Irma was the ex-wife of Diet Smith and the mother of Brilliant Smith. She was a tall woman with light hair and eyes, and seemed to have a case of exotropia, a condition that makes the eyes drift outward (the opposite of being cross-eyed). She was missing part of the ring finger on her left hand.
Irma had been married to Diet Smith, and they had a son - Brilliant. The marriage ended before Brilliant was born, and Irma took Brilliant away from Diet. She did not tell the boy who his father was. She got married again, this time to a man named Herman, whom Brilliant was raised to believe was his father.
Despite the apparent ill-will, Irma continued to work in the research and development laboratory at Diet Smith Industries. She had some skill as an engineer and inventor, as did Brilliant. Irma provided Brilliant with his own private laboratory (on a boat, so as to avoid land-based interference), and would take his inventions to her job as if they were her own.
The Wrist Radio Plot[edit | edit source]
Brilliant developed the 2-Way Wrist Radio and the Atom Light (accidentally leaving himself permanently blind in the process). Irma saw the potential for great monetary gain in these inventions, and she developed a scheme to take credit for them. She brought the Radio and Light to Diet Smith Industries, where they went through the normal (though secret) development process.
Irma and Herman then murdered Diet Smith's business partner and planted the body in Smith's home, to make it appear as though Smith has committed the murder. Their plan was that while Smith would be tried and convicted of the crime, thus allowing Irma to claim credit for the inventions in her own name.
The plot was discovered due to the involvement of B.O. Plenty and Dick Tracy, forcing Irma and Herman to prepare to flee the city with Brilliant on their boat-based laboratory. Knowing that they would need supplies, Irma sent Herman to steal from one of Diet Smith's warehouses. Herman was killed in the attempt.
Seeing her plans fall apart, Irma's only remaining goal was revenge against Diet Smith. She gained access to Smith's home and shot him while he was in his bathtub. She then turned the gun on herself. Smith was rescued by B.O. Plenty and survived. Diet Smith then took Brilliant into his home and treated him like a son, though he never told Brilliant the truth about his parentage.
Notes[edit | edit source]
- In her first appearance, Irma was identified at her workplace as "Miss Irma". This was never treated as an indication that Irma was her last name.