Comics

Didja Know... The History of Tigra

Get some downright delightful details from across the history of the merry Marvel Multiverse in this new weekly feature!

Didja Know digs into the fun facts, strange stories, and divine details that helped build the hallowed halls of the House of Ideas!

Next Wednesday, the saga of giant-size Tigra continues in the brand-new WEST COAST AVENGERS #3

If the team thought a 50-Foot Woman version of Tigra was trouble, just wait till they get a load of her “friends.” Written by Kelly Thompson with art by Stefano Caselli, the West Coast Avengers try to save the day from B-moviemonster-sized threats roaming Los Angeles!

All of this action prompts us to dig down deep into Tigra’s history to uncover a few facts that some True Believers might not know!

Didja Know… Tigra began as a completely different Super Hero?

Back in the early 1970s, it was rare to find a female hero headlining her own series—and perhaps even more rare to find a book with a creative team composed of women. But in 1972, Marvel publisher Stan Lee put together a dream duo to produce the newest female fury to spring from his mind, and in short order, THE CAT #1 appeared on the racks later that year, featuring the work of writer Linda Fite and artist Marie Severin.

The Cat (1972) #1

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A character named Greer Nelson, who was recently widowed, found work with a physics professor who labored to create a way to augment humans by scientific means. The professor, Dr. Tumolo, had a benefactor who desired an “army of Amazons” to do his bidding, and when Greer discovered his madness, she offered herself up as a Tumolo’s test subject. The whole deal exploded in flames, but now endowed with accelerated physical and mental prowess, Greer became the Cat.

THE CAT lasted just four issues, sadly, and after that plus an appearance in MARVEL TEAM-UP, Greer receded into an uncertain future…

But what’s all this got to do with Tigra? Read on, True Believer!

Didja Know… Tigra debuted alongside another hairy hero?

The Cat more or less hung up her artificial claws about a year after her introduction, but traded them in for a real set in 1974’s GIANT-SIZE CREATURES #1.

Jack Russell, the tragic Werewolf By Night, stumbled upon Greer Nelson on a beach in Mexico before soon finding himself embroiled in a struggle with the global crime organization Hydra. Readers discovered that Greer didn’t remain idle after the cancellation of her series, but with the help of Dr. Tumolo, the mysterious Cat People, and an equally mysterious serum and ring, she’d been transformed into Tigra the Were-Woman!

Giant-Size Creatures (1974) #1

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Together, Werewolf and Were-Woman put the bite on Hydra, then parted ways. Tigra wandered here and there in the Marvel Universe over the next few years, headlining adventures in MARVEL CHILLERS and guest-starring in series like MARVEL TWO-IN-ONE and FANTASTIC FOUR, but things really gelled for her when she got a call from Earth’s Mightiest Heroes. Then she found a true home with the West Coast Avengers, first in the 1984 limited series and later in a 1985 ongoing WEST COAST AVENGERS title, both of which developed her into one of Marvel’s most unique heroines. The days of the Cat seemed far behind her…

Didja Know… Another person picked up the mantle of the Cat after Tigra?

Young Patsy Walker debuted back in 1944 as one of Marvel’s early “teen romance” characters, but by 1976 she’d entered the modern Marvel Universe as a much more well-rounded character. In fact, in 1976’s AVENGERS #144right around the time that Greer Nelson’s career as Tigra found its footingPatsy started an amazing journey of her own; she became an Avenger.

Avengers (1963) #144

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While on an Avengers investigation of a Roxxon Corporation warehouse, Patsy came across the original costume of the Cat and, in the heat of the moment, decided to try it on. She began calling herself Hellcat, and assisted the heroes in competent fashion, later choosing to keep the costume and try to be a Super Hero on her own.

Patsy received physical training from both Captain America and the Beast, as well as guidance in using her developing psychic abilities from Moondragon. Later, she worked with the Defenders in addition to the Avengers, and still kicks villain-butt to this day. She even eventually met Tigra and compared notes on the best practices for feline furies.

Pick up WEST COAST AVENGERS #3 on Halloween for the latest in cat comics! And watch the video below to learn how to turn yourself into a Tigra on October 31!

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