Mikey was the second son of a small-time crook and his estranged wife, who had died of a drug overdose after leaving the family. Being a short and chubby geek, he didn't have many friends and only escaped being a "designated bullying victim" due to his big jock older brother offering him a modicum of protection. A comics fan and aspiring comics artist, he created his own characters, "Major Macho" and his nemesis, the villainess "Ms. Perfect."
After discovering his new mutant powers, Mikey found himself dragged into one his father's (along with his father's friend/accomplice Marco petty schemes, attempting to deceive a local gangster, Mr. Harper. Not only that didn't work, as their attempt to make good on their debt ended up disrupting a planned large heist by Mr. Corvas, a local crimelord above Harper. Attempting to save his own skin, Mikey's father threw the blame on Mikey, delivering him to Corvas.
Mikey escaped and went on the run, hiding at his friend Aaron's home. Since he seemed to be changing into a girl, he decided to go ahead and assume a female identity. To his own surprise, Mikey found out that this didn't bother him, and in fact he enjoyed his new feminine appearance. Figuring out she was actually an undiagnosed transgender woman all along, Mikey took the name "Michelle."
Eventually, Michelle was tracked down and captured by one of Corvas's superhuman associates, a warper named White Diamond. Surprisingly, Diamond and her partner Focus didn't deliver her to Corvas; instead, they only requested that she help them into another heist, to make up for the money they missed earning in the job she, her father and Marco had disrupted.
White Diamond took Michelle under her wing, giving her a crash course in femininity and purchasing her a new wardrobe. Focus and White Diamond had Michelle tested by Dr. Betty and helped her to understand better her powers. Eventually, the new job was revealed: they, along with another partner named Tech Head, hit a warehouse owned by Doctor Avarice, getting out with a fortune in platinum ingots -- and leaving hundreds of other items to be discovered by the police.
Corvas was unhappy in receiving only his standard "local crimelord commission", however -- he would prefer to get the whole stash, but that was now impossible. An attempt to extract revenge from Focus and White Diamond ended up with Corvas, Harper and several henchmen dead.
Focus was impressed by Michelle's performance, and offered to pay her way to Whateley Academy, with the understanding that she would help in a few jobs until graduation.
A couple of years after graduation, Michelle is still working with Focus and White Diamond, in New Jersey.
Michelle looks remarkably like a younger version of a her comic-book creation, "Ms. Perfect." She looks sexy and athletic, with brilliant emerald green irises. Her right eye, though, is black where it normally would be white. In order to disguise this odd trait, she usually wears sunglasses or lets her dark brown hair hang over half her face, Veronica Lake or Jessica Rabbit-style. The hair does not seem to impair her vision, however.
Warper 3 -- Tether is a limited teleporter. Her codename derives from the particular way her power works. She can set an "anchor" in her location, establishing a link she calls a "tether" between herself and that place. At a later time, she can use that tether to teleport herself from her current location to the place of the anchor. However, she can only create one of this strong type of anchor at a time. She can dismiss the tether at any time in order to establish a new one, or it can break on its own if she goes beyond her teleportation range (about two city blocks). She can't carry much while teleporting, however -- mostly her clothes or other objects close to her skin.
She can also set several smaller anchors tethering her to small objects instead of locations -- however, these work in the reverse, bringing the objects to her instead of her teleporting herself.
ESPer 2 -- "primarily focused on environmental awareness, with elements of psychometry and a danger sense thrown in," according to Dr. Betty. Tether can sense a number of things about her surroundings, such as the presence of cameras, weapons, superpowered beings and other threats. She can also discern some information about people she focus on, such as their names and some random general info. She can't really choose the information she gets, however, and the ability does not work fast enough for her to dodge direct attacks.
Exemplar 3 -- being able to lift well over four hundred pounds. Her BIT apparently was shaped by a comic character Mikey had created named "Ms. Perfect," since Michelle ended up as a nearly perfect younger duplicate of the character. Her Exemplar transformation and Regeneration are accelerated by her warping -- every time Tether teleports, any wounds she has get noticeable better.
- Harry Cook (father)
- Mrs. Cook (deceased, by overdose)
- Brad Cook (older brother)
- Aaron Matthews (friend)
- Jackson Lewis (bully, c/o 2004)
- Local criminals
- Marco (Harry's accomplice, or vice versa)
- Mr. Harper (mutant brick, deceased)
- Mr. Corvas (local mob boss, deceased)