Three years into her time at the GCPD, before Melody McKenna made detective, there was a massive breakout at Arkham, with many of the guards kept by prisoners as "playmates" and hostages. One of these guards was McKenna's husband, Nathaniel. McKenna therefore called in a favor to be put on the SWAT team that was going to defuse the situation. Commissioner Gordon ordered the team to wait, but was overruled by the mayor, resulting in nothing short of a slaughter of the prisoners when the team went in. McKenna went ahead on the small hope that her husband was still alive. She found him, held at gunpoint by a prisoner who demanded that McKenna get him out of there. She froze however, and her husband was executed right in front of her, as well as the wrongfully imprisoned Charise Carnes.
McKenna fell into a dark downward spiral after this, with periods of months she couldn't recall. Then one day she was contacted by Charise, released on appeal, who wanted McKenna's help in her vendetta to rid Gotham of all criminals - by whatever means necessary. McKenna took her up on her offer and became one of Charise's many associates in the Justice Department.
Melody McKenna was created by Batgirl writer Gail Simone and drawn by Ardian Syaf. She was introduced, into the DC Universe, after the relaunch of 2011.
Major Story Arcs
McKenna is with her partner, Douglas Paulson, waiting for a murder suspect, Theodore Rankin, leader of the Brisby Killers, to wake up in a Gotham hospital, while Mirror storms the building, with the intent to kill the suspect. Mirror breaks into the room, killing McKenna's partner, and knocking her to the ground with a gunshot to her shoulder. Batgirl shows up to stop Mirror, but is unable to stop Mirror from killing the suspect due to anxiety related to her past injury. Concussed, dazed, and confused, McKenna angrily points her gun to Batgirl, furious that she did nothing to stop Mirror. When Commissioner Gordon shows up, McKenna become infuriated with him but after calming down demands a warrant for Batgirl. McKenna then spends her ordered time off to do research on Batgirl and she becomes obsessed with catching her.
McKenna began finding herself becoming less agreeable with Charise Carnes' methods over time, to the point that when Batgirl confronts Knightfall (Charise's alter-ego) and her Disgraced, McKenna winds up breaking up the fight when Batgirl was about to be killed. Threatening to expose everything she knew about Knightfall, she was able to safely leave with Batgirl. McKenna informs Batgirl on how Charise wound up in Arkham despite being innocent, and what she went through. Soon Batgirl begins prying a little too deeply however and McKenna threatens her with her gun, demanding she tell who she was working for. Batgirl disarms McKenna though and questions her about her involvement with Knightfall. McKenna tells of the riot at Arkham, the death of her husband, and how Charise found her at her lowest. She goes on to say that Knightfall has a mole in Batgirl's organization as well.
Suddenly, McKenna and Batgirl are attacked by Batwoman, who quickly proves to outclass her opponents. Batgirl calls a truce however and Batwoman explains how she came to apprehend McKenna for the D.E.O. McKenna reveals however that this was a setup that she helped Knightfall in orchestrating. Knightfall then calls McKenna, ordering Batgirl to meet her, threatening to kill a minor criminal that Batgirl had earlier tried to save from the Disgraced. Batgirl goes to confront Knightfall, but winds up having to battle her Disgraced. Batwoman and McKenna - in full riot gear - provide her with backup however, allowing Batgirl to continue on to Knightfall.
After Batgirl beats Knightfall, the villain taunts her by telling her that no judge or cop would dare have her arrested given her connections - making an arrest a veritable career death-wish for any cop. McKenna gladly takes the challenge however and arrests Knightfall "just for the hell of it."