The Femmes Invisible Database logo (that's supposed to be Kitty Carroll)

The Femmes Invisible Database

A quick look at some women you can't see.

"I can show my true self to the world without anyone actually seeing!" — Linda Twist

In print
Fictional (we think) heroines beyond mere vision.

Stella Hollies

Type: TFI

Disappearing in: Stella, 1898 novel by C. Howard Hinton Note 1

How she got that way: Philosopher Michael Graham persuades her that being invisible is being perfect

Permanent? There is a countermeasure, but Stella vows to never be seen

Remarks: Stella lashes out at women who "dress and paint", but it doesn't discourage suitor Hugh Churton; acclaimed (at least in some circles) as the first FI story

 

Myra Roderich

Type: TFI

Disappearing in: The Secret of Wilhelm Storitz, short story by Jules Verne, published posthumously in anthology Yesterday and Tomorrow, 1910

How she got that way: The Prussian chemist Wilhelm Storitz becomes obsessed with Myra, demanding that she forsake her fiance and marry Storitz instead; when she refuses, Storitz slips her an invisibility drug with no known antidote

Permanent? The invisible Myra marries her fiance anyway; he eventually impregnates her, somehow; when Myra gives birth to a normal male child, she regains visibility

Remarks: Verne is not explicit about the details of a visible foetus gestating inside an invisible woman; this story was filmed in 1967 for French television with Pascal Audret as Martha Roederich

 

Lua

Lua, of the Korlu Tribe

Type: FFI

Disappearing in: The Valley of Invisible Men, short story by Edmond Hamilton, published in Amazing Stories, March 1939 Note 2

How she got that way: Stood in front of the "Shining God", a ten-foot-high crystalline radioactive mass, hidden in a cave deep in the jungles of Brazil

Permanent? The effect wears off in two moons

Remarks: Story runs like an Indiana Jones movie, complete with happy ending

 

Scarlet O'Neil

Scarlet O'Neil

Type: FFI

Disappearing in: Invisible Scarlet O'Neil, 1940-54 comic strip by Russell Stamm

How she got that way: Exposed to mysterious ray; she vanishes when she touches a nerve in her wrist

Permanent? Touching the nerve again makes her reappear; she didn't vanish at all during the later years of the strip

Remarks: Also featured in 1943 and 1946 novelizations by Stamm; revived in graphic novel (2008) by Russell Stamm, Jr.

 

Susan Storm

Susan Storm (later Richards)

Type: TFI if she's out of uniform

Disappearing in: Fantastic Four, comic magazine published by Marvel Comics Group, 1961-present, played by Rebecca Staab in 1994 movie directed by Oley Sassone, and played by Jessica Alba in 2005 movie directed by Tim Story

How she got that way: Exposed to cosmic radiation during space travel

Permanent? Can turn it on and off as needed

Remarks: Can also radiate force field; married FF leader Reed Richards in 1968 (timelines, of course, shift); for some reason known as Janet Storm in France

 

Hirriwi and Keyaira, daughters of the Snow King

Type: TFI

Disappearing in: Stardock, short story by Fritz Leiber, published in Fantastic, September 1965 Note 3

How they got that way: It runs in the family

Permanent? Definitely; if they want to be seen, they have jars of some greenish unguent

Remarks: Their father demands offspring, and Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser happen to be halfway up the mountain

 

Elizabeth "Liz" Train

Type: TFI

Disappearing in: See Me Not, short story by Richard Wilson, published in sf Impulse, February 1967 Note 4

How she got that way: Asks the scientists at Lindhof Laboratories to make her invisible after her husband Avery takes two of Lindhof's invisibility pills

Permanent? Liz finally convinces Avery to go to Lindhof's to become visible again

Remarks: Always check your drugs; the invisibility drug was mixed up with a supply of sleeping pills

 

Barby Ashington

Type: FFI

Disappearing in: The Girl Who Looked Like Barby, short story by Ernest Corbyn, published in The Sixth Ghost Book, edited by Rosemary Timperley, 1970

How she got that way: Died before her time — the recording angel forgot about leap years — so she had to return to Earth to reenact her death at the correct time

Permanent? "Off and on. As I wish."

Remarks: Doesn't make much use of her invisibility after using it to convince her old boyfriend that she's now a ghost

 

Lucy Phillips

Type: TFI

Disappearing in: Oh Say Can You See?, short story by Lester del Rey (writing as Erik Van Lhin), published in Worlds of Fantasy, Number 2, 1970

How she got that way: Buys a jar of vanishing cream from Dr. Aracelsus, who is selling his product to women's clubs

Permanent? She can reappear if she concentrates hard enough

Remarks: "Out of sight isn't always out of mind — though it's a good way to lose your mind."

 

Ozawa Ami

Type: TFI

Disappearing in: Alabaster, 1971 manga (later anime) by Tezuka Osama

How she got that way: Born with it: she is the granddaughter of Dr F., inventor of an invisibility ray that is usually lethal to life forms

Permanent? Yes, and the evil Alabaster, now in control of the ray, has forced her into a life of crime

Remarks: Is eventually overwhelmed by guilt; story summary here

 

Maire ní Donnall

Type: FFI

Disappearing in: Too Long a Sacrifice, 1981 novel by Mildred Downey Broxon

How she got that way: Given the gift by the King of Faerie

Permanent? She can reappear at will

Remarks: With her husband, the bard Tadhg MacNiall, they find themselves immersed in the conflict over Northern Ireland

 

Veronica

Veronica (last name not given)

Type: TFI

Disappearing in: Veronica The Invisible Woman, 1983 twelve-panel comic written by Harvey Kurtzman and drawn by Sarah Downs, published in Playboy, July 1983

How she got that way: Living by Three Mile Island

Permanent? "The EPA says it's temporary!"

Remarks: Boyfriend Victor seems to appreciate her more when she's dressed

 

Susan (Sue) Kewley

Type: FFI

Disappearing in: The Glamour, 1985 novel by Christopher Priest

How she got that way: Side effect of the growth process

Permanent? She can turn it off if she so desires

Remarks: And she wants to turn it off for her new boyfriend, Richard Grey — to the annoyance of her previous boyfriend

 

Stella (last name not given)

Type: Transcends mere categorization

Disappearing in: The Invisible Woman, short story by Rosaleen Love, published in Writing Women 6, 1988 Note 5

How she got that way: She is a woman, and her light makes her transparent — or at least capable of infinite shading and nuance

Permanent? Think of it as a lifelong adventure

Remarks: Sometimes we can't even see the evidence before our eyes

 

Athaya Trelane

Type: FFI

Disappearing in: Call of Madness, 1990 novel by Julie Dean Smith

How she got that way: Hitherto-undiscovered (and undesired) powers of wizardry, inherited from her father, Kelwyn, King of Caithe

Permanent? Spell summoned as needed

Remarks: Followed by Mission of Magic, in which brother Durek, succeeding to the throne, seeks to rid the land of magic

 

Kiki Shaw

Type: FFI

Disappearing in: Now You See Her, 1994 novel by Whitney Otto

How she got that way: Being ignored all those years starts to take its toll

Permanent? Learning to love yourself is the greatest love of all

Remarks: Some women — but apparently no men — could detect her

 

Clair Corwin

Type: FFI

Disappearing in: The Invisible Woman, short story by Thomas M. Disch, published in Asimov's Science Fiction, January 1995

How she got that way: It just sort of happened after no one noticed her anymore

Permanent? True Love cures more than heartache

Remarks: Just ask her boyfriend

Vanessa Steele

 

Vanessa Steele

Type: TFI

Disappearing in: The Woman Between the Worlds, 1995 novel by F. Gwynplaine MacIntyre

How she got that way: All persons from her parallel universe are apparently invisible in this one

Permanent? Unless she moves back home

Remarks: Seeks out a London tattoo artist to render her visible in this world, thus invisible to the evil-doers she left behind

  Elisa Cameron

Elisa Cameron, also known as Ghost

Type: Either, depending on circumstances

Disappearing in: Ghost, comic magazine published by Dark Horse Comics, 1995-2000

How she got that way: Apparently killed at the behest of a mogul named Crux, for sticking her reportorial nose into his business

Permanent? She can materialize or dematerialize almost at will

Remarks: But nothing is permanent in Arcadia, except chaos

 

Dr. Lois Doberman

Type: Sort of FFI

Disappearing in: The Lady Vanishes, short story by Charles Sheffield, published in Science Fiction Age, November 1996

How she got that way: Developed a computerized bodysuit and cap to feed the image behind her to a liquid-crystal array in front of her

Permanent? Only so long as she keeps it on and the computer doesn't crash

Remarks: And this was her ticket out of the American intelligence community

 

Slippery Woman

Melisa (last name not given)

Type: TFI

Disappearing in: Slippery Woman, feature by Eduardo Risso, Carlos Trillo and Sebastian Izaguirre, published in Heavy Metal, September 1997

How she got that way: Doesn't say

Permanent? Seems that way

Remarks: And once you, er, see her, nothing else matters; men have spent their lives in search of her

 

Vanessa Lightfoot

Type: TFI

Disappearing in: The Invisible Woman's Clever Disguise, short story by Elizabeth Ann Scarborough, 2000 Note 7

How she got that way: A "gradual fading that happened over the years"

Permanent? Apparently, but it may not matter so much in New Orleans

Remarks: The Krewe of Melusine, who requests her presence at a Mardi Gras fest, consists largely of people who can see — and presumably appreciate — the invisible

 

Kim Suskind

Kim Süskind

Type: TFI

Disappearing in: Planetary, comic series by Warren Ellis and John Cassaday, 1999-2001, resumed 2003

How she got that way: She and three others were granted powers, more or less randomly, by superhumans in exchange for control of their home planet after 50 years; she also does force fields and such

Permanent? She can turn it on and off as needed

Remarks: When invisible, she can't see without special goggles

 

Kelly Gordon

Kelly Gordon

Type: TFI

Disappearing in: The Bod, comic series by Larry Young and John Heebink, half of Double Image comics, 2001

How she got that way: Accident during a Hollywood special-effects gig

Permanent? Certainly, um, appears to be

Remarks: Apparently was originally going to be named Jenny White

 

Joseph Thomas "Josie" Everett

Type: TFI

Disappearing in: Invisible Woman, novel by Elizabeth Kingsbury, 2001

How she got that way: Appropriates invisibility experiment conducted by snippy fiancé Larry Laws

Permanent? She thinks so, but she has a delightful surprise coming

Remarks: Her parents wanted a boy, hence the name; the author has said she would like to see Sandra Bullock star in the presumably-inevitable movie version

 

Sheila Borden

Type: TFI

Disappearing in: Things Not Seen, novel by Andrew Clements, 2002

How she got that way: Strange defect in a Sears electric blanket

Permanent? It doesn't have to be, but she prefers it this way

Remarks: The story is told by teenager Bobby Phillips, who has the same model blanket, and who, in an effort to find other invisible persons, traces Sheila, living in Florida and in no further need of blankets

 

Logan Griffin

Type: TFI

Disappearing in: Out of Sight, novel by T. J. MacGregor, 2002

How she got that way: Combination of technology and Ecuadorian herbs administered to her and her husband Tyler as part of the mysterious Tesla Project

Permanent? Were it easily reversible, there would be no plot

Remarks: An effort to extend the process to an entire village also "shrouds" a family of three

 

Amanda Douglas

Type: FFI

Disappearing in: Dancing with the Devil, novel by Jacqueline Silvestri, 2004

How she got that way: Comes with being dead and ghostly and all

Permanent? She can briefly materialize

Remarks: Having been killed (defenestration) by then-husband John, she vows revenge upon him and his previously-undisclosed array of girlfriends

 

Princess Mei Ling

Type: FFI

Disappearing in: Wei Lu and the Mysterious Mushrooms, novel by M. J. Isham, 2004

How she got that way: Given a cup of mysterious-mushroom tea by the intrepid Wei Lu, who seeks her help to rescue children held captive by the evil Zu Bing

Permanent? One trip to the toilet and it's gone

Remarks: And all the children get tea, to facilitate their escape

 

Sly

Sly

Type: TFI

Disappearing in: StrykeForce, comic series by Jay Faerber and Tyler Kirkham, characters created by Marc Silvestri, Top Cow comics, 2004

How she got that way: Never really explained

Permanent? Can usually switch it on and off as needed, but fades out when she's nervous or scared

Remarks: "Her outgoing personality is ofen at odds with her stealthy abilities."

 

Madison Blue

Type: TFI/FFI

Disappearing in: Phantom Jack, comic series by Michael San Giacomo, Image comics, 2004; reissued in "Absolute Edition" by AtomicPopArt Entertainment, 2007

How she got that way: No information presently available

Permanent? Invisibility has become her natural state; can appear visible but it takes concentration

Remarks: Last of a series of invisible agents working for "Miscellaneous"; teams up with "Phantom Jack" Baxter on his mission; her invisibility is a risk factor for liver disease

 

Lusinda Havershaw

Type: TFI

Disappearing in: The Trouble with Moonlight, novel by Donna MacMeans, 2008

How she got that way: Inherited from her mother's side; she was born during a full moon while her mother was in "full phase"

Permanent? Gradually reappears as the moonlight diminishes

Remarks: James Locke catches her in a petty theft, and trains her in the fine art of espionage on behalf of the Crown

 

Lady Hermione Marlowe

Type: FFI

Disappearing in: Tempted by the Night, novel by Elizabeth Boyle, 2008

How she got that way: While wearing Milton's ring, which unbeknownst to her grants wishes, she utters a desire to be "a phantom from sunset to sunrise," that she may discover the secrets of Lord Rockhurst

Permanent? She reappears every morning

Remarks: Rockhurst turns out to have secrets beyond her imaginings; her older brother Sebastian was featured in Boyle's His Mistress by Morning (2006)

 

Kali Allaway

Type: Mostly TFI (she apparently has invisible clothing, but you can see her hat)

Disappearing in: Enjuhneer, Web comic by Jenny Blanchard, 2008-

How she got that way: A reflection (hee) of the fact that there are no females in engineering schools or on the Internet, magnified by exposure to, um, radioactive toast

Permanent? Nothing to indicate otherwise

Remarks: Refuses to remain inconspicuous; has a well-deserved reputation as a merry prankster

 

Clover Hobart

Type: TFI

Disappearing in: Calling Invisible Women, 2012 novel by Jeanne Ray

How she got that way: Drug interaction: the combination of three common prescriptions, conveniently made by the same pharmaceutical firm

Permanent: It fluctuates at first, but doesn't go away until the drugs are out of her system

Remarks: It took several weeks for husband Arthur even to notice that his wife had disappeared; invisbility also seems to confer a relative insensitivity to cold, a handy feature when you're having to go without clothing

On screen:
Unseen goddesses of the blue screen.

Marion Kerby

Marion Kerby
played by Constance Bennett

Type: Mostly FFI

Disappearing in: Topper, 1937, and Topper Takes a Trip, 1939, films directed by Norman Z. MacLeod

How she got that way: Killed (with hubby George, played by Cary Grant) in auto accident; must perform service to the living before admission to Nirvana

Permanent? Materializes as required to perplex stuffy banker Cosmo Topper (Roland Young)

Remarks: Also TV series (1953-56) with Anne Jeffreys; TV-movie in 1970 with Kate Jackson

 

Gail Richards

Gail Richards
played by Joan Blondell

Type: Mostly FFI

Disappearing in: Topper Returns, 1941 film directed by Roy del Rio

How she got that way: Murdered, but won't stay still

Permanent? Materializes as required to perplex stuffy banker Cosmo Topper (Roland Young)

Remarks: "A negligee's hardly appropriate for solving crimes."

 

Kitty Carroll

Kitty Carroll
played by Virginia Bruce

Type: TFI

Disappearing in: The Invisible Woman, 1941 film directed by A. Edward Sutherland

How she got that way: Injection plus external treatment, devised by Professor Gibbs

Permanent? It wears off, unless she's drinking, in which case the Professor must administer an antidote

Remarks: Ne plus ultra; John Fulton effects, still effective after all these years, Oscar®-nominated; sort of shrine here

 

Joan Shotesbury

Joan Shotesbury
played by Jane Wyman

Type: TFI

Disappearing in: The Body Disappears, 1941 film directed by D. Ross Lederman

How she got that way: Injection of formula devised by her scientist father (Edward Everett Horton)

Permanent? Dad does have a fix for things

Remarks: Sometimes you just have to take matters into your own hands, assuming you can find them

 

Terry Vance

Terry Vance
played by Marion Martin

Type: FFI

Disappearing in: Gildersleeve's Ghost, 1944 film directed by Gordon Douglas

How she got that way: Kidnapped by mad scientist Mr Peavey (Richard LeGrand) and forced to take an invisibility pill

Permanent? Various antidotes don't work, until the last one

Remarks: "I used to hunt men. Now I gotta haunt 'em."

 

Elvira Condomine

Elvira Condomine
played by Kay Hammond

Type: FFI

Disappearing in: Blithe Spirit, 1945 film directed by David Lean, based on the 1941 stage play by Noel Coward

How she got that way: The ghost of the late Mrs Condomine, summoned by absent-minded medium Madame Arcati (Margaret Rutherford)

Permanent? Yes; and she can only be seen by her widowed husband Charles (Rex Harrison)

Remarks: His second wife Ruth (Constance Cummings) also dies, and returns to haunt him too

 

Melody Allen

Melody Allen
played by Marjorie Reynolds

Type: TFI in contemporary clothing; FFI in her own

Disappearing in: The Time of Their Lives, 1946 film directed by Charles Barton

How she got that way: One of the perks of being dead

Permanent? One of the disadvantages of being dead

Remarks: She and Horatio Prim (Lou Costello) were put to death in the American Revolution, and they're in contemporary New England trying to find a letter from George Washington which proves they weren't traitors after all

 

Cassandra

Cassandra (last name not given)
played by Beverly Adams

Type: TFI

Disappearing in: How to Stuff a Wild Bikini, 1965 film directed by William Asher

How she got that way: Her dad's a witch doctor

Permanent? Lasts only long enough for her to make an entrance on the beach

Remarks: "It ain't nothin' without the stuffin'," the guys proclaim

 

Dr Canyon

Dr Canyon (first name not given)
played by Lyn Peters

Type: FFI

Disappearing in: "One Nation Invisible", 1968 episode of Get Smart, NBC TV series

How she got that way: Developed an invisibility spray formula, to expedite theft of "Ginsberg Papers" for KAOS

Permanent? Wears off at inopportune times, with very little warning (such as just when Agent 99 returns from a trip and finds her on Maxwell Smart's sofa)

Remarks: Would you believe Max tries the stuff himself?

 

Yin Chu

Yin Chu
played by Lily Li

Type: TFI

Disappearing in: Shadow Girl, 1971 film produced by the Shaw Brothers (Hong Kong)

How she got that way: Given a potion by sorceress Granny which makes her visible at night and invisible during the day

Permanent? A smitten physician promises to find an antidote

Remarks: She wields a pretty mean sword, too

 

Harriet Winkler

Harriet Winkler
played by Elaine Joyce

Type: TFI

Disappearing in: Episode of Fantasy Island, ABC TV series, c. 1980

How she got that way: Given a potion by Mr Roarke (Ricardo Montalban), so that she might spy on her unfaithful fiancé

Permanent? Reappears when the potion wears off

Remarks: Somewhere in the shadows is the late Rep. Sonny Bono (R-Calif.)

 

Amanda Worth

Cindy Worth and Amanda Worth (aka Mr Tendyck)
played by Lisa Langlois and Morgan Hart respectively

Type: TFI

Disappearing in: The Man Who Wasn't There, 1983 film directed by Bruce Malmuth

How they got that way: Drinking green fluid which Tendyck plans to monopolize

Permanent? Wears off when it's least convenient, apparently

Remarks: Filmed in 3-D, although you'd never know it

  Sandy Martinson

Sandy Martinson
played by Alexa Hamilton

Type: TFI

Disappearing in: The Invisible Woman, 1983 TV-movie directed by Alan J. Levi

How she got that way: While visiting Uncle Dudley (Bob Denver) at his laboratory, wiped up spilled chemicals

Permanent? So far, but hasn't hindered her career as Washington beat reporter

Remarks: Pilot for a TV series (NBC), though not picked up

 

Jennifer Farrell

Jennifer Farrell
played by Ann Jillian

Type: Mostly FFI

Disappearing in: Jennifer Slept Here, NBC TV series, 1983-1984

How she got that way: Comes with the territory, being dead and all

Permanent? She can turn it on and off, but she is only seen by teenaged Joey Elliot (John P. Navin Jr.)

Remarks: NBC bought this and not The Invisible Woman?

 

Alice Tate

Alice Tate
played by Mia Farrow

Type: FFI

Disappearing in: Alice, 1990 film directed by Woody Allen

How she got that way: Drank herbal potion obtained from the inscrutable Dr Yang (Keye Luke)

Permanent? It wears off in time for the punch line

Remarks: Spies on friends and relatives, exactly the way you would if you could

 

Ching

Ching (Invisible Girl, Number 3)
played by Michelle Yeoh

Type: FFI

Disappearing in: The Heroic Trio, 1993 film directed by Johnny To and Ching Siu Tung

How she got that way: Scientist boyfriend has been working on this stuff for years

Permanent? It's built into the robe, though it doesn't work so well in daylight yet

Remarks: Really didn't steal children because she wanted to, but because she was in thrall to some underground master

 

Laura Griffin

Laura Griffin
played by Dee Wallace Stone

Type: TFI

Disappearing in: Invisible Mom, 1995 film (not released in US until 1997, and then straight to video) directed by Fred Olen Ray

How she got that way: Inventor dad (Barry Livingston) creates potion, kid tries to swipe it, it winds up in cola bottle, Mom accidentally drinks it

Permanent? Dad has an antidote, if he can get it back from the lab

Remarks: In the inevitable sequel (1999), the family adopts an orphan, only to discover he has relatives who want him for his trust fund

 

Kam

Kam (last name not given)
played by Bobbie Phillips

Type: FFI

Disappearing in: Chameleon, 1998 TV-movie directed by Stuart Cooper

How she got that way: Genetically engineered to blend in with her background (hence the name)

Permanent: She can turn it on or off as situations demand

Remarks: UPN also aired two sequels (Chameleon II: Death Match, 1999, and Chameleon III: Dark Angel, 2000); Kam disappears less in the later episodes

 

Barbara Richards

Barbara Richards
played by Melissa Williamson

Type: TFI

Disappearing in: Mom's Outta Sight, 1998 film (not released in US until 2001, and then straight to video) directed by Peter Stewart

How she got that way: Her husband, inventor of a "transmitter ray", has been replaced by a double, and her disappearance is a byproduct of her investigation thereof

Permanent: She's back by the end of the movie

Remarks: Not to be confused with either of the Invisible Mom films

 

Levi's woman

Unnamed woman

Type: TFI

Disappearing in: Levi's® jeans advertising campaign, 1999

How she got that way: We haven't been told that

Permanent: We haven't been told that either

Remarks: Although you really have to envy her slacker boyfriend; here's how it was done

 

Unnamed woman, identified as "The Invisible Girl"
voiced by Heather Aldridge

Type: FFI, although her clothing appears when removed

Disappearing in: Untitled: A Love Story, 2003 film directed by Alexander Baack

How she got that way: Not revealed; it's taken for granted

Permanent: Presumably

Remarks: Originally shot for, it is said, $9000; subsequently optioned by another producer, may be remade; here's a screenshot from their first meeting

 

Clara Griffin
played by Christine Chatelain

Type: TFI

Disappearing in: Sanctuary, 2008 (and thereafter) series on Syfy

How she got that way: Granddaughter of Nigel Griffin, an Abnormal and a member of The Five, a group which acquired powers by the injection of pure vampire blood

Permanent: She toggles it on and off by concentration

Remarks: Existence of other Abnormals is considered a threat by The Cabal, which seeks to destroy them; killed at the London Sanctuary in a 2009 episode

 

Pearl Andrews

Pearl Andrews
played by Fiona Vroom

Type: FFI

Disappearing in: The True Heroines, 2013 (and continuing) Web series directed by Michelle Ouellet

How she got that way: Unknown, but based from a top secret project (HSA: Humans with Special Abilities) that went active after the first World War

Permanent: Can turn on and off as needed, but moments of anxiety can be a "trigger" for her

Remarks: A burlesque dancer in 1940s postwar Europe; by 1951, she was a housewife based in New Paradise Hill; series began as a burlesque stage show in Vancouver; further information here

The Junior Division:
The shadows can be a learning experience.

Mabel Prowse

Mabel Prowse, about 11

Type: FFI, although her clothing appears when removed, and her shadow remains visible

Disappearing in: The Enchanted Castle, 1907 novel by Edith Nesbit

How she got that way: Accidentally putting on a magic ring while dressing up as a princess

Permanent? Only until she takes off the ring, which can be done only at intervals of seven hours (she winds up taking 21)

Remarks: A woman named Eliza turns invisible later, but only for seven hours; the ring also has the power of bringing statues to life; complete text is available here

 

Mavis Desmond, about 12, and Kathleen Desmond, about 7

Type: FFI

Disappearing in: Wet Magic, 1913 novel by Edith Nesbit

How they got that way: They rescue a captive mermaid, who turns out to be a princess; the queen temporarily enlists them in her underwater forces and gives them enchanted coats which will make them invisible at the touch of a button

Permanent? Touching a different button returns them to visibility; yet another button makes them intangible

Remarks: Brothers Bernard and Francis are also along for the adventure; a drink from the Oblivion Cup makes them forget anything ever happened; complete text is available here

 

Dina Din

Dina Din, looks about 14

Type: Possibly TFI

How she got that way: Like her cousin Dani Din, she drank of the Violet Water invented by Professor Katros

Permanent? Apparently not

Remarks: Introduced in issue #21 of Dani Din, circa 1970, written by Shraga Gafni as "On Sarig," disappeared after issue #27; details here

 

Ada Garcia, 10

Type: FFI

Disappearing in: The Invisible Girl, 1974 short story by Pamela Sargent, from collection The Killer Plants and Other Stories, edited by Roger Elwood

How she got that way: She bumps into an invisible man, making him temporarily visible, and asks if she could try it, since nobody would miss her anyway

Permanent: It wears off at the exact moment she realizes that they would too miss her

Remarks: A small but heartfelt tale by a writer who usually works in serious grownup SF

 

Mildred and Maud

Mildred Hubble and friend Maud, each about 10

Type: FFI

Disappearing in: The Worst Witch, 1974 novel by Jill Murphy

How they got that way: Accidentally made invisibility potion instead of laughing potion

Permanent? It starts wearing off after a few minutes — "a very slow process."

Remarks: The rest of the story is about other witchcraft powers; later filmed with Fairuza Balk in the title role

 

Violet

Violet (last name not given), 8 or so

Type: FFI, except that rubber objects like boots and elastic don't fade

Disappearing in: Now You See Me, Now You Don't, 1979 short story by Marjorie Darke, from collection The Cat-Flap and the Apple Pie, edited by Lance Solway Note 6

How she got that way: Sniffing oil for cleaning horses' hooves

Permanent? She appears and disappears at random until it wears off

Remarks: Being invisible won't stop her from winning the gymkhana

 

Vicki Bates, 13

Type: TFI at first, until the stuff really starts to spread

Disappearing in: Vanishing Vicki, 1980s graphic novel, Judy Picture Story Library for Girls (UK)

How she got that way: Trying an experimental range of beauty products invented by her uncle's company

Permanent? It wears off after a couple of weeks — until then she can be seen in dim light, but disappears in bright light

Remarks: Her uncle has sent out free samples to various people, and an invisible girl is just what's needed to get them back before anyone else disappears...

 

Disappearing Trix

Disappearing Trix (last name not given), 13 or so

Type: FFI, with the odd exception

Disappearing in: Buster Comics, British series, middle 1980s

How she got that way: It happens in the blink of an eye, usually if she's being pestered by some yob of a boy

Permanent? A second blink brings her back

Remarks: A typical British schoolgirl, except for this disappearing business; vaguely reminiscent of Val's Vanishing Cream, which originated in Cor!! in 1973 and moved to Buster the following year

 

Sheila

Sheila (last name not given), 14ish
voiced by Katie Leigh

Type: Mostly FFI

Disappearing in: Dungeons & Dragons, 1983-1987 animated series, CBS-TV

How she got that way: Was given magic cloak of invisibility by the Dungeon Master (voiced by Sidney Miller)

Permanent? When she puts on the hood, she vanishes; when she takes it off, she reappears

Remarks: Briefly TFI for the first few seconds after donning the cloak, after which both she and the cloak disappear

 

Jeanmarie Troxell, 11

Type: FFI

Disappearing in: Up from Jericho Tel, 1986 novel by E. L. Konigsburg

How she got that way: Sent through the Orgone (with friend Malcolm Soo) by not-entirely-dead actress Tallulah (not necessarily Tallulah Bankhead, despite some similarities)

Permanent? The Orgone's work is undone by the word "papillon"

Remarks: Tallulah has dispatched the two to recover a lost gemstone near their Long Island homes

 

Cindy Moore

Cindy Moore, 17 or 18
played by Chynna Phillips

Type: TFI

Disappearing in: The Invisible Kid, 1988 film by Avery Crounse

How she got that way: Drinking some gunk invented by schoolmate Grover (Jay Underwood)

Permanent? Wears off after 30 minutes — then 25, then 20....

Remarks: Karen Black also disappears in this one, but with perhaps less impact

 

Joanna Rogers

Joanna Rodgers, 13 or so

Type: TFI, excluding one outfit

Disappearing in: Vanishing Act, 1989 novel by Dorothy Nafus Morrison

How she got that way: Experimenting with device acquired from magician

Permanent? Unfortunately, she left the rest of the instructions in the clothes she was wearing when she (and they) vanished

Remarks: Eventually returns to visibility, and destroys the device lest it fall into Evil Hands

 

Casey Granger

Cassandra Ann "Casey" Granger, 11

Type: TFI

Disappearing in: The Invisible Kid and Dr. Poof's Magic Soap, 1993 novel by Terry and Wayne Baltz

How she got that way: Dr. Poof's Magic Soap (duh)

Permanent? It wears off at irregular intervals, or if enough water is applied

Remarks: She was at least smart enough to wash her clothes in the stuff; two sequels followed

 

Cleara Glass

Cleara Glass, sweet 16 or thereabouts

Type: TFI, mostly

Disappearing in: Various Sabrina the Teenage Witch issues from Archie Comics, beginning circa 1993

How she got that way: Just about everyone in Gravestone Heights has some unusual characteristic

Permanent: No doubt

Remarks: One of many characters that didn't get picked up for the TV series

 

Cleara Glass

Josephine "Jo" McCormick, maybe 10

Type: FFI, at least in her original outfit

Disappearing in: Episode 7 of Big Bad Beetleborgs, syndicated TV series, 1996

How she got that way: Friend Roland reads from a spell book

Permanent: He didn't read far enough ahead for the spell to bring her back, and others want that book for their own evil purposes

Remarks: Once the book is retrieved, all is well

  Marcie Ross

Marcie Ross, about 17
played by Clea DuVall

Type: Presumably FFI

Disappearing in: "Invisible Girl" aka "Out of Mind, Out of Sight", episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, The WB (later UPN) TV series, 1997

How she got that way: People ignored her for so long, she just faded away

Permanent: So far as anyone can tell

Remarks: Last (un)seen in training by one of those Secret Government Agencies you hear so much about

 

Billie Stoner

Isobel "Billie" Stoner, not quite 11

Type: FFI

Disappearing in: The Invisible Day, 1997 novel by Marthe Jocelyn, illustrated by Abby Carter

How she got that way: Applying some stuff she found in a lost makeup bag

Permanent: Jody, 15, who invented the stuff and lost the bag, has a cure, but it's yecchy and involves chewing lots of gum

Remarks: In the first of two sequels, Billie's dog disappears; in the second, Billie's not-exactly-friend Alyssa vanishes

 

Vanessa Cleveland, 15ish

Type: FFI

Disappearing in: Goddess of the Night, novel by Lynne Ewing, 2000

How she got that way: Born with Molecules of Invisibility, which react to strong emotions or to the full moon

Permanent? Switchable on or off, up to a point; at age 17, a decision point is reached

Remarks: First of a series; Vanessa is one of four daughters of Selene, the Moon Goddess, selected to do battle with Atrox, evil incarnate

 

Sabrina Spellman

Sabrina Spellman, 14-17ish
played by Melissa Joan Hart
voiced by Britt McKillip

Type: Generally FFI

Disappearing in: (1) "Now You See Her, Now You Don't" episode of Sabrina, the Teenage Witch, ABC TV series, 2000; (2) "Half There" episode of Sabrina's Secret Life, Toon Disney TV series, 2003; both based on the Archie Comics character

How she got that way: (1) Her zeal to diet and get into a killer dress led her to take an Other Realm potion that made her vanish entirely; (2) Rival witch-in-training Cassandra sabotages her cauldron, producing an externally-applied invisibility potion

Permanent? (1) She reappears about the time the lesson is learned; (2) Both she and Cassandra must seek assistance in the Netherworld before they vanish completely

Remarks: Photos are from Secret Life; this scene does not appear in the live-action show, but should have

 

Dawn Mills, 17ish

Type: TFI

Disappearing in: See No Evil, novel by Cherie Bennett and Jeff Gottesfeld based on The WB TV series Smallville, 2002

How she got that way: Strokes with a mysterious green stone found by her rock-collector sister Tillie

Permanent? Water undoes the effect — at least at first

Remarks: Tries to seduce, then destroy, Clark Kent, but is unaware of the rock's effect on him

 

Violet Parr

Violet Parr, 14
voiced by Sarah Vowell

Type: TFI

Disappearing in: The Incredibles, 2004 movie directed by Brad Bird

How she got that way: Descended from superhero parents; powers reflect shy but potentially forceful personality

Permanent? Can turn it on and off as needed

Remarks: "In case you haven't noticed, we aren't doing so hot either."

 

Jennifer Arnold, 13

Type: FFI

Disappearing in: Adventure in Istanbul, 2005 novel by Cora Taylor

How she got that way: A spell she found in an old book of magic, which recurs at inconvenient if not exactly random intervals

Permanent? Eventually she figures out how to reverse the spell

Remarks: She and twin sister Maggie take a family cruise through the Mediterranean, and (with friend Sam) try to locate their father, a downed pilot; reworking of Taylor's earlier Vanishing Act: first of The Spy Who Wasn't There series (followed by Murder in Mexico and Chaos in China)

 

Gurl, 12
(real name not revealed until later)

Type: FFI

Disappearing in: The Wall and the Wing, 2006 novel by Laura Ruby

How she got that way: She is a "Wall," who has the ability to fade into the background; such persons are born maybe once every hundred years or so

Permanent? Can turn it on and off as needed

Remarks: Is forced into thievery by the evil head of the orphanage once her talent is discovered; is best friends with Bug, seemingly the only non-flying boy in New York; both cats and monkeys have powers you never imagined; there is a second novel, The Chaos King (2007)

 

Nikki Fortuna

Nikki Fortuna, 11

Type: FFI

Disappearing in: Nikki the The Invisible Girl, 2007 audiobook by Ilona Bray

How she got that way: Birthday wish unexpectedly granted

Permanent: She toggles her visibility by crossing her fingers

Remarks: After deciding that school activities offer her no challenge, she resolves to become a crimefighter

 

Shizuka Shiroyama

Shizuka Shiroyama, 14 or so

Type: TFI

Disappearing in: Translucent, 2007 (and later) manga by Kazuhiro Okamoto

How she got that way: Suffers from "Translucent Syndrome," a medical condition

Permanent: There is no known cure, though she fluctuates from merely pale to just about gone

Remarks: In first issue, meets up with Keiko, who has disappeared completely as a result of the Syndrome; further issues followed; issued in US by Dark Horse Comics

 

Natalie Irving, 17

Type: FFI

Disappearing in: Visibility, 2008 novel by Sarah Neufeld

How she got that way: Inherited it from mother Jadyn, whose power was first manifest following brain surgery at age eleven

Permanent: She snaps in and out as needed

Remarks: Was generally believed to lack this power until her seventeenth birthday; she becomes part of a plot to expose Jadyn and possibly her seamier associates; novel comes with nifty illustrations by D. Meister

 

Elizabeth Black

Elizabeth Black, 13

Type: TFI at birth, later mostly FFI

Disappearing in: My Invisible Sister, 2010 novel by Beatrice Colin and Sara Pinto

How she got that way: Born with an untreatable genetic condition known as "Formus Disappearus"

Permanent: Judging by the way the story ends, maybe not

Remarks: She does love playing pranks on brother Frank, 9; sometimes her clothes don't disappear when she's putting them on

 

Lola Savullo, 17

Type: FFI

Disappearing in: Invisible, 2011 novel by Jeanne Bannon

How she got that way: Vanishes in times of great emotional stress; it apparently runs in the family, since Grandma Rose had the same capability

Permanent: It comes and goes with her mood

Remarks: As a by-product of learning to control her ability, she learns to control her feelings

 

Fiona McClean, 16

Type: TFI

Disappearing in: Transparent, 2013 novel by Natalie Whipple

How she got that way: "Gifted"; most people in this dystopia are born with a mutation

Permanent: Yes

Remarks: Employed by her father's crime syndicate as a thief, a life she resolves to leave at the earliest possible opportunity; in sequel Blindsided (2014) she and her boyfriend plot to destroy the chemical that induces the mutations

One-shots:
For whom invisibility was a single episode, maybe.

Suzie

Suzie (last name not given)

Type: TFI

Disappearing in: Issue #49 of Suzie, published by MLJ/Archie Comics, Spring 1945

How she got that way: While temping as a lab assistant to Professor Boltzenutz, samples his "vanishing cream"

Permanent: It washes off in the shower

Remarks: Although numbered #49, this was the first issue of Suzie, which continued through the 1950s

 

Lois Lane

Lois Lane

Type: FFI

Disappearing in: Lois Lane issue #38, 1963, and issue #101, 1970; also episode of Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman, ABC-TV series, 1993

How she got that way: LL #38, sampling a serum by Professor Potter; LL #101, via machine (in effort to win Superman over by getting into greater-than-usual mischief); L&C, donning special suit to catch thieves who have stolen similar suits from the inventor

Permanent? Not even

Remarks: I suppose this makes Lois more of a three-shot than a one-shot

 

Maria Rodriguez

Maria Rodriguez
played by Sonia Manzano

Type: FFI

Disappearing in: Episode of Sesame Street, PBS-TV series, 1994

How she got that way: Sprayed by Oscar the Grouch with mysterious "Disappear-O"

Permanent? Wears off by the end of the episode

Remarks: Oscar also becomes invisible, and the two of them tease Luis

 

Fran Drescher

Type: FFI

Disappearing in: CBS-TV promo for a David Copperfield magic special, middle 1990s

How she got that way: The usual special effects

Permanent? 30 seconds, we assume

Remarks: "The Nanny (in which Drescher was then starring) will not be seen tonight."

 

Amy Szalinski

Amy Szalinski
played by Hillary Tuck

Type: FFI

Disappearing in: Episode of Honey, I Shrunk The Kids: The Television Series, syndicated TV series, 1998

How she got that way: Climbed into Dad's "Chameleon-ator" device with the hope of squashing corporate espionage

Permanent: Wears off at the worst possible moment, of course

Remarks: Dad (Peter Scolari) has also used the gizmo — like father, like daughter

 

Linda Twist
played by Ebonnie Masini

Type: TFI

Disappearing in: "Linda Godiva," episode of Round the Twist, Australian TV series, 2001

How she got that way: A spritz from a mysterious old spray bottle

Permanent: Reversed before the end of the show

Remarks: She hopes to help brother Pete win a cross-country horse race so that he can impress the babes

 

Shirley Manson

Shirley Manson
lead singer of Garbage

Type: TFI

Disappearing in: "Cherry Lips (Go Baby Go)", music video from the beautifulgarbage album, 2001

How she got that way: The usual screen effects

Permanent: Three minutes, twelve seconds at the outside

Remarks: We're right behind you

 

Phoebe Halliwell

Phoebe Halliwell
played by Alyssa Milano

Type: TFI

Disappearing in: "Marry Go Round" (aka "Phoebe's Wedding"), episode of Charmed, WB TV series, 2002

How she got that way: Cole constructs a spell which kicks in when Paige attempts to cure her pre-nuptial acne with a smaller vanishing spell

Permanent: The spell expires as the wedding is called off

Remarks: Piper: "I can honestly say that your face is completely clear."

 

Buffy Summers

Buffy Summers
played by Sarah Michelle Gellar

Type: FFI

Disappearing in: "Gone", episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, UPN TV series, 2002

How she got that way: Accidentally zapped by an invisibility ray concocted by the Troika

Permanent: Until someone kicks the ray gun into reverse

Remarks: And if nothing else, at least Spike (James Marsters) gets some exercise out of the deal

 

Libby Folfax
voiced by Crystal Scales

Type: Generally FFI

Disappearing in: "The N-Men" episode of The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron, Boy Genius, Nickelodeon TV series, 2004

How she got that way: She, sister Cindy, Jimmy himself, and friends are exposed to a radiation belt in space in a suspiciously-Fantastic Four-esque plot

Permanent? Jimmy derives a cure from "Heavy Seltzer Water"

Remarks: The N-Men are briefly imprisoned in a dome of Kirbonium, a nod to FF artist Jack Kirby

Explanations and acknowledgements:

Why does this page exist in the first place?


TFI versus FFI:

Watch as she disappears.
If her clothes vanish with her, she's a Fading Femme Invisible, or FFI.
If her clothes remain in sight, she's a True Femme Invisible, or TFI.


Notes:

1. Collected in Scientific Romances (Second Series), 1898, reprinted 1976
2. Reprinted in Science Fiction Adventure Classics, November 1972
3. Revised and issued as part of the novel Swords Against Wizardry, 1968
4. Reprinted in The World's Best Science Fiction 1968, edited by Donald A. Wollheim and Terry Carr
5. Reprinted in The Total Devotion Machine, 1989
6. Reprinted in A Treasury of Pony Stories, edited by Linda Jennings, 1996
7. Collected in Mardi Gras Madness: Tales of Terror and Mayhem in New Orleans, edited by Martin H. Greenberg & Russell Davis, 2000


Links:

The original Femmes Invisible Web site, created by Dennard Summers, is where it all began, and it remains the definitive source of FI information.

For story buffs, Paul Cwick has opened up an Invisible Woman Story Archive.


Credits:

This page is a service of dustbury.com. Send updates and suggestions for this page to chaz@dustbury.com.

In memory of Dennard Summers (1967-2005)

Femmes Invisible, the title, was created by Mike B.

Logo by Mike B., based on a possibly-recognizable theme.

Ghost tm is copyright © by Dark Horse Comics, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Photography by Imagemakers.

Scene from The Invisible Woman copyright © 1940, renewed 1968, by Universal Pictures.

Oscar® is a registered trademark of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Levi's® is a registered trademark of Levi Strauss & Co.

Double Image is copyright © 2001 by Image Comics. All rights reserved.

The Bod is copyright © 2001 by Larry Young and John Heebink. All rights reserved.

Smallville and Clark Kent are trademarks of DC Comics Inc., a Time Warner company.

StrykeForce is copyright © 2004 by Top Cow Productions, Inc. All rights reserved.

The Incredibles is copyright © 2004 by Disney Enterprises, Inc./Pixar Animation Studios. All rights reserved.

Nikki the Invisible Girl is copyright © 2007 by Tall Tales Audio. All rights reserved.

My Invisible Sister is copyright © 2010 by Beatrice Colin and Sara Pinto. All rights reserved.

Descriptions for Stella Hollies, Lua, Liz Train, Lucy Phillips, Terry Vance, Maire ní Donnall, Dawn Mills, Athaya Trelane and Elizabeth Black researched and mostly written by Bill Bonfili.

Descriptions for Barby Ashington, Mabel Prowse, Violet, Mildred Hubble and Vicki Bates by Paul Ingerson.

Description and video captures for Sheila, Cam and Dr Canyon by Paul Cwick.

Description for Elvira Condomine by Miss Pippa Moran.

Scans for Cleara Glass by Dale Jackson.

Photo manipulation and video captures for Sabrina Spellman by Paul Cwick.

Video captures for Barbara Richards and Buffy Summers by Paul Cwick.

Video captures for Yin Chu produced by Mike B. and provided by Dennard Summers.

Video captures for Shirley Manson produced by Mike B.

Description for Vanessa Cleveland suggested by Marsqurine.

Research and description for Myra Roderich and Marjorie Reynolds, research and linkage for Mavis and Kathleen Desmond, and linkage for Mabel Prowse provided through the kindness of F. Gwynplaine MacIntyre.

Research and description for Maria Rodriguez and Fran Drescher by Gabe with the assistance of McGillustrations.

Scans for Suzie by Paul Cwick.

Research and description for Madison Blue and Pearl Andrews by 13 black.

Your pagekeeper would like to thank Rosaleen Love for kindness beyond the call of duty.

This page would not have been possible without the kind assistance of the Hole in the Air Gang, whose members have changed greatly over the years but whose devotion remains constant.

This compilation and all tabular descriptions except as otherwise noted copyright © 1997-2014 by Charles G. Hill. All other photographs and related indicia are trademarked and/or copyrighted by the respective owners of same. We celebrate; we do not snitch.

The latest invisibility developments are reported at Kitty-Carroll.org, an affiliate of this page.

Most recent update: 30 March 2014