|Real Name||Melinda May|
|Ser. No.||A 078634|
|Title(s)|| Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.|
*Specialist (Level 7)
|TV series||Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.|
|Portrayed by||Ming-Na Wen|
- "She took it upon herself to get them out. Said she could fix the problem. So she went in, crossed off the enemy force. Didn't say how."
"Did she lose anyone in there?"
- ―Phil Coulson and Skye[src]
Melinda 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 Bahrain which left her slightly damaged. However, she returned to the field when Agent Phil Coulson recruited her onto his team.
- "Is that who I think it is?"
"She's just the pilot."
"Melinda May is just the pilot?""
- ―Grant Ward and Phil Coulson[src]
- "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[src]
Nothing is known about Melinda May's youth. However, at some point in her life, she joined S.H.I.E.L.D., believing that the agency is the best defense of the United States of America and the world against any possible threat.
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. 
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[src]
At one point, May, 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[src]
However, after the battle of New York, Agent 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 reluctant to say yes, 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 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[src]
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 Belarus. 
In Hong Kong, she participated in the attempted rescue of Index listed pyrokinetic Chan Ho Yin from his captors in the Centipede Group. 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 formula, 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. 
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.
- Expert Pilot: She an expert at piloting The Bus
- Master Martial Artist: She is one of S.H.I.E.L.D's best martial artist, 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.
- Coulson's Team
- Michael Peterson - Enemy turned ally
- Akela Amador - Enemy turned ally
- Camilla Reyes - Enemy
- Ian Quinn - Enemy
- Chan Ho Yin - Enemy
- Brian Hayward - Enemy
- Luca Russo - Enemy and torturer
- 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.