Irene was originally the sympathetic antagonist of Sherlock Holmes in the short story A Scandal in Bohemia. Since her entry onto the Sueniverse, she retained her original characterization as seductive and intelligent, but became primarily a tragic heroine.
Her Sueniverse infamy comes from that last part- she is known as possibly the unluckiest character on the board. This comes mostly from her author's habit of saying "Sure!" every time someone suggests some new disaster to throw in her path.
Lauren Bacall as Irene Adler
Described as having 'a face that a man would die for' in the original story, Irene's beauty is the first thing many notice about her. With auburn hair and black eyes, she retains a vaugely ethnic look about her, appropriate for a Jewish girl from America. Unlike most sues, she is a contralto, and played the part of the sorceress Karlana in the opera "La Magia Felice" (also known as Snakes in an Opera.) In addition to being a singer and actress, she also engages in crime-solving from time to time.
Irene came to the Opera Populair in an attempt to begin her life anew. She slept with Francis and Raoul, then began to seriously see Francis. During this time, she met Dracula in the halls, but didn't think anything of it.
When she stumbled upon the body of Theodore Laurence and realized that the police didn't care about it, she solved the murder herself (while being given no help at all by his ghost.) When she found that Raoul had killed him, believing him to have raped Arielle, she handed him over despite having some lingering feelings.
Because of her skills in solving the mystery, Sydney forced Irene to help her blackmail Raoul, threatening to kill Francis if she didn't. Because of this, Irene ended up slightly injured in a fight caused by Raoul's evil twin. While in the hospital, she was kidnapped by Dracula, who had become obsessed with her since their first meeting. He dragged her back to his castle, where he brutally raped her. She was rescued by Dr. Macartney and Sydney, who felt responsible for the events.
Upon telling Francis, he attempted to kill Dracula, and was made a vampire for his efforts. Irene became pregnant by Dracula, and put the child up for adoption, so that the daughter would never be hurt by her father. (This daughter would grow to be Roxanna, a dhampir dominatrix and the living stereotype of a man-hating lesbian.) After this, she proposed to Francis, and the two were married. Dracula attacked her on their wedding night, but was driven off by Nadir, who was conveniently visiting about something else.
Raoul made a pass at Irene, thinking her bruises (from Dracula) had been inflicted by her husband. Francis believed that Irene was having an affair with him, and she attempted suicide. She survived and got back together with her husband, who was then murdered by one of Dracula's minions.
While in mourning, she once again met Sherlock Holmes, who was in Paris after faking his death. She was kidnapped from Francis' funeral, and was taken back to Dracula's castle. During her time there, she was raped by Dracula, his wife Elisabeta, and his father Genghis Khan. Irene once again attempted suicide, and was visited by Francis' ghost.
She was rescued by Holmes and Sweeney Todd, whom she had appeared to in a dream. She was attacked by Dracula after her escape, but was protected by Holmes. At Sydney's suggestion, she went to therapy with Hannibal Lecter. Unlike everyone else, she realized that he was a serial killer. He attacked her (stabbing her while making what sounded like sexual innuendos), but she shot him before fainting from blood loss. Both survived, and Hannibal was arrested.
After recovering, she and Sherlock Holmes began to fall in love, after Dracula lied to her and said that Francis' ghost had been him all along. Dracula then began to attack her in her dreams. Despite all he has done to her, Dracula told Irene that he really did love her.
Against their better judgment, Irene and Holmes eventually slept together. (She also had a one night stand with Sweeney Todd in the Vegas thread, which did not count as canon.) Helplessly in love, and unaware of Francis' resurrection, they attempted to flee together to England. They were stopped on the way by the android replication of Holmes' old nemesis, Moriarty. A fight ensued, in which Irene discovered her husband was alive, Moriarty's replicant was revealed, and Irene was shot.
While being treated for shock due both to her shooting and to the discovery that she had been unfaithful to her husband, Irene was driven mad by Doctor Crane. She developed Multiple Personality Syndrome, with an evil expression of her Id occasionally taking over her.
The Clone (and Vampire) Saga
Though Irene eventually recovered, there was still a matter or romantic loose ends to be cleaned up. In came the ever-helpful mad scientist Magenta, who had been feeling sorry for Francis and decided that the most sensible solution to a love triangle was to clone the apex. This resulted in two clones (it was suppose to be one, but Magenta made a small mistake), resulting in three forms of Irene all of whom are involved with different men and none of whom know about each other. Their exploits can be summed up as follows:
Clone A: Returned to Francis, waiting long nights for him to be returned by kidnappers and providing him with the blood to survive.
Clone B: Ran off with Sweeney Todd, and has probably the closest to a happy ending that she will ever get (which is saying something, considering that she still doesn't know he is a serial killer.) By agreement of Mira and Hallie, their life together is imagined to be something close to a very dark sitcom, with Sweeney constantly trying to keep her from finding the bodies he hides around the house.
Original Irene: Went to live with Sherlock Holmes, and continued to live a miserable and melodramatic life. Upon recovery she became something of a recluse, though at Holmes' urging she went back to work at the Opera, playing Siebel in Faust (and attempting to fight off dreams inoling Marc Warren Dracula). He also went to work, with Irene's assistance hunting down the mysterious Erik Destler (Robert Englund's Phantom) and seemingly defeating him for good.
Sadly, this moment of triumph led to possibly the most horrible moment in either Holmes or Irene's life- Destler took possession of Holmes' body. When Irene realized something was wrong, he assaulted her using her lover's body, all the while forcing Holmes to feel everything he was doing. Irene fled afterwards, contemplating suicide again but instead allowing a vampire (the Waxwork Count) to finally turn her. Holmes plunged back into his old cocaine habit, and when they reunited both were much the worse for wear.
With Irene having fallen nearly as far as it was possible to go, the Waxwork Count took pity on her. Knowing that she would never love him (or any of the other Draculas on the Verse), he used his powers against her one last time- to remove his blood from her and grant her peace from her troubles. This meant that she would remember nothing from her time in Paris, neither the good times nor the all too frequent bad ones.
Her last words before the amnesia were "Tell him I love him", referring to Holmes.
Afterwards, Irene finally returned to being the woman she was before she left England- flirtatious and resourceful, if perhaps a bit vengeful- before leaving France once and for all.
Portrayed by the actress Lauren Bacall, and written by Mira, Irene reflects the film noir sensibilities of both, with her penchant for solving mysteries and her dangerous sexuality. Her conflict with Dracula also seems to have been influenced by the characters of Mina Harker from Dracula and Lucy Barker from Sweeney Todd.
Irene is a curious mixture of damsel in distress and heroine. Although victimized by Dracula and his cohorts, she is also clearly a strong woman and proto-feminist. As seen in her killing of Dracula's minion who attempted to assault her, she is not primarily weak.
Irene's three main ships are Francis/Irene ("Francene"), Dracula/Irene ("Draculene"), and Irene/Sherlock (either "Sherlene" or "Irock"). Francis and Irene are noted for their pure and innocent love, Dracula and Irene for their angst-ridden erotic battles, and Sherlock and Irene for their smoldering chemistry and intellectual partnership- as well as for being from the same literary source.