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Comic Book / Invisible Woman

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"You're pathetic. One of the best minds on the planet and you waste it for years, doing magic tricks - then trying to best a man who'd never really harm you, despite your endless provocation. But that's the difference between my husband and me. He doesn't understand revenge. Me? I can't decide which of the many ways I can hurt you I'm going to use."
Sue threatening The Wizard

Susan "Sue" Storm-Richards, better known as the Invisible Woman (previously the Invisible Girl), is a Marvel Comics character created by Jack Kirby and Stan Lee, first appearing in The Fantastic Four #1 (dated Nov. 1961).

If the Fantastic Four can be considered the "first family" of the Marvel Universe, then Sue Storm is their first lady. While she's not technically the first female superhero created by the company note , Sue was the only one with any sort of substantial focus for quite some time. By comparison, Jean Grey hit the scene nearly two years after Sue's introduction, though many think she didn't hit her own stride until The '70s.

Sue, alongside the rest of the F4, is a classic case of Silver Age science fiction. While on an expedition in outer space, Sue —with her younger brother Johnny, boyfriend Dr. Reed Richards, and his friend Ben Grimm— experienced cosmic radiation, gaining invisibility (and later, force fields) as a result. With them, she became a founding member of the Fantastic Four, using their powers for the betterment of humanity.


In the following decades since her superhero genesis, Sue goes through lots of character development, including (but not limited to) marrying Reed, becoming a mother, and being tasked with the reconstruction of the multiverse. Oh, and a secret agent. She also notably transitions from being the Invisible Girl to the Invisible Woman, which is reflected by a mixture of her increase in confidence and self-esteem and, after being possessed by Malice, a feeling that she's lost her innocence.

As one of Marvel's first family, Sue has obviously appeared quite frequently in other media. She's been a leading character of every Fantastic Four movie made to date, most notably portrayed by Jessica Alba and Kate Mara in their 2005 and 2015 film adaptations.

Not to be confused with The Invisible Woman, a spinoff of the classic horror film The Invisible Man (1933).


The Invisible Woman appears in:

     Notable Comic Books 
  • Fantastic Four (various runs):
    • vol. 1 (1961 — 1996, 2002 — 2012, 2015)
    • vol. 2 (1996 — 1997)
    • vol. 3 (1998 — 2003)
    • vol. 4 (2013 — 2014)
    • vol. 5 (2014 — 2015)
    • vol. 6 (2018 — present)
  • FF vol. 1 (2011 — 2012)
  • Secret Wars vol. 2 (2015 — 2016)
  • Invisible Woman (2019)



     Video Games 

The Invisible Woman provides examples of:

  • Action Girl: She's generally portrayed as the strongest member of the team these days. Doctor Doom is more afraid of her than he is of The Thing.
  • Action Mom: She is a mother of two, and still the strongest member of the four. Do not hurt her children if you know what's good for you.
  • Amazonian Beauty: Some comics and other media depictions show Sue with a good bit of muscle. Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order, in particular, shows her as being absolutely RIPPED!
  • Alliterative Name: Before she got married, anyway. Susan "Sue" Storm.
  • Awesome Mc Coolname: Again, Susan Storm.
  • Badass Family: She's related to two of the Fantastic Four, being the older sister of Human Torch and wife of Mister Fantastic. In many continuities, her and Reed's children eventually become superheroes themselves.
  • Barrier Warrior: As a veteran superhero, she's gotten quite good at using her forcefields offensively, such as threatening to use them to create a brain embolism/aneurysm at one point.
  • Battle Couple: With Reed Richards, both of them being one of Marvel Comics' most prominent examples of this trope.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: During the Civil War storyline, she confronted Reed about his pro-registration stance and Reed stated that he did it all to protect Sue. Sue then proceeded to send an invisible column above and below all 35 floors of the Baxter building and asked Reed if she looked like she needed protection.
    • She's also Reed's ace in the hole in the run up to Secret Wars (2015), playing Captain America and his supporters into thinking that she's on their side in the hunt for the Illuminati, then almost casually imprisoning him and his Mighty Avengers (a team including several powerhouses, including Blue Marvel) and Bobby Da Costa's Avengers World team (also including several powerhouses) in individual cube-like fields.
  • Big Sister Instinct: Towards Johnny.
  • Blue Is Heroic: She wears the same blue uniform that her team mates wear and her constructs are sometimes drawn as bluiesh-white.
  • Boobs of Steel: She is a powerful heroine and also one of the most stacked women in the Marvel Universe.
  • Brother–Sister Team: She and younger brother Johnny are half of the Fantastic Four.
  • Character Development: Went from the team's resident Damsel in Distress to a confident, nigh-unstoppable badass.
  • Cleavage Window: She had one, shaped like the figure 4, in her Stripperific 1990s outfit. On more than one occasion has it been pointed out the physical improbability of maintaining the appearance of a number 4 in such a manner.
  • Combo Platter Powers: Invisibilty and creating objects made out of invisible material.
  • Cool Big Sis: To Johnny.
  • Custom Uniform: Early on, Sue experimented with a miniskirt variation that didn't last. Then came the Stripperific outfit in the 90s, followed by a more modest variation.
  • Deadpan Snarker: She's nowhere near as snarky as Ben or even Johnny, but she's definitely a lot more deadpan than either of them.
  • Deadly Force Field: Sue Storm is the poster girl for Took a Level in Badass precisely because of this trope. In the original comics, she had a more passive role, often playing the Damsel in Distress. The writers gave her invisibility powers a force field aspect to make her more active and useful, other writers gave her more creative ways to use them, and now "lil' Suzie" is one of the most powerful characters in the Marvel Universe, period. Notably, she can deal out all four main manners of death this trope describes: cutting, crushing, popping, and internal blockage.
  • The Dreaded: She is sometimes depicted as the scariest member of the Fantastic Four. The Black Cat has stated that Sue is the most terrifying thing in the Baxter Building and specifically waited until Sue was away to go through with her plan to steal a book from Reed's collection.
  • Dressed Like a Dominatrix:
    • As Malice, Sue wore a very skimpy black leather costume, a spiked collar, opera gloves with spiky bracelets, thigh-high high-heeled boots, a spiked gimp mask, and a cape.
    • In an alternate universe where she became Madame Hydra, Sue wore a green thigh-cut evening dress, a green choker, opera gloves, high-heeled boots, and carried a whip.
  • Dude Magnet: Sue is married to Reed and both Namor and Doom have shown attraction to her. She also went on a date with Spider-Man once.
  • Everyone Loves Blondes: Sue has been desired by many men in the Marvel Comics other than her husband Reed.
  • Faux Action Girl: She started off as one of these, but Character Development kicked in.
  • Female Fighter, Male Handler: In an out-of-continuity comic, she briefly joined S.H.I.E.L.D., due to feeling underappreciated in her own team. She turned out to be quite a badass superspy, what with her invisibility powers and force fields and whatnot. Her handler was Nick Fury himself.
  • Fluffy the Terrible: Invisible Girl or Invisible Woman doesn't quite strike fear in the hearts of evildoers. Then again her name isn't what makes her so dangerous.
  • Guile Hero: Invisible Woman should be portrayed as this. She shamed Ben Grimm into piloting the ship during the first issue. She was also told to distract many of the Silver Age male supervillains. After Psycho Man temporarily turned her into Malice she used her knowledge of Reed and Psycho Man's personalities to track him down and take revenge on him. When Dr. Doom stole the power cosmic from the Silver Surfer, she tricked him into flying into a mountain. During the Civil War, she spied on Reed. As any real chessmaster/manipulative bastard/guile hero would tell you, the greatest achievements in theses tropes is to make certain that your opponents don't realize you are a social expert.
  • Happily Married: Ever since their well-publicized wedding, Sue and Reed have been Marvel's power couple.
  • Heart Is an Awesome Power: Once the writers found out some really creative ways to use her powers...
  • Hot Scientist: A scientist like her husband and a notable Ms. Fanservice (see below) for Marvel Comics.
  • Imagination-Based Superpower: Sue can mold her force fields into any shape she wants with the added bonus that they are invisible to everyone but her.
  • Instant Armor: She's used her forcefields in this way once or twice.
  • Leotard of Power: Her 90s outfit.
  • Love at First Sight: When she was 12-13, she met a 19-year-old uni student and got a Precocious Crush on him. Fortunately, they didn't hook up until she was much older.
  • Mama Bear: DO NOT mess with her children. Biological or adopted. At one point in the comics the government bars Reed and Sue from their home and their children. They call in the Avengers to do so. Ten of them, in fact, which might look like overkill at first. And then Sue loses her temper, and one panel later anyone not named Thor or Hulk is knocked flat. The original Torch intervenes before she seriously injures anyone.
  • Master of Illusion: Sue's ability to turn herself and other things invisible is a manipulation of light waves. The Mark Waid miniseries has her develop the ability to manipulate light in a way that alters color after a conversation she had with her daughter Valeria. She uses this new trick to make her skin tan and turn her blonde hair brown.
  • Mind over Matter: Her invisible force field basically boils down to this, with the handy trait of Invisibility at her discretion.
  • Most Common Super Power: Sue is one of the most powerful woman in the Marvel Universe and also one of the most stacked.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Her regular costume(s) already flatter her, but her sex appeal often gets dialled up in alternate universes, especially ones where her invisibility is tweaked to put her in Naked People Are Funny situations (as seen in 1602).
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Her evil split personality goes by Malice, Mistress of Hate.
  • Not Quite Flight: Sue can create floating discs or bubbles to carry herself and who ever is travelling with her through the air or jump around on invisible platforms into the sky.
    • In the Marvel Adventures setting, she keeps pace with Johnny by making a force-field hang glider and gliding on the heat his flaming aura produces.
  • Only Sane Woman: She keeps Reed in check, and in the team's earlier day was usually the only thing keeping Johnny and Ben from each other's throats.
  • Personality Powers: Originally, Sue was very shy and her invisible powers showcase her introverted nature. Later, her forcefields became incredibly powerful - as in, strong enough to stand off punches from the Void at the height of his power, and hold off the Worldbreaker Hulk (until her concentration got broken) - which symbolises how protective she is of her family.
  • Precocious Crush: Sue met Reed when he was 19 and she was 12, getting a crush on him at first sight. Thankfully, they got together much later in life.
  • Promotion to Parent: After Susan and Johnny's father, Franklin Storm, turned to gambling and ended up being sent to prison for manslaughter, Sue was responsible for raising Johnny. To the point where Johnny has stated that he doesn't even remember his mother, and believes his father to be dead.
  • Psychic Nosebleed: Often, when Sue is holding a forcefield against a particularly strong opponent.
  • Rags to Riches: Her father lost their family fortune and she became a ward of her aunt, but Sue has never been wealthier after marrying into the super-rich Richards household and other than an occasional setback their fortune has grown even more after the cosmic ray accident.
  • Riches to Rags: When she and her brother were kids, their mother died and their doctor father turned to alcohol and gambling, eventually squandering the family fortune and killing his loan shark. Sue and Johnny were forced to live with their aunt.
  • Religious Bruiser: She’s one of the strongest heroes in the universe. She’s also a very devout Christian, though her brother, Johnny Storm/Human Torch, says she’s quiet about it. Indeed, every Christmas and Easter, she goes to the St. Patrick’s Cathedral (which implies she’s specifically Catholic), lights the candles, and prays to her deceased parents.
    • That being said, in an issue before entering into Heaven to get Ben Grimm back, she expresses skepticism that it even exists.
  • Required Secondary Powers: As revealed in issue four of the Mark Waid miniseries, Sue's entire optic structure is very different from a regular person's. While normal people's retinas register objects using reflected light, Sue's eyes also interpolate shapes based on ambient cosmic energy in the atmosphere. This is how she is able to see her constructs or anything else that is invisible and it allows her to see even when the villains cut off the flow of blood to her retinas.
  • Sibling Team: She and Johnny are half of the Fantastic Four.
  • Single Woman Seeks Good Man: Her relationship with Reed.
  • Sky Surfing: By shaping the matter she creates into discs to stand on, Sue can fly across the air.
  • The Smurfette Principle: The sole female member of the original Fantastic Four.
  • Spontaneous Weapon Creation: One of the many possible uses of her force fields. In one X-Men/Fantastic Four miniseries, she has a Mama Bear moment and uses a force sword to slay a Brood queen in close combat, leaving the males of both teams rather shocked.
  • Spikes of Villainy: Malice's outfit included a spiked collar, spiky bracelets and a spiked gimp mask.
  • Strong and Skilled: She has a very versatile and deadly power set which she uses with great skill and creativity. This easily makes her the most dangerous of the Fantastic Four.
  • Stripperific: Unusual for a comic series in that the team's main female member only rarely falls under this trope, preferring a modest blue bodysuit identical to the ones Reed and Johnny wear, but it does happen - like when she wore a certain costume for a few years in the 1990s. The change was widely panned by fans and removed. As Malice, she wore a leather S&M-inspired outfit.
  • Superpowered Evil Side: Malice is an evil personality created by Psycho-Man preying on Sue's vulnerable emotions after she lost her child. Malice used her powers in a much more aggressive style such as creating explosions and forming spikes.
  • Swiss-Army Superpower: Her force-fields act as this. Basically, she's become an Invisible Lantern over the years, being able to shape her invisible forcefields into any sort of constructs she wants but with the added advantage that her enemies can't see them. She's also, on a suggestion from her daughter, learned how to use them to create a limited glamour effect by changing how light reflects on her - so she can't change her features, but she can change her hair colour and skin tone, which are convenient for disguise.
  • Team Mom: Reed is usually more focused on his latest project, Ben sulking about his appearance or fighting with Johnny, and Johnny... is Johnny. Sue's usually the one keeping them all together (or in Johnny and Ben's case, apart).
  • This Looks Like a Job for Aquaman: Suffered from this before getting her force field power because her only power was Invisibility, so the team was put into situations where stealth was required so her power could come off as being useful.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Hoo boy. She's the page picture for a reason. See her entry on Comic Books for specifically why.
  • True Blue Femininity: Blue is the color of the Fantastic Four's costume and Sue is Team Mom.
  • Unstable Powered Woman: She was once subjected to a villain's mental manipulation and developed a dark personality called "Malice", which caused her to dress in darker, skimpier, bondage-themed clothes and a more evil, sinister personality. Infamously, she is literally freed from the villain's control by her husband Reed slapping her across the face.
  • Violently Protective Wife: It's a horrible idea to mess with Reed when Susan is around.
  • Xenafication: She was originally The Chick of the team with a near useless power of invisibility. Stan Lee and Jack Kirby took partial steps to fix that early on giving her force field projecting powers. However, it was John Byrne who really powered her up by having her nifty new ways of using her powers and learning to get aggressive enough to really use them well. Today, she is now considered one of the most powerful superheroes of the Marvel Universe and even the character of Doctor Doom underestimates her at his peril.


Video Example(s):


Why Does This Happen To Me?

Susan finds herself in many fanservice situations during the Fantastic Four movies, much to her distress.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (29 votes)

Example of:

Main / ReluctantFanserviceGirl

Media sources:

Main / ReluctantFanserviceGirl