The Scarlet Widow is an elderly woman who runs a crime syndicate. She’s ruthless and innovative and was rightly called the most dangerous woman in the world. I like her and think she should be brought back.
To make Metropolis a seedy-enough place to house the corruption our intrepid reporters fight against, you’re gonna need a crime syndicate or two. Sure, there’s been a few criminal organizations in Superman’s history, some worth using (I’ll probably write about Intergang someday), but the Scarlet Widow is my favourite and since I am always right, that means we have to bring back the Scarlet Widow.
The Scarlet Widow appeared in multiple episodes of the 40s Superman radio show. As I said, she was an elderly woman there, and I liked that. She was Ma Gnucci and Mr. Burns combined with a dash of spider motif. When the movie serials adapted her story for a visual medium, I guess they decided that you can’t let old people be seen, so they cast an attractive younger woman as seen in the picture accompanying this post (and also they called her “The Spider Lady” just to dumb things down, I guess). The internet also tells me that a version of the Superman stage musical also brought the Scarlet Widow back decades later, but I have found limited information on that. In any case, younger Scarlet Widows don’t do it for me. Give me an elderly evil mob boss behind the scenes making Metropolis more dangerous for Superman and his friends. With a criminal career as long as hers, she’d definitely have a history of striking against Daily Planet reporters like Perry White, and she could be behind the creation of a few of the lesser super-criminals who have cropped up since Superman’s arrival.