|Real Name||Melinda Qiaolian May|
|Alias(es)|| The Cavalry|
The Beautiful Warrior with the Heart of Ice
The Ice Queen
|Ser. No.||A 078634|
|Title(s)|| Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.|
|TV series||Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.|
|Comic||Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: The Chase|
|Portrayed by||Ming-Na Wen|
Melinda Qiaolian May is a level 7 S.H.I.E.L.D. operative, nicknamed "The Cavalry". A veteran pilot and soldier with years of experience, she withdrew from field duty after an incident in Manama, Bahrain which left her slightly damaged. However, she returned to the field when Agent Phil Coulson recruited her onto his team.
- "May used to be different. She was always quiet, she was just... she was warm. Fearless in a different way. Getting in trouble, pulling pranks, thought rules were meant to be broken."
- ―Phil Coulson
Trained by the best S.H.I.E.L.D. has to offer, she became an ace pilot and a weapons expert, a soldier who can perform above and beyond the call of duty. She's one of the few S.H.I.E.L.D. agents who have more black belts than the notorious Natasha Romanoff.
During her career, she met Agent Phil Coulson, one of the highest-ranking S.H.I.E.L.D. agents and the right-hand man of Director Nick Fury. Coulson would describe May as warm, fearless and not afraid to break rules. May was quiet, but not above pulling pranks on her fellow agents. She also met Alexander Pierce, one of the leaders of S.H.I.E.L.D.
May and Coulson would often talk of being able pick their own operations and call their own shots without the bureaucracy and red tape.
- "Forgot I was working with 'The Cavalry'."
"Don't ever call me that."
- ―Grant Ward and Melinda May
At one point, May, Phil Coulson and a team of agents were dispatched on an "Index Asset Evaluation and Intake" (or "Welcome Wagon") mission, investigating a newly discovered powered individual to Manama, Bahrain, that went south.
When a civilian girl and several S.H.I.E.L.D. agents were being held by the followers (or worshippers) of the "Gifted" individual they had come to investigate, May took it upon herself to solve the problem. May went in by herself without a weapon and "crossed off" the enemy force, rescuing the agents. The incident earned May the nick-name "The Cavalry" within S.H.I.E.L.D., a designation she despises.
May has never spoken of what happened during the incident, but it changed her. The warm, rule-bending nature of her personality seemed to be gone, despite Coulson's efforts to draw it back out. May withdrew from combat duty, retreating to a desk-bound administrative position within the S.H.I.E.L.D. bureaucracy.
Back in the FieldEdit
- "You guys talk too much."
- ―Melinda May
However, after the battle of New York, May was approached by Nick Fury himself and ordered to be his eyes and ears on the newly resurrected Phil Coulson. May's orders were to report to him directly if Coulson showed any side-effects or dangerous behavior after his treatment with the alien GH.325 drug. Fury believed that given their shared history, Coulson would recruit her for his new team. To aid in her mission, she put together a team of agents that may be necessary to treat or act on Coulson. Coulson was then given specific mission parameters and was maneuvered into picking May's choices.
As expected, Phil Coulson came to the office where she worked and asked her to join his team. Still haunted by her past experiences in the field, she was genuinely reluctant to return to combat, but she agreed when Coulson told her that he just needs her to "drive the Bus." 
However, field work is not always a stable environment. May was angered after seeing inadvertent combat in Peru, but her skills helped save her team and re-take the Bus from Camilla Reyes's hijackers.
During the action in Malta, May initially assumed that she would be on the strike team to rescue Dr. Franklin Hall, to her dismay. When Coulson informed her that he was going in with Grant Ward instead, May expressed doubt, stating that field work and specialist work were two different things.
During the operation, May was frustrated at being stuck at the backend of the op, where she couldn't do anything to help her team. Upon Coulson's return, May informed him that she would report the next time combat duty came up.
- "You told me that you were ready for combat. That you had my back."
"Don't ever doubt it."
- ―Phil Coulson and Melinda May
May returned to combat duty without hesitation. She acted swiftly (and without authorization) to apprehend renegade S.H.I.E.L.D. agent and Coulson protégé, Akela Amador before she could complete her mission in Minsk, Belarus.
In Hong Kong, she participated in the attempted rescue of Index listed pyrokinetic Chan Ho Yin from his captors in the Centipede Project. When Chan started to use his powers against the S.H.I.E.L.D. team, killing Agent Kwan Chen, May injected Chan with an overdose of the Centipede Serum, causing an explosive overdose.
She lived up to her nickname of "The Cavalry" when Agents Grant Ward and Leo Fitz were stranded in the middle of a hot operation without an extraction plan along the South Ossetian border. She piloted the Bus without authorization into an active hot spot where she and her team rescued their team-mates.
In Ireland, she took up the strength-enhancing Berserker Staff in combat against the members of a Norse Paganist hate group. She was able to control the rage-inducing properties of the staff, and claimed it was because she lived with her rage every day.
The Phone LineEdit
Fitz discovered the phone line at a time when tensions were already high: The team was searching for the Clairvoyant; Felix Blake was critically injured by Deathlok; Jemma Simmons was transferred to the Hub to be a consultant; and Grant Ward had killed Thomas Nash. He told Skye, who told Coulson, while he was interrogating Ward to see if he worked for the Clairvoyant. May hunted for Fitz to shoot him with an I.C.E.R. when Coulson and Skye surrounded her at gunpoint demanding answers. Suddenly the plane was rerouted to the Hub by Victoria Hand who planned to kill all but Coulson.
During her interrogation, May explained that the line went to Nick Fury. He wanted constant updates on Coulson's progress after his resurrection. She built Coulson's Team with specifications to that end. Coulson ultimately decided that for her secrets, she was an ally, no longer his friend.
Leaving the TeamEdit
May found Hill under surveillance by various agencies after the downfall of S.H.I.E.L.D. After subduing Hill's tails, the two talked. May did not believe Hill's statement that Nick Fury was dead. She did obtain a clue though concerning the leader of Project T.A.H.I.T.I. and dug up Phil Coulson's gravesite to find the answer. May found the team in Los Angeles in a hotel, where Coulson forgave her for her secrets, and she revealed to him a report that Coulson himself had made to Fury where he resigned as leader of Project T.A.H.I.T.I., asking Fury not to use it.
A Woman ScornedEdit
- "Watch out, HYDRA. Here we come."
- ―Melinda May
The next morning, Coulson's Team had a meeting on how to find John Garrett and retrieve the Bus. After the meeting, May and Skye talked candidly about Grant Ward and how to focus their emotional pain effectively. May offered to be Skye's new S.O. May and Coulson went undercover as unemployed S.H.I.E.L.D. scientists seeking work with Cybertek in Palo Alto to get files pertaining to Deathlok. Eventually, Coulson's team learned of the old S.H.I.E.L.D. base that became the Barbershop Headquarters of HYDRA in Havana, Cuba. When they arrived however, May and the others became surrounded by Centipede Soldiers and Kaminsky carrying the Berserker Staff.
May quickly relieved Kaminsky of the Berserker Staff as the others fought and Skye uploaded a computer program that allowed her to find Garrett. When Coulson ordered her to "bring the house down," May destroyed the support beams of the headquarters, causing the building to collapse and burying her opponents.
The team went to the Cybertek Manufacturing Facility in New Mexico and May and Skye entered through an opening created by Coulson and Antoine Triplett. Inside, May battled Grant Ward with the fight spilling over into the neighboring construction site. She used a nail gun on Ward's foot and broke his larynx, winning the fight.
After the defeat of Garrett, Coulson, Nick Fury, and she had a meeting, discussing Project T.A.H.I.T.I., S.H.I.E.L.D.'s founding principles, and Fury's status. She witnessed Coulson become the new Director of S.H.I.E.L.D. and went with the team to meet Billy Koenig in the Playground.
Melinda May is a quiet person who was described as "warm", "fearless" and unafraid to break rules. May was a veteran pilot and soldier until she was 'damaged' from an incident in Bahrain. May has an unwavering respect for Coulson and was deeply hurt when she heard he had died. At one point in her life, May was married, but she doesn't discuss her past with her teammates.
- Expert Pilot: She is an expert at piloting the Bus.
- Master Martial Artist: She is one of S.H.I.E.L.D's best martial artists, possessing more black belts than the notorious Black Widow. She was able to take down a Centipede assassin and beat Grant Ward in a sparring match, though he later fought her on even terms when he was enchanted by Lorelei. The only known combatant that she has ever lost to was the Asgardian Lorelei.
- Master Acrobat: May is seen using her acrobatic skills to her advantage. She was able to surpass the speed of a running Cybertek operative doing multiple handsprings to take him out.
- Mrs. May - Mother
- Former husband
- Coulson's Team
- Elliot Randolph - Ally
- Akela Amador - Enemy while under HYDRA coercion, now Ally
- Michael Peterson - Enemy while under HYDRA coercion, now Ally
- Sif - Ally
- Camilla Reyes
- Chan Ho Yin †
- Luca Russo †
- Cybertek - Enemy organization
- HYDRA / Centipede Project
- This character was originally listed with the name Agent Althea Rice (a.k.a. The Cavalry) on casting sheets.
- Melinda May is the title of a song written by Stephen Foster and published in 1851.
- In the comics, The Cavalry is the name of a Georgia based, superhero team.
- ↑ Agent Coulson's Team
- ↑ CHARACTER PROFILE: AGENT MELINDA MAY
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 1.09: Repairs
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 1.19: The Only Light in the Darkness
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 1.01: Pilot
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 1.17: Turn, Turn, Turn
- ↑ Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 1.02: 0-8-4
- ↑ Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 1.03: The Asset
- ↑ Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 1.04: Eye-Spy
- ↑ Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 1.05: Girl in the Flower Dress
- ↑ Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 1.07: The Hub
- ↑ Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 1.08: The Well
- ↑ Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 1.15: Yes Men
- ↑ Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 1.16: End of the Beginning
- ↑ Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 1.20: Nothing Personal
- ↑ Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 1.21: Ragtag
- ↑ Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 1.22: Beginning of the End
- ↑ S.H.I.E.L.D. Casting