Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Ms. Storm, To You

Given the events of Civil War #4, these two paragraphs from Jonathan Lethem, "Identifying With Your Parents," in his collection titled The Disappointment Artist: Essays, (Doubleday, 2005), seem especially relevant.

"...[T]he Four were always answerable to the female priorities of Sue Storm, the Invisible Girl, Reed Richards's wife and famously 'the weakest member of the Fantastic Four.' She wanted a home for their boy, Franklin; she wanted Reed to stay out of the Negative Zone; she was willing to quit the Four and quit the marriage to stand up for what she believed."

"I seriously doubt whether any seventies Marvel-loving boy ever spared a dram of sexual fantasizing on Sue Storm. We had Valkyrie, Red Sonja, the Cat, Ms. Marvel, Jean Grey, Mantis, and innumerable others available for that. We (I mean, I) especially liked the Cat. Sue Storm was, to our conscious minds, truly invisible. She was a parent, a mom calling you home from where you played in the street, telling you it was time to brush your teeth. Not that she wasn't a hottie, but Kirby exhalted her beauty in family-album style portraits, showing her nobly pregnant, in a housedress that covered her clavicle. The writers and artists who took over the Fantastic Four after Kirby and, later, Lee departed the series, seemed impatient with the squareness of Sue and Reed's domestic situations. Surely these weren't the hippest of the Kirby-Lee creations. Nevertheless, if you ... accept my ... premise ... that the mid- to late-sixties Fantastic Four were the exemplary specimens, the veritable Rubber Soul and Revolver and White Album of comics, and if you further grant that pulling against the tide of all of Kirby's ... whole army of aliens and gods, was one single character, our squeaky little Sue, then I wonder: Was the Invisible Girl the most important superhero of the Silver Age of Comics?" (p. 67)

Susan Richards is Marvel's answer to the Pre-Crisis Supergirl: a strong woman who gets no respect.

In my book, Susan is the only member of the FF with both feet on the ground.

While everybody else is riding hot-rods, inventing doo-dads and moaning about their freakish looks, Sue iskeeping the whole d@mn show afloat!

Remember what happened when Reed was in charge of everything? Financial bankruptcy.

Now that Reed has also led the team to the moral equivalent, it's only right that Sue took a stand.

Hey. Maybe I've got a post here!!
Keeper: I whole-heartedly agree with you.

Sounds like a post, to me.
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