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Tigra (Greer Grant Nelson) is a fictional superheroine appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. Introduced as the non-superpowered crime fighter The Cat in Claws of the Cat #1 (November 1972), she was created by writer-editor Roy Thomas and artist Wally Wood (Marie Severin was then brought in to help layout the art), with her early adventures written by Linda Fite. She mutated into the super powered tiger-woman Tigra in Giant-Size Creatures #1 (July 1974), by writer Tony Isabella and artist Don Perlin.
Greer Grant was a native of Chicago, Illinois. She was a sophomore at the University of Chicago when she met her future husband, policeman Bill Nelson. She left college to marry him. The marriage was a strong one, flawed only by Bill's overprotective nature. Bill was killed in an off-duty shooting, and Greer had to find a job of her own. After weeks of searching, she ran into her old physics professor, Dr. Joanne Tumulo.
Dr. Tumulo was working on the human potential experiments that turned Shirlee Bryant into the super powered villainess called the Cat. Not trusting the test subject chosen by her financial backer, Malcolm Donalbain, Greer persuaded Dr. Tumulo to let her undergo the experimental treatments as well. She emerged with superhuman physical and mental capabilities. When Donalbain had Dr. Tumulo's lab destroyed with dynamite, Greer donned one of the dozens of Cat costumes that she had created and the doctor had appropriated and set out to put an end to his scheme. With her new abilities, she adapted quickly to the strange garb and wrecked Donalbain's headquarters. Rather than let himself be touched by the Cat's raking claws, Donalbain committed suicide. A fire set off by the ruined equipment destroyed Donalbain's headquarters. Greer embarked on a brief crime-fighting career as the Cat.
Another of Donalbain's Cat costumes surfaced years later, when Patsy Walker discovered it while accompanying the Avengers. She donned it and dubbed herself Hellcat.
"The Tigra" is the historical defender/champion of the Cat People, a humanoid race created by sorcery during the Dark Ages. Concerned about the Cat People's uncontrollable population growth and savagery, a community of sorcerers eventually banished the entire original Cat People population to a demonic nether-worldly realm.
The two very first Cat People, who were themselves very capable scientists and sorcerers, were able to evade banishment through their magic. They continued to live amongst humanity in secret and worked to refine the Cat People's biology to make a peaceful integration into the human population possible. They were constantly persecuted and required a protector. Discovering that the original spell for transforming cats into Cat People like themselves had been rendered inoperative, they created a process combining science, sorcery, and focused mental power that could transform a human female into a "Tigra," a humanoid tiger-like being with abilities that far surpassed those of either race.
This unnamed first Tigra defended the Cat People with great effectiveness, and allowed a new community to establish themselves on Earth, separate from the group that had been banished. This new population continued to live amongst humanity in secrecy through the present day, relying on enchantments that cast the illusion of a human appearance.
Nothing is known about the other Tigras who may have existed, or even if there have been more than two. At the time when Greer was transformed into a Tigra, "The Tigra" was only remembered by the Cat People as a distant but powerful legend. It has been strongly implied that only one Tigra can exist at any given time.
Dr. Tumulo was revealed to be one of these modern Cat People. When members of HYDRA tracked Tumolo down to obtain "The Final Secret" (the Black Death plague, which was another creation of the first two Cat People), Greer once again donned the Cat costume and drove them off. However, she was mortally injured by a blast from one of their alpha radiation pistols.
Greer regained consciousness in a Baja California cave, surrounded by a gathering of Cat People summoned by Tumolo. Rapidly dying from the radiation's effects, Greer was offered one last hope of survival: a combination of ancient science, sorcery, and mental power that would transform her into Tigra, the Cat People's legendary half-human, half-cat warrior. She readily consented, began wearing only her black bikini from this time on, and arose from the ceremony as a superhuman-powered human-animal hybrid. Striped fur covered her entire body, her hands and feet bore razor-sharp claws, her teeth became long and pointed, and her eyes were now cat-eyes. In addition to superhuman strength and senses, she also gained many of the drives and instincts of a cat. Soon after, she encountered the Werewolf.
Though initially unable to change back to her human self, Tigra received from the Cat People a mystical cat-headed amulet that allowed her to first create the illusion of her human form and later to change at will. She seldom made use of it, preferring her feline, super powered form and mostly abandoning her life as Greer Grant-Nelson.
Greer resumed her superhero career, with most of the world unaware that the woman who briefly fought crime as The Cat was now the feline Tigra. She fought alongside most of Marvel's heavy-hitters in wide-ranging adventures. She first battled Kraven the Hunter, and then teamed with Spider-Man against Kraven. She also became a friend and associate of the Fantastic Four.
When the Avengers found themselves shorthanded, Moondragon used her mental powers to compel a dozen unaffiliated heroes (apparently selected at random) to travel to Avengers Mansion and audition for the vacant position. Though he disapproved of Moondragon's methods, Captain America offered Tigra a spot on the team.
Although Tigra's first tenure with the Avengers was brief, she served well. She also aided the X-Men against Deathbird. Her time with the Avengers was highlighted by her single-handedly saving the world from destruction by the Molecule Man, who intended to consume the planet's energy like Galactus. Alone among the Avengers, she was able to get close enough to him to talk him out of his plan. She convinced him to seek help from a therapist and the Molecule Man has ceased to be a threat to this day.
The Avengers fought the Ghost Rider, who blasted the team with his terror-inducing hellfire. The nature of Tigra's powers caused her to be affected by the exposure on a far deeper level than her teammates. She was left with great self-doubts about her qualifications as a member of Earth's premier superhero team, particularly alongside such heavy-hitters as Thor and Iron Man. Ultimately she resigned her membership, leaving the team on good terms.
She resumed her modeling career, moving to San Francisco when employers on the East Coast proved unreceptive to the idea of a cat person model. There she befriended private investigator Jessica Drew, and aided her on several cases, but had no better luck with modeling work and accepted an offer from The Vision to become a founding member of the Avengers' new West Coast-based team. Alongside the new West Coast Avengers, she fought Graviton, and became a close friend of Wonder Man. She also began a flirtation with Henry Pym.
While with the West Coast Avengers, she seemed to have shed the remainders of her hellfire-induced self-doubt. However, the cat-like aspects of her personality (such as a penchant for savagery and a need for affection) had begun to dominate her human intellect, causing her increasing distress. She sought help from her Avengers teammates in overcoming the "cat" side of her personality, which had caused her to become the lover of both Wonder Man and Henry Pym. She also encountered and fought the Werewolf. She was transported with the West Coast Avengers by Balkatar to the realm of the Cat People. Ultimately, she came into contact with the banished colony of Cat People, whose king agreed to resolve her crisis in exchange for carrying out her historical function by murdering the Cat People's longtime foe, Master Pandemonium. Though she initially accepted their terms, when the critical moment came at an arena in the Cat People's realm, Tigra refused to violate the Avengers' code against killing, and failed to kill Master Pandemonium. The Cat People stripped her of her "Tigra soul" (the peculiar articulation of her Tigra powers in this demonic realm). She was reduced to her normal, pre-transformation human state.
Hellcat, who had accompanied Greer and the West Coast Avengers, lent Greer the super-suit that she used to wear as The Cat, and a battle ensued. As the tide began to turn against the Cat People, their leader released the "Tigra soul" as a means of confusing Greer. The tactic backfired. The cat-suit had been designed by a Cat Person (Tumolo) specifically to amplify Greer's human capabilities. So instead of Greer being dominated by the "Tigra soul" as before, the suit caused her human and feline personalities to successfully integrate together.
This time, Greer's transformation into the legendary cat-warrior was much more complete than before. Her strength and abilities were far greater than they were originally. Her appearance became more feline, and she grew a tail like the rest of the Cat People. She also lost the ability to shift back to a human form, though as before she showed no sense of loss for her human identity.
Her transformation was so complete and the Tigra legend was so strong amongst the Cat People that they immediately ceased hostilities. Tigra continues to hold a position of significant reverence among the Cat People.
The transformation also resolved the conflicts between the human and feline aspects of her personality. Tigra could now exploit the full range and ferocity of her abilities without fear of going so far that she would lose control of her actions, and she could also indulge her natural feline inclinations (such as hunting and chasing prey for enjoyment) without feeling guilty or self-conscious. This integration was confirmed in concrete ways immediately upon the team's return to Earth. Tigra performed a sport dive off the highest span of the Golden Gate Bridge, exhibiting no signs of any injury or fear of the water. She also terminated her ongoing relationship with Hank Pym, explaining that although she no longer felt a cat-like need to seek affection at every opportunity, she had no conventional human desire to be tied down to one mate, either.
She was captured by Graviton at one point, but freed the Avengers from him. Around this time, the Arthurian Lady of the Lake summoned the West Coast Avengers to England to aid the superhero team Excalibur. With the others, Tigra ventured into the realm of limbo to help stop Doctor Doom's mad plans to gain power at the cost of killing everyone in Britain.
Tigra briefly left the West Coast Avengers in a dispute over the Avengers' policy against killing. Tigra stated that she believed by her very nature that killing prey was sometimes necessary. She joined Mockingbird and Moon Knight in forming an independent group.
After returning to the team, Tigra inexplicably underwent another "inversion" and transformed into a more beast-like feline shape, losing her human intellect completely and becoming a danger to her fellow Avengers. This was possibly due to the reality-warping machinations of Immortus, who at the time sought to distract the team so as to have unimpeded access to the Scarlet Witch. Tigra was forcibly shrunken down to sub-housecat size by Hank Pym and kept in a cage in his lab while the team tended to other urgent matters. She escaped and traveled into suburbia where she lived as a wild animal. She was ultimately rescued and restored to her former appearance and stability by noted witch Agatha Harkness, who was an associate of the West Coast Avengers at that time.
Tigra resumed her membership in the West Coast Avengers. On an intelligence-gathering mission in Japan, she and Iron Man battled a team of Asian supervillains known as the Pacific Overlords. During the fight, Iron Man was incapacitated and Tigra suffered a deep, critical stab wound to the abdomen before dispatching her attackers and making her escape. She flew away in the Avengers' Quinjet, intending to report back to headquarters on the Overlords' plans, but severe loss of blood caused her to lose consciousness and crash land in Arnhem Land, an Aboriginal territory in northern Australia. Rescued by Aborigines, she decided to stay put while she recovered from her wounds, naming Spider-Woman Julia Carpenter as her replacement. She briefly made Arnhem Land her home, enjoying the company of the Aborigines and the pleasures of living wild.
After the West Coast Avengers disbanded, Tigra resumed her wide-ranging adventures. Though no longer an active Avenger, she continued to participate in Avengers operations when needed, as a member of the team's extended family.
With the aid of a new transformation device to disguise her true identity from her fellow officers, Tigra spent some time on the New York City police force. She focused much of her time on a personal case and in combating a force of vigilante police officers.
Later, mystical forces which attacked all Avengers brought her to the Avengers Mansion. There, she and all the other Avengers were entrapped by Morgan LeFay, to live out in an alternate universe where LeFay ruled, fighting alongside the others as one of the "queen"'s guards under the name "Grimalkin". After the defeat of Morgan, Tigra went off into space with Starfox, to enjoy the pleasures found there. She appeared off and on, having a series of adventures as part of the ad-hoc space-faring Avengers Infinity team in which she helps in preventing an extra-universal race from destroying all life in our universe.
Tigra returned to Earth with the Avengers Infinity team during the Maximum Security storyline, during which she helped to save the Earth from becoming a penal colony for alien criminals. She played a particularly crucial role in events when the Infinity team were captured after discovering the Kree's role in recent events, with the Kree intending to lobotomize the team and make it appear as though they had destroyed another planet; due to the attention the Kree had paid to keeping the more powerful team members contained, they were unprepared for Tigra, the weakest member, to escape her bonds by returning to her smaller human form, allowing her to escape her shackles and free her teammates in time to reveal the truth.
Powers and Abilities
- Superhuman strength, speed, senses and agility
- Retractable claws
- Limited mystical abilities
Appearances in Idea Wiki
Iago PUC's ideas
- Tigra appears along with numerous Marvel superheroes in Comic Con Incorporated. She is one of the roomers in the titular fictional 5-star hotel and summer resort. She is roommates with Wolverine and is a friend to Sally Acorn, as they were shown surfing together in the hotel's beach.
- A version of Tigra appears as one of the core protagonists in Ultimate Marvel: Earth-2. This version is Mary Jane Watson, and she is an half-human, half Titanian Tiger hybrid (daughter of F.E.A.S.T. nurse Mary Watson and Titanian Tiger Soto). She initially wore no clothes in her Titanian Tiger form until she was given a new two-piece leotard suit which adapts to her powers after earning membership of the Avengers.
TV Series and Movies
- Tigra appears in both versions of Iago PUC's Marvel Animated Universe, voiced by Kimberly Brooks.
- Tigra is a recurring character in Avengers Unleashed, voiced by Kimberly Brooks.
- The Mary Jane Watson incarnation of Tigra appears as a central character in Iago PUC's version of The Spectacular Spider-Man Season 3, voiced by Tara Strong. This version became Tigra after she discovered and reassembled the pieces of the Earth Scion of China, which magically granted her the ability to shape-shift into a humanoid tigress with the abilities of fire and ice breathing, night vision, hypnosis and the strengths of several tigers (superhuman strength, stamina, wall-crawling and the ability to run and swim in superhuman speed).
- The Mary Jane Watson incarnation of Tigra appears as a main character in Iago PUC's version of Marvel's Spider-Man, voiced by Ashley Johnson. Her origins are the same of her counterpart in Ultimate Marvel: Earth-2, as a half-human, half Titanian Tiger hybrid, and is again the daughter of F.E.A.S.T. nurse Mary Watson (voiced by Grey DeLisle) and Titanian Tiger Soto (voiced by Travis Willingham), who goes by the guise of Stark Industries scientist and Horizon High teacher Dr. Phillip Watson.
- The same version also appears in the crossover TV movie Marvel's Transformers: Assemble and Roll Out as a main character, again voiced by Ashley Johnson. Mary Jane is first seen with Gwen Stacy, Anya Corazon, Teresa Parker and Carlie Cooper overseeing the swimsuits they bought for their summer trip to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, (as seen in events of Marvel's Spider-Man Season 2 episode "Fish Out of Water") until they join Spider-Man's fight against a Energon-infected Doctor Octopus and then with out-of-control A.I.M. robots, which leads to an encounter with the Autobots Bumblebee, Windblade and Grimlock. She and her fellow Champions later join the featured Marvel heroes to work alongside the Autobots in saving their universes from Darkspine and a war between the supervillains and Decepticons. She is shown to be good friends with Arcee, with whom she is more partnered during the event.
- The Mary Jane Watson incarnation of Tigra also appears as a main character in Marvel's Spider-Man: Webbed Champion, also voiced by Ashley Johnson. She retains her origins and history from Ultimate Marvel: Earth-2 and Iago PUC's first version of Marvel's Spider-Man (see above). She is initially a student in Midtown High School (as well as the football team's costumed mascot) until she caught Flash Thompson excluding one of the jocks from the team because he was dressed as a party clown and overheard him yelling his hatred for costumed party entertainers (or "useless clowns" as he calls them). Upset and hurt, Mary Jane decided to drop out of Midtown High to enroll at Horizon High, plus ending her friendship with Thompson, leaving him brokenhearted, although she still remains friends with his mutually estranged younger half-brothers Marcus (also a party eintertainer and superhero) and Jack (whom Mary Jane acts as his babysitter), as well as Liz Allan and Randy Robertson. Befriending Peter's friends at Horizon High (Miles Morales, Gwen Stacy and Anya Corazon), she also aids Spider-Man and his comrades in recurring battles, and is among the young heroes who form the Champions team.
- The Mary Jane Watson incarnation of Tigra is a main character in Marvel: All New, All Different Chronicles, voiced by Ashley Johnson.
- Tigra is the titular protagonist in her same name live-action TV series set in a alternate reality in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, portrayed by Summer Glau.
- A version of Tigra appears in All New, All Ultimate Marvel. This version is Kamala Khan, and is a Inhuman who can shapeshift into a humanoid tigress.
- Tigra appears in Ms. Marvel and the Young Avengers, voiced by Kimberly Brooks.