Sunset Bain was always a highly motivated genius with both money and personal connections. At M.I.T., she romanced an undergraduate Tony Stark, gaining access into his parents' company. Donning a simple green bodysuit with a wig and a nearly undetectable mask, Sunset became Madam Menace. She hired underlings to break into Stark Industries, and within a year launched her own company (Baintronics, Inc.), partially based on prototypes stolen from Stark and others. Bain soon dropped Stark and moved on to other targets. Sunset and Baintronics subsequently cultivated a spotless public image, courting senators, celebrities and billionaires. Meanwhile, Menace built a lucrative business supplying sophisticated weaponry to the criminal elite, a tremendously profitable underground seasonal "Sharper Villain" catalog of armaments.
When Machine Man lost an arm fighting Baron Brimstone, it was stolen and sold to Madam Menace, who intended to reverse engineer it and create her own robot army. When Machine Man came for his limb, Menace personally confronted him, capturing him via her directed EMP technology and an electro-magnetic stasis field. Menace engaged in negotiations to sell the robot, but Machine Man escaped; Bain escaped by blowing up her yacht. Bain adapted a sonic disruptor and recaptured Machine Man, but Alpha Flight freed the robot. When Machine Man was later attacked by a Termini (a larval form of the planet-destroying Terminus), Iron Man brought the damaged Machine Man (and the head of the destroyed Jocasta) to Sunset's Seattle-based Baintronics headquarters. Using her Duplikatron technology, Madam Menace created replicas of Machine Man and Jocasta's head. She returned a slightly defective version of Jocasta's head to Machine Man when he recovered and retained the original Jocasta and duplicate Machine Man for research.
The mercenary Silver Sable once attempted to capture Menace at an underworld armaments demonstration. Menace and her client (Dr. Octopus) escaped from Sable operatives Sandman and Hawkeye. Bain has supplied armaments to the Orb, and worked with the New Enforcers, allowing her to study the Dreadnought, Super-Adaptoid, and Dragon Man, among others. She also employed Stuart Clarke (Rampage) and Parnell Jacobs (War Machine) to gain access to their armor. When Bain failed to decode Jocasta's AI, she recruited Tony Stark to do the work, sending War Machine to destroy Stark's current employers when Stark declined. Suspicious, Stark accepted, quickly deducing Jocasta's identity and freeing her, while also convincing War Machine to quit. Bain later hired the Taskmaster to destroy Stark Enterprises' latest semiconductor technology. Taskmaster succeeded but Bain betrayed him to the police. Taskmaster retaliated by forcing a war between Baintronics and the Triad gang, and he continues to stalk Sunset.