- The closer I get to Helmut Zemo, the easier it will be to kill him.
- -- Songbird src
Melissa Gold was a troubled runaway from an alcoholic father and incarcerated mother. In order to survive on the streets, Melissa developed a hard edge to her personality, referring to herself as "Mimi." She eventually found work as a costumed professional wrestler, taking the stage name Screaming Mimi, and joined the wrestling team known as the Grapplers.
The Grapplers became renowned for their colorful personalities and ringside antics, but the wrestling federation denied them the opportunity to make the amount of money their male counterparts made. Instead, the group agreed to earn supplementary income by performing a covert operation for the Roxxon Oil Company and were given special paraphernalia to assist them in their mission. The mission failed due to the hero Quasar, and the Grapplers were tried and jailed for their misdeeds. Sent to Ryker's Island prison the grapplers encountered and fought Dazzler, but were defeated when Songbird let loose her voice increasing Dazzler's powers. When the Grapplers were finally paroled, they discovered that the woman's wrestling movement had lost its momentum without them, so they continued to perform crimes to support themselves.
Later, the Grapplers set their sights on a woman's division of the super-powered Unlimited Class Wrestling Federation. Their manager, Auntie Freeze, arranged for the women to augment their artificial powers with natural ones created by the agency Power Broker, Inc. The all-new Grapplers made a legitimate professional comeback that proved short-lived. The team dissolved when two of their members, Titania and Letha, were killed by the vigilante Scourge.
Melissa was later contacted by the criminal Baron Zemo to join his version of the Masters of Evil. Her first assignment was to help bust the female Female Yellowjacket out of prison, but Melissa was captured in the subsequent battle with the heroes Wasp and Paladin.
Later, she formed a romantic and criminal partnership with the similarly-empowered Angar the Screamer, at one point battling the Avengers, Hawkeye and Mockingbird. However, after escaping from a robbery attempt that went sour, Angar died in Melissa's arms. Mad with grief, Melissa screamed, burning out her power. Immediately afterward, Melissa was contacted by Baron Zemo once more, and she accepted his offer to join a formative Masters of Evil. Zemo allowed Melissa to be nursed back to health, and his accomplice, the Fixer, gave her new powers via a voice-augmenting harness and high-tech implants in her neck.
With her newly-transformed powers, Melissa adopted the identity of Songbird as a member of the Thunderbolts, a new Masters of Evil group posing as super-heroes to win the world's trust while secretly plotting world conquest under Zemo's direction. However, Melissa and most of the other Thunderbolts grew to like their heroic roles. In particular, Melissa began to truly grow into her own and even began a romance with her teammate Abner Jenkins, alias MACH-1, formerly the Beetle. Ultimately, the Thunderbolts turned against Zemo, foiling his attempt at world domination and rescuing the Avengers in the process. Melissa continued to serve with the team, who operated as a team of outlaw super-heroes.
When veteran Avengers member Hawkeye joined the Thunderbolts as their new leader to help them regain the public's trust, Hawkeye insisted that MACH-1, as the team's only convicted murderer, would have to serve his prison sentence for the good of the group's image. Jenkins reluctantly agreed, separating him from Melissa, who gradually began slipping back into her hard-edged Mimi-type persona. When MACH-1 returned months later through a bargain struck with the Commission on Superhuman Activities (CSA), adopting a new identity as MACH-2, he underwent appearance-altering surgery to conceal his true identity. He was unexpectedly turned into a man with African-American features, and Melissa was initially disturbed by the change. However, she has since become accustomed to it, and their relationship survived.
When the Thunderbolts uncovered and thwarted a CSA-connected conspiracy to exterminate all super-humans, Hawkeye blackmailed the CSA into giving the Thunderbolts full pardons in exchange for the group's silence; however, CSA agent Gyrich insisted that he would not go along with the deal unless Hawkeye went to prison for his technically illegal vigilante activities as a member of the Thunderbolts. Hawkeye agreed, despite the protests of his teammates, and surrendered to federal custody. Most of the rest of the Thunderbolts, including MACH-2 and Melissa, were pardoned and released. However, as part of the terms of their deal, they were forbidden from public use of superhuman powers or costumed identities. Melissa turned her equipment over to the authorities and started new civilian lives in the town of Burton Canyon, Colorado as Abe Jenkins and Melissa Gold.
Unfortunately, their quiet lives were shattered when the super-criminal Graviton launched his latest attempt at world conquest in Burton Canyon, imprisoning the world's superheroes and literally reshaping the planet in his own image. Despite their reluctance to risk their newfound freedom, MACH-2 and Melissa agreed to join Citizen V (secretly Baron Helmut Zemo controlling Citizen V's body) in attacking Graviton as part of a new team of Thunderbolts. Melissa was given a new power-harness provided by the Citizen V's financiers, the V-Battalion. Graviton was defeated and the world was saved, but MACH-3 and the other Thunderbolts disappeared in an implosion created by the dying Graviton's power, with the exception of Songbird, who appeared left behind as the sole survivor. (In reality, MACH-3 and the other vanished Thunderbolts survived but were stranded on an alternate Earth).
Melissa had little time to mourn, as immediately afterward, she was attacked by Scream, a rogue creation of the CSA who turned out to be Angar resurrected as an entity of pure sound. She helped the intelligence agency SHIELD destroy Scream, and she also destroyed her sound-shaping harness, apparently intending to retire her Songbird identity again.
However, she was outfitted with new sound technology by SHIELD, who recruited her to help track down Hawkeye, who was officially an escaped fugitive but was unofficially pursuing a secret mission on behalf of SHIELD commander Dum-Dum Dugan. After doing some undercover detective work in her old criminal persona as Mimi, Songbird was reunited with Hawkeye, joining forces with him and a captive Plantman to seek out the mysterious legacy of Justin Hammer on behalf of SHIELD.
They discovered that Hammer's legacy was a biological toxin that had been ingested by every single villain who had ever worked for him and that one of the villains, Plantman, was the carrier. Hawkeye, Songbird, and Plantman began a new search for the trigger that would release Plantman's toxin. The search ended with Hammer's daughter, Justine, who turned out to be the Crimson Cowl, leader of the Masters of Evil. Hawkeye convinced several members of the Masters of Evil to side with him and Songbird against Crimson Cowl and their former allies. As a new team of Thunderbolts, the group ultimately defeated the Crimson Cowl and her Masters of Evil, and Plantman (now Blackheath) managed to release an antidote for the toxin into the atmosphere.
Songbird was often acting second-in-command to Hawkeye in keeping his Thunderbolts under control. They next helped the true Citizen V and the V Battalion, whose ship was powered by an engine of alien technology that began distorting and threatened to suck the Earth into the null space of a white hole. The Thunderbolts were asked to move a great quantity of mass to plug the hole. In so doing, the Thunderbolts encountered Zemo's Thunderbolts, who emerged from the void after severing the alien ship's presence from Counter-Earth. The two teams combined forces to plug the void and shunt the alien ship from Earth, similar to the manner in which Zemo's team stopped the threat on Counter-Earth.
Songbird's reunion with Jenkins was short-lived. After much discussion, MACH-3 once more remanded himself to police custody to serve the remainder of his sentence. Most of the other costumed heroes and villains chose to part company as well, and Songbird agreed to stay with the Thunderbolts under Zemo's leadership, despite his claim that their mission was to attempt to rule the world in order to save it.
Songbird and the Thunderbolts engaged in many acts of questionable heroism under Zemo’s leadership, where the ends justified the means. Zemo’s ultimate plan involved the creation of “the Liberator", a device that would drain abnormal uses energy throughout the world and hopefully reduce global threats, eliminate superhuman terrorism, and stabilize the world’s status quo. The Thunderbolts succeeded in launching the Liberator, only to be confronted by the Avengers. Feeling betrayed, Moonstone absorbed the powers that the Liberator had harnessed, combining them with her already-increased powers of the moonstone. The Thunderbolts and the Avengers teamed up to defeat Moonstone, ultimately removing the alien gems that gave her powers. The members of the Thunderbolts then agreed to go their separate ways.
Songbird returned to school at Empire State University. Later, when the Avengers formally disbanded, MACH-3 (now, MACH-4) decided to re-form the Thunderbolts. He recruited Songbird as a founding member of the new team, but she agreed more so out of a sense of duty than to rekindle a relationship with MACH-4.
Civil WarDuring the superhero Civil War, the Thunderbolts were approached by the government to catch super-villains and rehabilitate them. The Thunderbolts becomes a team of villains under government watch assigned to hunt down and incarcerate unregistered heroes. Norman Osborn became the director of the Thunderbolts and demoted Melissa because she was too moral, giving her leadership position to the recently recovered Moonstone. Melissa is clearly uncomfortable with the situation, and is only still on the team for fear of imprisonment. However, when the team yet again makes a mess of a job trying to capture Steel Spider and Moonstone is wounded, she and Radioactive Man decide to approach the matter the old way, and decides to temporarily act as leader in capturing the Steel Spider. Melissa has been shown to dislike most of her teammates, as instead of villains seeking redemption, the new team of Thunderbolts are largely fighting for personal gain. She also misled Bullseye, leading him to be gravely injured.
During the Skrull invasion, Songbird was attacked by a Skrull who not only had her powers, but also had the powers of Atlas and the rest of the original Thunderbolts. The Thunderbolts saved her by causing this Skrull to merge into a nearby building, killing him.
When Norman Osborn was given control of H.A.M.M.E.R. and decided to make the Thunderbolts into his personal hit squad, Melissa became a liability. Under Osborn's orders Bullseye cornered Songbird with a blade to her back, telling her to ask him to kill her. She managed to deflect him, and escaped as the entire remaining Thunderbolts team attempted to kill her. Swordsman saved her from Bullseye after he cornered her once again, and after Swordsman faked her death, she departed. Now free from Osborn's machinations, but well-aware of what his new status as Director of HAMMER means, Melissa plans to thwart Osborn's plans anyway she can.
She reappears in the public eye when she stops HAMMER forces from performing a forced relocation of homeless people in Cleveland, Ohio. She punishes a HAMMER officer who harmed a homeless war veteran, and then proceeds to defeat the entire HAMMER unit and flies off. Osborn found out, and he sent his newest Thunderbolt, Scourge, after her. After this she decided to bring together the old band of Thunderbolts together and deal with the team of killers Norman had assembled as the new Thunderbolts.
Her first stop is to seek Abe (Mach IV) and Norbert (Fixer), who are working on the Mach V version of the flight armor. Abe pledges to help her, and gives her the location of Chen. Melissa kisses him in thanks before leaving. Some time later, she is intercepted and fired upon by the Osborn's New Thunderbolts on board their jet. She grabs a missile in midair, and sends it back into the Thunderstrike. The explosion sends the plane crashing, but stuns her enough to send her to the ground. Still stunned, she is taken by surprise by Norman's Black Widow (Yelena Belova), who points a gun at her head. She is even more surprised when the Black Widow says that she's extracting Songbird to safety. Melissa remains skeptical, until the Black Widow reveals that she's not really Yelena, but rather Natasha Romanova. Barely surviving the crash the duo try and escape into the woods but have a run in with Mister X. After defeating him and eluding the rest of the Thunderbolts the two go to a meeting place where they are suppose to meet Nick Fury.
After they reach Fury's meeting area the group finds they've been followed by Ant Man, and are captured by the Thunderbolts. After being returned to the T-bolts base Nick Fury is revealed to be a LMD. Natasha and Melissa are then ordered by Norman Osborn to be interrogated and disposed of. At this moment Headsman, Paladin, and Ghost help free the two prisoners where they are saved by Abe in Mach-V armor.
Currently, Songbird is a warden of the girls side of the Raft, with a new haircut and outfit. Along with Mach V, Fixer and the new leader Luke Cage, they recruit criminals to the Thunderbolts program for a chance of redemption. When Luke Cage enlisted Moonstone into the program, Songbird questioned him, which quickly lead to Luke Cage pointing out that she was just like Moonstone at one point.
So far, she and Cage are on good terms. She even helped out during the Troll mission, where they captured Gunna, an Asgardian who's mother was an Asgardian and father was a Troll. Songbird off panel orientated her into the program. While a prison riot was occurring, and Songbird was about to get beaten by the female prisoners, Gunna ran out and saved her, much to the disappointment of Moonstone. Songbird seems to be the second in command of the Thunderbolts team, constantly aiding Luke Cage with her opinions. She is going to be training the Thunderbolts Beta team by a judgment call by Warden Walker.
Powers and AbilitiesEdit
Melissa possesses various superhuman attributes as a result of undergoing the Power Broker augmentation treatment, augmentation of her vocal cords by Roxxon technicians, and voice augmenting implants and harness by the Fixer.
Original Powers As Screaming Mimi
Augmented Vocal Cords: Technicians from the Roxxon Oil Company bionically altered and enhanced Melissa's vocal cords. She could emit a high pitch scream sufficient to drown out the sound made by a jet engine if a jet were to be within a few feet of a person.
- Emotional and Physiological Manipulation: Melissa could alter her vocal cords so that every note on the scale that she screamed induced a different effect on those that heard it. An A cord could result in temporary blindness, a B cord resulted in an extreme sense of euphoria, and a high C resulted in people experiencing vivid visual hallucinations. Other effects included a low C causing a person to experience low level anxiety and a shortness of breath, D causing a high level of anxiety and panic attacks, an E caused dizziness and vertigo, an F resulted in nausea and stomach cramping and a G usually resulted in severe headaches and fatigue.
Power Broker Treatment
- Superhuman Strength: After undergoing the treatment, Melissa's musculature, skeletal structure, and connective tissues were dramatically augmented. As a result, she was granted superhuman strength. At her peak, Melissa possesses sufficient strength to lift about 2 tons.
- Superhuman Speed: The superior energy output and force of her muscles enables Melissa to run and move at speeds that are beyond the natural physical limits of the finest human athlete.
- Superhuman Stamina: Melissa's muscles are more efficient than those of an ordinary human. As a result, they produce less fatigue toxins during physical activity than those of normal humans. At her peak, she can exert herself for several hours before the build up of fatigue toxins in her bloodstream begins to impair her.
- Superhuman Durability: Melissa's bodily tissues are tougher and more resistant to some forms of physical injury than those of a normal human. Melissa's body is able to withstand great impact and blunt force trauma. She can withstand impacts, such as falling from several stories or being repeatedly struck with superhuman force, that would severely injure or kill a normal human with little or no injury to herself.
- Superhuman Agility: Melissa's agility, balance and bodily coordination are enhanced to levels that are beyond the natural physical limits of the finest human athlete.
- Superhuman Reflexes: Melissa's reflexes are similarly enhanced and are superior to those of the finest human athlete.
Current Powers As Songbird
Sound Manipulation: After burning out her original vocal cord abilities, Melissa was given a set of vocal cord implants and an external harness that allowed her to produce a number of effects. She can generate powerful sonic blasts, sonic force fields and can even create solid objects created from sound including battering rams, pincers and platforms. Melissa can also generate high pitched sonic vibrations that are subtle enough to avoid her being consciously detected by others and, thereby, allowing her to influence the actions of others.
- Flight: By creating solid sound wings, Gold can propel herself through the air at great speeds.
Melissa has extensive training in hand to hand combat, particularly wrestling. Although she burned out her original vocal cord powers, Gold still has her superhuman physical attributes, which makes her a much more effective hand to hand combatant.
While she underwent the Power Broker treatment, her physical attributes weren't enhanced to the levels of most of the other recipients of the process.
The pink in Melissa's hair is natural. 
- 256 Appearances of Melissa Gold (Earth-616)
- 103 Images featuring Melissa Gold (Earth-616)
- 6 Quotations by or about Melissa Gold (Earth-616)
- Character Gallery: Melissa Gold (Earth-616)
- Fan-Art Gallery: Melissa Gold (Earth-616)
- The Unofficial Handbook to the Marvel Universe
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