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Violet from the Incredibles and Sue Storm from The Fantastic Four are both heroins whose power is both to become invisible and to create force fields. Now, maybe Violet is an homage to Sue Storm but, if she isn't, why is it both of them have these two powers coupled together? Is there some significance to the two powers being in the same person or, is one of them a byproduct of the other?

  • 2
    Possible duplicate of What inspired the Incredibles? especially this answer (Violet's personality/not a direct reference to Sue Storm). Had the question been about more characters than just Violet and Sue Storm, I'd have thought it could be left open, but in that case, that is so specific I fail to see how it would not be answered by the proposed dupe-target.
    – Jenayah
    Oct 28, 2021 at 5:40
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    @Jenayah i don't think so...like ok people who wrote incredibles came up with something for a similar yet mostly independent reason from the people who wrote fantastic four. but what was the reason? why did they decide for a character with invisibility as a power to also have force fields as a power?
    – BCLC
    Oct 28, 2021 at 5:46
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    I don't see how this is a dupe, myself. Sure, there's overlap in respect to Violet, but none of the answers to the other question explain why Sue Storm has this combination of powers. Oct 28, 2021 at 10:42
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    @BCLC - I have voted to reopen, but you could remove all doubt as to whether this question is a duplicate or not by editing it to remove any reference to Violet or the Incredibles, and just ask why Sue Storm was given that particular combination of powers. The accepted answer to the other question does explain why Violet has those powers. Oct 28, 2021 at 11:20
  • 3
    @BCLC please do not ping as many people as you can asking for them to reopen your question. They’ll either see it naturally through the queue or on the page and act how they feel is necessary. Or if the question fails to be reopened you can start a meta asking if it can be reopened. Comment pinging people, especially 3 different ones all in a row, isn’t the best course of action and can be seen as annoying by some.
    – TheLethalCarrot
    Oct 29, 2021 at 5:22

1 Answer 1


In Sue Storm's earliest appearances, her sole power was the ability to turn herself invisible. She couldn't turn other people or objects invisible, and couldn't project force fields either. Stan Lee said he was trying to think of four powers that were totally different, and that he didn't want Sue to be strong or punch people, since she was a girl.

As for the Invisible Girl, she's a girl, so I didn't want her to be strong. I don't want her to be Wonder Woman and punch people. So what power should she have? I figured, "Gee, what if she's invisible?" I knew there had been invisible people. There was The Invisible Man, the movie with Claude Rains. All I was trying to do was think of four powers that were totally different.

Stan Lee ~ Stan Lee: Conversations (2007)

It wasn't until Fantastic Four Vol. 1 #22 that Sue gained the ability to turn other people and objects invisible, and project force fields as well. Apparently, Reed theorised that Sue's invisibility was a form of energy, and that with practice, she could learn to control and utilise that energy for a wider variety of effects.

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Speculating here, but I imagine this was also a way to make Sue more powerful and proactive, while keeping her abilities distinct from the other members of the team. In her earliest appearances, she was clearly the least powerful member of the team, and played a relatively passive role in fight scenes. Whereas, by the time of John Byrne's Fantastic Four run in the early 1980s, she was clearly the most powerful member of the team.

As for Violet, it always seemed obvious to me that the Incredibles drew heavily on the Fantastic Four for inspiration, and that Violet's powers specifically were inspired by those of Sue Storm. However, Brad Bird has denied this, suggesting that he came up with his ideas independently. According to him, he gave Violet the powers of invisibility and protective shields, because teenagers are "insecure and defensive".

MICHAEL BARRIER: I've been astonished by how precise the parallels have been that some people have drawn between the film and certain superhero comic books, like Powers, Watchmen, and Fantastic Four. I gather from other interviews, though, that you really haven't been that much of a comic-book reader, and really haven't been consciously influenced by these comic books. What kind of feedback have you been getting from fans about these supposed influences, and how have you been responding?

BRAD BIRD: I was not a big comic-book reader. I read a few, when I was little, but I was really much more into things like "Peanuts" and "B.C."—funny strips. I got my heroes secondhand, from television and movies, to a certain extent. When fans ask if I was influenced by issue 47 of Whoeverman, I have no idea what they're talking about. I'm perfectly willing to believe that I'm not the first to come up with certain ideas involving superheroes; it's probably the most well-trod turf on the planet. If there are similarities, it's simply because the same thoughts that occurred to other people also occurred to me. I'd be astonished if anyone could come up with any truly original powers that were at all interesting any more.

That's not the part of the story that I'm interested in, anyway. The part that I'm interested in is all the personal stuff. I tried to base the powers on family archetypes. The father is always expected to be strong, so I had him have strength. Moms are always pulled in a million different directions, so I had her be elastic. Teenagers are insecure and defensive, so I had her be invisible and have protective shields. Ten-year-old boys are hyperactive energy balls, so I had him be speed. And babies are unknown—they may have great powers, they may have none.

INTERVIEWS - Brad Bird - An Interview by Michael Barrier

  • Pffft. He was so reluctant to give her any powers that were combative and "unfeminine" that he ended up giving her powers that by the least broad interpretation make her the second-best combatant on the team.
    – Adamant
    Oct 28, 2021 at 6:44
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    Expenses on ink dropped by 15% when Lee introduced Invisible Girl’s invisible force fields! Oct 28, 2021 at 7:57
  • If I'm recalling discussions from the Fantasticast correctly, readers were routinely writing in and complaining that Sue was useless on the team before she got the force fields.
    – notovny
    Oct 28, 2021 at 10:47

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