Comics
Published January 24, 2019

‘Black Widow’: Burning Madripoor – A Profile of Tyger Tiger

Tracing Jessan Hoan’s beginnings to her arrival in BLACK WIDOW #2

Jessan Hoan came into the world as the heir to a Singapore banking empire, the Hoan International Bank. Born into privilege and slated to eventually run Hoan International, she still went to work for the company on a low-rung to learn the ropes long before she’d ever have to be in charge.

Unfortunately, tragedy struck. In one event, Hoan’s entire life plan is horribly derailed.

That path has led her into BLACK WIDOW #2. Natasha Romanoff has come aground on the corrupt island of Madripoor. She needs a local to help her rein in the horrible group of criminals she pursues. Tyger Tiger, the woman who once called herself Jessan Hoan, might not be a local, but she’s the next best thing – an enthusiastic transplant who does not mind getting her hands dirty for the greater good of Madripoor.

The Moment That Changes It All

Jessan Hoan is kidnapped by Reavers

On a typical workday, life took a painful turn for Hoan when the Reavers targeted her family’s bank. Not content to merely rob it, the Reavers massacred several members of the Hoan family and kidnapped Jessan.

While in custody, a Reaver named Pretty Boy attempted to break Jessan. The group hoped that by altering Hoan’s morality, they would be able to get her to join them as their financial expert. Instead, the X-Men found her and ended Pretty Boy’s work mid-process. As a result, Hoan’s brain had been altered to lessen her inhibitions and activate certain areas of the brain responsible for her physicality. However, her moral code remained more or less intact.

You Can’t Ever Go Home

One might expect that her surviving family members would be thrilled to have her return alive and well. One would be wrong though.

It turns out her still being alive made her family suspicious of her. Why did she, amongst all those targeted that day, get to live? Perhaps, they reasoned, she brought the Reavers to the family’s front door and cost so many lives.

Angry and hurt by their allegations and cold shoulders and emboldened by the changes in her brain, she did not attempt to stick around and convince them of her innocence. Instead, she struck out on her own.

Avenging Her Family

Tyger becomes Tyger

Soon after she left, Jessan discovered that a man named Roche directed and hired the Reavers to target Hoan International Bank. She immediately tracked him to the corrupt island nation of Madripoor. Once there, she adopted the alias of Tyger Tiger and became enmeshed in the criminal scene.

Via those associations, she met and allied herself with Logan, then in his Patch persona. Together they finally brought Roche to heel. When the crime boss shot Patch, Tyger reacted on instinct and anger and decapitated him. Having crossed that line, she went all in on her criminal persona, assumed control of Roche’s illegal enterprises, and cast off anything that involved drugs or human slavery.

From Crime Lord to Politics

Tyger teams with Wolverine

At some point, Madame Hydra seized control of Madripoor, leading Tyger to become something of a revolutionary figure. Resisting Hydra’s rule endeared Tiger to the people to the point that when Tony Stark overthrew Madame’s rule, Hoan became the natural trusted successor.

She rewarded the people’s trust almost immediately by pushing for free democratic elections. Although Hydra continued to try and interfere, Tiger successfully shepherded her country to freedom, albeit the freedom of a wildly criminal island state.

The Son Shall Undo Her

Tyger and Daken

Tiger eventually allied herself with Daken, Wolverine’s long-lost son. However, Daken proved to be no Logan. Or Patch, for that matter. Rather than make her a better person and bring her success, he guided her into deeper darkness. In the end, he managed to sweep her organization out from under her, killing those who would not come along for the ride.

Knocked off balance for perhaps the first time since her kidnapping, Tiger was unable to mount a counteroffensive and ceded her enterprises to him.

Once a Madripoorian

This drubbing, however, did not cure her of her love of the island. Even after she lost her power and prestige, she remained committed to Madripoor’s future.

With the arrival of Black Widow on the island in BLACK WIDOW #2, Tiger once again has a chance to make a difference. Together, she and Natasha seek to shut down a vast conspiracy that is offering up Madripoor citizens as victims for a contest of sport and profit.

BLACK WIDOW #2, written by Jen and Sylvia Soska with art by Flaviano, goes on sale Wednesday, February 20. You can pre-order your copy today, either online or at your local comic shop!