Melissa Morbeck's grandmother spent her entire life obsessed with obtaining the ability to control animals to no avail. The most she had managed to control were moths, but she was simply using tricks with ultraviolet light. Melissa's mother went through a similar path, which caused Melissa to become embarrassed of their failures.[2] She went to college at the Empire State University, and eventually became a world-renowned entrepreneur,[3] having created her own successful engineering firm.

Morbeck became fixated on her family's failed goal after learning of Squirrel Girl, a young adventurer with the ability to naturally communicate with squirrels, and set out to achieve her grandmother's dream now knowing it was possible. To this end, Melissa created a microchip which, once implanted subcutaneously in an animal, it allowed it to receive instructions from Melissa directly,[2] with secondary CPUs increasing its intelligence to understand those instructions.[4]

These devices made their way to thousands of animals after Melissa began to sell them as tracking microchips at unprofitably low costs to vets, zoos, circuses, parks, and reserves. Morbeck soon amassed an inconspicuous army of spies under her total control, with which she manipulated events and eliminated inconveniences, no matter how insignificant they were.[4] Driven by her personal philosophy that the great responsibility entailed by a great power was defined as having control over people, Morbeck set her sights on world-conquering.[4]

However, Morbeck became worried her plans would eventually become compromised by the Squirrel Girl and other two animal-talking heroes she had learned of, Chipmunk Hunk and Koi Boi. In order to keep an eye on these three wild cards, Morbeck pulled the strings of their lives to ensure they'd end up in the same computer science program at ESU in the same year, and were assigned in the same room.[2]

Morbeck subsequently approached Squirrel Girl's alter-ego, that of Doreen Green, under the pretense of being a noble mentor and offered to bankroll her, demonstrating her supposedly natural abilities of communication with animals in the process. Doreen accepted Morbeck's offer, outfitting herself with a jetpack and gliding wings to help her crime-fighting escapades. Unbeknown to Squirrel Girl, Morbeck intended to induce dependency on the young heroine in order to manipulate her into becoming her protégée,[3] thus neutralizing her as a threat.

When Squirrel Girl arranged a second meeting with Melissa to get flying suits for Chipmunk Hunk and Koi Boi, Doreen's friend Nancy Whitehead confronted Melissa, having grown suspicious of her, entrapping Morbeck and having her reveal her true nature. Melissa tried to lock up Doreen and Nancy at her house, but they escaped through a window and attempted to retaliate with an army of squirrels. Controlling an army of rats, Morbeck threatened to release them to the squirrels if Doreen didn't accept to peacefully talk. Doreen accepted after a failed attempt at escape, during which Melissa disabled her jetpack and wings.

While Nancy ran away to alert the authorities, Melissa revealed to Squirrel Girl the true nature of her ability to talk to animals, while using said powers to take control of thousands of creatures, including those of the Central Park Zoo, in order to assemble an army of animals to prevent access to her mansion for authorities.[4] After expressing her disappointment with Doreen for not living up to her expectations, namely not ending up following the same philosophy as her, Melissa revealed she had managed to use Pym Particles to miniaturize the Mark VI, the room-sized super-computer she used to communicate with her subjects exclusively from her mansion, making her animal control technology much more practical. Melissa subsequently teleported away once the police and Squirrel Girl's allies had broke through her defenses, revealing she had plans for New York City.

Several weeks later, Morbeck stroke back, sending a message under the pretense she was Doctor Doom threatening to release an army of mosquitos carrying diseases on the city.[2] Morbeck then had a bear dressed as Doctor Doom confronts Squirrel Girl, releasing him from her control and having it take off the armor soon afterward as part of a plan to pin the pretense on Squirrel Girl. Morbeck then confronted Doreen and her allies with her army of animals, which she pretended had been freed from Squirrel Girl's control with Melissa's technology. Fortunately, Tippy-Toe managed to get close enough to Melissa to set off a micro-EMP hastily built by Nancy, effectively freeing Melissa's army from her grasp. Melissa tried to keep pushing for the angle that Squirrel Girl was the villain. But support from the superhero community cleared Squirrel Girl's name, and Melissa was arrested.

Morbeck's mind-control tags were disabled from her animals, which were eventually returned to the zoo or the wild. While in prison, Melissa was visited by Ratatoskr.[5]


  • Morbeck lived at the ESU campus, next to the clock tower.[3]

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