Fantastic Four's Invisible Woman


In Josh Trank’s Fantastic Four (2015), when Reed (Miles Teller) and Victor (Toby Kebbell) go on their unauthorised drunken joyride in their big Tele-whatsit toy to Planet Zero, they do not once think to invite their colleague and intellectual peer Sue Storm (Kate Mara) along, instead finding room for their welder Johnny (Michael B. Jordan) and uninvolved non-scientist Ben (Jamie Bell) to join their boys’ club. They never subsequently refer to this let alone apologise for it, either – even if Sue ends up forever altered against her will as a result of their high jinks.

Yet Sue alone shows real principle in responding to her new circumstances and refusing to become a ‘tool’ for the system (contrast Ben and Johnny, who bend, and Reed, who simply bails). It is Sue who manages to track down Reed where all others have failed. And two of the reunited Four (Reed and Ben) find themselves utterly dependent on Sue’s powers to be able to use their own against Victor. Somewhere in there is an allegory for the way Hollywood blockbusters typically underrate and sideline their female characters. For even before finally being allowed to become one of the Fantastic Four, unacknowledged and marginalised Sue was already the Invisible Woman…

Anton Bitel