Invisible Woman #3 // Review
Keeran Townland is a tiny, little rural area of County Galway in Ireland. There’s a woman casually washing the dishes in her kitchen in Keeran when she turns around to see a stranger suddenly appear behind her. It’s the American superhero, Sue Richards. She’s there to talk to a stranger. Writer Mark Waid’s exploration into the long-hidden espionage life of Marvel’s first female superhero continues in Invisible Woman #3. Drawn with a sharp sense of depth by Mattia De Iulis. The mystery continues as Sue dives even deeper into the many mysteries of an old friend who was a field agent for the CIA.
Invisible Woman’s friend Aidan Tintreach was captured by Moravian spies. He had more secrets than she knew about. An investigation into Aidan in Madripoor revealed that he had a wife named Colleen who lived in Ireland. Naturally, Sue’s investigation is going to lead to Ireland to confront the wife she didn’t know about. Sue’s sudden appearance might be a bit of a surprise to Colleen. But Sue’s in for a bit of a surprise herself when a menacing nightmare rockabilly-inspired figure known as Enemy Argent explosively bursts into the kitchen with a tactical squad.
It isn’t easy to draw Sue Storm into a world of espionage and then pretend like she’s always been there. The matriarch of the Fantastic Four always had a sweet wholesomeness about her. That felt like the emotional gravity that held the team together. The disconnect between what Waid is putting on the page in this miniseries and the character who has been present in the comics for decades feels that much more jarring. In an issue that continues to dive into a shadowy double-life that feels more like Black Widow in Sue’s body than anything resembling the character. That being said, the story that Waid continues to deliver here is a good mix of Marvel-style action with cloak-and-dagger intrigue that works quite well on its own.
De Iulis carries on in a tradition of beautiful art that lacks a whole lot of detail to solidly nail down the realism of the story. This isn’t a serious issue as the drama that rests at the center of the issue plays out beautifully across the faces of the characters in another visually satisfying chapter. The mystery of a super-spy Invisible Woman feels strikingly transparent as subtleties of emotion are cast across her face. In a story that brings the action to the page with power and combustion that isn’t always perfectly kinetic. The drama of the scenes feels suitably cinematic with imposing images that cling to the script with a clever sense of form. The visual reality of the story feels well thought-out even if it doesn’t amplify the script quite as well as it could.
Waid’s Sue Richards feels pretty solid as she continues her journey into espionage here. The disconnect between the well-worn character in the traditional comics and the super-spy in Waid’s world feels like a really compelling parallel universe drawn in the vein of a standard Marvel comic. But it would do better to sell the premise of wholesome heroine with a shadowy background. Greater integration with the more significant Marvel history could open the character up in so many ways that Waid’s not quite achieving here.