Once a lower tier villain, Songbird masqueraded as a hero in the Thunderbolts before having a real change of heart and becoming a true hero.
Not every person with super powers starts as a hero, even if they have a good heart. Such is the unfortunate case of Melissa Gold, the former D-list villain known as Screaming Mimi. After a roller coaster of a career as a powered individual, Mellisa Gold has become a formidable force to be reckoned with, growing from petty criminal to redeemed hero.
Melissa did not have an easy childhood. With an alcoholic father and a mother serving time, Melissa ventured out on her own, living on the streets. This hardened her and inspired her to develop her persona known as “Mimi”. She joined an all female wrestling group known as The Grapplers where she developed her stage name “Screaming Mimi”. The Grapplers were not very successful in the ring, and coupled with their frustration at not being paid as well as male wrestlers, they chose to take shady side jobs from the Roxxon Oil Company.
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Reborn with new and stronger powers including flight, the ability to create tangible constructs from sound itself, as well as greater physical capabilities, Melissa renamed herself Songbird when she joined The Thunderbolts, a new iteration of The Masters of Evil. The Thunderbolts were meant to earn the public’s trust while secretly working towards world domination. Melissa’s history with The Thunderbolts was incredibly long and textured as she battled both members of the Avengers and even other members of The Thunderbolts. The group of super villains was originally run by Baron Zemo, and later by Norman Osborn. As Melissa began to work alongside the Avenger Hawkeye as he led The Thunderbolts for a time she began to drift away from her initial life of crime.
Over time Melissa became a force of redemption for reforming villains. Her ventures weren’t always met with great success or trust, but she ultimately proved herself to heroes such as Luke Cage. At one point she became a member of A.I.M., Avengers Idea Mechanics, Robert de Costa’s reformed version of the former criminal organization Advanced Idea Mechanics. Since her adventures alongside Robert de Costa, Melissa decided to take a vacation in Belmar Beach, New Jersey. But a good hero never rests long as she was asked yet again to join The Thunderbolts, now led by the Winter Soldier.
From her humble beginnings to becoming a super villain and eventually becoming a respected hero, Melissa Gold has had one of the most colorful careers in Marvel. In some ways she exists as the ultimate Marvel superhero story: a child with no future who could have traveled a hard path of crime chose instead to redeem herself and become a hero. Melissa Gold, aka Songbird, is living proof that we are the masters of our destinies and that we are all capable of greatness, regardless of our pasts.
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