The character originated in the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. television series, and like the other characters, was not an existing comic character. After becoming a fan favorite, Melinda May was brought into the mainstream Earth-616 comic canon by writer Mark Waid.
The character was initially conceived as a white woman named Althea Rice, but was heavily rewritten on the strength of Ming-Na Wen's audition.
Marvel´s Agents of Shield
In the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Melinda May is introduced as a legendary S.H.I.E.L.D. agent recruited by Phil Coulson as part of his team. She has a dark and mysterious past, and was left traumatized after an experience where she was forced to kill a number of cultists during a mission. As a result, she is hesitant to get into field work again, and initially agrees to Coulson's offer on the condition that she only act as the team's pilot.
Melinda quickly moves back into active field work, and enters into a sexual relationship with Grant Ward. She also develops a mother/daughter relationship with Skye, whom she grows very protective of. In the season finale, she defeats Ward after he is revealed to be a double agent working for HYDRA.
In the series, she is portrayed by Ming-Na Wen.
Marvel Future Fight
Melinda May is a non-playable character in the game.
Marvel Avengers Academy
Melinda May is a playable character. She was released during the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Event. She is voiced by Elissa Park.