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Real Name: Melanie Killgrave

Identity/Class: Human, civilian

Occupation: Unrevealed

Group Membership: None

Affiliations: Alpha Flight (Aurora/Jeanne Marie Beaubier, Box/Roger Bochs, Goblyn/Goblyn Dean, Madison Jeffries, Manikin/Whitman Knapp, Northstar/Jean Paul Beaubier, Pathway/Laura Dean, Puck/Eugene Nelson Judd, Talisman/Michael Twoyoungmen, Vindicator/Heather Hudson), Darby & Susan Dean (Goblyn & Pathway's parents), Dr. Giloski

Enemies: Auctioneer, Dreamqueen, Purple Man (Zebediah Killgrave)

Known Relatives: Kara Killgrave (daughter), Zebediah Killgrave (Kara's father)

Aliases: None

Base of Operations: Etobicoke, a suburb of Toronto, Canada

First Appearance: Alpha Flight I#41 (December, 1986)

: Melanie possesses no superhuman powers. She possibly has latent mutant genes she passed on to her daughter Kara who was born a mutant with abilities similar to that of her father the Purple Man who was not a mutant himself. After being (mind)raped by the Purple Man for an extended period of time, Melanie tried the best she could to pick up the pieces of her life. Still, a part of her always feared Killgrave would return sooner or later and she even felt the man was powerful enough to even overcome death, an assumption he'd prove right down the line. When Kara turned out to have her father's powers, Melanie insisted she used them for good.

Height: 5'4" (by approximation)
125 lbs (by approximation)
Eyes: Blue
Hair: Black


(Alpha Flight I#41 (fb) ) - 14 years before her daughter Kara was born, Toronto resident Melanie took a trip to Buffalo. Having a drink in a local bar with a friend while waiting for their dates of the evening, Melanie was approached by Zebediah Killgrave who was immediately smitten with her.

   Killgrave used his pheromone based mind control powers to bend Melanie to his will. Instantly agreeing to marry him, they were wed less than an hour later by a local justice of the peace. Melanie served as Killgrave's mindless puppet for a while, until the villain realized he had developed genuine feelings for her. Hoping she would reciprocate his affections, he relinquished his control over her. Instead, Melanie was shocked and horrified when she came to her senses and ran off, surprised that Killgrave didn't stop her or try to follow her.

   After returning to Toronto, Melanie decided against filing for divorce. Not too long after that, she discovered she was pregnant with Killgrave's baby. Carrying the child to term, she was pleased to see her daughter Kara had normal pink skin instead of her father's trademark purple hue. Melanie raised Kara on her own, never telling her who her father really was.

(Alpha Flight I#41 - BTS) - Out of the blue, 13-year-old Kara Killgrave's skin turned purple when she was at a party. The distraught young girl rushed home and tried to scrub herself clean in the middle of the night, inadverently waking up Melanie.

(Alpha Flight I#41) - Melanie was initially stunned when she saw her daughter's complexion. She quickly overcame her shock and comforted Kara, assuring the scared teen that this was neither her fault nor, as Kara feared, a sickness such as AIDS. Melanie then revealed she'd always expected something like this might happen and proceeded to tell Kara the details about how she'd met her father Zebediah Killgrave 14 years earlier.

(Alpha Flight I#41 - BTS) - A week after turning purple and discovering her origins, Kara stole Melanie's creditcard and ran away from home to have some fun. Renting a suite at the world-famous Banff Springs Hotel, she inadvertently realized she had the power to control people's actions. When she spotted her longtime celebrity crush, Alpha Flight member and former Olympic skier Jean-Paul Beaubier on the slopes, she used her powers to make him obey her every command. She had Northstar do anything, from pretending he was her boyfriend to flying her to a tropical island and finally to Alpha Flight's headquarters Maison Alpha.

(Alpha Flight I#42 - BTS) - Kara came to Alpha Flight for help in learning how to deal with her powers. But when Talisman (Michael Twoyoungmen) suggested that apart from letting her run free, the team should either confine or kill her, she understandably freaked out. Kara used her powers to briefly control the entire team, before ordering Madison Jeffries to fly her home.

(Alpha Flight I#42) - Worried about her missing daughter, Melanie was thrilled to see Kara return. But joy quickly turned to anger when she realized Kara possessed powers similar to that of the Purple Man and was equally willing to use them to get her way. Her speech about not becoming a criminal like her dad didn't go over well and Kara simply decided to leave with Madison Jeffries in tow. Watching them go, an exasperated Melanie cursed the Purple Man for laying his curse upon their daughter.

(Alpha Flight I#42 - BTS) - Moments after Kara and Jeffries left, henchmen of the Auctioneer broke into Melanie's appartment and abducted her. At the same time, the Auctioneer tricked and kidnapped Kara and Jeffries, planning to auction them off as living weapons.

(Alpha Flight I#42) - Kara proved difficult to control, even when trapped inside an airtight plexiwrap container, so the Auctioneer had his men bring out Melanie as added incentive. Before Melanie's life was seriously threatened, the fact that Kara's mind controlling pheromones were contained by the plexiwrap freed Madison Jeffries from her control. Now in his right mind again, Jeffries quickly used his transmutative powers to create a small arsenal of assault weaponry that literally blew the roof off the auction hall.

   The explosion was spotted by Alpha Flight, who had been searching for their missing teammate. Northstar quickly freed Melanie and rushed her to safety. When she asked the wary Alphan how she could ever repay him, he told her to thank him by placing Kara in as distant a boarding school as possible. After Kara defeated the Auctioneer with one of her suggestions, she and Melanie accompanied Alpha Flight to their base on Tamarind Island. There, she watched as her daughter used her powers to do good, by forcing troubled Alphan Roger Bochs to merge with his Box armor before he died. Kara was then officially inducted into the Flight as the first recruit of the new Beta Flight division. Initially wary of her daughter becoming a superhero, Melanie was persuaded by Vindicator (Heather Hudson), who assured her that no one in Canada would be better equipped to help Kara.

(Alpha Flight I#54 (fb) - BTS) - Kara Killgrave, now known as the Purple Girl, reflected on her brief career as a heroine, thinking back to the night her mother Melanie discovered her in the bathroom trying to wash the purple off her skin.

(Alpha Flight I#62 (fb) ) - After Vindicator decided to disband Alpha Flight and all members went their seperate ways, Melanie took in daughter Kara and her two fellow Beta Flight recruits Goblyn and Laura Dean. Despite being shunned by the neighborhood kids and some early mishaps with the ravenous Goblyn raiding Melanie's fridge everyone got along famously. During this time, Melanie received word of Zebediah Killgrave's death (see comments). Overjoyed by the realization she was finally freed from the ever looming spectre of his possible return, Melanie didn't notice the news had a profound impact on her daughter. 

(Alpha Flight I#62 - (fb) - BTS) - Desperately lonely without Alpha Flight and looking for any sort of emotional connection, the Purple Girl visited her father's grave and foolishly tried to use her powers to resurrect him. Soon after she left, the rotting remains of Zebediah Killgrave rose again. Now able to only control the dead, he ordered the entire cementary on his quest for revenge.

(Alpha Flight I#62) - Comforting Kara after she had a nightmare about her father returning from the dead (secretly engineered by the Dreamqueen), Melanie was stunned to hear about her daughter's attempts to revive him. She told her that even though she understood the longing, she shouldn't try to undo what's done. Just then, the Purple Man and his undead army burst in, with Killgrave ready to have Melanie as his wife again. The animalistic Alphan Goblyn jumped Killgrave, buying Kara a few moments to mind control her mother and Laura, ordering them to get to safety and call the police. Watching the entranced Melanie move away, Killgrave ordered some of his minions to grab her so she could be bound to him in death. Goblyn prevented his decaying deputies to get their hands on Melanie and Kara managed to destroy her undead dad by setting off a nearby gas station.

(Alpha Flight I#67 (fb) ) - Unaware of the Dreamqueen's involvement, Kara and Melanie were amazed to find their condo completely undamaged after their fight against the undead Purple Man, making it seem as if the horrific incident had actually been little more than a bad dream.

(Alpha Flight I#64) - Melanie saw Kara and Laura off to school, walking them to the busstop while trying to hold back Goblyn who wanted to accompany the girls. Laura commented on how much progress her primal, agressive sister had made since she came to live with Melanie, citing very nearly hitting the litterbox as a prime example of said progress.

(Alpha Flight I#67 - BTS) - When several Alphans had disturbingly lifelike dreams that seemed to blend with reality, Vindicator assembled the team to compare notes. The Purple Girl confirmed that she and her mother had recently experienced events that fit that description.

(Alpha Flight I#89) - Melanie, Kara and Northstar visited Laura in Ottawa General Hospital where she was recovering after Wild Child mauled her. As night fell, Melanie tried to persuade Kara to go home and get some rest, but she refused. Confiding in her mother how helpless and responsible she felt about not being able to prevent her best friend's injuries, Melanie tried to comfort her just as Laura's physician Doctor Giloski arrived. He informed them Laura had lost a lot of blood and was in need of a new kidney as well. As Kara and Jean-Paul discussed how best to help their teammate, they were all surprised by the sudden arrival of Laura's long-lost parents Darby and Susan Dean.

(X-Man I#34-36 - BTS) - The recently resurrected Purple Man carefully manipulated the naive but massively powerful psi-mutant Nate Grey for several weeks. Killgrave believed Nate's powers could rearrange reality and he planned to use this ability to reshape the world in his image. Carrying around a snapshot of Melanie and Kara, the Purple Man claimed his reason for trying to change all that is was to get a second chance to be with his family again. Using his mental powers to read the Purple Man's mind, Nate learned this was a lie and that all Killgrave cared for was acquiring power. (see comments) 

Comments: Created by Bill Mantlo (writer), David Ross (pencils), While Portacio (inks).

In Marvel Graphic Novel#27 Doctor Doom used the powers of the Purple Man to succesfully take over the world. When a revolt led by the Avenger Wonder Man (Simon Williams) put an end to Doom's rule, Namor the Sub-Mariner inadvertently killed the villain when he destroyed the giant mind control machine Killgrave was involuntarily hooked up to.

Bill Mantlo truly created a unique character when he dreamed up Melanie Killgrave. Having a single mother raise a supervillain's daughter who turns out to have his powers as well? Back in 1986 that most definitely broke new ground. I for one would have loved to see more of Melanie and how she tried to keep her daughter on the straight and narrow. Think of the potential for drama if she'd insisted back in Alpha Flight I#42 that Kara could only join if they both moved in to Maison Alpha? Storywise, it would have made sense: what better way to protect yourself from a supervillain than becoming roomies with a whole team of superheroes? She could have developed romantic feelings for Madison Jeffries, leading to all sorts of fun love triangles if Heather was thrown in the mix as well. And she really should have been part of Kara's life, after all she was barely 13 years old when she joined Beta Flight. A little young to be without your mother or father... After all, what is this, Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters?

Speaking of mutants: the less said about Melanie and Kara showing up in X-Man the better. The threeparter is rife with inconsistencies. Not only is Melanie blonde, Killgrave now inexplicably was aware of her pregnancy before she abandoned him, even though everything in her backstory contradicts this. It gets worse: he also made allusions to the fact that they'd been happily living together as a family, until his "mutant" pheromone control abilities kicked in and made it impossible for him to stay. You can chalk it up to poor research on X-Man-writer Terry Kavanagh's part (and it probably is). But if you want to look for an in-universe explanation for these inconsistencies: it might be that Killgrave concocted his fake backstory about being a family man struggling with his mutant powers to make himself seem more sympathetic to Nate Grey. 

As for Melanie's alleged marriage to the Purple Man... I'm no Matt Murdock, but I doubt a quickie wedding between Canadian and Yugoslavian citizens on US soil is all that legally binding. At least not without filing a lot of necessary paperwork, which given the fact they were married within the hour seems rather unlikely. It's also doubtful an impatient, spoiled man like Killgrave would even bother with insignificant, trivial matters like notaries, witnesses or signatures. Still, legal or not, one also has to question Melanie's decision not to annul the marriage and move back to her hometown after leaving him. If you're truly worried about your psychotic supervillain husband tracking you down, at least make sure you no longer share the same last name, eh?

Profile by Norvo.

Melanie Killgrave has no known connections to

images: (without ads)
Alpha Flight I#41, p13, pan1 (main image)
Alpha Flight I#41, p11, pan2 (gives birth)
Alpha Flight I#42, p24, pan5 (on Beta Flight)
Alpha Flight I#62, p14, pan3 (Purple Man's death)
Alpha Flight I#89, p7, pan3 (comforts Kara)
X-Man I#34, p14, pan4 (photoframe)

Alpha Flight I#41 (December, 1986) - Bill Mantlo (writer), David Ross (pencils), Whilce Portacio (inks), Carl Potts (editor)
Alpha Flight I#42 (January, 1987) - Bill Mantlo (writer), David Ross (pencils), Whilce Portacio (inks), Carl Potts (editor)
Alpha Flight I#54 (January, 1988) - Bill Mantlo (writer), Hugh Haynes (pencils), Whilce Portacio (inks), Carl Potts (editor)
Alpha Flight I#62 (September, 1988) - Bill Mantlo (writer), Jim Lee (pencils), Al Milgrom (inks), Carl Potts (editor)
Alpha Flight I#64 (November, 1988) -
Bill Mantlo (writer), Jim Lee (pencils), Al Milgrom (inks), Carl Potts (editor)
Alpha Flight I#67 (February, 1989) - James D. Hudnall (writer), Hugh Haynes (pencils), Gerry Talaoc (inks), Carl Potts (editor)
Alpha Flight I#89 (October, 1990) - Fabian Nicieza (writer), Michael Bair (pencils), Mike Manley (inker), Danny Fingeroth (editor)
X-Man I#34 (January, 1998) - Terry Kavanagh (writer), Roger Cruz (pencils), Bud LaRosa (inks), Jaye Gardner (editor)
X-Man I#35 (February, 1998) - Terry Kavanagh (writer), Roger Cruz & Chriscross (pencils), Bud LaRosa (inks), Jaye Gardner (editor)
X-Man I#36 (March, 1998) - Terry Kavanagh (writer), Chriscross (pencils), Bud LaRosa (inks), Jaye Gardner (editor)

First Posted: 12/05/2013
Last updated: 12/05/2013

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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