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Screaming Mimi (Marvel Comics) (Melissa Gold)

Screaming Mimi

(Melissa Gold) (Profile #1)


Power Level:
Game system: DC Heroes Role-Playing Game

Context

For much of her original career, Screaming Mimi is a D-list villainess. She appears in 1979 as part of a colourful band of criminal lady wrestlers. She never had much screen time, but a little bit of character development could be squeezed into her scattered appearances over the decades.

In 1997, Mimi had a new career opportunity and took the name Songbird, becoming a fan-favourite character in Thunderbolts and developing under this spotlight. Howbeit this gets covered in another profile. This here profile is about her roots when she was still Screaming Mimi.


Background

  • Real Name: Melissa Joan “Mimi” Gold.
  • Other Aliases: Mimi Schwartz, “Mockingbird”.
  • Marital Status: Single.
  • Known Relatives: Mimi Gold (mother), Mr. Gold (father).
  • Group Affiliation: Grapplers, UCWF, one-time member of the fourth Masters of Evil (Zemo’s).
  • Base Of Operations: New York City, NY.
  • Height: 5’5” Weight: 125 lbs.
  • Eyes: Green Hair: Blonde (usually bleached white) ; possibly red after the Power Broker treatment.


Powers and Abilities

Gold received intensive athletic training to become a noted US-style wrestler. This regiment put an emphasis on spectacular acrobatics. She’s a skilled hand-to-hand combatant, shoot wrestler and athlete. Though she’s a bit short, she’s strong for her size and mean in a fight.

Melissa is also reported in secondary sources to have training in and experience with singing and wilderness survival.

Harder faster stronger…

Mimi has benefited from the Power Broker enhancement. These grant a semi-random level of superhuman strength and durability, but grotesquely deform 50% of the subjects. However, she’s a/ not deformed and b/ never clearly manifests super-strength or durability. So what gives ?

Our hypothesis has long been that she was a “grazing hit”. The process enhanced her strength to the “borderline superhuman” grey zone rather than making her an outright superhuman. Furthermore, her enhanced strength slowly decayed over the years. This hypothesis was confirmed by a late 2009 Marvel sourcebook.

The level of strength in her game stats come from that secondary source. It is best assumed to be her peak right after the treatment. As her career as Mimi went on she lost a point, then two and ended up with the stats you can see in the next writeup.

…and much much louder

Roxxon enhanced Gold’s vocal chords through cybernetics. This made Mimi’s scream a very dangerous weapon. She can yell her head off for up to an hour straight. The brute effect of her scream is equivalent, in decibels, of the noise of a jet engine at five feet (Sonic beam in DC Heroes).

Her hysterical screams after Angar’s death could liquefy large trees and pulverize tons of granite. They left an enormous crater.

Beyond brute decibels, she can sing a specific note. Every note on the scale induces a different effect on those who hear it :

  • High C causes the listener to visually hallucinate and experience great mental stress (Flash and Mind blast in DC Heroes). The hallucinations is usually a distorted, melted, fluid version of the real world around the subject.
    People and some objects become monstrously deformed and very scary for the subject, who is normally rendered incoherent with fear and disorientation before simply shutting down.
  • G causes severe headaches and fatigue, followed by unconsciousness (Sonic beam in DC Heroes). If she isn’t pushing, she’ll knock nearby ordinary people out for about 30 minutes. This scream has been known to knock out even robust, athletic humans such as Mockingbird or the Wasp within seconds.
    It seems that Bashing Damage using this note will only affect living beings, whilst Killing Damage will also destroy inanimate matter, but that’s not clear.
  • Apparently, Mimi can emit a noise not matching a conventional note (a hum from the back of her throat, I’d imagine) which amplifies Angar’s powers. She makes his illusions much more controlled and realistic, and enhances his overall range. This is considered to be an ability of Angar, though, not Mimi.
    Apparently she doesn’t have to emit the sound constantly, she just refreshes him from time to time.
  • Secondary sources have listed the following effects as keyed to the following notes, though they are not demonstrated in her appearances as Mimi:
    • Low C causes low level anxiety and shortness of breath (Broadcast Empath ?).
    • D causes high level anxiety and panic attacks (Aura of fear ?).
    • E causes dizziness and vertigo (Snare, Flash ?).
    • F causes nausea and stomach cramping (Sonic beam ?).
    • B causes euphoria and eventual stupor (Broadcast Empath ?).

History

Melissa Gold grew in the Sunset Trailer Park in Soshoni, Wyoming – population 635. When she was a kid, her mother robbed an elderly local named Mr. Tollefson. Melissa’s mum was arrested and sent to the state pen.

(In one flashback to this she looks about 8, in another closer to 12. A recent Marvel clarification says 11).

Melissa’s previously pleasant life suddenly changed. The other kids kept taunting and bullying her because of her mum was a convict. Her father started to drink more heavily. He once hit his daughter since he couldn’t stand little Melissa mentioning his wife.

Later on, Melissa would learn that the robbery was intended to finance Mrs. Gold eloping with another man.

Streets of fire

Having decided that her mum wasn’t truly in jail and had just left for some mysterious reason, little Melissa ran away to find her. She called herself “Mimi”, after her mother, and apparently never returned to Shoshoni.

”Mimi” grew up on the street. It is implied she spent most of her time in New York City earning a living through prostitution. Apparently, she usually said that she was from Boise, Idaho. To survive, Mel pretended that as Mimi she was an older, tougher, meaner and much thicker-skinned person.

In her late teens, Mimi fell in love with a young man named Mike Brodsky. Mike inevitably turned to be a criminal. He cravenly framed her when stolen goods were discovered in their apartment. Distraught, Melissa stuck even harder to her Mimi persona in order not to be crushed by life in prison.

Grapplers

Whilst in the brig, Mimi shared a cell with one Marian Pouncy. Though then serving a short sentence for an extortion rap, Pouncy was better known as Poundcakes, a wrestler. Pouncy liked the hard, tough and streetwise Mimi. She introduced her to her colleagues when they got out.

Gold thus joined the Grapplers, a colourful all-female wrestling team. The roster was Poundcakes, Letha (Hellen Feliciano), the founder and leader Titania (Davida DeVitto) and now Screaming Mimi.

The Grapplers were reputed for their flamboyant costumes, vivid personalities and ringside antics. They were the protégées of their coach Auntie Freeze, a retired wrestler. Their workout regimen was apparently overseen by Mr. Kowalski, a gym owner and physical trainer.

Yet, the Grapplers never got as much money from the federation as equivalent male wrestlers did. This encouraged them to run some quasi-legal and downright criminal schemes (“hiring ourselves out as hired muscle”, as Poundcakes once put it). This is how Poundcakes had ended up in prison with Mimi.

Something in the night

Among these customers was the Roxxon corporation. Roxxon Special Operations was hiring muscle to accompany Thundra, an extra-dimensional warrior. But they needed women since Thundra came from a reality of literal battle of the sexes. The Roxxon Special Operations man, being a big wrestling fan, immediately thought of the Grapplers.

As he approached them, he had special costumes built, with “energy elements” to enhance their capabilities. What Roxxon offered to Mimi was different from the other three Grapplers – cybernetic enhancement of her vocal chords. Mimi became a superhuman whose scream could shatter steel.

The Grapplers vintage group shot

The quintet successfully broke into Project:PEGASUS (Potential Energy Group/Alternate Sources/United States). As Thundra was finishing her work, the Grapplers broke off in pairs to execute on secret orders received from Roxxon.

Screaming Mimi and Letha confronted Quasar and Mimi nearly fried his mind with hallucinations. However he collected himself and took them down. Though the Grapplers were all captured, they had done their job. They had covertly delivered supplies to Dr. Thomas Lightner, the Nth Man.

Back in the slammer

The four Grapplers were imprisoned on Ryker’s Island. But they were strong and mean enough to practically run the women’s quarters. At night, they bribed or threatened the guards to leave. They had practically free rein.

When the famous singer Dazzler was imprisoned there for a night, the Grapplers put her through the “initiation” ritual marking their dominance over any newcomer. Word on the grapevine was that Dazzler had somehow killed the villain Klaw, and the Grapplers didn’t want to have competition in the tough guy department.

It backfired, though – when Mimi used her powers, Dazzler turned the sound into enough light to flatten her 4 opponents.

After they got out of prison, the Grapplers heard about the Thing being hospitalised. Since the Thing had been among those who had defeated them at Pegasus, they decided to have their revenge. Many villains had the same reaction when the news got around.

However the foursome ran straight into Captain America and were soon defeated with some help from the X-Men. They retreated and returned when they noticed an all-out assault by a small army of villains was underway on the hospital. This was met by a large number of friends of the Thing, and the assault was derailed.

The promised land

Auntie Freeze then developed an interest in the Unlimited Class Wrestling Federation. This new organisation held fewer entrenched interests and the promise of higher revenue. They were organising matches between superhumanly strong contenders.

Like many coaches on the wrestling circuit, Freeze was approached by the Power Broker organisation. They sold an unstable enhancement program that could turn people into superhumans… or into superstrong deformed freaks. Despite the 50% risk of the later, the 4 Grapplers decided to go for it and gamble their lives.

Having discovered how outmatched they were against superhuman or near-superhuman opponents likely played a role in their decision.

(It is possible that Mimi chose not to get Power Broker-enhanced, unlike the other three, but the available information does not point that way. Marvel statements in secondary sources all state that she was enhanced, and this is reflected in her stats as discussed above.)

Though the Grapplers were early figures of superhuman female wrestling shows, much of their UCWF career is undocumented. One exception was a big event at the Madison Square Garden, where all UCWF wrestlers were given a chance to meet Hercules himself in the ring.

Even with their new strength the Grapplers were vastly outmatched by the demigod of power. But they could at least take pride in the fact that the benefits from those matches were going to the research against cancer.

Unlimited

The women’s wrestling division of the UCWF was a success. It also let the Grapplers retain a more reasonable portion of the earnings they generated. By the mid-1980s, the quartet had become the core of a larger roster of super-strong female wrestlers, sometimes called the New Grapplers.

These included Gladiatrix (Robin Braxton), Butterball (Vivian Dolan), Vavavoom (Dawn Middlebury), Magilla (Sandy Stalmaster) and others. In 1986, Battleaxe (Anita Ehren) defeated Titania in the ring thanks to her greater strength and weight, and replaced her as the frontwoman of the New Grapplers.

Titania took this very badly. This was in part because she felt that the UCWF viewed the original Grapplers as a potential liability due to their criminal records. However, she was soon murdered by a Scourge of the Underworld.

Distraught and incensed, Letha worked on organising mercenaries and criminals to take down the Scourge and avenge Titania. She received the help of Firebrand (Gary Gilbert). It didn’t work, and Letha was also murdered by the Scourge.

Darkness on the edge of town

With half their number assassinated, the original Grapplers ceased to exist. Poundcakes remained both a wrestler and a supervillain, and Mimi apparently became a full-time supervillain.

Flashbacks show that she took this decision because she was now feeling like an outsider among the New Grapplers. Furthermore, her enhanced strength was fading to below UCWF thresholds. The murder of two of her closest friend also seems to have worsened her anti-social behaviour.

As a costumed villain, Mimi was one of the operatives contacted by Baron Helmut Zemo as he assembled the small army of super-villains – the new Masters of Evil. These early recruits chiefly worked on freeing imprisoned super-criminals to join Zemo.

Mimi and the Grey Gargoyle (Paul Duval) were detailed to bust the new Yellowjacket (Rita Demara) out of prison. Disguised as a lawyer and a legal assistant, Duval and Gold reached Demara. But as they came in she was being interrogated by the Wasp and her friend the super-mercenary Paladin.

The Wasp recognised Duval despite his disguise, but Mimi’s scream knocked out most people present. The two villains threw the unconscious Demara in the back of their van and fled. Howbeit, the Wasp recovered quickly and blasted out one of their tyres. The crash knocked Gold unconscious and she was captured.

Mimi was still in lockdown when the Masters of Evil launched their devastating assault on the Avengers Mansion. She is thus occasionally forgotten when listing the roster of Zemo’s team. Nevertheless, Zemo apparently considered her as an asset, and would remember her years later for another project.

Wrong side of the street

While held at the Vault, Melissa met another guy – Angar the Screamer. After a mass escape, they decided to team up. They hit Denver, Colorado, with a spectacular crime wave, robbing a number of banks and jewellery stores. As a twist they combined their powers to create the illusion that they were Hawkeye and Mockingbird.

This plan backfired. Though they presumably expected Mockingbird and Hawkeye to come investigate, they didn’t know that Hawkeye had a hearing condition. This handicap enabled him to ignore much of the sonic effects employed by the couple, and Mimi and Angar were soon defeated.

The promise

Screaming Mimi was then invited by Superia to hear her pitch for her Femizons organisation. This project was based on the future Thundra came from. On this occasion she was reunited with her friend Poundcakes. Presumably, Superia broke many of the super-villainesses in attendance, Mimi included, out of prison so they could be there.

Screaming Mimi (Melissa Gold) and Angar the Screamer

The pitch was done during a multi-days luxury cruise. As part of the entertainment, talent pageants were organised. During one Mimi enthusiastically demonstrated the power of her voice, leaving much of the audience with a headache.

When Captain American and Paladin boarded the ship, Gold participated in the pummelling that ensued. Both men were ferociously felled by the fantastic flock of felonious females.

The brokenhearted

Mimi, apparently still in a relationship with Angar, later attended the marriage of the Absorbing Man with Titania (Mary McFerran – no relation to the deceased Grappler), among many other super-villains.

Wearing her best mini-dress, she joined forces with Angar and Klaw when the Avengers misinterpreted what was going on and intervened. Their sonic Team Attack swatted a Quinjet out of the sky, but the situation was later defused.

Screaming Mimi was later a part of the enormous super-villain army assembled by Krona, and lost a screaming match against Black Canary.

Mimi continued to work with Angar, in denial over her romance being one-sided. In truth, the Screamer saw her mostly as a partner in crime with sexual benefits. During one of their numerous heists in small town banks, they got unlucky. Angar the Screamer was hit by a stray bullet from an hallucinating guard. Bleeding out, he died in Gold’s arms.

Shocked and being once more left all alone, Melissa started screaming hysterically for over an hour. She devastated a large chunk of the forest around her and destroying her enhanced larynx. When she finally collapsed Baron Helmut Zemo, who had been looking to recruit her, whisked her away before the cops could move in.


Description

Mimi was the most slender among the Grapplers. Unlike Letha and Titania she’s not obviously a bodybuilder, perhaps because she has not been a wrestler for as long as they have. Officially she’s 145 lbs., but given the recurrent descriptions of her being ’slim‘ and ’slender‘ we adjusted her weight down.

She usually wore a sort of tutu with biker shorts underneath. During the Superia cruise she debuted the costume without a frilly skirt.

Melissa was a blonde girl but became a red-headed woman. This doesn’t seem to be the result of cosmetics. Perhaps her hair changing colour was a very mild side effect of the Power Broker process.


Personality

One gets the impression that Mimi talked and behaved somewhat weirdly, but it is hard to say. During this era she doesn’t get special dialogue or character moments, and her characterisation isn’t shown.

From later remarks and a flashback we know that “Mimi” was tough as nails.&éemsp;She showed the level of brutality and ruthlessness she needed to protect herself on the street. Melissa, on the other hand, was scared of living her life alone and desperate to belong to some sort of group or family.

The difference between Mimi and Melissa wasn’t pathological. It was simply a mental mask that Melissa wore to cope and survive.

Melissa’s fear of being alone is apparently the root of most of her questionable decisions, particularly in her love life. She’d rather be with a man who’s obviously bad for her than be single.


Quotes

Letha: “Up and away, Mimi darling. I’d hate to see that adorable skirt get scorched to a cinder.”
Mimi: “Mimi moves, Letha. The Lord helps those who help themselves.”

“Hiya, hiya, hiya !”


DC Universe History

The Grapplers were presumably an homage to the Female Furies of the Fourth World, with Mimi being the Mad Harriet analogue.


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Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG Print Friendly

Tell me more about the game stats

Screaming Mimi

Dex: 05 Str: 06 Bod: 06 Motivation: Mercenary
Int: 04 Wil: 03 Min: 04 Occupation: Wrestler
Inf: 04 Aur: 03 Spi: 04 Resources {or Wealth}: 005
Init: 015 HP: 025

Powers:
Flash: 06, Mind blast: 08, Sonic beam: 10, Super-ventriloquism: 04

Bonuses and Limitations:

  • Flash can be Combined with Mind Blast.
  • Flash can affect hearing rather than sight if desired, making the target hearing-impaired rather than sight-impaired.
  • When Flash affects sight it is not by blinding, but through visual hallucinations and distortions.
  • Flash cannot create ’steady illumination’, but it can instead create steady loud noise (to drown voices and prevent communication, etc.).
  • Mind Blast does not affect either inanimate objects and creatures without a conventional sense of hearing.
  • All of Mimi’s Powers can have an Explosive Radius if desired, but are then centred on her – they no longer had a Range if they have a Radius.
  • Super-ventriloquism is limited to straight volume amplification.

Skills:
Acrobatics: 05, Artist (Singer): 04, Martial artist: 05, Vehicles (Land): 04

Advantages:
Familiarity (Streetwise, Urban survival, Wilderness survival). Secondary sources have stated that Mimi has perfect pitch (she can hear in her mind the correct frequency for every musical note on the scale).

Connections:
Grapplers (High), Street (Low), Angar the Screamer (Low).

Drawbacks:
MIF of living alone, Attack Vulnerability (-1 CS OV/RV against Persuasion attempts exploiting her MIF).

Equipment:
Mimi has a stock of special in-ear plugs that make allies immune to her scream.


Previous stats

Before the Power Broker enhancement, Mimi had DEX 04 STR 03 BOD 04.

By Sébastien Andrivet.

Source of Character: Marvel Universe.

Helper(s): Phil Dixon, Sean MacDonald, Chris Cottingham, Gareth Lewis.

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