Tigra’s vengeance on the Hood

Fresh off my illness shipwreck, I figured we should sail back to shore with a good ol’ fashioned investigation.  I’ve wanted to do a Tigra article for a while, and finally I can declare that I have proof the supervillain the Hood may very well be Tigra’s arch-nemesis. Which honestly, is more impressive for Tigra than the Hood.  Let me explain.

Debuting in 1972, Greer Grant Nelson fought minor baddies for a few years as The Cat, who was mainly like DC’s Catwoman but without the whip and Batman fetish.  A few years later, she got zapped by a radiation gun.  To save her life, the Cat People (pretty much as you think) gave her an amulet that turned Greer into Tigra, the legendary defender of furries everywhere.  Now she has superhuman strength, agility, stamina, etc.  And despite you aggressively about to click away from this article, understand that Tigra has wonderfully evolved into a complex and interesting character far beyond any potential stereotype.

Her policeman husband was shot and killed.  Totally a conspiracy, too.  In response, she retreated deep into a crime-fighting distraction.  Nowadays, like She-Hulk, she loves her alternative self far more than her civilian identity, rarely if ever changing back into human form.  But let’s be fair — she’s literally a cat lady, and she knows it.  Let Greer explain herself:

TigraHood1

TigraHood2

Seriously, who could not have an inferiority complex when fighting alongside Thor?  Still, gotta keep those streets safe, which leads to her single most superhero-defining moment in her entire comic lifespan.

So I don’t have to type each one as we go, in order, here’s a list of the issues I’m using today:
Tigra #4, written by Christina Z and drawn by Mike Deodato
New Avengers #35, written by Brian Michael Bendis and drawn by Leinil Yu
Avengers: The Initiative #26, written by Christos N. Gage and drawn by Rafa Sandoval
Avengers: The Initiative #31, written by Christos N. Gage and drawn by Rafa Sandoval
Avengers: The Initiative #35, written by Christos N. Gage and drawn by Jorge Molina
Avengers Academy #8, written by Christos N. Gage and drawn by Mike McKone

We start off with Tigra breaking up a robbery attempt by the Punisher’s insane arch-nemesis:

TigraHood3

Normally, the supervillain Jigsaw would go back to prison and Tigra would pat herself on the back. Evening well spent.  Except at this exact moment, the Hood is attempting to create his supervillain crime gang, and Tigra gets to be an example.  I’ve written about the Hood (Parker Robbins) a few times already.  Using his demonic cape and some magical enhancements from Loki, the Hood gets to join a danger category equal to other great magicians like Dr. Strange and Brother Voodoo.  But y’know, evil.

TigraHood8

Unfortunately, to win over the trust and respect of the New York City super goons, the Hood has to prove that any superheroes who dare mess with his gang will get a punishment far worse than scrapes and bruises.

TigraHood4

TigraHood5

I would be remiss not to mention that this scene we’re in the middle of has its fair share of controversy.  Fans of Tigra firmly believe that her character is written horribly — she would never act the way she does here.  Others see it as Bendis using a random female superhero as a victim to showcase the Hood’s vicious capability (as his reign starts in this issue).  My opinion?  From a story standpoint, though certainly severe, I think this made Tigra’s character far more fascinating and prevalent than she would otherwise be today.

TigraHood6

TigraHood7

This single torturous act defines Tigra’s life for the next four years.  She soon joins the Avengers Initiative project as an instructor and even begins dating Hank Pym, a founding Avenger.  Not bad, right?  But as the Hood grips tighter onto his title of crime boss of New York, Tigra hasn’t forgotten what he did to her.  Not one bit.

TigraHood11.5

TigraHood9

TigraHood10

Greer may have a legitimate reason to act the way she does, but she’s always had a temper problem. Thus begins a good ten issue revenge plot where she and her group of do-gooders would ambush and savagely beat the Hood’s henchmen.

TigraHood11

We love the “edgier” superheroes, but Ultra-Girl’s right and we all know it.  The reason we love superheroes in the first place is their ability to rise above and be morally superior to the criminals they fight.  After the Hood suffers an embarrassing loss and capture by the Avengers when the Marvel event Siege concludes, Tigra finally receives that one-on-one she desperately seeks.

TigraHood12

TigraHood13

TigraHood14

Oh yeah, did you know Tigra has a child?  It’s a half-cat, half-Hank Pym kid.

TigraHood15

You see, we all figure that her confrontation and moral victory over the Hood would be the end of this little tale.  Now she remains a shining light of hope for superheroes everywhere.  Except that’s not really how PTSD works.  While she’s teaching at the Avengers Academy a year or so after this, that initial video of Tigra’s beating and humiliation by the Hood hits the Internet, forcing her to address it. Which she does, in the absolutely most perfect superhero way she can.

TigraHood16

TigraHood17

TigraHood18

As happy an ending as this kind of story can get.

Advertisements

2 Comments on “Tigra’s vengeance on the Hood”

  1. John M. Burt says:

    A powerful story indeed.
    Speaking as one who deals with PTSD, I am sorry I missed this storyline when it was coming out, and I thank you for this summary, which I stumbled upon today.

  2. Darci says:

    Re: “The Cat, who was mainly like DC’s Catwoman but without the whip and Batman fetish.”

    I run into this comparison every once and a while and, as far as I can tell, there’s nothing to it. Catwoman used the Cat name once (in Batman #1). She’s a thief. She has no powers. Her costume (usually) is dark blue or purple with green. The Cat has superhuman strength, agility, and senses. Her costume is yellow (or gold) with blue (or black) accessories. She commits what would be crimes in our world (like breaking-and-entering and assault), but she’s on the same side as vigilantes like Daredevil and Spider-Man. Actually, there’d been more representations of Cheetah than Catwoman around 1972-1973 and the colors are a closer match so why don’t people think The Cat was like DC’s Cheetah?
    Thanks!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s