Throwback Thursday welcomes Sue Storm, an original member of the Fantastic Four and the very first female superhero created by Marvel Comics during the Silver Age of Comics. Created by the team of Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, Sue was first introduced in The Fantastic Four #1 in November of 1961.
Sue’s powers were initially more defensive than offensive in the early books so that she often ended up being the damsel in distress. But as time went on, Sue grew far more assertive while her husband, Mr. Fantastic seemed to take a back seat and follow along with what other superheroes wanted. Most noted in the original Civil War series as he does what Tony Stark asks for and creates a fake Thor who ends up killing other heroes. It is Sue who takes a stand and protects Captain America and the other super heroes from Stark and her husband. She eventually joins the resistance and leaves her husband. His actions as part of the Illuminati is another example of the rift that comes between See and Reed Richards making her very much her own character.
Sue is also the object of affection for other Marvel characters even though she is married to Reed. Doctor Doom and namely, Namor the Sub-Mariner, though it is never really revealed if she step outside her marriage, it is often noted how neglected she was while Reed was in pursuit of his science and superhero teams.
In the early books, Sue could disappear but much like the Invisible man, her clothes would remain visible so she would have to be nude to be really invisible. This was deemed to be too sexy for comics, boy how times have changed, and so her power was changed to make it possible for her to not only make herself invisible but others as well. She could also create a force field to protect herself and others. Eventually she was given the power to create psionic blasts and when John Byrne took over Sue really came into her own as not only a valuable member of the team but a leader as well.
Sue’s history before the Fantastic Four is pretty dark. The daughter of a prominent physician, her parents have a car accident one evening coming home from a party. Her father, Franklin Richards, is unhurt and insists on operating on his wife himself. He is unable to save her and slips into a deep depression. Turning to gambling and alcoholism to help him cope with his wife’s death, he accidently causes the death of a loan shark and is imprisoned for murder. It is left to Sue to become the surrogate parent to her younger and brash brother, Johnny Storm.
While the Fantastic Four as a whole have become somewhat out of style, Sue Storm remains one of the most powerful and experienced characters of the Marvel Universe. One could only imagine the different and more intelligent direction the Universe would take if she was leading some of these super groups.