Real Name: Melina Vostokovna

Identity/Class: Human using exo-skeleton, Russian citizen

Occupation: Terrorist, assassin, mercenary;
   former agent of espionage for Russian government, KGB agent

Group Membership: Remont Six (Snow Leopards (Ilya & Ioakim Koblev), Titanium Man (Bullski), Unicorn (Balinov), Volga);
   formerly Superia's Femizons;
   formerly KGB

Affiliations: Black Lotus, Blackbird, Phil Coulson (loose), Damon Dran, "Deadshot" Darrance, Laralie/Wrangler, N'Kama, Russian government, Snapdragon (Sheoke Sanada), Kono Sanada, Superia

Enemies: AIM (Allesandro Brannex, MODAM), Black Widow (Natasha Romanova), Captain America (Steve Rogers), Lola Daniels, Diamondback (Rachel Leighton), Paladin, Thunderbolts (Fixer, Joystick, MACH-4), Winter Guard (Crimson Dynamo (Nemirovsky), Darkstar (Roerich), Red Guardian (Anton), Ursa Major), Jimmy Woo

Known Relatives: None

Aliases: Melina Vostokoff

Place of Birth: Serov, Sverdlovsk Oblast, Russia

Base of Operations: Mobile internationally, notably Russia;
    formerly Femizonia Island, formerly Damon Dran's undersea base

First Appearance: Marvel Fanfare I#11 (November, 1983)

Powers/Abilities: The Iron Maiden is a master combatant, assassin, and agent of espionage. She wears a flexible metal costume which protects her from the force of many impacts and insulates her against many forms of energy attack. It may grant her some level of superhuman strength, making her somewhere between peak and enhanced human.

Height: 5' 9"
Weight: 145 lbs.
Eyes: Unrevealed
Hair: Unrevealed


The Iron Maiden was originally an agent of the Russian government (KGB). She was forced to live in the shadow of the legendary Black Widow. This caused her to develop a hatred for the Widow. Eventually, she left the service of Russia and became a freelance assassin and mercenary.

(Marvel Fanfare I#11-12) - The Iron Maiden was one of a group of assassins sent by Damon Dran to assassinate the Black Widow. The Iron Maiden outlasted the other assassins, and was on the verge of overpowering the Widow when she was interrupted by Jimmy Woo and a squadron of S.H.I.E.L.D. I agents. Melina fled, and was followed into the sewers by Woo and the Widow. She ambushed them, but Woo used his energy blaster to blow a hole in the floor she was standing on, which generated a powerful whirlpool and sucked her down to the next level.

([Captain America I#387, 388], 389-392) - The Iron Maiden was one of the army of superhuman female criminals gathered by Superia as part of her plot to sterilize the rest of the world and gain power for her potential nation of women. She was part of the army that defeated and captured Captain America and Paladin when they tried to sneak aboard the ship to Femizonia. Melina was one of the small group that stayed by Superia, as her "lieutenants" following the defeat of her initial plot.

(Captain America I#411-413, [414]) - She accompanied Superia and the other remaining Femizons to Boca Caliente for the AIM Weapons Expo. Superia attempted to execute Alessandro Brannex, to take over AIM for her own uses, which brought her group into conflict with MODAM and the other security forces of AIM. In addition, the assassination failed because Superia did not realize Brannex was an Adaptoid. MODAM overpowered Superia and Blackbird, and the Iron Maiden was unable to reach her to even try to stop her.

(Thunderbolts II#105) - When the U.S. became embroiled in its Superhuman Registration Act, Iron Maiden attempted to obtain a fake i.d. and sneak into Canada. She was pursued by Fixer, Joystick, and MACH-4 of the Thunderbolts, and Joystick brought down Iron Maiden while the Fixer and MACH-4 made wagers on the fight.

(Hulk: Winter Guard#1) - Iron Maiden joined the Soviet Revolutionaries Remont Six and led them in an attack on an AIM base outside the Forbidden Zone in Russia. Although her team overpowered Red Guardian and Crimson Dynamo with ease, Ursa Major was able to knock most of them out.

(Heroic Age: Villains (fb) - BTS) - Iron Maiden was taken into Russian custody and incarcerated in the Mantlov Facility.

(Heroic Age: Villains) - Steve Rogers considered her an effective espionage agent if she returned to the USA (pending psychiatric evaluation and if not partnered with Black Widow).

(Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.#2) - Keen to find the auction location for the dangerous Axiom Protocols (tactics to eliminate super heroes should they go rogue), S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent Phil Coulson tracked down Iron Maiden, a belligerent contact of his, in Paris, France. Coulson had fellow agent and telepath Lola Daniels extract the location from her mind and they left.

Comments: Created by Ralph Macchio and George Perez.

Great character. She needs to return for a re-match against the Black Widow, maybe against the new one.

I don't think we've ever seen the Iron Maiden out of costume or even unmasked. Even her origin was told, but not pictured.

Just so you know, Melena (her name's close enough, and other people have this name for real) is the medical term for stool containing digested blood.

    An alpha generation or precursor of Iron Maiden was kept "on ice for an undefined time period since point during the cold war (essentially the end of World War II in 1945 to the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991). A group of Soviets were held in stasis until they detected a nuclear explosion in the USA, at which point they sent these agents -- Crimson Dynamo (Mark 1 armor), Gargoyle (Yuri Topolov), Iron Maiden, Mongu (Boris Monguski), Thermal Man, Ursa Major -- to attack. The energy unleashed by the Order's battle with the Infernal Man in the Order II#1 (September, 2007) was detected by the sleeping Soviets who sent in the "alpha gen Soviet Super Soldiers." Pepper Potts/Hera was able to track the sleeping Soviets to Drenkov Island, and Supernaut terminated the Soviets' life support. The Crimson Dynamo precursor proved to be a robot and detonated a nuclear bomb, but the Order's Aralune smothered the explosion.

This Iron Maiden was almost certainly based on or a homage to the similar-looking character created by Wally Wood, who first appeared in the original T.H.U.N.D.E.R. AGENTS series published by Tower Comics in the 1960s. The armor is very closely patterned after the original Maiden's, although their personalities are way different.
--Continental Op

Iron Maiden received an entry in the All-New Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Update#2.

Profile by Snood and Prime Eternal.

Iron Maiden has no known connections to:

Femizonia Island is used to distinguish it from:

Marvel Fanfare I#12, cover (Maiden main image)
Marvel Fanfare I#11, p12, pan4 (upper body)
Hulk: Winter Guard#1, p37, pan1 (new costume)

Marvel Fanfare I#11 (November, 1983) - George Perez & Ralph Macchio (writers), George Perez (pencils), Joe Sinnott & Jack Abel (inks), Al Milgrom (editor)
Marvel Fanfare I#12 (January, 1984) - George Perez & Ralph Macchio (writers), George Perez (pencils), Al Milgrom (inks/editor)
Captain America I#389-392 (August-September, 1991) - Mark Gruenwald (writer), Rik Levins (pencils), Danny Bulanadi (inks), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Captain America I#411-413 (January-March, 1993) - Mark Gruenwald (writer), Rik Levins (pencils), Danny Bulanadi (inks), Mike Rockwitz (editor)
Thunderbolts II#105 (October, 2006) - Fabian Nicieza (writer), Tom Grummett (penciler), Gary Erskine (inker), Tom Brevoort (editor)
Order#1-2 (September-October, 2007) -  Matt Fraction (writer), Barry Kitson (penciler), Mark Morales (inker), Alejandro Arbona (assistant editor), Warren Simons (editor)
Hulk: Winter Guard#1 (February, 2010) - David Gallaher (writer), Steve Ellis (artist), Jordan D. White (editor)
Heroic Age: Villains (January, 2011) - Chad Anderson, Peter Sanderson, Anthony Flamini, Markus Raymond, Rob London, Madison Carter, Kevin Garcia, Stuart Vandal & David Wiltfong (writers), Jeff Youngquist (editor)
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.#2 (April, 2016) - Marc Guggenheim (writer), German Peralta (pencils, inks), Katie Kubert (editor)

First Posted: 10/08/2001
Last updated: 12/30/2020

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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