Comrade Romanoff! Report to my office! You are summoned for a mission for the glory of literature and Mother Russia!
Indeed! You are to be Comrade Tobin's # 14 favorite female in literature. The mission will be extremely dangerous! Perilous! Fraught with hazards! And a little sexy.
We have prepared your path. You will first appear in Tales of Suspense issues # 52 and # 53, fighting that iron-plated pawn of America society... known as Iron Man. Dress provocatively, as he is... in the manner of all decadent western societies... known to be weak against the wiles of a woman.
To pander to the witless Americans, we have commissoned artists to herald your mission. Here is the very art board for the first time you will be seen... an artifact that will certainly be enshrined once your mission is complete.
In order to spread confusion into the easily distracted western minds, we will employ several agents known as the Black Widow, such as in these photo-novels, which I happened to have in my desk drawer. Why were they in my desk drawer? SILENCE! You are not to question your superiors!
Now that you have returned to proper obedience, I will mention that Marvel Comics, who will spread word of your glorious exploits to the dulled minds of the weak, has already regaled the public with the tales of an earlier Black Widow, one that bargained with the devil himself in order to gain her touch of death. You, Comrade Romanoff, will not have to bargain with the devil. Only with myself and Comrade Tobin. Why does your eyebrow rise? Have you something to say? Some comment about which woman has received the better deal? Speak freely, I would hardly send you to Siberia for a small transgression, da? Ahh... you have nothing to say, then? It is good.
Further sewing the seeds of confusion, we shall place your name in movies. The soft American mind is sure to be taken in by the merest glimpse of a woman's flesh. The agents of America will not know WHICH Black Widow is the TRUE Black Widow, and it is THEN that you will strike!
Comrade Stan Lee has assured me that America's top superhero, the pest known as Spider-Manski, travels in something called "The Spider Mobile." So that you may blend seamlessly into society, we have prepared you with a similar conveyance.
Hmmm. But… it occurs to me that the American mind needs stimulation of the highest, or shall I say the lowest, order. Your dress is still not provocative enough. I suggest black coloration, a fetish mask, and mesh fabrics. Will you wear such an outfit, comrade Natasha, or are you willing to let our Western enemies spread their philosophies of decadence and freedom across Mother Russia?
Good. It is good. I knew you were devoted to the cause.
Your new costume will be provided with certain mechanisms devised by our glorious kidnapped scientists, suction cups that will allow you to walk upon walls in the manner of a spider, or to deliver a "sting" in the manner of a hornet, and a push-up bra in the manner of the art of Eric Stanton. Use these gifts well, Natasha; the eyes of Russia are upon you. Believe me, once you don this costume, there will be MANY eyes upon you.
Another costume? One you have designed yourself? You had no authority to do so, Natasha, and as your superior I must insist that... ahhh, errr, what was I speaking of? I believe that I was... about to commend you on taking the initiative in designing this new costume. It... suits you. It will distract your enemies by showcasing the abundant health of Russian women. How they will flock to our superior philosophies once they see you emerge from the shadows, with your long soft hair caught in a breeze, and that measure of insolence in your eyes, with your lithe form highlighted by your costume's grasp upon your flesh, and your full lips demanding obedience from, errr, I... but, yes. Yes. Commendable job on your costume. I am only sorry that you were forced to spend all your resources on the fabric, so that the zipper you have purchased is weak and malfunctioning. It is my belief that you will quire rarely be able to zip it up all the way. Pity, that.
Yes. Zipper malfunction does seem like it's going to be a problem. Even in the invigorating chill of Mother Russia, your zipper fails to properly zip.
Zipper malfunction. The problem, it seems, cannot be fixed.
One you have infiltrated American society, you will be contacted by such artists as Darwyn Cooke, who will illustrate your exploits. Comrade Cooke is a fine artist, though he is sometimes too free in illustrating the more feminine attributes, rather than the honor of working for the proletariat. I know this is true because I possess a huge accumulation... ahem... I mean I have a small middling of his art.
You will also be contacted by Comrade Paul Tobin, a writer who will regale the public with tales of your socialist adventures. Incidentally, as a factoid, this image is the one that he will paste into all accompanying scripts, as edification to his artists as to how Comrade Tobin believes you should appear.
Here is one of the propaganda tracts that Comrade Tobin has helped to create.
We will also place duplicate Black Widows into large gatherings, sewing mystery as to your identity. No one will know the true Black Widow. Only I will possess that information, which I will keep in a folder next to my bed, so that I might study pictures of you late into the evening, wondering if our scientists will ever solve the problem of your mischievous zipper.
Simple as it may seem, zipper technology is an elusive science.
THE “FAVORITE” LIST SO FAR…
#25: Scarlet Witch
#24: Chance Falconer
#21: Jean Grey
#20: Kitty Pryde
#19: Janet van Dyne
#18: Mary Jane Watson
#17: Hermione Granger
#15: Modesty Blaise
#14: Black Widow
——- DOWN BELOW IS JUST A REHASH OF WHY I’M DOING THIS LIST ———
I’ve been thinking about women, lately. Women characters in comics. Women creators in comics. Female characters in literature. And pretty girls riding around on bicycles or walking along the sidewalk, etc, etc. Because of this, I’ve decided to make An Entirely Useless List. Why is it entirely useless? Because it’s my top 25 female characters from comics and literature, and such lists change at whim and at a breakneck pace. It’s IMPOSSIBLE to quantify favorites… the term favorite is far too malleable. A list of my best friends from high school, for instance, would not include anyone with whom I’m currently in contact. Times change. Still… I’m making the list. Why? I suppose I just like thinking about women.