You may have heard the news by now that — shock horror — another Fantastic Four movie is still in the works over at 20th Century Fox. After the offhanded way Fox has churned out the projects before in an attempt to hold onto the rights, the prospect of another lukewarm installment isn't one to get particularly excited about.
But if another movie does get made over at Fox, there's one character in particular who could use a clean break. #SueStorm — a.k.a. The Invisible Woman, a.k.a. the token female/love interest/boobs trampoline of the group — hasn't really gotten much in the way of what you could call fair character development over the course of the three movies.
For the first two, the ridiculously beautiful Jessica Alba was more "asset" than acting, a shame as she's actually a good actress when given material to work with. It says something that her most memorable scene from Fantastic Four was this one:
Kate Mara — who portrayed Sue in the 2015 #FantasticFour/Fan4stic reboot — is a brilliant actress, who gained universal recognition for her turn in House of Cards. Now there’s a lot to hate about Fantastic Four, but the offhanded way Sue is treated is one of them (though it doesn't rank quite as high on the list as the mess they made of Doctor Doom).
When Reed Richards and Johnny Storm decide that they deserve to be the ones to travel to the new dimension first because they built the machine, they don’t give a second thought to Sue, regardless of the fact that she was one of the three who built the damn thing. They’ll take Reed’s buddy, Ben Grimm, along for the ride, but not Sue.
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But all this is cake compared to how Sue Storm was first portrayed in the #comicbooks, in which she holds the mantle for possibly the dumbest, most vapid character in #Marvel history. Later versions of Sue have actually been written with character in mind, probably thanks to this darn thing called feminism, but the early Sue was about as much use as a chocolate frying pan.
Seanbaby over at Cracked breaks down the purpose of Sue's early character pretty well:
When the Fantastic Four went into space, the three men gained amazing superpowers and the girl gained the ability to disappear. That's kind of a tough ability to use for anything heroic, but this was 50 years ago. In a 1961 man's imagination, the most amazing thing a girl could do was shut up and go away.
If you've ever had the pleasure of reading any '60s-era Fantastic Four, you'll know what we mean when we say that Sue was written to be the epitome of the dumb blonde.
The Sue Storm we know today, who is highly intelligent, can kick ass, and project force fields, wasn't a thing back then. It took her more than two years to master her powers, in opposition to the rest of the team, whose genitalia made them intellectually superior.
She also had a bad habit of wandering into traffic when invisible, because she would constantly forget when she had her powers activated. She would try to vanish when someone already had a hold of her, and would pick up non-invisible objects when invisible, instantly giving the game away.
When she did speak, most of what she said was her own self-pitying cries about how terrible and horrible their situation was, and how useless she was as a member of the team. And let's not get started on the number of times male villains tried to kidnap her and force her to marry them.
This was all reflected in the way she was treated by the rest of the team, her husband Reed Richards in particular. Reed was basically a sounding board for the all male writing team, lamenting how her hormones and womanly emotions made her a big dumb idiot.
The Sue Storm we know these days is a long way away from the one we were presented with when the crew were first introduced back in the 1960s. It's quite fun to look back and laugh at her now, but as one of the few main female characters of that time — and the only one of Marvel's First Family — you can see why it was problematic.
And most of the other female superheroes weren't all that much better than dear old Sue. We like to think we're past all that, but sometimes we aren't (just ask Black Widow). So if it baffles you when people get annoyed about crappy representation, stuff like this is why.
Do you want to see another Fantastic Four movie? Have your say in the comments below!