Susan Storm is.... The Invisible Woman

©Roman Schwachöfer

 

Publisher

Marvel Comics

Real name

Susan Storm

Identity

Publicly known

Occupation

Actor, Adventur, Model, School Teacher
Place of Birth Glenville, Long Island, New York
Marital Status Married
Legal Status Citizen of the United States with no criminal record

Base of Operations

Pier Four, New York City
Group Affiliation Fantastic Four
First Appearance Fantastic Four #1
 

As detailed in The Marvel Saga: Official History of The Marvel Universe #16, Susan Storm, and her younger brother, Jonathan grew up in the town of Glenville, Long Island, children of a physician named Franklin Storm and a woman named Mary. The parents left their kids alone one night to travel to a dinner honoring Dr. Storm. On the way, a tire blew out but only Mary was injured. Franklin escaped injury and insisted on operating on his wife. He was unable to save her and she died. After his wife's death, Dr. Franklin Storm became a gambler and a drunk, losing his medical practice, which led him to the accidental killing of a loan shark. Franklin did not defend himself in court, because he still felt guilty over Mary's death. With their father in prison, Susan had to become a mother figure for her younger brother.

While living with her aunt, Susan, at the young age of 17, met her future husband, Reed Richards, a house guest who was attending college. When she graduated high school as the award-winning captain of her Girls' Varsity Swim Team, she moved to California to attend college, where she pursued an acting career and encountered Richards again. They began to become romantically involved with each other.

 
 
 

Reed Richards, working in the field of Aerospace engineering, was designing a spacecraft for interstellar travel. Everything was going well until the government stopped the funding of his project. Richards, wanting to see his project through, decided to make an unscheduled test flight. Originally, it was only going to be Reed and his best friend, Ben Grimm, involved, but Susan was instrumental in persuading Reed in letting her brother and herself join them on the dangerous space mission. In space, the quartet was exposed to massive amounts of cosmic radiation. As a result, they had to abort the mission and return to Earth. After the crash landing, they realized that they gained superhuman powers; hers was the ability to become invisible at will. Realizing the potential use of their abilities, the four of them became the Fantastic Four, for the benefit of mankind. Susan adopted the code name "Invisible Girl".

INVISIBLE GIRL

 

As the Fantastic Four, the team found themselves setting up their first headquarters in the Baxter Building in Manhattan. The first supervillain they battled was the Mole Man,  followed soon after that by the Skrulls. The Fantastic Four encountered many villains in the early part of their career, but none of them contended for Susan's affections more than Namor the Sub-Mariner. Sue felt an amount of attraction to Namor, but her heart belonged with Reed. Soon after that, the Fantastic Four encountered Doctor Doom for the first time.

Initially, her powers were limited to making herself invisible. However, before long Sue discovered she could make other things invisible as well as create force fields of invisible energy. After Susan is injured in battle with the Mole Man, her father escaped from prison and operated on her to save her life. Franklin made amends with his children before returning to prison; however, the Super-Skrull found a way to kidnap Dr. Storm, mimic his appearance, and then fight the Fantastic Four as the Invincible Man. In the process of defeating the Super-Skrull, Dr. Storm sacrificed his own life to protect the Fantastic Four from a Skrull booby trap.

 
 

Reed and Sue's relationship progressed, with the two of them deciding to get married. The wedding was the event of the century, with several of New York City's preeminent superheroes in attendance. Even several supervillains wanted to attend, if only for the chance to attack the Fantastic Four. Not long after that, Susan and the Fantastic Four encountered Galactus and the Silver Surfer for the first time. Sue later became pregnant with her first child. As a result, she took time off as an active member of the team. Johnny's then-girlfriend, the Inhuman elementalist known simply as Crystal, joined the team, taking over Susan's roster spot.

Susan's cosmic ray irradiated blood cells served as an obstacle for her in carrying the unborn child to term. Knowing this, Reed, Johnny, and Ben journeyed into the Negative Zone to acquire the Cosmic Control Rod from Annihilus. Effectively utilizing the device, the baby was safely delivered and was named Franklin, in memory of Susan's father. Due to the genetically altered structure of his parents, Franklin was born a mutant, possessing vast powers of the highest possible potential.
 

 
 

Seeking to use the boy's talents for his own sadistic purposes, Annihilus returned and successfully triggered a premature full release of Franklin's latent abilities, which were already in the process of gradual emergence. Fearing that his son could very well release enough psionic energy to eliminate all life on Earth, Reed was forced to shut Franklin's mind down, feeling there was no immediate alternative. Angry with Reed for not seeking her input in the matter, Susan left the Fantastic Four and had a marital separation from Reed. Taking her roster spot was Medusa, of the Inhumans. With the help of Namor, Susan reconciled with Reed and returned to the Fantastic Four accompanied by Franklin.

Some time after World War Hulk, but before Secret Invasion, the Richards' have hired a new nanny for their kids, Tabitha Deneuve. At the same time, a mysterious new group, calling themselves the New Defenders, commits robberies, and one of their members, Psionics, starts a relationship with Johnny. After a bad break-up, Johnny is kidnapped by the Defenders, along with Dr Doom and Galactus, to power a massive machine that is designed to apparently save the people of the future 500 years from now, a plan orchestrated by Tabitha, who is revealed to be Susan Richards from 500 years in the future. Eventually, the present Fantastic Four are able to save both the present Earth and the future Earth by sending the future inhabitants to the Earth Trust's private duplicate Nu-Earth, but after freeing Dr Doom, the future Sue goes to apologize to him, and is electrocuted by Doom.

 

SECRET INVASION:

 

While Susan is on a lecture tour in Vancouver, B.C., a Skrull posing as Mister Fantastic ambushes her, applying pressure to her skull with an invisible force field and knocking her out cold. Then, a Skrull infiltrates the Baxter Bui.lding disguised as Susan and opens a portal into the Negative Zone, forcing the top three floors of the building into the Negative Zone, and in turn trapping herself, Johnny, Ben, and the two Richards children there. The Skrull impersonating her is later revealed to be Johnny's ex-wife Lyja, who once infiltrated the Fantastic Four by impersonating Ben Grimm's love interest Alicia Masters.

The real Susan Richards is recovered alive from a downed Skrull ship after the final battle of the invasion.

 

POWERS AND ABILITIES:

 

The Invisible Woman, as her name suggests, has the power to render herself invisible at will, as a result of the mutagenic effects of exposure to cosmic radiation. She has the psionic ability to manipulate ambient cosmic energy to mentally bend all wavelengths of light (including infrared and ultraviolet radiation) around her body without causing any visible distortion; she also somehow directs enough undistorted light to her eyes to retain her sight while invisible. Her body cells produce an unknown form of energy that she can mentally project around other people or objects, rendering them invisible. She can also use this energy to render visible, persons or objects rendered invisible by other means, and energy that is normally invisible.

Although invisibility is her namesake power, she also has the psionic ability to manipulate ambient cosmic energy to produce psionic force in relatively simple forms (rectangular planes, globes, cylinders, cones, domes, etc.). She can mentally generate and project force fields of tremendous strength, which she manipulates for a variety of effects. The fields are able to repel solid objects, even those of great mass and momentum, and can repel all but the very strongest energy attacks. She can generate these fields at a distance of several hundred feet. It has never been specified whether her fields are related to gravity, to electromagnetism, or to some other fundamental force, but Nathaniel Richards theorized it came from Hyperspace. It may be the case that her invisibility and her force fields are two aspects of the same power, although the precise manner in which these aspects are related is not clear.

Sue can shape her force fields into invisible 'constructs,' usually simple shapes such as barriers, columns, cones, cylinders, darts, discs, domes, platforms, rams, ramps, slides, and spheres. By generating additional force behind her constructs, she can turn them into offensive weapons, ranging from massive invisible battering rams to small projectiles such as spears and darts. She can generate force constructs as small as a marble or as large as 100 feet (30 m) in diameter, and her hollow projections such as domes can extend up to several miles in area. By forming one of her force fields within an object and expanding the field, Sue can cause the object to explode. She can also simulate telekinesis, by projecting her energy into a beam out of her hand that connects to the object or victim, and can manipulate the field to move it around. Her force field generating ability makes the Invisible Woman (arguably) the most powerful member of the Fantastic Four and one of the most powerful Marvel characters, and their deadliest enemy Doctor Doom has commented on many occasions that Sue is the most dangerous of the foursome.

She can also travel atop constructs such as ramps, stairs, slides, columns, and stepping discs, enabling her to simulate a limited approximation of levitation or 'flight.' She is capable of generating and manipulating multiple force fields simultaneously. This power is only limited by her concentration; once she stops concentrating on a field, it immediately ceases to exist.

 

She is also able to make shapes which capture ambient light to use as a lantern. Formerly, she could not use her invisibility and force field powers simultaneously. She formerly could not render herself and a person or object not in contact with her invisible simultaneously.

Susan is a fair hand-to-hand combatant, having been trained by Iron Fist, and having received additional coaching from both the Thing and the She-Hulk. She possesses leadership qualities, and usually acts as the Fantastic Four leader in Mister Fantastic's absence. Sue is also a talented actress.

 
 

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