Originally posted at ComicBook.com
To say Agent Melinda May is a beloved fan favorite of ABC’s hit series Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. would be a massive understatement. There’s a reason why some have nicknamed the superhero spy series The Coulson/May Power Hour.
There are also those who have dubbed Agent May an unsung Avenger. The fact that she is portrayed by the extraordinary Ming-Na Wen should be reason enough. After all this is the same gifted actress who brought Chun-Li and Mulan to the big screen.
The following are eight reasons that explain why Melinda May is an Avenger.
1.) Her Nickname is The Cavalry
On a mission in Bahrain to make first contact with an unregistered gifted person, several of May’s colleagues were taken hostage. Agent May single-handedly stormed the building in which the hostages were being held and eliminated the Inhuman behind the attack.
She managed to free all of the hostages unharmed. However, the experiences May had on that mission, left her emotionally scarred and caused a radical change in her personality. After this mission, May attained legendary status within S.H.I.E.L.D. for her exploits, which earned her the nickname “The Cavalry.”
The Cavalry: as in this the woman who is called when S.H.I.E.L.D., the best of the best, are in dire need. Just don’t ever call her that.
2.) S.H.I.E.L.D.’s Elite Often Join the Ranks of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes
Over the years, S.H.I.E.L.D. has produced more than its share of Avengers in the comics and films: Director Nick Fury, Black Widow, Hawkeye, Mockingbird, Victoria Hand, Maria Hill, Sharon Carter, and others.
Given May’s legendary status within the ranks of S.H.I.E.L.D. for the Bahrain mission (which was a superhuman feat in itself), it stands to reason she’s more than qualified to be a part of the Avengers Initiative.
3.) Even Outmatched, She’s Still a Champ
Few non-powered humans have gone head-to-head with a Deathlok, an evil Asgardian, or a rogue enhanced soldier. In a year’s time May has mixed it up with all three and held her own.
Whether in victory or rare defeat, the fact that she lived to fight another day is a testament to her abilities.
4.) She Makes Easy Work Out of Formidable Villains
In season one, it was noted that Double Agent Ward was not only one of the best operatives in S.H.I.EL.D. but his skills and abilities rivaled that of one Natasha Romanov.
In season two Marcus Scarlotti debuted. Better known in comics as the first Whiplash, the super villain nearly killed Hawkeye in a previous encounter.
When they faced off against May, neither exactly fared too well:
5.) She’s the Company She Keeps
Coulson, Mockingbird, and Skye (aka Daisy aka Quake) are prominent members of the Avengers in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the comics. May has close ties with each of them whether in the role of an S.O., second in command, or trusted friend. Both Coulson and Nick “I Trust No One” Fury have turned to May when they were in need of an ally they could trust implicitly.
6.) Even Her Enemies Want to be Her
When one is exceptional they often gain rivals and imitators. For Avengers, the two groups are often one in the same. The Red Skull was a super soldier just like Captain America. Hulk had his hands full with a knockoff threat by the name of Abomination. The main villains in each Iron Man film were Stark’s business rivals.
For May, her H.Y.D.R.A. counterpart, Agent 33, took matters one step further. A former S.H.I.E.L.D. agent, not only had 33 studied “The Legend,” but she also bore May’s resemblance courtesy of a photostatic veil.
This of course resulted in one of the most epic showdowns on the show to date with May delivering one of the most devastating takedowns which still has fans discussing it on social media.
Evil Doppelgangers learned what fans already knew. Melinda May is one of a kind.
7.) Power Corrupts, Save for One
For most people, the Berserker Staff means rage, destruction and a violent end. For Melinda May, it’s another day at the office.
8.) The Content of Her Character is What Makes Melinda May an Avenger
While May be perceived as all-business, she’s also all heart. Throughout the series she has proven herself to be fiercely loyal and protective of anyone she cares for. She won’t hesitate to offer advice, or compassion, or sacrifice for a colleague. It’s not the skills that make Melinda May a super heroine, it’s the woman using said skills to help save the planet.