Melati Kusuma lost both her legs in a car accident due to her fast and reckless driving, six weeks after getting her license. The crash was so violent it took two hours to extract her from the wreck. She became sick of people seeing her as "that poor girl in the wheelchair". She devoted herself to academics, having "no life", and earned a full scholarship to Empire State University.
Melati secured an internship under Doc Connors' supervision the day she applied. Connors knew that she was interested in the Connors Formula, and promised her they would work to make it safe, forcing her to swear she wouldn't do anything reckless.
Eager to regain her legs, she worked efficiently and earned Connors' trust, and eventually gained access to the Formula then stole it and modified it so that it would work on her and would merely grant her the regenerative properties Dr. Connors desired or at least allow her to keep her mind. As she knew perfecting the formula would take too long, she decided to make it good enough, and if the mutation was unexpected, she was fine with it.
Although he was upset, Connors understood her and was impressed. encouraged her to register and to become a trainee, unwilling to press charges and wanting her to be responsible about her powers.
On the first day, she choose her codename: Komodo. She was present in the Combat Simulator, assisting to Trauma's and Armory's powers test, and had her arm cut off by one of Armory's blast after she lost control. Once the situation debunked, she was consequently among those sworn to silence by Henry Gyrich about MVP's death.
Returning from a ceremony for "Pym"'s bravery during the battle, Komodo fell asleep in their jet, and her human form (including her missing legs) was witnessed by Hardball, causing her to assault him.
Though Pym and Rhodes were initially concerned about her aptitude as a superhero due to the circumstances under which she obtained her powers, she became one of the most successful recruits, and was sent into the field to neutralize Shocker, Boomerang, Hydro-Man, and Spider-Man by injecting them with Super-Power Inhibiting Nanobots or S.P.I.N. She nearly succeeded, but was severely shaken when Spider-Man managed to stun her and escape, fearing that her failure would mean the end of her powers.
During the return from exile of the Hulk, Komodo was deployed on ground in New York City, and took down a band of looters. Terrified by the threat of having her powers removed, Komodo was the sole trainee to not break ranks to fight Hulk's troops and to follow instructor-in-training Triathlon's orders.
In the aftermaths, Komodo was among the numerous trainees, registered and unregistered heroes to volunteer in the rebuilding of New York City. As the Chrysler Building became alive due to the infiltration of Shadow-Stone left after the invasion, many heroes tried to fight it in vain and were defeated, including Komodo.
Komodo was later confronted to the statements of Cloud 9 and Hardball regarding MVP's status, before the conversation was ended by an intruding Yellowjacket.
She began dating Hardball at some point.
Led by Triathlon, and along with Cloud 9, Hardball and Thor Girl, Komodo was dispatched in Manhattan against the Zodiac. The whole squad was defeated but were saved by the arrival of the New Warriors. Decibel had the trainees secured. The disaster of that event directly caused a PR issue for the Initiative.
A squad comprised of Cloud 9, Hardball, Komodo, Triathlon and Thor Girl were able to capture Dragon Man without harm and bring in to Camp Hammond for deportation to Prison 42, thanks to his attraction for Komodo. Same attraction caused him to free himself and brawl in the Camp when Komodo demonstrated her relation to Hardball. Due to her actions during fights against Hydra, Dragon Man and others, Triathlon even proposed to nominate Komodo for a commendation, but was refused by Gyrich due to their Zodiac debacle, causing Hardball to expose his grief, reminding about MVP's secret. Turned on by Hardball's burst, Komodo and her boyfriend bounded to which point she agreed to reveal herself to him in human form.
When KIA (an insane clone of MVP using the Tactigon) emerged, he added to his "list" Komodo, as she witnessed the incident that killed "him". For the first part of the massacre, Komodo and Hardball remained unharmed, as they were "fraternizing" in the Cadet Barracks Bravo, until Cloud 9 burst in.
Assembling a squad with Gargoyle, Nighthawk, Stingray, Stature, and Hellcat, they confronted KIA, taking severe damages, including Komodo's guts spread on the court. Once Blitzschlag explained his plan in order to take KIA, involving using the MVP clone's psyche, Hardball and Komodo left with Cloud 9, Komodo assuming the role of human shield in case KIA would try to blast them off. Using the Negative Zone Portal, they went to Tennessee, where the MVP clone and "his" father lived then, and tried to capture MVP, only to be countered by the former New Warriors gone rogue from the Initiative.
While Komodo, Hardball and Cloud 9 tried to persuade MVP's clone to undergo Blitzschlag's plan of using his psyche (possibly wiping his own mind), KIA retrieved them after rampaging the Initiative Headquarters of Tennessee. After he took down both Slapstick and Justice, Komodo and Hardball assaulted him at once, only for the former to be infected by Rigellian Snake Venom, "the fastest working poison in this universe" and left her behind, "killed in action".
The arrival of the Avengers gave a break to the trainees, and Hardball managed to save Komodo by severing her legs, forcing her to go through that experience once again. KIA was eventually defeated by Cloud 9's ruses.
Komodo visited Trauma's body before the funeral, along with Gauntlet and her fellow trainees, and witnessed his unannounced resurrection. The next day, the squad graduated, and Komodo was assigned to Arizona's Desert Stars team. She and Hardball promised to visit each other, the later being assigned to the Nevada's Heavy Hitters.
Komodo and her new team had to deal with the civilians due to the loss of power caused by the first steps of the Secret Invasion. When the 3-D Man (formerly Triathlon) and the Skrull Kill Krew arrived and identified team member the Blacksmith as a Skrull, Komodo and her team were first surprised but quickly helped them fight and kill him. As the rest of the Desert Stars team was incapacitated during the fight, Komodo left with 3-D Man and the Skrull Kill Krew to travel to Nevada to help Hardball's team and find the Skrull infiltrators on the other Initiative teams.
The Krew took down the Heavy Hitters' infiltrator and were joined by Hardball. They pursued to Utah and killed The Called's infiltrator as well, before being rejoined by Jocasta and Devil Slayer, who intended to use his Shadow Cloak for the gathering to travel faster from state to state to eliminate all infiltrated Skrulls.
Rejoined by Heavy Hitters Gravity and Nonstop, the Krew went to Billings, Montana, home of the Freedom Force. They had trouble taking down its infiltrator, "Equinox", until Cloud 9 sniped him, and then joined them as well. In Philadelphia, the Liberteens' Skrull "Revolutionary" was killed, and the speedster Whiz Kid was recruited into the rampaging group. The same fate was met by "Thor Girl", but the crew was attacked by Skrulls tracking Devil Slayer's cloak's energy signature. Komodo was able to spot Ant-Man who was hiding among the Skrull assailants and managed to jump on Cloud 9's back.
As Ant-Man explained the Skrulls' plan to blow up the planet (by opening multiple Negative Zone Portals from different Initiative bases in order to sent a portion in the that dimension) he had learned by spying on them, the Krew and Initiative group split in six groups in order to target the six remaining bases and (for the speedsters) destroy the formerly cleared bases. Komodo separated from Hardball and the six groups teleported through Devil Slayer's cloak.
Along the whole Skrull Kill Krew (including her Initiative allies), Tigra (of the Battalion) and the Rangers, Komodo reappeared at Camp Hammond through a Initiative jump gate, to take down the Skrull central command.
After the Skrull War
As Zzzax attacked Hoover Dam at the Arizona/Nevada border, urging both states teams to respond the threat. As both teams were unsuccessful against it, Komodo devised a plan involving countering Zzzax's by having Hardball expanding one of his own electromagnetic energy ball in its electromagnetic field being, taking on herself to attract the monster's attention.
The lovers later celebrated in Las Vegas at the Heavy Hitters Hotel and Casino (their headquarters), and both shared their tragic histories, Roger telling her about his brother Paul, a former powered wrestler now paralyzed. As Roger (under orders by Hydra to retrieve the formula) asked her about her powers, she told him it was at Connors' lab in Los Angeles.
The very next day, Hardball infiltrated California State University, where Komodo was waiting for him. Roger revealed the services he had provided for Hydra, and Melati offered to isolate the formula for him, intending to take down Hydra with the help of the Heavy Hitters and free Hardball from Hydra. The day after, she gave Hardball the sample, and as Hydra leader Woodman and he were dealing, attacked them both along with the Nevada team. Woodman took the formula and turned into a giant lizard creature. Hardball tried to take down Komodo but after she explained her plan to him, he decided to kill Woodman. He then took the lead of the Hydra cell, in order to protect Komodo, leaving her bitter.
Along with Tigra, Prodigy, Batwing, Cloud 9, and Sunstreak, Komodo was sent to recruit Reptil in order to use his empathic link to dinosaurs to detect Stegron. She later briefly acted as her "The Tail As A Weapon" instructor, but was seemingly more focused on her grudge against Hardball.
The same squad later attacked Stegron and his herd of dinosaurs in South Dakota. Komodo was affected by Stegron's control over reptiles. On the following encounter in the Wyoming S.H.I.E.L.D. regional base, she was given a thought-scrambler in order to shield her mind from Stegron. The squad managed to defeat Stegron there, and he revealed his goal which was to free Moon Boy (abducted by S.H.I.E.L.D. scientists for study) and return him to his friend Devil Dinosaur in the Savage Land.
On the plane to Madripoor, Mutant Zero revealed to Komodo her identity: Typhoid Mary, without bringing much reaction. The group was quickly ambushed by Hydra's troop led by Hardball and his new lover Scorpion. Under provocation, Komodo assaulted them and was depowered by Hardball, using a S.P.I.N. tech dart. Although Bengal tried to evacuate her, but he was forced to leave her in the rush, and captured by Hydra. Komodo was held in Hardball's quarters, stating Hydra's scientists were on their way to take a sample of her in order to extract the regeneration serum from her blood. Komodo took the opportunity to burst at Hardball's face, reminding him of Hydra's unfulfilled promises about his brother and of the disgrace of his family due to his treason. After a brawl outside, Hardball led Constrictor to his quarters where Komodo was and surrendered.
Komodo was stuck there as a favor for Osborn's help but quickly wished to be reintegrated to Arizona team, feeling surrounded by mental cases (from Hood's army). Nevertheless, she accepted to take part again in the Shadow Initiative as they were to be sent to 42 which was under aliens' control.
That Shadow Initiative (transformed into a cannon fodder team) was sent to soften the enemy by Taskmaster. Facing a massacre, Komodo devised a plan by using Batwing to drop invulnerable Butterball among the enemy troops as a diversion, allowing the Initiative to launch an effective attack. As Hardball urged Nagan to release Dragon Man, Komodo used the Dragon's crush on her to make him decimate the aliens by letting herself get wounded (as planned by Hardball).
When Hardball was released for his assistance from Prison 42 and presented as having been a hero from the beginning, Komodo refused to be on a team with him, and rather preferred to be depowered (and consequently crippled) and washed out of the Initiative. During the depowerment procedure, she was able to spot a captured Night Thrasher in the lab.
She went to Heavy Hitters Hotel and Casino where the Hood's henchmen Razor-Fist, Cutthroat, and Grim setting up a trap against Tigra who was tracking them in order to retrieve Night Thrasher. Assisting in the defeat of the villains, she gave her the information. While Tigra offered her to exfiltrate her from the country, Komodo refused, offering her knowledge of Camp H.A.M.M.E.R. and her scientific skills to the Avengers Resistance.
After Night Thrasher was freed, the team gathered at a hideout at the Inland Empire, California. Komodo (now the team's tech support) was presented to Thrasher, who presented her findings about U-Foes' suspicious banking operations.
As the last steps of H.A.M.M.E.R. fell, Komodo infiltrated Blitzchlag's lab in order to prevent him from erasing all data incriminating him. She was joined by Cloud 9 and Hardball. The former prevented Komodo from shooting the later, who injected her with a formula neutralizing the SPIN tech. Cloud 9 urged Komodo to listen to Hardball, insisting he had tried to protect her from the beginning. The two consequently reconciled.
Komodo later celebrated the end of the Superhuman Registration Act, the Initiative and Osborn's reign at the Avengers Towers along with all the Avengers.
After the Dark Reign
Komodo was invited to the Avengers Academy's prom by Tigra. She tried to hit on Reptil, as he was stuck in his future-self's body, but retreated learning he was a minor. That situation caused Hardball to assault Reptil, although he wasn't back with Komodo. The brawl was quickly stopped by Pym, and Komodo and Hardball violently argued and finally made out, and the rest of the night went pretty smooth (despite numerous tense situations).
A week later, in the wake of the Fear, a new Initiative initiated by Steve Rogers and led by Prodigy was assembled on a voluntary basis. Komodo went to Illinois to try to recruit Cloud 9, in vain.
She rejoined the Desert Stars and help fight chaos, preventing a robbery. She then went to Las Vegas, persuaded to do so by Hardball who had declared (along with the LVPD) martial law over the city. There, she tried to keep in touch with Cloud 9, without getting answers. They and Telemetry were informed that the Juggernaut was heading towards them and they had to stop him.
Hardball assembled a squad composed of Nonstop, Telemetry, Rage, Debrii and Komodo and set a trap, after having secured all civilians. The plan went south, and the heroes made their best to stop Juggernaut. The fight moved to the storm drains, where other civilians were hiding. Nonstop and Komodo tried in vain to evacuate them, against their wishes, and had to retreat with the rest of the Initiative forces, leaving Hardball to handle the Juggernaut with a massive energy ball without further care for the bystanders. The area was destroyed, with the civilians killed.
Hardball survived, but his act caused Komodo to reject him further and go elsewhere to rescue people. The issue caused Debrii and Nonstop to argue, and Gravity to attack Hardball. The ensuing duel provoked a series of tremors and quakes damaging the buildings.
Komodo was re-joined by Cloud 9 who informed her of the ongoing duel. Arriving in time to stop Gravity from hitting Hardball, the former hit her. Rushing to her to apologize and check if she was okay, he was attacked by Hardball. That last attack caused an earthquake devastating the city.
Komodo reunited with Cloud 9 just in time to assist in the Prodigy/Thor Girl argument, see Tarene transform into her true form, be assailed by most of the Initiative members present, and finally give her judgment that humanity wasn't worthy yet.
Before leaving, Tarene brought back Gravity, Hardball, Firestar, and Telemetry, who were trapped underground after an expedition to stop the tremors. Komodo rushed to kiss Hardball.
Helping in the rescue and the reconstruction, Hardball and Komodo were present at the finding of Butterball, seemingly shocked.
Along with her teammates and Jeremy Briggs, she attacked the Avengers Compound in order to shut down the Avengers Academy, and shared her vision of Briggs' proposal. Having recruited Rocket Racer and Teen Machine, the group retreated, leaving a status quo in their relations with the Academy.
Lizard Physiology: Melati can take a lizard-form at will. Melati took a serum derived from the Lizard serum created by Dr. Curt Connors. The serum was created from lizard DNA in an attempt to create a serum capable of granting humans the regenerative properties of lizards. Unlike Connors, she maintains control of her human consciousness when she is in her lizard form, and has the ability to control transformations between human and lizard forms for the most part. Since her serum is derived from Dr. Curt Connors, it's likely her powers are comparable to or at least close to the same level as Lizard's.
- Superhuman Strength: Komodo can lift 1 ton.
- Superhuman Speed Komodo's lizard musculature permits her to run faster than a ordinary human
- Superhuman Agility
- Superhuman Reflexes
- Superhuman Stamina
- Superhuman Durability/Scales
- Regenerative Healing Factor: Komodo possesses an accelerated healing factor, the extent of it is unknown, but it is shown she is able to regenerate lost limbs in seconds, eyes in instants and was confident about her survival after having her body pierced by blasts, healing such wound in seconds. Her healing's factor limit was seen with the Rigellian Snake Venom, the "fastest working poison in this universe", faster than her healing factor and reaching the heart in a minute of the inoculation. The only limit to her regeneration is in her human form where her legs recede when she transforms.
- Prehensile Tail: Komodo can use her tail to keep balance or use it as an offensive weapon.
- Fangs and Claws: She possesses razor-sharp teeth and claws on each of her fingers, able to pierce a Hydra Viper Jet.
- Scientist: Steve Rogers stated she was a gifted scientist, and that he would like to make use of her skills.
- Strategist: Komodo proved herself to be at least a decent strategist on occasions.
- She was trained in first aid by Patricia Walker.
- She was once given a thought-scrambler in her ear in order to shield her mind from Stegron.
- Parachute on occasion.
- She used a gun with S.P.I.N. ammunition, blast rifles, a regular gun.
- She mostly used her claws, and also her tail.
She used various Initiative means of transportation, including an Avengers Issue Jet-Pack, a jumbo jet, a speeder (INIT 002), a Shadow Initiative plane, as well as a Skrull Kill Krew bike. A wheelchair while not powered.
- She dated Hardball, and have been on-and-off since.
- Dragon Man had a violent crush on her.
- She stated she hated regrowing limbs.
- Taskmaster stated Komodo had a Facebook page about Hardball about his defaults, seemingly as a joke.
- Tigra stated that Melati had a scent a little more metallic in reptile form.
- 45 appearance(s) of Melati Kusuma (Earth-616)
- 7 appearance(s) in handbook(s) of Melati Kusuma (Earth-616)
- 2 minor appearance(s) of Melati Kusuma (Earth-616)
- 1 mention(s) of Melati Kusuma (Earth-616)
- 3 mention(s) in handbook(s) of Melati Kusuma (Earth-616)
- 24 image(s) of Melati Kusuma (Earth-616)