Valeria Richards

©Roman Schwachöfer

 
Publisher Marvel Comics
Real name Valeria Meghan Richards
Identity Public known
Occupation None
Created by Chris Claremont and Salvador Larroca
Marital Status Single
Aliases Valeria von Doom, Marvel Girl, Valerie Megan Richards

Base of Operations

Pier Four, New York City
Group Affiliation The Fantastic Four, Future Foundation
First Appearance as Valeria von Doom, Fantastic Four vol.3 #15 (March 1999)
as Valeria Richards, Fantastic Four vol. 3 #54 (June 2002)
 

Valeria Meghan Richards is a fictional character of Marvel Comics, the daughter of Mister Fantastic (Reed Richards) and the Invisible Woman (Susan Storm Richards), husband and wife and two original members of the superhero team the Fantastic Four. She is the younger sister of Franklin Richards (though because of time travel she has sometimes been older than her brother). Valeria made her first appearance under the name Valeria von Doom and the code name Marvel Girl.

 
Fictional Character biography:

Valeria von Doom first appeared during writer Chris Claremont and artist Salvador Larroca's run on Fantastic Four, suddenly materializing in the Fantastic Four's headquarters, professing to be from the future, as well as being the daughter of Doctor Doom (Victor von Doom) and the Invisible Woman. This was very disturbing to the Fantastic Four, but after an initial period of conflict, the Invisible Woman accepted Valeria into the FF's home, and she aided them on several missions.

 

It was unknown how Doctor Doom and the Invisible Woman would come together in the future, and how Mister Fantastic would be removed from the picture. Things seemed to be coming together when Mister Fantastic became trapped in Doom's armor, and publicly pretended to be the villain, re-marrying Sue and making her his baroness. At this time, Valeria was sent to Haven, a safe house at the end of the universe, for her own protection, but as events proceeded, Reed was freed from the armor, again calling Valeria's future into question. While Chris Claremont intended to resolve the storyline, he never got the chance, as Jeph Loeb and Carlos Pacheco took over Fantastic Four and brought Valeria back into the title, changing the character's origins.

She was revealed to be the second, unborn child of Reed and Sue Richards, whom Sue had seemingly miscarried years before, and who had originally been named Valerie Meghan Richards. Under the guidance of Roma, Franklin had used his powers to save the child, who was taken by Roma, who knew that the girl would serve a great purpose in the future. In the comics themselves, Roma professed to have cared for the girl, but the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe took the opportunity to tie up some loose ends by claiming that Valeria was actually raised in an alternate future as the daughter of Doom and Sue. Loeb and Pacheco brought Valeria back into the book as the FF went up against the cosmic menace of Abraxas, and Valeria fulfilled her purpose by merging her powers with Franklin and reconstituting Galactus to stop Abraxas. In the restructuring of reality that ensued, Valeria was regressed to a fetus within Sue's womb once again, on the cusp of being born.

As had occurred during the first time she was born, the cosmic rays that gave the Fantastic Four their superpowers made the delivery of Valeria extremely difficult, and because Mister Fantastic was caught up solving a world-threatening crisis, the Human Torch had no choice but to call upon Victor von Doom for help. Doctor Doom used his vast intelligence and mystical capabilities to successfully deliver the baby.

As the price for his help, Doctor Doom insisted that he be allowed to name the child. He did so, naming her Valeria after a woman he had loved in the past (ironically, Doctor Doom would also eventually be the murderer of this woman). Unknown to the Fantastic Four, Doctor Doom also placed a spell on Valeria, making her his familiar spirit, as revealed in the Unthinkable story arc. The Fantastic Four was eventually able to free Valeria from Doom's control.

 
 

Due to the numerous supervillain attacks on the Baxter Building, New York City's Child Protective Services questioned the safety of Franklin and Val. After much reluctance, Reed and Sue decided to relinquish custody of their children. However, an initial condition was that a "dummy" safe-house was to be set up, and a press release to be announced that the children had already been moved. The decision to actually move Franklin and Valeria was rescinded after the safe-house that they were to be placed in was reduced to a crater (along with everything within a half-mile radius) within four hours of the press release. It is uncertain exactly which of the FF's enemies carried out the attack or why, although it was hinted that the FF themselves had something to do with it in order to get their children back.

 

It was revealed that the infant Valeria has already manifested her superhuman intellect, but is concealing this from everyone in order to preserve the family dynamic. However, after being encouraged by Tabitha Deneuve, (in fact her mother from the far future), she has since revealed her intellect to her family.

Powers and abilities:
 
 

As Marvel Girl, Valeria Richards exhibited several superpowers, though the exact extent of her abilities is unknown. She was able to transform into an armored form, with the design of the armor somewhat derivative of Doctor Doom's. She inherited the ability of her mother to project force fields; however, she did not bend light to do so. She actually manipulated time and space fields to create these barriers. She could also use this manipulation to travel back and forth through time. This ability was known as her Time Dance. She never displayed the ability to turn invisible naturally; however, she is shown using a gadget to turn herself invisible. She also seemed to have enhanced strength and durability, being able to punch hard enough to knock down beings with super-strength and survive punches from them; nevertheless, it is possible that her apparent strength and durability were actually simply subtle applications of her force fields and the defense provided by her armor. In addition, Valeria von Doom showed an intelligence and aptitude for invention and technology rivalling that of Doctor Doom or Mister Fantastic.

Valeria von Doom.

Reborn as Valeria Richards, Valeria is currently a toddler. In Fantastic Four vol. 3 #63 (January 2003), she was tested for superpowers by her father, Mister Fantastic, and found to have no superhuman abilities. In Fantastic Four: The Wedding she is seen to complete a Rubik's Cube with her father saying that she will be playing chess by the time she is two. It was recently revealed that she is, in fact, already incredibly intelligent, nearly at the level of Reed. However, she is hiding her intelligence from her family as she has calculated that at this point, it would cause far too much of a divide between her family. Although Sue would be proud of her, it would alienate Valeria from her, and after eighty-two months, it would inadvertently drive a wedge between Reed and Franklin, whom she said would become estranged from the family.  However, she has since dropped the ruse, as she's later shown as the proud creator of a very advanced AI-based toy which Reed and Franklin plan to sell to Disney.

In Marvel Knights 4, in a recent adventure, Johnny Storm travelled to an alternate future and was saved from Doombots by a grown-up Valeria. She had a superior version of her mother's invisibility powers, allowing her to shield someone's bio-electric aura, kinetic energy, heat energy, and other evidence of their existence

   
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