Sue Storm is more than just Reed Richards’s wife, or Johnny Storm’s sister; she’s the rock that keeps the Fantastic Four together. Without her, Reed’s ego would get too large, causing friction among the members. It’s why she’s the strongest member for more reasons than one. She brings the most amount of firepower as well as the mental strength to keep it all together.
Despite all of that, some things don’t make a whole lot of sense about her. Some of it is an inconsistency between writers while other times it’s how she was portrayed during the team’s initial run, a pale imitation of the strong character she is now. It’s a mistake even the movies made with the character.
Malice isn’t a bad idea for a villain on the surface, darkness inside of people taking hold of them and creating an evil side of themselves. The issue is the character was shaped in a way that made them seem like a completely different entity. That doesn’t make sense when it was said to just be Sue’s negative emotions overwhelming her thanks to Psycho-Man. The fact Psi-Man (Teenage Franklin) could just pull Malice out of Sue like it was a demon possessing her never made a lot of sense.
9 Being A Damsel
The biggest gripe with the early run of the Fantastic Four is how Sue was treated. She was pretty much just Princess Peach, there only to get into danger so that Reed or her brother had to get her out of it. It’s such an awful stereotype to use, especially when you’re talking about a woman. It wasn’t until after the first Malice incident that she started to come into her own more as a character. It makes you wonder why they even made her in the first place, beyond wanting to have a girl on the team.
8 Relationship With Namor
Now, when written well, this relationship and the issues it can bring up with Reed are excellent storytelling. When they play up the fact that Namor is everything that Reed isn’t, keying in on his primal desire for her, it’s good stuff.
The issue is sometimes Namor comes off as a stalker, or worse, someone who just wants to sleep with Sue. This is especially bad in the earlier comics when his rampage on land is stopped only because she’s so beautiful. The inconsistency with the writing makes their whole dynamic feel nonsensical.
7 Valeria’s Birth
Everything regarding Valeria’s birth was so off the wall and nonsensical that it’s hard to even keep track of it all. Franklin managed to save Sue’s stillborn baby, flinging her into an alternate reality where she became Marvel Girl, Valeria Von Doom. That’s a bit whacky but okay so far. It’s when Abraxas’ defeat leads to Valeria going back into Sue’s womb as a baby that things get crazy. To top it all off, the doctor who helps deliver the baby is none other than Doom.
6 Trying To Support Reed During Civil War
It’s one thing to be a supportive partner and quite another to go back on your values, just to support theirs. There comes a time that you need to stick to your convictions, even if it means upsetting your significant other. That’s eventually what happened but before Reed took a bullet from Taskmaster, he was helping the Superhero Registration Act. Sue was right there supporting him, taking the death of Goliath at the hands of a Thor Clone to make her open her eyes to what was happening.
5 Strength Of Her Force Fields
The development of Sue’s powers is part of the reason she’s been able to step out of the shadows of the team and into the forefront. Most of the additions have made sense, just expanding on a power that she already had. The issue is that her force fields are becoming so strong that it starts becoming illogical to ever see them break.
Her fields are reaching 100 tons in strength, having the ability to keep the team and Doom safe while traversing a black hole. She even managed to use them against a Celestial. The level of her powers is expanding to a rather ridiculous rate.
4 Invisible Girl
Before she was the Invisible Woman, she was the Invisible Girl. For someone who wasn’t in High School anymore, being called a girl is a little demeaning. Tony Stark wasn’t called Iron Boy so why was Sue labeled a girl? Even by the standards of the 60s and 70s, that’s a head-scratching decision. It, of course, did get rectified post-Malice when she pronounced herself Invisible Woman in one of her most character-defining moments. While the moment was nice, it doesn’t wash away the nonsense of acting like a 20 something woman was only 10.
3 Baroness Von Doom
Valeria may be in the picture above, but there was a time her mother took on the title Von Doom as well. The final arc in Chris Claremont’s run on the team had Sue becoming Baroness Von Doom while Reed was “trapped” inside Victor’s armor. It wasn’t a bad story to explore, but one that felt so rushed, making the reasoning of the characters feel like leap of faiths. That goes for both Sue agreeing to marry Reed in the Doom armor and siding with Dr. Doom of all people at the arc’s conclusion. It all worked out in the end, but never hit the high notes it should have for Sue and Doom working together.
2 Always Forgiving Reed
From a story perspective, it’s necessary as the Fantastic Four at their core are all about family, and Sue without Reed would completely negate that. The issue is that Sue forgives Reed for doing some rather messed up things on the regular. She’s left before, like when Reed tried to put blocks on Franklin’s mind after seeing just a glimpse of his power, but she always comes back. The real issue is it feels like Reed never changes, never fully letting her into his world nor committing to her over science.
1 Color Manipulation
Force fields and invisibility aren’t the only abilities that Sue has, she can also manipulate color through light waves. It’s a silly power that doesn’t have much impact on things beyond being used as a gag, like turning The Thing pink. It’s one of those abilities that have come with the expanse of her powers and on the surface isn’t bad, but it feels incredibly tacked onto her character, something she doesn’t really need power over.
Susan Storm, or The Invisible Woman, is one of the strongest members of the Fantastic Four, but a few things about her character make no sense.