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How the Marvel's Invisible Woman inspired the New Teen Titans’ female superheroes, according to Teen Titans co-creator Marv Wolfman

Marv Wolfman wanted strong female characters

Cropped cover of New Teen Titans featuring the teen titans
Image credit: DC Comics

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The Fantastic Four’s Invisible Woman is one of the most high profile female characters in superhero comics. Her unique superpowers directly inspired the team dynamic of The New Teen Titans during Marv Wolfman and George Pérez’s run beginning in 1980. Speaking at his Spotlight panel at WonderCon 2024, writer Marv Wolfman explained why Marvel Comics’ failure to give Sue Storm a more visible, literally, role within its comics universe pushed him and Pérez to incorporate powerful female characters in their Teen Titans lineup.

“My favorite Marvel book was Fantastic Four… and as much as I loved the Fantastic Four, I had a problem with Sue Storm. Because what’s her big power? She turns invisible. They gave her a force field later, but… why weren’t the female characters being used? Why were they merely just window dressing in the book?”

Wolfman and Pérez’s Teen Titans lineup featured Donna Troy’s Wonder Girl as well as Starfire and Raven, who were the most powerful members of the team. While it would take years for Sue Storm to grow beyond merely being Mister Fantastic’s wife in Marvel Comics, Wonder Girl, Starfire, and Raven all played central roles in the Teen Titans’ adventures. The details of Wonder Girl’s origin story, which had been murky due to constant changes to DC continuity, was settled in the “Who is Wonder Girl?” storyline beginning in The New Titans #50 from 1988.

Raven, the daughter of the demon Trigon, frequently clashed with her father. Her magical abilities and supernatural origins frequently added a darker tone to The Teen Titans’ adventures. Meanwhile, Starfire was an alien princess whose culture and world were explored through her tense relationship with her sister, the villainous Blackfire. Each female member of The Teen Titans contributed to the team’s lore with their own unique background and skillset. Wolfman’s frustration with how Marvel Comics underutilized the Invisible Woman birthed some of the most beloved characters in DC Comics history.

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