Invisible Woman #3
This is a spy story, all right. Everything in it is either a false identity, a disguise, a lie, or a trick. We are also reminded of The Invisible Woman’s great weakness—and I’m not talking about The Sub-Mariner.
Colleen, the comely, freckle-faced Irish redhead whom British Agent Aidan Tintreach supposedly married, is not his wife, their “marriage” being a duty-related fabrication. As soon as Sue has learned this, they are both attacked by a villain called Enemy Argent and his henchmen. This baddie, whom Sue recognizes but we’ve never seen before, employs a sonic technology to incapacitate Sue until she uses her projecting-invisibility powers to confuse them enough for her to flatten them. Colleen, understanding Sue is not another enemy (who on Marvel Earth doesn’t know The Fantastic Four and recognize them as the goodest of the good guys?), gives Sue her next lead, which sends our Invisible Woman off to Italy and the high-society party given by an Italian socialite, Octavia Vetivier.
To get into the party incognito, Sue uses a new trick with her powers and consciously selects which wavelengths of visible light her hair and skin will reflect, changing herself from a blonde to an olive-skinned brunette. This is just so clever; Mark Waid gets the highest commendations for thinking of it. Now passing for an Italian bombshell, Sue uses her other powers to create a diversion and grab Octavia, cloaking them both and hustling the wealthy arts patron out of the party. (The way Mattia De Luis has rendered Sue’s invisibility powers is the least satisfying part of this issue, visually.)
Out in the garden, Sue gets Octavia to reveal that she is the creator of a new Li-Fi technology that will revolutionize communications and enable its user to seize control of any WiFi device—but the Moravians have kidnapped Octavia’s husband Arthur to blackmail her into helping them weaponize the tech. But this too is a lie; after Sue has put down some more attackers, Octavia uses another sonic weapon on our heroine and reveals that Octavia herself is working with the Moravians. And who should appear next but Aidan, who is helping Octavia! Battling super-villains and alien invaders seems so much simpler than all this…
The very tricky plot for this third installment of Sue Richards’s foray into Ian Fleming territory at least harkens back to a Fantastic Four detail we learned years ago. While The Invisible Woman is normally capable of wiping the floor with most enemies she encounters, she does have a “Kryptonite.” Powers and weapons utilizing sound are a critical vulnerability for her. As I read this, it reminded me of Fantastic Four #56, in which the attack of “Klaw, the Murderous Master of Sound” just about had her on the ropes. Score another one for Mark Waid, remembering that there is one very potent thing that villains can use against Earth’s greatest adventuress.
Except for the depiction of Sue’s cloaking powers when she grabs Octavia during the party sequence—it looks as if the two women have become a pair of gold statues—the art for this issue is Mattia De Luis’s best work on this book so far. She still wouldn’t be the best fit for the actual Fantastic Four book, but she fits well enough here.
The cover of this issue is very amusing in spite of it putting the logo at the bottom of the composition again. I wish they wouldn’t do that. But the Adam Hughes image, harking back both to Marilyn Monroe and Madonna, is a winner.
Well, halfway through The Invisible Woman’s spy adventure, what can we look forward to seeing next? I rather wish I’d paid better attention to James Bond movies all these years; I might have a better idea of what’s coming. Anyone know where I can watch some Man From UNCLE reruns, at least? What do you want to bet Aidan is double agent or something?
Invisible Woman #3: “Brunette is the New Blonde”
- Writing - 9/109/10
- Storyline - 9/109/10
- Art - 9/109/10
- Color - 9/109/10
- Cover Art - 10/1010/10
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