Susan Storm Richards (also known as Invisible Girl and later, Invisible Woman) is a fictional character, a Marvel Comics superheroine created by writer Stan Lee and artist/co-writer Jack Kirby. The character first appeared in Fantastic Four #1 in November 1961. Like the other founding members of the Fantastic Four, Sue received her powers after being exposed to a cosmic storm. Her primary power deals with light waves, allowing her to render herself and others invisible. However, she can also project powerful fields of invisible energy which she uses for a variety of offensive and defensive effects. Sue plays a central role in the lives of her brother, her husband, her children (Franklin Richards and Val Richards), and her friend, Ben Grimm.
An object of infatuation for Doctor Doom, and, most notably, Namor the Submariner, Sue's passive invisibility power translated into her frequent deployment as a damsel in distress during the team's early adventures. However, upon developing the ability to project powerful fields of energy, Sue Storm became a more powerful member of the Fantastic Four, and the team's second-in-command. While Sue operated somewhat in the shadow of her hot-headed brother, Johnny Storm, and her brilliant husband Reed Richards in the early years, she is now the soul of the Fantastic Four and one of the premiere heroes in the Marvel Universe.
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 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 passed away. 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 12, 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 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.
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. Susan later found herself getting 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, even if it was 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 was unable to remain 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 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.
Susan eventually became pregnant for a second time. However, the trauma brought by her first pregnancy paled in comparison to that of her second for several reasons. This second child was birthed stillborn due to Susan having been exposed to radiation inside the Negative Zone on a previous trip. A depressed Susan was later manipulated by events set into motion by Psycho-Man into becoming Malice. Susan, with this new identity and emotions as Malice, attacked her friends and family in the Fantastic Four. She effortlessly defeated She-Hulk and Human Torch; luckily, Reed was able to save Susan by forcing her to hate him legitimately. Broken free of Psycho-Man's influence, Susan (off-panel) did something to Psycho-Man, causing him to let out a terrifying scream. After she rejoined her teammates, Susan stated that Psycho-Man would never hurt anyone ever again. Susan found herself a changed person after these events and because of this, changed her codename to the Invisible Woman. Along with Reed, she briefly left the Fantastic Four. Finding a life outside the Fantastic Four, Reed and Sue were invited into the membership of the Avengers. The two of them were Avengers briefly, and rejoined the Fantastic Four before long.
During the Infinity War, Susan was forced to face off against Malice, who had reemerged in Sue's subconscious. After defeating Malice, Susan absorbed Malice into her own consciousness. Subsequently, Susan's personality was influenced by Malice, causing her to become more aggressive in battle, even creating invisible razor-like force fields she used to slice enemies. She also took to wearing a more revealing costume, which included a cut-out "4" in the chest, showing her cleavage. Her son Franklin, who had traveled forth and back in time, had become the adult hero Psi-Lord, and he was able to free his mother and absorb the influence of Malice into himself. He eventually destroyed Malice by projecting her into the mind of an enemy, who died soon after.
After the apparent death of Reed, Susan found herself becoming a capable leader. Around this time, Susan, who felt Reed was still alive, kept searching for him, even with romantic advances from her old flame, Namor the Sub-Mariner. The Fantastic Four eventually rescued the time-displaced Reed, who found himself temporarily losing confidence in his leadership skills, since Susan was also a capable leader.
Following their return to their Earth of origin, The Fantastic Four encountered Valeria Von Doom. This new Marvel Girl came from an alternate future, where she was the child of Susan and Doctor Doom. Susan eventually came to accept the young girl as a friend. During a conflict with Abraxas, Franklin revealed that he used his abilities to save Susan's original stillborn child and placed it in another alternate future. After the ordeal involving Abraxas, Marvel Girl was restored to a baby again inside Susan's womb.
This time around, Susan, yet again, had a difficult birthing. Due to the help of Doctor Doom, Susan was able to give birth to a healthy baby girl, which Doom named Valeria, his price for helping Sue, or so she thought. Doom placed a spell on the baby, which made her his familiar spirit, to be used against the Fantastic Four. The Fantastic Four wrestled Valeria free from Doom's control, defeated him, and sent him to Hell.
Around this time, Sue underwent martial arts training with Iron Fist.
Both Sue and Johnny gain a newfound respect for each other and how they deal with their powers. Soon, Reed tries to switch the powers back. The entire FF's powers are granted to four random civilians before being restored to their rightful wielders.
This parallels an earlier torture by Doom, where Sue was given an extremely painful version of Johnny's pyrokinetic ability.
Although Sue was initially part of the pro-Registration force supporting the Superhuman Registration Act, she defects after the Thor Clone, created by her husband Mister Fantastic and Tony Stark, kills famed superhero Bill Foster. In the midst of the battle, Sue arrives and creates an invisible force shield around Captain America's Secret Avengers, protecting them from Thor's lightning blasts and allowing them to escape whilst she held him off - developing a nose bleed in the process.
Later that night, Sue leaves the Baxter Building and meets Johnny. She has left a note for the sleeping Reed, informing him that the children are entirely in his care, since she intends to go underground and join Captain America's resistance forces. Her final injunction to her husband is a heartfelt request: "Please fix this."
The Storm siblings narrowly escape a team of S.H.I.E.L.D. agents bent on capturing them in Civil War #5. The two further elude detection by operating under fake husband and wife identities provided by Nick Fury, becoming members of Captain America's Secret Avengers.
Before storming the Negative Zone prison, Sue visits Namor to plead for assistance. He refuses and indicates she is still attracted to him, an accusation she does not deny.
During the final battle depicted in Civil War #7, as Susan is about to be shot by Taskmaster, Reed Richards jumps in front of her and takes the brunt of the attack, sustaining a major injury. Outraged, Susan beats Taskmaster into the ground, leaving a large circular indentation in the Earth. Following the end of the war, Susan helps with the clean-up of New York City. She, along with the other Secret Avengers, has been granted amnesty, and she returns home to Reed. Seeking to repair the damage done to their marriage as a result of the war, Sue and Reed take time off from the Fantastic Four, but ask Storm and the Black Panther to take their places in the meantime.
The Hulk transforms Madison Square Garden into a gladiatorial arena. Sue and the other defeated heroes are held captive in a lower level. The heroes are outfitted with the same obedience disks that were used to suppress the Hulk's powers and force him to fight his companions on Sakaar.
The Sue Storm that emerged from the crashed starship in the Savage Lands was also revealed to be a Skrull impersonator.
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 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 coached by both the Thing and 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.
At the start of Marvel 1602: Fantastick Four, Susan is visibly pregnant with Sir Richard Reed's child. He forbids her to join him in his pursuit of Otto von Doom while in this condition, but she goes anyway. Much to Miss Doris Evans' shock, Sir Richard and Susan are not married.
In New Mangaverse Sioux is murdered by ninja assassins dispatched by the Hand.
Sue is portrayed by Jessica Alba in the 2005 film The Fantastic Four. Sue, a brilliant scientist, leads Victor Von Doom's Department of Genetic Research. She is dating Von Doom at the beginning of the film. Immediately prior to the arrival of the cosmic storm which grants her the ability to manipulate light (allowing her to disappear and generate semi-visible force fields), Victor proposes to her: she turns him down. Unlike in other media, Sue was not able to render her normal clothes invisible (her radiated spacesuit can become invisible with her, though). Although her powers are influenced by her emotions, she manages to control her abilities during the team's climactic battle with Von Doom. Sue accepts Richards' proposal of marriage at the end of the film.
While attempting to shield the Silver Surfer with a force field, Sue is stabbed through the chest by a spear created by a cosmic-powered Dr. Doom, and she dies in Reed's arms. However, Silver Surfer uses his cosmic powers to heal Sue, tarnishing himself in the process. Before leaving to confront Galactus, Silver Surfer tells Reed to treasure every moment with Sue.