Fantastic Four #22: Sue's Force Fields Of Awesome 1

Fantastic Four #22, page 2, panel 5 Written by: Stan Lee

Drawn by: Jack Kirby

Inked by: George Roussos

Lettered by: Sam Rosen

The early issues of the Fantastic Four are not kind on Sue. She seems to be permanently petrified of pretty much everything, and inexplicably seems to think that doing normal everyday tasks whilst invisible makes her more efficient, despite the chaos and terror she leaves in her wake. There are occasional moments of greatness - going toe-to-toe with Doctor Doom in Fantastic Four #17 is a major example - but after 21 issues, it had become clear to both the readers and the creators that having a character who can turn invisible means that she just can't stand up to the far more visual and physical powers of the rest of the team.

The masterstroke was giving Sue her own secondary set of powers - force field manipulation. These fields would allow her to take a beating from the biggest heavyweights of the Marvel universe, as well as being a physical extension of the maternal role she would come to play on the team, often being used to protect her family from har

Here, we see their very first manifestation. Reed has been experimenting on his girlfriend with radiation - how else would a scientist show his affection - which permanently alters her powers. Ah, that pesky Marvel universe radiation (which would only seem to positively affect people in the early 1960s)...

Check out our coverage of Fantastic Four #22 on our twenty-second episode: Going Underground.