Smiling Tiger is a quick and effective killer, using his strength, claws, and heightened senses to defeat his enemies.
While fighting in the Vietnam War, American soldier Collier Mack and his army unit the Half-Fulls discover the ancient temple of the Dragon’s Breadth cult in Cambodia. He meets cult leader Tai, who offers them a future of untold wealth and power. The catch is to provide Tai with their offspring. Tai reveals the cult’s goal – breeding children that could control the Well of All Things (also known as the Universal Wellspring), a wellspring of power. The men refused and attacked Tai, but Tai used power from the Well to defend herself. The leader of their company, Sergeant Andrew Chord, stops the violence and, with his unit, learns all they could about Tai’s pact, then agreed it. Collier and his wife had a son whom they named Conrad.
Smiling Tiger possesses increased strength and agility, heightened senses, and razor-sharp claws. He is also formidable hand-to-hand combatant.
Super-Powered Allies and Enemies
Smiling Tiger allies with Diego Casseas, AKA the Left Hand. Through the Left Hand, Smiling Tiger learns about his secret origin – he was the product of a prophecy involving the Dragon’s Breadth cult and the Universal Wellspring, where his superpowers originated. He fights alongside the Left Hand’s gang, the Folding Circle, which is comprised of others like him whose parents all committed themselves to the pact – Bloodstrike, Silk Fever, Midnight’s Fire, and Night Thrasher.
Unable to speak due to his feral nature, Smiling Tiger mostly grunts, but is fully aware and able to take orders from others. He goes up against the super-team the New Warriors and Wellspring-infected masses alongside the Thunderbolts.
A History of Violence
After killing a group of drug dealers in an alleyway, Conrad smelled someone approaching. The scent came from Diego Casseas, AKA the Left Hand, who seemed to know the secrets of his past and offered to be his guiding hand of darkness. He takes the codename Smiling Tiger and joins Left Hand’s gang of mystically-powered mutates known as the Folding Circle, who were all children of the pact.
The group then traveled to the Temple of the Dragon’s Breadth to find answers. The Left Hand single-handedly fought and defeated the temple guards so he could welcome the rest of the Folding Circle towards the wellspring of power. There they met Tai who began revealing their parents’ shared past.
The New Warriors arrived and clashed with the Folding Circle. Smiling Tiger slashed at Christopher Powell, AKA Darkhawk, but he retaliated with a force blast that knocked him out. When Smiling Tiger came to, he and the other members of the Folding Circle, as well as the New Warriors, were trapped by Tai who explained her diabolical plan to use the children of the pact to receive the Well’s fortune. The two groups escaped Tai’s clutches; a few of the Folding Circle members, including Smiling Tiger bailed, while others worked with the New Warriors to defeat Tai, who was shot by a child of the pact, Dwayne Taylor, AKA Night Thrasher, and thrown into the Well with Left Hand.
Smiling Tiger later joins the Thunderbolts against En Dwi Gast, AKA the Grandmaster, who sought to control the energies of the Universal Wellspring. In a race to tap the Wellspring, the Thunderbolts traveled to Germany to battle the Grandmaster’s allies, the Squadron Sinister, where Helmut Zemo, AKA Baron Zemo, incinerated the Grandmaster. But still, hundreds of thousands of civilians were transformed into super-powered madmen from the Wellspring, and the Thunderbolts army fought them back. But the Thunderbolts lost Smiling Tiger and Bloodstrike, who were overwhelmed with Wellspring energies, in the process.