Cover by DAVID FINCH Variant cover by BILL SIENKIEWICZ

“DARK DESTINY” part two! The Pandora Pits’ origins reveal themselves to Circe and Ra’s al Ghul as John Constantine and the mystical trinity work with Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman to host a superpowered exorcism on Red Hood, Artemis and Bizarro.
On sale SEPTEMBER 20 • 32 pg, FC, $3.99 US • RATED T

WestAllen vs Clana

Let me start off by saying that it disturbs me to see people comparing these two ships, much like the dreaded wet towel Lauriver comparison. I’m going to jump right out of the gate and revoke this claim because it couldn’t be farther from the truth. As someone who was a huge Smallville fan for years and is now a huge Arrow and Flash series fan I can assure you that in NO WAY does Iris West or her dynamic with Barry Allen resemble anything close to Clark Kent and Lana Lang and I’ll explain by breaking it down into simple paragraphs.

 Lets begin with the two women. Lana Lang started off as being quiet natured, reserved, she was kind but a little too Mary Sueish at times, whiny, weak, judgmental, hypocritical, and selfish. As the series went on she became an unrecognizable, vengeful dark entity. She’s also someone that can’t let the past go in terms of her parents which she constantly bombarded Clark with. Iris never pestered Barry with the tragedy of his mother’s death instead she was supportive and neither of them let it affect their relationship.  Superman/Clark is the embodiment of pure good, love, honor, sacrifice, hope, justice, and light. This is why it would’ve never worked out between him and Lana and why Lois Lane IS his soulmate. Lois is his exact equal; she embodied all the qualities that Superman does minus the powers. Lana was Clark’s first love and I will say it was okay in the beginning because they were 15 and that’s where you’re off with the WestAllen comparison because Iris and Barry are two twenty-something grown adults.

 Iris West is charming, sweet, compassionate, down-to-earth, open, bubbly, kind-hearted, strong yet vulnerable and she cares deeply about her best friend [and the people in her life] with all her heart. She’s willing to make sacrifices to help those she loves and get the world to believe in the impossible but she is not willing to sacrifice her moral ethics to accomplish this unlike Lana who was willing to cross the line and kill in order to protect Clark. Iris is someone who instills hope, love, and courage. Lana always seemed to have an agenda even if she was doing something nice for somebody it was like it always came with a price. And whereas Lana doubted Clark numerously [even while they were friends before lovers] Iris never stopped believing in or gave up on Barry. When Clark gets fatally sick in the Smallville season 2 episode Fever Lana doesn’t even visit him once. When Barry was comatose for 9 months after a fatal lightning strike Iris was at his side almost the entire time. In terms of where these women are when it comes to devotion and compassion, Iris clearly knocks Lana out.

 Lana and Clark were the typical “he loved her from afar” cliché  but the difference between Clark and Barry is that Barry was friends with Iris before he fell in love with her. Clark was just crushing on Lana in the beginning cause he didn’t know her at all; he was in love with idea of Lana but Barry got to know Iris for over a decade and fell in love with all of her good qualities as well as her flaws. There have been times where Clark was succumbed by evil or elements that made him out of character; in these situations if Lana was involved [like when he was infected with red Kryptonite] she could never reach him. The recent Flarrow episode in which our hero Barry gets a taste of the darkness and went AWOL Iris’s voice [though she was afraid] was able to sustain him from harming Eddie long enough before Oliver/Arrow showed up. Even when Barry was angry and out of control, Iris’s love and compassion was strong enough to reach him whereas Lana easily let go of Clark. This is a true testament to the bonds of both these ships and demonstrates the success of WestAllen and failure of Clana.

 We’re still in the early stages of Barry and Iris’s relationship which hasn’t even scratched the surface of their potential so I find these Clana compassions ridiculous to say the least. There is another thing though that I can talk about and it’s how well both Iris and Lana know these men. Iris is destined to become an ace reporter, she’s very smart and if she’d had more time with the Flash I’m sure she would’ve figured him out. Yes despite disguising his voice and vibrating his face to conceal his identity from her, there always seems to be a moment where Iris compares The Flash and Barry [which is ironic since they’re the same person]. She even told the Flash in 1x07 that his tardiness reminded her of Barry so I can imagine once Iris in on this secret she will have no problem identifying a Flash imposter or if evil were to manipulate him again. She knows Barry inside out; knows all his mannerism, traits and faults and their interactions as The Flash and Iris have demonstrated this as well as demonstrated the strength of their powerful connection to each other.   

 When Clark was replaced by the Bizarro in Smallville season 7 [who took over his life and his relationships] Lana didn’t give it a second thought to how different he was compared to the real Clark. First she didn’t know it was him and that is strange because by this time Clark and Lana had known each other for 7 years [on/off again dating as well as friendship]. Then when she accepted Phantom!Clark’s change of behavior [continuing their several month affair until Clark actually showed up] she then later told the real Clark to his face that she loved being with his Doppler more than him! She looked him in the eye and told him “it was easier Clark, he was more affectionate he was more understanding” then she admitted to being in love with Phantom!Clark before he was destroyed. Here is where we realize Lana is officially attracted to darkness. Before rekindling her toxic relationship with Clark in season 7 she had been with his former best friend Lex [who’d slowly started giving into his demons] for two years [season 5 and 6] prior before going back to Clark.

 Now you tell me does Iris strike you as a person who’s attracted to bad guys given how things ended up on Part 1 of Flarrow? She point blank told The Flash she didn’t want to be around him anymore simply because she realized he could be dangerous not only to her but those she cared for as well as the public. She saw his darkness for the first time, unknowingly she saw Barry’s bottled up anger for the first time and it terrified her. Do I believe she’ll give The Flash another chance? Yes but after what happened I don’t blame her at all for being resistant at this point. Iris needs time to cool off; Barry owes her that considering what he has been putting her through by lying to her. She’d also made a mistake of holding The Flash too high on a hero pedestal and didn’t fully comprehend the fact that he was also human too with real emotions and feelings. Iris is also a more patient, understanding person compared to Lana and she’s also forgiving. Once she learns Barry’s secret and the Flash redeems himself not just to her but his city, their bond will strengthen that much more whereas the Bizarro!Clana affair tore Clark and Lana apart much like the times red Kryptonite infected him.

 We also have to cut Iris some slack here because she has no idea about Barry’s other identity. He’s been lying to her to protect her but his actions are creating the exact opposite effect. Telling her the truth will cement WestAllen’s relationship and help it to grow but unlike this similar dilemma with Clana, Clark could never fully be honest with Lana about his secret because a part of him didn’t completely trust her. Barry wants to tell Iris the truth because he loves her and he does trust her but Clark always had doubts in his heart when it came to Lana [with every right considering all the shady sh*t she started doing from season 4-7]. Lana was also known to prejudge Clark for his faults which made her hypocritical because she is far from being perfect. Iris knows her limitations, she’s human and real and she strikes me as a person who’d admit to being wrong. She even displayed guilt with Eddie when he learns she’s been seeing The Flash in secret. And although Iris is very curious about her mysterious hero, she’s not intrusive the way Lana was with Clark demanding to know his secrets.

 In EVERY episode we’ve seen of the Flash so far Iris is oblivious to Barry’s powers but she also knows he’s hiding something from her and yet she hasn’t been in his face about it. She’s been patient and rational while for over 5 years on Smallville Lana kept threatening Clark with ultimatums to tell her his secrets or she would end things. That right there shows what little faith and understanding Lana had in Clark compared to Iris with Barry. Lana was also a very power crazed individual, its why she hooked up with billionaire Lex Luthor [endless resources, money and power at her disposal] and why her attraction to Clark felt so artificial the moment she learned about his abilities. She wanted to be like him or at least be more powerful than him. She didn’t want to accept her limitations she wanted more. And when Lana finally got her wish in season 8 as well as the episode Wrath in season 7 she used her power to do harm and not good which stands against everything Superman is about. Iris may be extremely curious about the Flash but in the Flarrow episode she witnessed firsthand that power can corrupt even the purest hearts which is why she decided to put distance between them for now.  Iris’s moral sense of right and wrong is very high compared to Lana.

 Iris West is very much like Lois Lane in terms of her morality and virtue. She is everything that is good and pure and like her hero The Flash she is the epitome of Light. This is why she is Barry’s soulmate and why Lana wasn’t Clark’s. Iris generates warmth and kindness while Lana generates darkness and inferiority. They stand for completely different belief systems. Lana as I said before was willing to kill on several occasions with the excuse of doing it in Clark’s name; that’s not love that’s selfishness, homicidal and immorality [EVERYTHING SUPERMAN STANDS AGAINSTS]. Iris isn’t a person that would cross that line to help someone she loves; after all she is a police officer’s daughter. She’s had a healthier upbringing compared to the damaged tortured girl-next-door Lana Lang.  And despite being out of the loop to Barry’s abilities Iris’s presence encourages the Flash’s superheroing, Lana kept holding Clark back from his destiny. Every time their relationship tried to go somewhere it took two steps back whereas Barry and Iris’s relationship just keeps progressing beautifully. Even the angst of WestAllen is progresses their relationship which was the complete opposite of Clana.

And do I need to explain how much healthier WestAllen’s relationship is compared to Clana?  Barry and Iris grew up together; they’re each other’s rock, they’ve been close for years, know every thing about each other, and can easily confide in one another [except when it comes to the accident or Barry’s abilities which I’m sure will pop up]. They’re also really playful and silly with each other and share wonderful sense of humor whereas Lana and Clark had ZERO of this in their relationship. I don’t think Lana ever made Clark laugh or was just plain goofy with him the way Iris and Barry are with each other. It also helps that Barry and Iris are more open compared to how guarded Clark and Lana were. And Iris supports Barry even if she doesn’t quite understand what he’s going through, she believes in him 100%. Lana hardly ever believed in Clark nor did she support him, in fact most of the time she expected him to support her [even if she made stupid choices]. Clark throughout the series as endlessly been trying to bail out of Lana’s messes and I know its early to judge with the Flash but Iris isn’t one to sit back and let someone else clean up her messes.


 And finally the chemistry between the actors in these ships. While I love Tom Welling and Kristen Kruek individually as actors, together they were an eyesore. It was fine in the earlier seasons 1-3 but after that they fizzled big time, mostly due to the fact that like Chole Sullivan Lana held back Clark from his destiny in becoming Superman. I also think the introduction of Erica Durance’s Lois Lane helped blow major hole’s in Clana’s ship because her chemistry with Tom was insanely awesome! When it comes to Grant Gustin and Candice Patton on The Flash, we haven’t even scratched the surface of their potential as a couple but already 8 episodes in and we’ve seen them be adorable, flirty, angsty and sexy as hell [rooftop scene in 1x05 anyone??]. Their chemistry together is natural, genuine and mesmerizing; with time it’ll be just as magical as Olicity on Arrow mark my words but at the same time it’s an entirely different dynamic. I think Grant’s going to be learning more than crime fighting from his offscreen hero and friend Stephen in terms of superhero romancing because so far he’s got the longing sad puppy look down pat.  

 I don’t know who started the Clana/WestAllen comparisons but I don’t see it at all. Iris is NOTHING like Lana nor is she anything like Laurel. Iris loves Barry wholly and will grow to love him even more once she’s in the loop. Laurel and Lana are self-destructive individuals who share no belief in the men they claim to love nor have they proven their devotion or loyalty to them. Laurel despised Arrow and Oliver once he returned after 5 years of Hell [she almost had his mother get the death penalty and tried to have him put down as Arrow] and Lana either pushed Clark away or manipulated him to fulfil her personal agenda. These women are cold and vial and absolutely several yards away from being close to the loving spirit that Iris is.

 On that note I’ll leave you to absorb this information with this little gem ^__^

FYI the above gif spells ENDGAME.

sv!clois before they were ever a couple
  • seen each other naked
  • made out multiple times (not that they knew it lol)
  • crashed a wedding
  • lois got possessed once and almost slept with clark
  • lois got possessed another time and almost ripped out clark’s heart
  • that’s not a metaphor. she was literally going to pull out his heart lol
  • lived together
  • twice
  • lois wore his shirt the day after they met, and many times after
  • the first thing bizarro!clark did was cop of feel of lois’s ass
  • then she slapped him lol
  • went to another dimension together
  • lois went to the future once and banged clark 
  • clark went to the future once and made out with lois 
  • went to high school together
  • went to prom together
  • lois stopped clark from killing someone in a rage
  • clark held lois when she came down from being a zombie
  • after a conversation at the barn with lois, clark literally saw two stars collide. LITERALLY. THE STARS COLLIDED.
  • lois found him naked in a field, aka story of clark’s life