|“||I know that, darling. But... But I know a lot of other things now. Things I think I've been trying to put aside, to postpone... Something a lot like growing up, perhaps. The Psycho-Man did more than twist my emotions. He forced me to look into the deepest corners of my soul, forced me to confront who I am, what have I become. When we rocketed into the cosmic ray belt, when we gained our powers, we lost something. An innocence. A child-like naivety. For a long time I've tried to go on as if we're still the same people we used to be, As if I was still the same. But I'm not. Not after all that's happened to us. Not after what the Psycho-Man did to me. There is no Invisible-Girl anymore, Reed. She died when the Psycho-Man twisted her soul. From now on, I am the Invisible Woman!||„|
|~ Susan Storm.|
|“||We of the Fantastic Four did not choose to be "super-heroes". We are just ordinary people who fate selected to be more than human. Unfortunately, or fortunately, we did not lose our human foibles when we gained our powers.||„|
|~ The Invisible Woman.|
Susan Storm-Richards, better known to the public as the Invisible Woman, is a fictional character and superheroine from Marvel comics and universe. She is the girlfriend and later wife of the autistic Mr. Fantastic as well as the sister of the Human Torch, and assists them and her friend The Thing in stopping threats to New York, most prominently Doctor Doom.
She is the more down-to-earth of the group and often acts a bit like a mother figure, keeping the others from causing too much trouble with their bickering and also trying to get Reed to stop being quite so "nerdy" and enjoy life a little. She is fiercely protective of her friends and views the Fantastic Four as her family, any villain foolish enough to provoke her quickly learns this fact - and Susan is no push over, being one of the most powerful members of the team.
She was created by the late Stan Lee and the late Jack Kirby, and first appeared in Marvel Comics' Fantastic Four # 1 in 1961.
- 1 Background
- 2 Biography
- 3 Powers and Abilities
- 4 Personality and Character Development
- 5 Portrayals
- 6 Quotes
- 7 Trivia
- 8 External Links
- 9 Navigation
Sue was originally just Reed's girl. In fact she first fell for him before finishing puberty, and slowly grew into his life. Her initial powers seemed to just be invisibility, but after some much needed growth and practice, that was upgraded into "projecting" that invisibility into force fields.
Sue is fiercely devoted to the family around her, but that often can rub shoulders with Ben on his grumpier days, and she's more often annoyed at her brother Johnny's antics sometimes as well. And don't get her started on the frustrations she can have with her now husband over spending quality time with the family. Despite the rough patches though, Sue will do whatever it takes to ensure the world and her home is kept safe.
Susan Storm was born in Glenville, Long Island, New York, to Dr. Franklin and May Storm, and older sister to Jonathan Storm. The family lived peacefully on Long Island until May died in an automobile accident, and Franklin was unable to save her. He became dependent on alcohol, and gambled away the families' fortune, forcing his children to live with their aunt, Marygay Jewel Dickins, who ran a boardinghouse. There, Susan would fall in love with Reed Richards, and followed him to California, and tried to break into the show business. However, her occupation of a model was retconned, and became a brilliant scientist in her youth, and obtained her doctorate.
Becoming the Invisible Woman
When Reed decided to launch his prototype ship when the government took away his funding, Susan agreed to join him, Reed's best friend Ben Grimm, and her brother, Johnny, to test it. Reed made a vital mistake, forgetting to place shield against cosmic rays when going into space. The four were hit with cosmic rays, and were able to survive by crashing into a forest. The group learned of their powers from the cosmic rays, with Susan learning she can turn invisible, and they became the Fantastic Four.
Despite becoming heroes, Susan would spend time keeping the team together, as Reed spent much of his time in the lab, Ben moped around due to his rock appearance, and Johnny acted like a young teenager. Though Sue believed her powers were useless against villains such as Doctor Doom, she acted as the voice of reason, and would keep the team from breaking. Though she was the spokesperson of the team, she would encounter resistance in the early 1960s, so Reed took the job. Feeling discontent on the team, she found herself attracted to Namor McKenzie, but she ended the relationship after Namor abducted her in an attempt to persuade her to be his queen.
Sue soon discovered her new powers, as she could turn objects invisible and project and manipulate powerful force fields. Although unable to perform offensive abilities on par with Ben, she could defend herself from most threats. When the Super-Skrull attacked one day, he impersonated Sue and Johnny's father, Franklin, but they exposed him. The skull strapped a bomb to the real Franklin's chest, and their father sacrificed his own life to save them. A trip to the Skrull home world and the death of warlord Morrat, the Skull who authorized Franklin's murder, brought some measure of revenge to the siblings.
Sue and Reed eventually married in a wedding ceremony attended by most of the world's heroes, and she became pregnant with his child. The pregnancy was a difficult one, with the Inhuman Crystal taking her place on the team. At the last moment to save the unborn child, the group visited the Negative Zone to borrow the Cosmic Control Rod of Annihilus. Eventually, Sue gave birth to her son, Franklin, who was named after her late father, but the child manifested strong and unusual powers.
When Annihilus kidnapped Franklin and triggered those powers, he turned Sue and Reed's son into a living bomb and caused his powers to increase uncontrollably. However, Franklin threatened to wipe out all life in the solar system with his psychic blast, leaving Reed with no choice but to inhibit Franklin's higher brain functions in order to defuse him. This was the last straw for Sue's relationship with Reed, and left him and took Franklin with her, taking a hiatus from the team. During this, the Inhuman Medusa took her place on the team, but the old bonds drew Susan back on the team and rekindle her relationship with Mister Fantastic. Franklin was restored to normal soon after, and the Richards family and the Fantastic Four were back together once more.
During an extended trip to the Negative Zone, she conceived another child during a second honeymoon. Seeking some peace for this pregnancy, Sue convinced Reed to move to the Connecticut suburbs, where they posed as the Benjamins. The unborn daughter began to give off radiation, and despite the efforts of Mister Fantastic and other experts, the girl was apparently stillborn. When the symbiote escaped from the Baxter Building with the help of Kristoff Vernard, the symbiote tried to possess Franklin. The symbiote fought the Fantastic Four while possessing Reed's body, and possessed Sue in order to get to Franklin, but he was able to reject the symbiote thanks to his father and Spider-Man's help.
Sue's negative emotions and fragile self-control was taken advantage of by Psycho-Man, and he amplified them to become Malice. As Malice, she had all of her powers, but none of her restraint and attacked the Fantastic Four. Reed helped her throw off Psycho-Man's influence, but she lost control again when they confronted the villain. She turned his own Control Box on him, which shorted out his nervous system, and nearly killed Psycho-Man; which caused Sue to change her name to the Invisible Woman. In addition, she discovered how to use force objects, and in the long term, she lost a measure of self-confidence (as she knew that Malice still lurked inside her).
Sue left the team again, this time with Reed to spend time with their son, who had regained his faculties and needed full-time mentoring. They worked part-time with the Avengers for a while, and helped the Silver Surfer resuscitate Galactus, during which Sue came in contact with the Infinity Gems. Distrustful of such power, she fell prey to Malice again, and the soul gem failed to combine Reed and Sue's souls, which brought forth the In-Betweener and sent Malice back to Sue's subconscious. The Fantastic Four pulled them back, and during the Infinity War, Susan had to confront her doppelganger, and incorporate its evil into herself, which allowed Malice to regain control temporarily.
Reed's father Nathaniel abducted Franklin to the future, claiming that his presence in the timeline would lead to destruction. Nathaniel raised Franklin for years, training him to be a warrior and master his super powers. Franklin returned back to his time as a teenager, and named himself Psi-Lord, and wielded vast psionic powers. During this time, Sue struggled against Malice's influence, inevitable losing ground, leading Psi-Lord to draw Malice's essence into himself. However, Psi-Lord somewhat was removed from the Fantastic Four's time and was replaced by the child Franklin, as he had been at the time that Nathaniel had abducted him.
Leading the Team
When Reed disappeared after being apparently killed by Doctor Doom, Sue became leader of the Fantastic Four, and recruited Scott Lang to take over Reed's role. Sue quickly grew into her new responsibilities, and now a widow, she fended off many suitors, especially Namor. Susan never gave up looking for Reed, and found him stranded in the past, but it was a bittersweet reunion, as Reed was threatened by Sue's newfound competence and confidence. In addition, Reed's time in isolation left him severely traumatized, paranoid, and indecisive, although he soon realized he was foolish of being threatened.
Upon return, Namor realized that he still had feelings for Sue, and assaulted her in an attempt to "claim her, but Reed fended him off. Then the whole team appeared to die, in the final battle with Onslaught, who had kidnapped Franklin. Instead, the team and the Avengers found themselves on Counter-Earth, in a pocket universe Franklin had created to save them. In a sense, they had been reborn and had to start their lives over. Once the heroes on Counter-Earth realized what happened, they returned to their original homes.
During the team's reality warping conflict with the cosmic being named Abraxas, Franklin revealed that he used his powers to rescue Sue's seemingly stillborn second child years earlier. The child had been raised in an alternate future to become the Marvel Girl (Valeria Von Doom) who was now an ally of the present-day Fantastic Four, but she was restored to her original state, as an unborn child in Sue's womb after Abraxas's defeat. This time, Sue's pregnancy resulted in the birth of a healthy baby girl, christened Valeria in memory of Doctor Doom's first love, as Doom insisted on naming the child in exchange for assisting with the difficult birth.
To help Johnny become more responsible, Sue forced him to become the business manager for Fantastic Four, Inc., and he gradually grew into the position. Despite helping the birth of Valeria, Doom's favor had strings attached, and used his special bond with her as a focus to cast spells against the team. Doom defeated them, captured all four, tossed Franklin into Hell, abducted Valeria, and tortured Ben, Johnny, and Sue while Reed listened helplessly. Despite his success, Doom's own hubris led to his downfall, as his infernal patrons dragged him to the underworld of Haazareth. Prior to being dragged to Hell, Doom seemingly, and permanently, scarred Reed's face.
The four were left traumatized by these events, as Sue struggled to heal her son, who had lost the ability to speak after being tortured in Hell. With Doom gone, Reed claimed Latveria in the name of the four and began dismantling the villain's arsenal. Though the international community saw it a test of sovereignty and protested, Reed made his invasion ensure that Doom was permanently defeated and ensure his family's safety. Reed then constructed an inescapable trap that Doom fell into upon his return, but due to the others not knowing, they others burst in to save Reed, and in an attempt to escape, Doom possessed Sue, then Ben.
Ben temporarily broke free of Doom's control long enough to beg Reed to kill him, as Doom had possessed Ben and threatened to break him in two if Reed did not murder his best friend. Reed complied in killing Ben as he didn't want to be responsible for Johnny's death. While Johnny wept and Sue comforted him, Reed spent the next hour frantically trying to resuscitate Ben, but to no avail. Sue did her best to comfort her husband, but he was too lost in his grief and guilt to forgive himself. In addition, she attempted to mend fences between Reed and Johnny, who was struggling to forgive Reed for Bens' death. Eventually, Reed convinced Sue and Johnny to follow him into Heaven, where they succeeded in returning Ben to life.
To avoid charges of treason for his invasion of Latveria, Reed gave up most of his patents and thus most of his income, and took a job working for a top secret military project in an attempt to restore their lost fortune. Later on, a business manager swindled the four of their fortunes, and penniless once more, they took regular jobs and lived in regular homes, and Sue became a teacher. She was forced to fend off Namor when he arrived and attempted to carry her off to Atlantis once again, but Reed came to her rescue, and helped her defeat him. During this time, Sue was also trained in martial arts under the Immortal Iron Fist.
Reed eventually revealed that he had allowed the loss of their fortune to occur because he wanted to give them back the normal lives , and believed they lost because of his failure to protect them. With few regrets, the four returned to their former lives, but a band of aliens who were survivors of Galactus, came to Earth to neutralize Susan.
The aliens had developed a planetary cloaking device, and only Susan could help Galactus bypass their device. Reed used another device that, as far as the aliens could tell, removed her powers; instead, it traded Sue and Johnny's powers. The immediate threat over, Reed reversed the trade, and as a "reward" for derailing the cloak project, Galactus made Johnny his new herald for a short time, and an aftereffect of Johnny's power cosmic removed everyone's powers temporarily.
The Civil War split the team once again, as Sue and Johnny were against the Superhuman Registration Act, but Reed wasn't. Though Sue and Johnny joined the Secret Avengers, a resistance against the act, they became horrified over how Thor's clone, Ragnarok, killed Goliath. Nick Fury provided both of them fake IDs as a husband and wife, much to their chagrin, and stayed to fight the others.
During the final battle, however, Reed shielded Sue from a bullet fired by the Taskmaster and was severely wounded. She retaliated by using a force field to pound Taskmaster into the group, and she help clean up New York in the aftermath of the war, and along with the Secret Avengers, was granted amnesty. Afterward, Sue and Reed reconciled and together, they took a short hiatus from the team to work on their marriage.
Powers and Abilities
As her name implies, the Invisible Woman can turn herself and others invisible at will - she can also form a number of force-fields around herself and others that can be used for defense or as a means of attack, or even both. She is also a fairly experienced hand to hand combatant with such notable mentors as She-Hulk and Iron Fist, and is a capable leader when she has to be.
As a result of the cosmic rays interacting with the cells in her body, Sue has the mental ability to manipulate ambient cosmic energy for a variety of effects.
- Invisibility: Susan can render herself and other objects wholly or partially invisible by bending visible, infrared, and ultraviolet light.
- Colour Manipulation: Sue also has the ability to manipulate the interactions of light waves to seemingly change the color of objects.
- Cosmic Ray Awareness: Susan's eyes can detect cosmic rays and thus in effect she can see invisible objects.
- Her power allows her also to make invisible objects visible again.
- Psionic Force Fields: and the construction of solid, invisible force fields. The cells of her brain produce a potent manifestation that allow her to project a field of psionic force. This allows her to manipulate them into a number of relatively simple forms: rectangular planes, cylinders, globes, domes, cones, etc. She can visualize and project objects based on her imagination, as her smallest force field was a marble. Additionally, Susan is capable of generating and manipulating multiple force fields simultaneously.
- Shockwaves: She is capable of using her force fields as shock waves, hitting her opponents with the force capable of hurting Titania.
- Flight: Using her forcefields Susan can propel herself and others through the air.
- Telepathic Defense: Her forcefields shield her mind from telepathic influence.
- Explosions: By creating an invisible construct within and object and then expanding it quickly, Susan can create powerful explosions.
- Genius Intelligence: Sue shows herself to be highly intelligent, and succeeded in getting her doctorate in her youth. Susan's high intelligence is a later retcon; originally Susan had a normal level of intelligence. The Ultimate Invisible Woman (Earth-1610) and the movie versions were all geniuses.
- Leadership: When Reed was seemingly killed by Doctor Doom, Sue took the mantle of leading the team, and proved herself to be very capable. As a result of leading the Fantastic Four, she became more confident, and would become a great leader when Reed wasn't there.
- Martial Artist: Sue was trained in martial arts by the Immortal Iron Fist, and was later trained by The Thing and She-Hulk, making her a expert combatant.
- Modeling and Acting: In her youth Susan was an aspiring actress and model.
- Teaching: Susan has acted as a teacher.
Personality and Character Development
While always characterized as willing to give of herself to help others in important matters, Sue is originally portrayed as catty and shallow in non-life-and-death scenarios, such as her personal life. In her earliest incarnations, sue is a flashy drama-queen concerned with fashion, social acceptance and shopping. Reportedly Sue, like the rest of the Fantastic Four, was supposed to be flawed and feel more human than the too-good-to-be-true Paragon figures, Lee had been commissioned to write. Lee's characterization of Sue was to intentionally petty, to show that despite having a good heart, she was still subject to everyday social trappings. Sue and Reed were originally just dating, but were always intended to end up married and so Lee intentionally wrote them as an old married couple even from conception. After marriages and further characterization, Lee would actually let his wife Joan Boocock Lieber, influence the character; Sue became much less shallow but he kept her concern with public appearance and preferences for shopping and fashion, but saw to it she was grew out of being obsessed with materialism. Sue's original characterization was actually supposed to be opposed to her powers like all the Fantastic Four - a showy attention grabber, whose power was becoming unseen.
Relaunches and Reboots tend to do-away with Lee's original shallow nature for The Invisible Woman completely. Though Sue does still tend to be the most concerned of her team with Public Relations and calls out her team such as the absurd implications of some of Mr. Fantastic's experiments for society, The Human Torch's careless stunts as a private citizen or the damage the Thing could do/has done, if he gives into his inner frustrations with his super-strength as a factor. Sue Richards's underlining desire to help others to the point at cost to herself has not changed however. Whether characterized as flashy-glamor-queen, no-nonsense lab-tech, or constantly overworked P.R. rep, Sue has always been willing to drop her mundane everyday concerns to help those in need, to the point she considers sacrificing ones life to save the public at large a naturally logical conclusion anyone should be willing to make. Though Reed Richard's characterization has changed as well over the years, one of the few things all but "Ultimate" Reed Richards, have had in common, are they are willing to pull themselves back from potentially dangerous experiments on Sue's advice/concerns.
- In the 1994 film, she was portrayed by Rebecca Staab
- In the 2005 film and its sequel, Rise of the Silver Surfer, she was portrayed by Jessica Alba.
- In the 2015 film, she was portrayed by Kate Mara.
- In the 1967 series, she was voiced by Jo Ann Pflug.
- In the 1978 series, she was voiced by the late Ginny Tyler.
- In the 1994 series, she was voiced by Lori Alan, who voices Pearl Krabs in Spongebob Squarepants.
- In the 1994 Spider-Man tv series, she was voiced by Gail Matthius.
- In Fantastic Four: World's Greatest Heroes, she was voiced by Lara Gilchrist, who also voiced Emma Frost in Astonishing X-Men.
- In The Super Hero Squad Show, she was voiced by Tara Strong, who also voiced Timmy Turner in The Fairly OddParents, Ben Tennyson in the Ben 10 series, Twilight Sparkle in the My Little Pony series, Injustice Harley Quinn, and DC Super Hero Girls Harley Quinn.
- Tara Strong would voice the character again in Marvel Super Hero Squad, Marvel Super Hero Squad: The Infinity Gauntlet, and Marvel Super Hero Squad: Comic Combat.
- In The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes, she was voiced by Erin Torpey, who also voices Aurora in other media, Athena in God of War: Chains of Olympus, God of War: Ghost of Sparta and God of War III.
- Torpey would voice the character again in Marvel Heroes
- In The Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H. episode "Monsters No More", she was voiced by Kari Wahlgren, who also voiced Dorothy Gale in other media, Mina Monroe in Bunnicula, Starfire in Injustice 2, Kitana in Mortal Kombat 11, Jill Valentine in Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds and Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3, Gwen Stacy, and Mary Jane Watson.
- Wahlgren would voice the character in Lego Marvel Super Heroes.
- In the 2005 video game based on the film, she was voiced by Jessica Alba, but her classic form was voiced by Grey DeLisle, who also voices Daphne Blake in the Scooby-Doo series, Sam Manson in Danny Phantom, Mandy in The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy, Frankie Foster in Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends, Batman: Arkham Catwoman, Lola Loud, Luna Loud, and Lily Loud in The Loud House, and many others.
- DeLisle would voice the character again in Marvel Super Hero Squad Online.
- In Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, she was voiced by Erin Matthews.
- In Marvel: Ultimate Alliance, she as voiced by Danica McKellar, who reprised her role in the sequel, and also voiced Judy Jetson in other media.
- Ranked 40th by IGN on "The Top 50 Avengers".
- Ranked 66th greatest comic book hero of all time by IGN.
- Ranked 85th in Comic Buyer's Guide's "100 Sexiest Woman in Comics" list.
- Ranked the 99th greatest comic book character of all time by Wizard Magazine.
- The powers of the Fantastic Four are based on one of the four elements, with Susan's being air.