This article describes a work or element of fiction in a primarily in-universe style. (March 2015) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
Art by Marko Djurdjević
|First appearance||Marvel Two-in-One #54 (August, 1979) (as Screaming Mimi)|
Incredible Hulk #449 (January, 1997) (as Songbird)
|Created by||Mark Gruenwald|
|Alter ego||Melissa Joan Gold|
Masters of Evil
Avengers Idea Mechanics
|Notable aliases||Mimi Schwartz, Screaming Mimi|
Sound and vocal manipulation
Sonic screams, waves, and burst projection
Ability to create "solid sound" constructs
Songbird (Melissa Gold), formerly known as Screaming Mimi, is a fictional superhero appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. Originally a supervillain, she possesses supersonic sound abilities that can cause a variety of effects.
This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (March 2015)
She made numerous appearances as a supervillain before taking on a new role as a superhero in the Thunderbolts series.
After some time away from the team, she returned as a regular character in Thunderbolts beginning with issue #144, and appeared as a supporting character when the title transitioned into Dark Avengers beginning with issue #175.
Fictional character biography
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 was eventually imprisoned, where she met Poundcakes, a female wrestler who invited her to join the Grapplers under the name Screaming Mimi, alongside Titania and Letha. 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. Roxxon gave the Grapplers special paraphernalia to assist them in their mission; Mimi received an apparatus that converted her voice to high-frequency sonics for various effects. The Grapplers tested these powers by fighting Thundra in a wrestling ring. On their mission, Thundra led them into Project Pegasus to smuggle in the Nth Projector for Roxxon. The mission failed when they were defeated by the heroes Quasar and Giant-Man. The Grapplers were tried and jailed for their misdeeds. Alongside the Grapplers, she victimized Dazzler while she was in Ryker's Island prison with them. When the Grapplers were finally paroled, they discovered that the women's wrestling movement had lost its momentum without them, so they continued to perform crimes to support themselves and working as professional criminals. Alongside the Grapplers, Mimi attempted to attack the Thing while he was in the hospital, and battled Captain America. Later, the Grapplers set their sights on a women's division of the superpowered Unlimited Class Wrestling Federation. Their manager, Auntie Freeze, arranged for the women to augment their natural abilities with artificial powers created by the agency Power Broker, Inc. While the other Grapplers received superhuman strength, Mimi instead had her vocal enhancements internalized as a throat implant.[volume & issue needed] (It was believed that Mimi had also gained superhuman strength, however by her own account to Mach-1 it was only the other Grapplers that were augmented.) The all-new Grapplers made a legitimate professional comeback that proved short-lived. When Titania was murdered by the vigilante Scourge, Mimi was among the female wrestlers of the Unlimited Class Wrestling Federation who participated in a mass attack upon the Thing, blaming him for Titania's death. After Letha was later also killed by Scourge, the Grapplers broke up.[volume��& issue needed]
Mimi was later contacted by the criminal Baron Helmut Zemo to join his version of the Masters of Evil. Her first assignment was to help bust the female Yellowjacket out of prison, but Mimi was captured in the subsequent battle with the Wasp, Black Knight, and Paladin. She was bound and gagged and arrested. Later, she formed a romantic and criminal partnership with the similarly-empowered Angar the Screamer, at one point battling the Avengers Hawkeye and Mockingbird. The pair impersonated Hawkeye and Mockingbird, but battled them and were defeated. Mimi was also seen among the various female superhumans aboard Superia's cruiseship, where she battled Captain America and Paladin. Angar was eventually mortally wounded by a gunshot during a robbery attempt that went sour, and died in Mimi's arms after they escaped. Mad with grief, Mimi screamed, burning out her power. Immediately afterward, she was contacted by Baron Zemo once more, and she accepted his offer to join a formative Masters of Evil. Zemo allowed Mimi 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 based on technology from the villain Klaw. With her newly transformed powers, she resumed the use of her given name Melissa, and adopted the identity of Songbird as a member of the Thunderbolts, a new Masters of Evil group posing as superheroes 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 superheroes.[volume & issue needed]
Melissa stayed with the Thunderbolts through different incarnations after this, and rose to second-in-command under Hawkeye and eventually ran the team herself. Her sonic equipment was replaced several times, both by criminal organizations and by S.H.I.E.L.D.
Having turned up alive after his apparent death, Lemuel Dorcas developed an obsession for Songbird where he kidnapped her and repaired her vocal cords as he intends to make Songbird his slave. However, Songbird was able to escape from Doctor Dorcas's clutches, as with the surgery restoring her persuasive powers as well, she turned Doctor Dorcas's henchmen against him.
During the "Secret Invasion" event, 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 save her by causing this Skrull to merge into a nearby building, killing him.
After the "Siege" event and Osborn's subsequent downfall, Songbird has taken a position at "the Raft", as the prison's female warden. Songbird has joined the new Thunderbolts team, led by Luke Cage in large part to keep a close eye over Moonstone (whom Cage has offered a chance for freedom in exchange for her serving on the team). When Songbird objects to Moonstone's inclusion on the team due to her history of manipulation and deceit, Cage counters that Songbird herself used to be regarded the same way and that she should give Moonstone the same chances she was given by others.
Powers and abilities
As Screaming Mimi, Gold's enhanced vocal cords were bionically altered and enhanced by technicians in the employ of Roxxon. As such, she had the ability to generate a high-pitched, earsplitting, earth-shattering supersonic scream of great volume and for a variety of effects. She was capable of emitting a sound equivalent in decibels to the noise of a jet engine passing 5 feet from one's ear. She has perfect pitch, the ability to hear in her mind the correct frequency for every musical note on the scale. Every note on the scale she screams induces a different effect upon those who hear it. Low C causes low-level anxiety and shortness of breath, D causes high-level anxiety and panic attacks, E causes dizziness and vertigo, F causes nausea and stomach cramping, G causes severe headaches and fatigue, A causes blindness, B causes euphoria and eventual stupor, and high C causes the listener to visually hallucinate. By rapid oscillation between two notes, she can combine effects. In addition, she could produce certain vocal effects in harmony with Angar the Screamer, such as specific sustained illusions. Her nervous system is immune to her own vocal powers. At the upper limit of her scream's power, it could actually damage physical objects. Faced with the death of her lover, Angar the Screamer, she screamed for 43 minutes in a fit of hysteria, creating a large blast crater and literally liquefying nearby plant life. This outburst nearly destroyed her vocal cords, and depowered her briefly until she used new technology to assume the Songbird alias. During a later encounter with the Hand, Songbird unintentionally reactivated her incredibly strong supersonic scream ability.
As Songbird, Melissa uses a derivation of technology created by the criminal Ulysses Klaw that converts sound into a malleable form of energy that has physical form and mass, termed "solid sound". She could initially create simple 3-dimensional sound/mass constructions, though as she has gained experience in her new supersonic sound abilities, she has learned to create more complex forms. She shapes and animates these by mental command and they only remain in existence for as long as she wills them to. She can "fly" by generating solid sound "wings" attached to her body; initially, these were created as glider-style wings, stretching from wrists to feet, though more recently they are shown attached to her back. Presumably, she animates the wings to flap or somehow generates a propulsive force with her powers, since her airborne speed and maneuverability to date extend well beyond simple gliding.
Songbird has also occasionally exhibited an ability to influence others through sub-vocal (below the level of conscious human hearing) sonics; this is more of a subtle "nudge" or subconscious suggestion rather than outright mind control. This is apparently an effect generated by the remnants of her original sonic enhancements.
As a former wrestler, she is extensively skilled in hand-to-hand combat using wrestling techniques and was well trained by Titania.
Songbird, referred to as Screaming Mimi, is among the mind-controlled villains who attack the heroes as they assault Krona's Stronghold. She uses her scream on Hercules, but is defeated by Black Canary's Canary Cry.
Songbird appears alongside the Thunderbolts in the Dead Days one-shot of the Marvel Zombies miniseries attacking Thor and later Nova. She is quickly destroyed by the Invisible Woman when she tries to bite Nova.
Old Man Logan
In Old Man Hawkeye, the prequel to Old Man Logan, Songbird was part of the Thunderbolts when the team betrayed the Avengers resulting in all of their deaths with the exception of Hawkeye. Out of the members, she appeared to be the most remorseful for her actions. When Hawkeye goes on a quest to kill the former Thunderbolts for their betrayal, he finds an older Melissa at the Sanctuary of the Silent Sisterhood where she has become a nun that has taken an oath of silence. When the duo are attacked by Bullseye, she saves Clint and gives him a map to where Moonstone is before the villain stabs her with Elektra's Sai.
In other media
- Melissa Gold, as Screaming Mimi and Songbird, appears in The Super Hero Squad Show animated series, voiced by Julie Morrison. This version is a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent whom Captain America tasks with working undercover within Doctor Doom's Lethal Legion. Introduced as Screaming Mimi in the episode "Hulk Talk Smack", she and Klaw search for an Infinity Fractal for Doctor Doom. After failing to recover one from the local library, they are sent with Melter and Toad to search for a fractal at the local reservoir. In "Deadly is the Black Widow's Bite", Gold is sent with MODOK and Abomination to search for another Infinity Fractal, but are easily defeated by Mystique disguised as Black Widow per Doctor Doom's latest plot. Gold later joins Mystique, Abomination, MODOK, Klaw, and Toad to raid the Vault, where she reveals her true identity as Songbird and aids the Super Hero Squad in repelling the villains.
- Melissa Gold appears in the Avengers: Ultron Revolution animated series, voiced by Jennifer Hale. She first appears as Masters of Evil member Screaming Mimi in the episodes "Adapting to Change" and "Under Siege" before assuming her Songbird alias as part of the Thunderbolts in the group's self-titled episode and "Thunderbolts Revealed". She returns in the four-part season finale "Civil War", having joined the Mighty Avengers.
- Melissa Gold appears in the Marvel Rising short "Battle of the Bands", voiced by Tara Strong.
- Songbird appears as a playable character and a boss in Marvel: Ultimate Alliance 2, voiced by Susan Spano. Additionally, a variant of her Screaming Mimi costume appears as an alternate costume. Within the game's PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 versions, the caring and modest Songbird is part of the Pro-Registration faction and her sound-based wings are depicted as resembling those of a butterfly rather than the bird-like ones she has in the comics. In the Wii, PSP, and PS2 versions, Songbird is portrayed as being stubborn and malicious.
- Songbird appears as a playable DLC character in Lego Marvel's Avengers, as part of the Thunderbolts DLC pack.
- Songbird appears as a playable character in Marvel: Avengers Alliance.
- Songbird appears as a playable character in Marvel Future Fight.
- Songbird appears as a playable character in Marvel Tsum Tsum.
- Songbird appears as a playable character in Lego Marvel Super Heroes 2.
- DeFalco, Tom; Sanderson, Peter; Brevoort, Tom; Teitelbaum, Michael; Wallace, Daniel; Darling, Andrew; Forbeck, Matt; Cowsill, Alan; Bray, Adam (2019). The Marvel Encyclopedia. DK Publishing. p. 338. ISBN 978-1-4654-7890-0.
- "All New, All Different Marvel: Your Guide to the Avengers Team Books". Archived from the original on 2015-07-06.
- Thunderbolts: Distant Rumblings one-shot. Marvel Comics.
- Marvel Two-In-One #54. Marvel Comics.
- Marvel Two-In-One #56. Marvel Comics.
- Dazzler #13. Marvel Comics.
- Marvel Two-In-One #96. Marvel Comics.
- Thunderbolts vol 1 #21. Marvel Comics.
- Thing #33. Marvel Comics.
- Captain America #319. Marvel Comics.
- Avengers #271. Marvel Comics.
- Avengers Spotlight #28. Marvel Comics.
- Captain America #389-390. Marvel Comics.
- Thunderbolts #1. Marvel Comics.
- Thunderbolts #171. DC Comics.
- Thunderbolts #123. Marvel Comics.
- Thunderbolts #124. Marvel Comics.
- Thunderbolts #126. Marvel Comics.
- Thunderbolts #134. Marvel Comics.
- Thunderbolts #144. Marvel Comics.
- Thunderbolts Annual 1997. Marvel Comics.
- Thunderbolts #1. Marvel Comics.
- Thunderbolts #149. Marvel Comics.
- JLA/Avengers #4. Marvel Comics.
- JLA/Avengers #6. Marvel Comics.
- Avengers Forever #1. Marvel Comics.
- Marvel Zombies: Dead Days (2007). Marvel Comics.
- Old Man Hawkeye #4. Marvel Comics.
- Old Man Hawkeye #10. Marvel Comics.
- Comics Continuum
- "Adapting to Change". Avengers Assemble. Season 3. Episode 1. March 13, 2016. Disney XD.
- Weiss, Josh (March 31, 2019). "WonderCon: Three new Marvel Rising shorts will feature Shuri, Inferno, and Ghost-Spider later this year". SYFY WIRE. SY FY. Retrieved April 22, 2019.
- Dinh, Christine (March 31, 2019). "Ghost-Spider, Shuri, Inferno, and America Chavez Headline Three New Animated 'Marvel Rising' Specials". Marvel.
- Paget, Mat (March 17, 2016). "Lego Avengers DLC Season Pass Detailed". GameSpot.
- "GWENPOOL CRASHES INTO 'MARVEL FUTURE FIGHT'". Justin Snyder , marvel.com. August 17, 2016. Archived from the original on August 18, 2016. Retrieved August 20, 2016.
- "Marvel Tsum Tsum Character Guide: Who's in the Game and How to Get Them All". Nick Tylwalk , gamezebo.com. Sep 2, 2016. Retrieved September 10, 2016.
- "Characters". IGN Database. Retrieved 28 January 2018.
- Songbird at the Marvel Universe wiki