Portrayed by Lucy Lawless
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Irene Merryweather is a mutant and reporter who was trained in the Askani tradition by Esther Morrow.
Name: Irene Merryweather
First appearance: Heretics
Family: Parents, brother (deceased)
Irene's mutation first emerged when she was thirteen and in a car accident with her older brother, an energy-projector; when she tried to pull him out of the car, he died in her arms and she accidentally took on his powers. The experience sent her into an emotional tailspin and a cycle of self-destructive behaviour that ended only when Esther Morrow, who'd seen her in a precognitive vision, showed up at her parents' door a year later. She spent several months living in San Francisco with Esther and Saul; ironically, it was Gideon who helped her most in gaining a proper understanding of her powers. But when he started to talk about getting her involved in one of the projects that came out of the VULCAN think-tank, Esther acted first, moving the girl and her family and changing their names so Gideon couldn't find them.
Esther stayed in close contact with Irene, who eagerly absorbed everything her mentor told her about the Askani even as she embarked on her career as a freelance journalist specializing in mutant-related stories. In the end, Irene became the heart and soul of Esther's small network of neo-Askani , a small group of believers who worked to dismantle Gideon's work. She was with Esther in Tel Aviv just before her death, and promised her mentor on her deathbed that she would never contact Nathan; Esther didn't want him manipulated any further, no matter what happened.
When Trask began to put her plans into action, Irene moved to counter her, but when those plans extended to the attempted kidnapping of Nathan, Irene broke her promise to Esther in order to protect her mentor's son.
Irene's mutation is from the same basic category as that of Gideon or Marius. She absorbs powers - in her case, energy-projection only. She can take only one ability at a time, and only if she has physical contact at the moment of the other mutant's death. Taking on an ability is very hard on her system - she's done it only twice, prior to her encounter with Moses, and she's been warned that doing it too often may have serious long-term health consequences for her. Her mutation is borderline maladaptive.
PB: Lucy Lawless
Formerly socked by Alicia