ABBA: Voulez Vous
Nancy Sinatra: These Boots Are Made for Walking
Willam: Thick Thighs
Lady Gaga: The Edge of Glory
Jennifer Lopez: On the Floor
Brittney Spears: Work B**tch
Ru Paul: Sissy that Walk
Archetype and Design
Bombshell was entirely designed as the Catwoman to Scarab's Batman during the 1960s. Originally written as a villain NPC for the site, and then re-worked through an arc to once again take on a more heroic bent. Like Catwoman, Bombshell is an antihero who will take on a heroic role when its clearly called for but spends most of her time as a foil for the less morally grey superheroes. Her persona and inspiration comes from the 1940s femme fatale as it syncs nicely with her first time as a super hero. Her origins are a golden age spy during the war and is drawn from real life spies. Britain's SOE was one of the first to take female civilians and train them for deep cover spy work in Axis territory. SOE would later go on to become MI6 and that's the real life inspiration for Tayla's super hero story.
Current Role and Hooks
At the moment, Talya is without antagonist or team so I'm hoping to nudge her gently along in that direction as it develops. If a character operated somewhere between 1939 and 1972, they could have known Bombshell in any number of her masks. During the 40's she was part of the Allies of Freedom fighting in the European front of the war, although her work was more soldier than spy. During the 50s, she went over to Russia to take part in Cold War spy-antics although left when things grew too murky even for her. Her final arc pre-jail was as a solo villain during the swinging 60s. After that, if a character has done a stint in super-jail between 1972 and 2009, they might know Bombshell as a frail little old lady.
Bombshell started out a hero. Born in England to an upper-class family, when the war arrived, Talya was recruited from civilian life to serve in the SOE, as a spy and thief - and occasionally, an assassin. Mental training helped her shield her thoughts and presence from the Nazis and it was a skill that Talya honed to a lethal edge. The four agents she was deployed with were even lucky enough to break into a cache of one of the mystical artifacts that was one of the secret weapons. In the ensuing explosion, all four Brits were gifted with eternal life and minor protections. For Talya, that enhanced her natural aptitudes for stealth and shielding into mystically enhanced physiology. Gifts that she was quick to turn into weapons for the Allies during the war, coming onto the scene as the shadow known as Bombshell. She spent the war years in Europe, often in deep cover but also teaming up with other Allies of Freedom to help turn the tide. For her efforts in the war, Talya was recognized by the British crown although her medals rarely make an appearance these days but for the occasional funeral.
Once the war was at an end, Talya remained with the newly forming MI6 and her talents were turned towards the potential threat that Russia posed for the Western world. This, however, was a much murkier world and Talya lost her taste for the spy game as it became much less clear what good and evil war. She carried on for a while with the skills and talents that she'd honed before abandoning her country's cause when the price became too high. Jaded and disillusioned with Queen and Country, Talya was rootless for a while as she vanished as only the very best spies can.
Abandoning war-torn Europe, Talya gave into her thrill-seeking ways, becoming a world class thief. As England was still rebuilding, she left European shores for the prosperous US. Still slightly bitter at how her country had been decimated while America thrived, she had no moral qualms with helping herself to that bounty. She only stole artifacts that were not native to the Americas. Never anything as gauche as money. She favored ancient jewelry but any British artifact would do. She clashed with Freedom League greatly during the '60s, enjoying a special game of cat and mouse with the Scarab as her abilities helped her remain elusive to his senses. Although she went up against a variety of heroes and occasionally, other villains, she delighted in being a thorn in Scarab's side and their constant battle had distinctly romantic overtones to many of their allies. Talya found the Scarab's determination to redeem her charming although she remained committed to her course - perhaps to spite him.
When the immortal agents that had been Talya's teammates for her very first mission, Talya was quick to catch up for old times sake. Unfortunately, they had grown far darker than Bombshell was ever willing to go. She was a thief but never a murderer. Innocent life was one that she was not willing to cross and never had been. In fact, Talya worked with the Freedom League to turn on her old friends in exchange for a minimum sentence. Twenty-five years instead of the life terms the others got. She didn't intend to stay in prison but when Scarab died a few months after her sentence began, she changed her mind. No one knew she was unaging. She'd kept that secret carefully. Talya was good at keeping secrets. Instead, she spent her time and used her disguise skills to look more fragile with the years. The plan was to let Natalya Browning die and start fresh.
That plan, however, was thrown into disarray when a new superhero showed up, claiming the Scarab name and legacy. Talya was incensed. Abandoning her plans for a quiet retirement of her persona for something new, Talya resumed her Bombshell identity to teach this upstart a lesson. To her surprise, the new Scarab was, in fact, the old Scarab's reincarnation - with all the memories of the man she'd known although a new face and personality. For a while, she picked up her old game of aggravating Scarab, but eventually Talya found that the villains of the era weren't any sort that she wanted to throw her lot in with. No style. No panache. Too much murder. After another heel-face turn, Bombshell was back on the side of good. Ish. When the chips are down, Talya's always on the side of 'lets not blow up the world'. Burning buildings. Rescuing cats from trees. Sure. She still has a bit of a weakness for taking things from rich people who fail to appreciate them, but everyone has their personality quirks.
Costume and Appearance
Out of costume, Natalya Browning is a stunning woman and she generally dresses to accentuate it. As retro-40s is chic once more, Talya generally favors the aesthetic when she's out and about as herself. Of course, the woman is a master of disguise so if she wants instead to be out looking non descript, that's possible too. When utilizing her most well developed alter-ego, she blends into the crowd as a rather nondescript brunette. If she's herself, though, Talya is usually all curves and long legs with her blonde hair styled over one eye a la Jessica Rabbit. By and large, Talya is always playing a role that she's set out for herself and it is only the rare and trusted individual that gets to see anything less than what Talya wants them to see.
As Bombshell, her costume has always been drawn from what her comic book counterparts have worn during the time. Its a 4th wall gag that she updates her look and occasionally bemoans that its what the current look is. Her most recent costume is an homage to the current Catwoman catsuit, goggles and straps. During earlier eras, it has changed many, many times to reflect the changing styles of the various eras. Her most well known costume involved a miniskirt and gogo boots during the 1960s.
Bombshell, at her core, is a highly trained spy and thief. Thanks to the mystical artifact during her earliest job in Nazi Germany, she was embed with mystical energy that prevents her aging and heals her body from any trauma it receives. Which is not to say that the injuries don't hurt along the way. There are many good reasons that Bombshell has been very happy to let Ace take on the role of impossible to kill immortal. She values her secrets. The same mystical energy infuses her body with the ability to enhance her natural abilities to hide. She relies on fighting batons to even the playing field when it comes to dealing out the damage but Bombshell has always worked best as a strike and run combatant. She has near a centuries' worth of skills and is only adding to that every year.
Talya lives alone and she prefers it that way. She has a small house in the suburbs that she's owned since the 1950s and none of her neighbors are aware of who Talya really is. She prefers it that way. Although she is a consummate flirt, Talya rarely takes anything back home. Elena has seen the inside of her house and Ace has as well. Even with them, however, she prefers things to remain on rooftops or the places they choose to frequent. Some habits die hard and Talya's life is always carefully compartmentalized. Bleed over makes her uncomfortable so she prevents it from occurring most of the time. Any living family she has is distant enough that she doesn't do much more than cursorily keep track of their well being.
Allies, Associates and Enemies
- Ace Danger: Ace is one of the very few souls left alive that she worked with during the war and the two share a special bond that only time and similar circumstances can result in. She doesn't always agree with Ace, but she understands him as few can.
- Scarab: Talya has been Scarab's lover in two different life times. As Elena continues to age, Talya will have to face another goodbye and the uncertainty if Scarab's next incarnation will share the entity's current fondness for her.
- Jack of All Blades: Talya has a special fondness for the West End native. After all, its not everyone she'll call to come help her get out of jail. Its been a few years, but she'd still show up if the swordsman had any need for her help.
- Allies of Freedom: There aren't many left alive but the other veterans of World War II that fought can still count on Bombshell to answer a phone call. She shows up without fail at their funerals when they do happen. She is understandably closer to those who fought in Europe during the war but the super hero community was a lot smaller during the 1940s.
- Everyone Else? Talya's made a lot of enemies over the years. There are the three NPC ex-spies that she's helped put in jail that are still in prison. But beyond them there's any number of other people who she's gotten on the bad side of over the years.