The Invisible Girl

OvertakenSue Storm made her comic book debut in 1961. But it wasn’t such a great way to start a superhero career. She was seen on the cover of Fantastic Four #1 as a helpless, vanishing girl in the grip of a horrible monster.

At that time, Sue was truly an “invisible girl.” She was a supplemental character, living in the shadow of her genius boyfriend. The burden of responsibility was on her male teammates as they battled the Mole Man, the Super-Skrull, Doctor Doom, and the Frightful Four. She was literally and figuratively invisible.

In many ways, Nica Ashley was the same way. As a high school transfer student, she just wanted to blend in to her new surroundings (see our review of Overpowered for more details). For her, having the ability to turn invisible was a convenient superpower.

Over time, however, Nica gained more confidence in herself. Instead of blending in, she discovered that it was more important to stand out. And by doing so, she became the leader of an awesome superhuman gang in her new hometown of Barrington, Colo.

But wherever there are superheroes, there are always going to be supervillains. That’s a fact, Blackjack. And in this case, the villain was a classmate named Dana Fox. Like all pretty and popular high school cheerleaders, Dana made a great villain. With her sneaky Jedi mind tricks, she could steal your boyfriend and dupe the Department of Defense before lunchtime.

Dana created a lot of drama at Barrington High School, but it’s pretty clear from the start that she wasn’t a boss villain. She was just an annoying buttinsky who stuck her nose into everyone’s business. She was James Wesley not Wilson Fisk – just a tool for higher-level powerbrokers.

With Overpowered, the author wrote a fun book that mixed superheroes with Rosemary’s Baby-like paranoia and added a bit of Stepford Wives satirical edge. And for kicks, there was a little bit of Footloose thrown into the mix too. These elements remain in Overtaken. But this time, the author has added a Carrie-like denouement. Teenagers take note: don’t bring a date with telekinetic powers to a school dance. It never ends well.

As we all know, Sue Storm eventually established herself as the doyenne of the Fantastic Four. She’s come a long way from her inauspicious debut. Her career as a superhero sends a clear message to Nica Ashley (and all the other invisible girls in the world): Invisibility is an amazing power. Just be careful — you don’t want to disappear completely.

[Overtaken / By Mark H. Kruger / First Printing: May 2015 / ISBN: 9781442431317]

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