Thursday, November 18, 2010


The tough, confident woman daring to take on Doctor Doom single-handed is, as the heroine's dotted outline should suggest, the Invisible Girl-- or at least, the first version of the Invisible Girl. By the mid-1960s this version would go unseen in a different manner, as her creators Stan Lee and Jack Kirby chose to emphasize her disaffection from the superhero life. This in turn caused many fans to dismiss the Invisible Girl (later Woman) as a wimp. But clearly the early version is not.

Now, in the early years of the FANTASTIC FOUR feature, Doctor Doom wasn't quite the powerhouse that he'd become later; no one suggested that his armor gave him super-strength or contained a near-infinite number of weapons, though it did contain a few. (Indeed, Doom ends his fight with the heroine by drawing an "ultra-heat gun" from somewhere or other). But in FANTASTIC FOUR #17 Sue Storm has no power beyond turning invisible, aside from knowing a little judo, but alone she seeks single combat with Doctor Doom in order to prove that she's got what it takes to be a superhero. Their battle only lasts a little over a page, but it does demonstrate, for any fans who had doubted, that the Invisible Girl was in those days more than just a helpless damsel-- that she was, in truth, a visible presence.

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