Here is an archive of all the past top five lists I’ve one over the years.
With the Fantastic Four movie coming out tomorrow, I figured it would be nice to spotlight the five greatest Invisible Woman moments.
NOTE: In determining these rankings, I am leaning heavily on “historic” over just plain “cool.” In recent years, writers have been giving Invisible Woman more and more impressive displays of her powers. Heck, during Infinity War, Sue contained a nuclear explosion! During James Robinson’s recent run, she fought the Avengers to a standstill and almost killed Doctor Doom. So for the past twenty years or so, she has routinely done notable feats of strength. While they’re all cool, they sort of take away from the significance of each one. So I’m giving more weight to moments Sue did during periods where she was NOT as well established as a bad ass.
One “feat” that I figured I should at least mention, since it was so signficant, was Sue destroying a Celestial in Fantastic Four #400 (by Tom DeFalco, Paul Ryan and Danny Bulanadi)…
I mention it more to note why it is NOT as impressive as it first looks, as earlier in the issue, her father-in-law, Nathanial Richards, explains to her that her powers draw from the same cosmic substance that makes up the Celestial’s armor, so Sue just happens to have powers that specifically work well against Celestials.
I feature this moment from Fantastic Four #5 (by Stan Lee, Jack Kirby and Joe Sinnott) only because it gets referenced in a later moment. Sue saved the rest of the FF from being killed by Doctor Doom in Doom’s first appearance in Fantastic Four #5, although she spends most of the issue as a hostage (as per usual)…
5. Sue Saves the Day!
This moment in Fantastic Four #86 is memorable because up until this point, Stan Lee and Jack Kirby had mostly had Sue work as a professional hostage (I think I might do a bit later to spotlight just HOW often she ended up as a hostage in the first fifty issues – it’s some crazy number), so this was a momentous occasion at the time. Sue is on maternity leave, with Crystal having taken her place in the Fantastic Four. The team is in Latveria, helping out some rebels. It is some amazing Kirby/Lee-style action (Joe Sinnott on inks), but Doom, naturally enough, is not playing fair…
Sue has done this sort of thing many times since, but this was an unusual situation at the time. And a very cool one.
4. Sue Strikes a Deal with the Devil
Archie Goodwin was the first writer on Fantastic Four after Stan Lee ended his initial run (Lee intended his departure to be a temporary one while he worked on a move script, but his return was brief, just five-six issues before Roy Thomas took over full-time) and his short run was quite good. In it, he picked up a plot from the end of Lee’s initial run, where we met the evil Over-Mind, a guy who could turn the entire world against each other. In Fantastic Four #116, the Over-Mind succeeded in finally breaking the mind of Reed Richards, so he now serves the Over-Mind. The world is now slowly being turned against each other, as the Over-Mind incites violence around the globe. The Human Torch and the Thing have been taken out, so all that is left of the Fantastic Four is Sue Richards. She then makes a valiant plan to stop the Over-Mind, by making a deal with the Fantastic Four’s greatest enemy…
That last page is the really key moment, as Sue manipulates Doom perfectly. John Buscema and Joe Sinnott were the artists on this story.
3. Sue Defends Herself
John Byrne used Fantastic Four #245 as a perfect opportunity for him to famously have Sue Richards defend herself against an interviewer, but really, against the fans themselves, in a way (and not have Reed and Ben do the defending for her).
Then later in the issue, he famously gave her her own “Kitty against the Demon” issue, as a powerful being has taken out the rest of the team and she has to use all the tricks up her sleeve (including usages of her power that were quite novel at the time – Byrne really was the first writer to amp up the OFFENSIVE potential in her force fields, like using them to fly or using them to attack people – she mostly used her fields as shields before this time) to stop this new threat
(and ultimately, she uses her warmth and goodness to turn the tide at the end of the story).
Byrne really signaled that his Sue Richards was going to be a lot different than other depictions of the character with this issue.
Dwanye McDuffie, Paul Pelletier and Rick Magyar had a momentous moment when Sue is captured by the Frightful Four with the intent to use her once again as a hostage. In Fantastic Four #549, though, Sue (and McDuffie through Sue) expresses that she will no longer be viewed as a hostage…
Awesome work from a great, if brief, run on FF by McDuffie.
1. Meet the Invisible Woman
Now it is perfectly fine to have a problem with John Byrne’s storyline where Sue Richards is manipulated by the Psycho-Man to basically turn evil for a bit, going by the name Malice. Whatever the problem with THAT story might be, though, Byrne did a heck of a job with the aftermath of the event, as Sue and the FF travel to the Microverse to capture the Psycho-Man and, well, they do just that – at least, SUE does and it inspires a change that was a long time coming…
Good for you, Sue! Boy, Byrne sure does love those whole “It is up to your imagination as to what happened” things, doesn’t he?
That’s the list! Agree? Disagree? Let me know!