the city in the hands of the flash team.
After Barry's return, Joe learns that Cecile is pregnant. Having a child young causes him and Cecile to initially experience a midlife crisis. They attend Barry and Iris' wedding ceremony, but it is suddenly interrupted by Nazis from Earth-X led by Dark Arrow and Overgirl. Barry and his allies fight them, while Wally takes Joe and Cecile to safety. When Barry is on trial after being framed for Clifford DeVoe's "murder", Joe considers framing Marlize to prove Barry's innocence, but is talked out of doing it by Ralph.
After Barry is exonerated, Joe is among those who celebrate with him. When Cecile goes into labor during Barry's final battle with the Thinker, Joe stays by Cecile as Caitlin helps to deliver their child to her. Following DeVoe's demise, he and Cecile name their newborn daughter Jenna Marie West. His friends and family also meet Nora West-Allen, Barry and Iris' future daughter and therefore Joe's yet-to-be born granddaughter. They went to celebrate their victory at the West house when Nora West-Allen appears and reveals that she is the daughter of Barry and Iris.
Barry tells Joe that Nora is starting to piss him off for spending so much time with him and not with Iris. Joe calms Barry by revealing that Nora's situation is identical to Barry's when he was a child. Joe was reading at his house when Cicada appears and asks about Vibe's location, but Joe denies it, so Cicada begins to torture him with his dagger. Cecile appears and Joe begs for a murderer to leave her alone, then Cisco appears and Cicada pushes him through the breach.
He later tells Iris that he thinks Cicada is a father because of how he held Jenna's blanket and talked about the family. Joe takes Jenna to be safe. After Nora's relationship with Iris worsens, she decides to stay with Joe for a while. Using all the information collected by Joe and Team Flash, Sherloque Wells announces Cicada's true identity as Orlin Dwyer. After the defeat of the cicadas and the erasure of Nora from the timeline, Joe regrets the loss of Barry and Iris. Later, David Singh, appoints Joe as his deputy chief of police.
Joe and Flash honor the Elongated Man at CCPD with a new emblem on his suit. However, Joe and Ralph took the opportunity to pay tribute to Barry Allen's civilian personality, not only to ensure a good remembrance for the post-crisis identity, but to show Barry how much his determination to obtain justice for those who lost loved ones. it took her to do her best.
Following the defeat of Ramsey Russo (Bloodwork), Joe attended Team Flash's final meeting before Barry's apparent disappearance in the crisis. As Barry offered to trade his watch for Joe's watch as a memento for Joe to remember him, Joe declined stating that he wants Barry to come back after the crisis. Following the conversation, Joe alongside the rest of Team Flash watched in shock as the skies turn red.
During the Anti-Monitor Crisis, Joe as well as everyone in the multiverse except for the seven Paragons, was killed in an antimatter wave by the Anti-Monitor on December 10, 2019, only to be restored a month later, after the Paragons and the Spectre created a new universe.
On Earth-Prime, Joe's past remained mostly unchaned.
Sometime after Iris moved back in with her father after her first year in college, Joe confided in Barry that he felt bad for all the unnecessary arguments he would get into with her. During his time courting Cecile Horton, she and Joe went to her cousin's wedding; they had trouble dancing together, stepping on each other's feet, until they learned to dance in sync.
- "I'm not worried about me, Barry; I can't lose Cecile and Jenna!"
- —Joe West[src]
The CCPD, led by Joe, arrived at the bank after it was robbed by Sue Dearbon, and arrested John Loring and his thugs. The bank manager thought that Joe had been there earlier, but the Flash assured him that it was not him. Multiple deaths in Central City could be linked to Joseph Carver, so Joe decided to start a R.I.C.O. case against him.
"Iris" became angry when Joe would not relinquish information that she could use against Joseph Carver, so she resorted to tricking him; she invited him to lunch at Big Belly Burger, but lied about the appointed time, so she could have his office to herself. Joe called her as she was in his office.
Joe did not trust the members of the CCPD under his supervision, so he went to David Singh to inform him that he feels that there was a mole for Black Hole in the organization; unbeknownst to Joe, "David" was an imposter. Joe and "David" would have been killed by Sunshine, if Barry had not intervened and caused her to chase him.
Days later, Joe was driving when his brakes were unresponsive; he declined witness protection and wanted to pursue the R.I.C.O. case against Carver even further. Later, while he was interrogating Millie Rawlings, Rag Doll emerged from a box to kill Joe. Joe shot at Merkel but he reflected the bullets. Normally, the Flash could catch the projectiles, but this time, he was too slow and Joe was wounded.
He went to Carver himself to show that he was not intimidated and even garnered a confession from him that he was running an assassins' guild, but Carver used his technology to erase the recording.
Joe was forced to save his lover Cecile when she was captured by Rag Doll, going so far as to switch places with her when she sat in a chair near an explosive; seeing that the Flash could not save him and he had to disarm the bomb himself, Joe was convinced that he needed to be in witness protection to keep his family safe.
Barry came to the place where Joe was sequestered under witness protection to inform him that Iris was missing. They hugged as Barry cried.
The R.I.C.O. case against Joseph Carver ended when he was killed by Eva McCulloch; therefore, Joe was allowed to leave witness protection. He and Cecile reunited, then the two met with Team Flash, just at the time when Barry needed good news and reinforcements.
As Team Flash battled Eva, Joe and Cecile were chased by a mirror clone who wanted them to enter the Mirrorverse. When Cecile was replaced, Mirror Cecile tried to convince Joe to go willingly. He resisted long enough for all the duplicates to transform into glass.
The case against Frost
- "This ain't how law enforcement is supposed to work."
- —Joe West[src]
Joe entered S.T.A.R. Labs and asked those there why his clothes had changed to a style reminiscent of the 1940's; he then realized that everyone had clothes from different eras. When Iris arrived, Joe smiled and complimented her as even Iris's hair and make-up changed to 1970's style. Caitlin Snow explained that an energy wave had changed items. Later, after the threat had passed, Joe talked with Frost about Kristen Kramer and the case that she was attempting to build against her. Frost said that she refused to hide.
Joe was on the scene when an Ivo Laboratories truck driver was murdered in an ice-related incident and he tried to defend the reputation of Frost against Kristen who automatically assumed that Frost was the culprit. Later, he accompanied Kristen and the Meta-human Task Force to Caitlin Snow's apartment when Kristen used facial recognition software to identify Caitlin as Frost; he tried to explain that Frost and Caitlin were two separate people, but Kristen did not believe him until Frost was arrested in Keystone City.
During Frost's sentencing hearing, Joe took the stand and told everyone under oath that Frost has helped in saving the world on multiple occasions, thus saving everyone watching the trial; the judge told Joe that his statement is very potent and will weigh heavily in her decision. After Frost was sentenced to life with parole, Joe met with Kristen before she left Central City; he told her that she was a good cop, but she needed to be careful not to cross the line between "justice" and "vengeance".
The next evening, Joe and Barry have a sit-down conversation about recent events and how Barry sought to erase the Forces so that the Speed Force would not kill them. Barry explained that he and Iris created the Forces. Joe told Barry that the Forces are Barry's "unexpected children", just as Wally West was Joe's; Joe retold from his perspective his difficulties with Wally, but his love for his son was always paramount. Barry listened and the conversation affected Barry's actions towards the Forces.
Quitting the CCPD
The next day, Joe went to the case of Caleb Fairweather and learned from the mayor that Caleb was the fourth billionaire to be comatose. Joe received a call to report to the CCPD where he was interviewed by Kristen Kramer who told Joe that she remained in Central City because she is trying to find a solution to the meta-human criminal problem. During the interview, Joe could not answer her questions about Julian Albert or Patty Spivot without revealing their connection to Team Flash. Joe was sent by her to summon Barry Allen.
Joe instead went to Cecile and asked her to investigate the background of Kristen to get leverage, but he soon learned that Kristen's record was by the book. When Kristen ordered more Meta-human cure, Joe confronted her that she was planning to use the cure against any meta-human criminal as the police's first option of attack. Not wanting to be a part of her new plan against crime, as it was sanctioned by the governor, Joe quit as Captain of CCPD.
Later, a storm raged outside. Joe sat at home and watched on television a report that prisoners had escaped from Iron Heights; as Cecile came downstairs from putting Jenna to bed, she saw that Joe was in distress over the incident. Cecile and Joe discussed his decision to quit and how he needs to think of other ways to help the citizens. Suddenly, Cecile was hit by a lightning bolt.
Joe took Cecile to S.T.A.R. Labs to be analyzed and watched. Allegra discussed with Joe that he needed to stop acting helpless and to try to find a way to help Team Flash and the citizens. Joe refused to leave Cecile's bedside. When Barry and Iris were discussing the Forces of Nature, Joe told them to think of the Forces as their family and to bring their family together, changing the tide of the battle against the Speed Force.
When Cecile awakened, she was happy that Joe was the first person she saw.
Joe went to the party that the original team members of Team Flash had for Cisco's departure.
Joe studied a case related to Kristen Kramer and some fellow soldiers that did not came back from an attack. When he presented the situation at her, Kristen acted defensively and accused Joe of trying to get her out of the position as a revenge. However, Kristen opened up to him about the situation.
Joe and Kristen went to investigate Adam Creyke and after surviving a fire that burned the car they came in they arrested him.
When one of the Godspeed clones was attempting to vibrate his hand at Joe, Kristen used super-speed to save him. After the Godspeed invasion, Kramer informed him about her metahuman tests indicating that she could copy powers and her plans to take a leave of absence from the CCPD to reflect on the situation. She told him that the reason she survived to Adam Creyke's betrayal of a military unit was because she copied his powers at the moment. He let her call him Joe.
Death in an erased timeline
Eobard Thawne manipulated the timeline and used Negative Still Force to make Joe West trip down and be crushed by a train in May 23 2021. Eobard Thawne used this to create a chain of events that allowed him to create a Reverse-Flashpoint where he could usurp Barry's role as the Flash. Barry allegedly made his eulogy at his funeral.
After Barry never noted Joe's death, Iris investigated to see if Joe actually died. Although she gave up after seeing the official video, she saw black particles that she and Deon Owens would later identify as Negative Still Force particles.
After Barry went to the future to see the situation, he worked with Damien Darhk to restore the past timeline. In doing so, Joe along with all of Team Flash (who had been slaughtered by Despero) were brought back to life.
In an alternate timeline, Joe became Chief of Police by 2014 after being shot by Sterling Brooks, as he was seen as the hero of that day.
In 2024, in one erased future, Joe became the chief of the Central City Police Department.
In another erased future, it was revealed that Joe will be honored at City Hall. Barry read this out when he and Cisco vibed to the future to the night Savitar would murder Iris West on May 23, 2017, and H.R. Wells wrote this down, along with several other headlines they saw on TV.
- "Watch yourself. I took two oaths in my life. One, to uphold the law. The other, to protect my family. Guess which one takes priority?"
- —Joe West to Gypsy[src]
Joe is proven to hold Barry Allen in high regard, he covered Barry's tardiness by saying he had him run an errand, it is revealed he is Barry's foster father, after Barry's biological father was (wrongfully) convicted of murdering Barry's mother, and has always treated Barry like a son. He tried to talk Barry out of living the life of a superhero only out of concern for his safety, and was deeply hurt when Barry told him he's not his father and has no right telling him what to do to the point that he fought to hold back his tears.
Joe, despite having a rather difficult job and witnessing some of the strangest and strongest meta-humans around, is rather good-natured and has a light-hearted sense of humor, he once threatened to "shoot" Barry if he changed one more time for his date, after Barry could not decide what to wear for his date, he is also proven to be noticeably upset when Barry tells him they'd have to reduce how much pizza Barry goes and obtains from another city if Wally were to move in with them, he can often be seen laughing at many of Cisco's crazy antics, such as Cisco's enlarged cutouts of different members of Team Flash being in awkward positions that were prepared to train Linda Park in order to act as Dr. Light, perhaps, this is the most differentiating characteristic between Joe and Quentin Lance, who is very similar to Joe, but is often seen being rather pessimistic and foul mannered in general, even before tragedy had struck his life, threatening to shoot Oliver if he had found Oliver and Laurel making out again under his roof. In many ways, Joe plays the role of the voice of conscience towards Barry, similarly to how John Diggle does for Oliver Queen; though Joe tends to act more of a father figure than a comrade-at-arms, having known Barry as a child.
Joe later received encouragement from Eobard Thawne (under the guise of Harrison Wells) who noted that doubt was what kept Barry from realizing his true potential; and Barry cannot believe in himself if Joe, the man who acted as his surrogate father, has no faith in him. This led to Joe acknowledging that there are things and limits to what everyone can do and that Barry is no longer the boy he protected since childhood.
Joe is known to let his job as a police detective blind him, like after Nora Thompson was murdered, he willingly believed the idea that his good friend, Henry Allen was a murderer, when he should have realized that Henry would never kill his wife, no matter what the situation was, 14 years after the fact, Joe finds out that Henry is in fact innocent and goes to visit his friend in jail for the first time since he had been incarcerated, he admits to Henry that he feels ashamed for not believing in his friend's innocence. He apologized to his friend, but Joe was hurt when Henry was cold to him. However, he knows he deserves it for not believing in his friend's innocence and tell Henry he now believes he is innocent and vowed to get him out sooner or later.
Joe can sometimes be stubborn, like when Barry told him that Clyde Mardon was alive and that he had gained the power to control the weather, even when there was some evidence to back up Barry's statements, he still refused to believe Barry, only to find out the hard way that his foster son was right. Despite his stubbornness, Joe is not above apologizing or admitting when he is wrong.
Joe seems to hold grudges, as when the Harrison Wells from Earth-2 showed up, Joe didn't trust him and constantly insulted him for the actions that weren't even from his Earth-1 counterpart, it wasn't until he realized that Harry was willing to do anything for his daughter (much like Joe with Barry, Iris and Wally) that Joe stopped comparing Earth-2 Harry to Eobard Thawne, as a result, the two started to form a trusting friendship based on their love for their children. Over the next two years Joe and Harry's friendship has remained as strong as ever. During their war against Clifford DeVoe, Joe became concerned for Harry's well being when he became addicted to his Thinking Cap and when he started losing his intelligence because of it, assured him that Team Flash would help him get it back.
When Clifford DeVoe went to the police station saying that Barry was harassing him Joe had gone with Barry made him know that Barry was conducting the necessary investigation so he knew that DeVoe was lying and he kept thinking that DeVoe was not the metahuman they were looking for nor did he tell him Devie that DeVoe was lying.
Due to Joe's protective streak when Barry is concerned, he is willing to break the law for him as seen when he was about to plant evidence at the DeVoe house to save Barry from going to jail for having been framed for DeVoe's murder. Joe is only stopped when Ralph Dibny talked him out it.
Joe is known for his fondness of the small pleasures in life; such as his penchant for jazz music, which he is known to keep an entire vinyl collection of, Keystone pizzas, baseball, and the katana, as he has been seen to possess one such Japanese sword at his house and even tried to convince Cecile to let him carry it with him out of a sense of over-protectiveness during her delivery of their daughter, Jenna West.
Upon gaining an adult future granddaughter in Nora West-Allen, Joe instantly loves her and is seen to embrace her warmly.
- "Babe, that heart of yours, that is a moral compass. It's one of the many reasons why I love you."
- —Cecile Horton to Joe West[src]
- High-level intellect/Expert detective: As a police detective of the Central City Police Department, Joe has proven himself a highly skilled detective and has been in the line of duty for a number of years. Repeatedly, Joe has shown to have very sharp and trust-worthy instincts, being one of few people who was able to see through the Reverse Flash's deception as Dr. Harrison Wells, which the speedster openly complimented him for.
- Expert deceiver: Joe is very proficient at telling lies and avoiding the truth. He even lied to his daughter Iris West, for years that her mother was dead when in fact, Francine abandoned them due to her drug addiction.
- Skilled interrogator/Torturer: Joe was able to torture information out of Alchemy's Acolyte.
- Expert marksman: As a police detective, Joe is skilled in the use of firearms. He shot and killed Clyde Mardon, Everyman, and the Rival.
- Expert hand-to-hand combatant: As a police detective, Joe is an expert in unarmed combat, having gone through the training that all CCPD members do. He is also a capable teacher, having effectively taught Iris how to defend herself.
- Singing: As noted by Barry, Joe is a very talented singer, though he prefers not to make a fuss about it.
- Cooking: Iris and Cecile mentioned Joe was good at cooking.
- Indomitable will/High tolerance for pain: A man of principles and loyalty, Joe has repeatedly shown himself to have remarkable fortitude. Desiring to protect Cecile Horton and their unborn daughter, Joe was able to resist Clifford DeVoe's telepathy when the latter tried to force Joe to shoot himself, visibly startling the latter. He has also shown great endurance against pain; when tortured repeatedly by Cicada for Vibe's whereabouts, Joe refused to give into the serial killer's demands, barely even voicing his pain and impressing Cicada with his fearless drive.
- Guns: Joe is very proficient in using guns.
- B.O.O.T.: A special weapon designed by Cisco Ramon to assist Joe and the CCPD in the capture of rogue meta-humans.
- Handcuffs: Joe carries handcuffs whenever he is out on patrol.
- Samuroid sword: Joe acquired a Samuroid's sword after fighting one off.
- Time stone: After the Reverse-Flashpoint timeline was erased and Despero was defeated, Damien Darhk gave Joe his time stone, telling the latter that he feels Joe is "gonna need [it] some day."
DC's Legends of Tomorrow
The Flash: Season Zero
The Chronicles of Cisco
- Joe is the first to suspect that there is more to Dr. "Harrison Wells" than meets the eye.
- In an erased timeline, Mark Mardon targeted Joe for revenge for his brother Clyde's death, succeeding in abducting him. However, since Barry Allen changed the timeline after his first bout of time travel by capturing Mardon ahead of time, Joe's life was never endangered.
- In a second erased timeline, Joe, presumably along with everyone in Central City, was killed by Vandal Savage using the Staff of Horus in his efforts to kill Carter Hall and Kendra Saunders. However, due to Barry changing the time continuum, this disaster never occurs.
- Joe stopped believing in Santa Claus when he was eight.
- He has a fear of gorillas and, by extension, Grodd.
- Joe has a Facebook account.
- Joe owns a collection of vintage vinyl records, which he is possessive of, even claiming that "those [records] are going in the coffin with [him]."
- While in Tibet, Joe was discovered to be allergic to Szechuan peppers.
- Joe once joked that his grandchildren would call him "Papa" and not "Grandpa". Interestingly, Barry and Iris's future daughter, Nora West-Allen, addresses him as "Papa Joe".
- Joe has had 2 love interests Francine West and Cecile Horton, additionally Sherry and Eliza Harmon have showed attraction to Joe.
Behind the scenes
- In the DC comics, there were two versions of the patriarch of the West family. Originally, his name was Ira West and he was a university professor rather than a police detective, and only the adoptive father to Iris, with her biological father, being a man named Eric Russell. In the New 52, he was re-imagined as William West, an abusive alcoholic who bullied his youngest son, Daniel, and ended up crippled by him. There are no indications that he is not Iris' biological father.
- In the episode "" of season 2, Martin Stein tells Joe that the Joe West from Earth-2 could be a Nobel Prize winner instead of a police detective: this is a nod to Joe's counterpart in the comics, the Nobel-winner scientist Ira West.
- In the episode "" of season 3, Joe appears as an alcoholic, estranged from both Iris and Wally.
- Joe's role of becoming Barry's foster father and raising him is based around Police Captain Darryl Frye, who played that role in the New 52 comics.
|Other versions of Joe West|
|To see other versions of this character, click the Earth name below for that Earth's counterpart of Joe West.|
|Earth: 1 • 2 • Music Meister's reality|