Sue Storm Richards is a formidable heroine with the ability to render herself and others invisible at will. After her genes are mutated, she co-founds Earth’s first team of super heroes, the Fantastic Four and becomes their unifying maternal figure.
Born Susan Storm, Sue and her brother Johnny have a happy childhood until their mother Mary dies in a car crash. Their father, celebrated surgeon Dr. Franklin Storm, survives the accident. His spirit broken, Dr. Storm abandons his practice, becoming a gambler and a drunk, and eventually goes to prison after he accidentally kills an underworld loan shark during a struggle.
Sue embodies a motherly role towards Johnny thereafter, though both were soon placed in the custody of their loving aunt, Marygay who ran a boardinghouse. While living there, Sue became smitten with her aunt’s handsome and brilliant tenant, science prodigy Reed Richards, then a university student. Though, does not encounter him again until her college years in California when she pursues an acting career.
When a sudden funding loss threatens to derail Reed’s experimental starship project, Reed urges his pilot, Ben Grimm, to join him in making an unauthorized test flight before the project is shut down. Grimm’s reluctant, but accepts the challenge after Sue questions his courage. Sue and her brother Johnny insist on coming along as well, wishing to share the risk. The quartet successfully launches into space, but intense cosmic rays penetrate the ship’s shielding and irradiates the crew, forcing them back to Earth. Upon landing, they discover they had mutated into super humans, and Sue became the Invisible Girl. Dedicating their new powers to super-heroics and scientific exploration, the quartet became the Fantastic Four (FF). She later takes the name Invisible Woman after an encounter with Psycho-Man that changes her.
Invisibility and Force Field Projection
Sue Richards can render herself wholly or partially invisible at will. She can also render other people or objects invisible, affecting up to 40,000 cubic feet of volume. To achieve these feats, she mentally bends all wavelengths of light in the vicinity around herself, or the target in question, without causing any visible distortion effects.
While ordinary retinas register objects using reflected light, Sue’s retinas also interpolate shapes based on reflected cosmic rays, which are always present within the atmosphere in minute concentrations. Her extended vision allows her to see invisible people and objects, though not in technicolor since the cosmic-ray reflections bypass her eyes’ rods and cones; her vision may be similarly monochromatic when she herself is invisible since her eyes do not reflect light in that state, though she otherwise seems to possess a full range of vision while she’s invisible. She can detect anything made invisible by means outside her powers, and can restore those targets to a visible state at will. If she wishes, she can render her targets only partially invisible – enabling her, for instance, to expose the inner workings of machinery or the internal organs of living beings.
Invisible Woman can project and manipulate near-indestructible invisible force fields, making her a more effective combatant. She can generate these force fields physically and psionically around herself and other targets; within an object, which she can expand to cause explosions or within a target’s body to render people unconscious or induce more serious physical distress; and vary the texture and tensile strength, rigid for defense and soft for to cushioning impacts. She is also capable of generating and manipulating multiple psionic force fields simultaneously.
Furthermore, she can shape invisible fields into constructs, turning them into offensive weapons as small as a marble or as large as 100 feet in diameter. Her hollow projections, such as domes, can extend up to several miles in area. She can generate more massive force fields large enough to envelop a 20-story building, including the 10 acres of foundation beneath it, or a network of invisible scaffolding strong enough to hold a building as tall as the Empire State Building.
She is also able to shield her mind from some types of telepathic intrusion or influence, detect and locate nearby people or objects using an invisible force that pulses out from her body as radar, and can track psionic energy sources over great distances or snare and redirect psionic energies active in her general vicinity.
Visible light frequencies mostly pass through her standard force fields unaltered and unimpeded, a condition which sometimes leaves her vulnerable to light-based attacks. She can bend and shape a force field so that it captures ambient light, enabling her to create a makeshift low-intensity torch or flashlight composed of suspended light. This ability extends to bending the sunlight’s invisible ultraviolet rays with a force field an inch before they reach her skin, rendering herself immune to sunburns. Sue once briefly swaps powers with her brother Johnny, and during that time can generate and manipulate flames for various effects.
Sue has some experience and ability in the fields of acting and teaching. A capable unarmed combatant and an excellent swimmer, she is fluent in both English and Latverian. Like the rest of the FF, she wears a highly durable costume composed of unstable molecules that shift to accommodate the wearer’s physical form.
Psycho-Man and his Hate-Monger android use his emotion-manipulation powers and technology to morph Sue, aka Invisible Girl, into Malice Mistress of Hate, though she is able to overcome the transformation with Reed’s help and uses Psycho-Man’s technology against him. The experience inspires Sue to take the name Invisible Woman.
Victor von Doom, aka Dr. Doom, is the Fantastic Four’s foremost foe. He time and time again goes up against the FF for his own villainous ends, even so far as to use their daughter Valeria as a familiar and attack them. He even disrupts Sue and Reed’s wedding with a major onslaught by manipulating a host of super-criminals, but they always seem to overcome his persistent attacks.
Earth’s First Family and Friends
As a co-founding member of the Fantastic Four, Sue supports the team in protecting Earth and the universe from super villainous threats. Sue often takes an active role in managing the FF’s financial assets through their Fantastic Four, Inc. support company, and even serves as chief creative officer of its Enterprises division, managing the team’s licensing, trademarks and the assorted merchandise and media properties based on the group. Outside of her business-related duties, Sue marries FF co-founding member Reed Richards, aka Mr. Fantastic, is sister to Johnny Storm, aka Human Torch, and friend to Ben Grimm, aka The Thing.
Other affiliations that Sue has includes Friends of Miss America; formerly “Secret Avengers,” Initiative, Avengers, Brides of Set, and Captain of the Girls’ Varsity Swim Team.
The FF remain staunch allies to the Avengers, even worked as members until they resigned from the group. Regardless of the departure from the team, Sue is friendly with various Avengers members, notably the size-changing socialite Wasp and the super-strong She-Hulk, who had served a lengthy stint with the FF during a period when Ben was estranged from the team.
Like the other FF founders, Sue has participated in many mass superhero gatherings over the years—notably the original Contest of Champions, during which she teamed with Iron Fist and Sunfire as pawns of an unknown entity to battle the Grandmaster’s pawns Daredevil, Darkstar and Australian hero Talisman.
Super-genius Alyssa Moy is a source of occasional discomfort for Sue. While Moy is a valued ally to the FF over the years, Sue suspects Alyssa retains a lingering romantic interest in Reed, having spurned a proposal of marriage from him during their youth, and is proven correct when a jealous Alyssa makes a play for him but he gently but firmly rejected her as he remains deeply in love with Sue. In the end, Sue makes made peace with Alyssa.