Alicia Masters is a supporting character to the Marvel Comics superhero the Fantastic Four and Silver Surfer. Created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, she first appeared in The Fantastic Four #8 (Nov 1962).
Alicia is a blind sculptress who is able to create incredibly lifelike representations of real people by touch and memory alone; her sculptures of the Fantastic Four and other superheroes are frequently depicted. A caring, sensitive character, she has been a romantic interest and confidant of The Thing, a member of the Fantastic Four who is frequently ashamed of his monstrous appearance. She has also helped explain human life and emotion to the alien Silver Surfer. Actress Kerry Washington portrays her in the 2005 film Fantastic Four, and the 2007 sequel Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer.
Alicia is introduced in The Fantastic Four #8, along with her stepfather, the supervillain known as the Puppet Master. She initially aids him out of obedience in his first scheme against the Fantastic Four, though she immediately senses the "gentle" and "sensitive" spirit of the Thing when she first feels his palpably monstrous face. Alicia turns on her stepfather when she realizes that he is mad and power-hungry, and accidentally causes him to fall to his apparent death out of a window. A subsequently published story explains that the Puppet Master had been responsible for her permanent blindness, which was caused by an explosion of radioactive clay during his fight with a rival.
The character plays an integral role in one of the most acclaimed comic book stories of the Silver Age, "The Coming of Galactus," in Fantastic Four #48-50 (Mar - May, 1966). In that story arc, the Silver Surfer first comes to Earth as a herald to the powerful, world-destroying being Galactus, and crashes into Alicia's apartment after fighting the Fantastic Four. Her passionate pleading with him about the value of life convinces him to reject his master and defend the Earth from destruction.
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